Real friends know how to have arguments and cry together
Real friends can laugh, have arguments and cry together, just as long as they trust each other. This universal fact is as old as time. And yet Mies van Hout has succeeded in making it the basis of a magnificent picture book.
In Vriendjes (Friends, 2012), we meet two colourful monsters per spread, created in pastels on a black background, in a style that’s reminiscent of the CoBrA artist Karel Appel. The expressive monsters, who are all different in appearance, have fun playing together, but they’re also very good at arguing and fighting when they get bored. They’re real friends though, so they hope it will all turn out okay in the end. And they’re right. Soon enough, they’re laughing together again and their trust is restored.
Van Hout skilfully portrays the phases of the emotional peaks and troughs that every friendship goes through. This book is not only a feast for the eyes, but also an effective introduction into learning how to deal with conflicts.