Mathilde Stein

Tuft and Fluff — The Way Home

A fun story about two guinea pigs for beginning readers

This is a story in verse about two guinea pigs, made up of short sentences grouped into paragraphs, with illustrations on almost every page. It’s a book for children who are already quite good at reading and would like to try reading a real book for themselves, one that’s thicker than the usual classroom books. It’s an exciting story, more than 300 pages long, told in words that aren’t too tricky. Stein not only wrote the book, but also created the many illustrations, which bring these guinea pigs to life, lending a great sense of dynamism and pace to the text.

Pluk and Pluis are guinea pigs who are forced to live together. Pluis’s peaceful life is disturbed one day, when Pluk is dropped into his cage. At first, Pluis wants nothing to do with this intruder, who keeps running around the cage and also has quite a big mouth, bragging about a secret that has something to do with his previous owner. After a while, Pluis comes to realise that Pluk has brought some excitement back into his life, which he was maybe missing a bit. He starts to like the other guinea pig more and more. The stolen ring of a Peruvian princess, which Pluk happens to have in his possession, triggers a thrilling adventure in which Pluis has to overcome a lot of his fears. Of course there’s a cat, and there are people, some nice and others not so nice, and there’s the princess whose ring Pluk and Pluis want to return. That’s no easy task.

This is a fun story that tends at times towards slapstick. The style is bright and cheerful, and Stein uses plenty of creative language, including exclamations and made-up words. The rhythm and cadence are perfect for reading aloud if children aren’t yet ready to read the book independently, while children with a little more reading experience will finally be able to say that they’ve read a nice, big book, all by themselves.

Funny, exciting, colloquial and, in spite of the short sentences, smoothly written.


Mathilde Stein

Mathilde Stein (b. 1969) made her debut as a children’s writer in 2006 with the picture book Bang Mannetje, illustrated by Mies van Hout, which was a big success, winning the Kinderboekwinkel Prize. After that, she produced four more picture books, including Van mij and De kindereter. De weg naar

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Pluk en Pluis. De weg naar terug (2022). Children's books, 318 pages.
Words: 20,497


Mathilde Stein



Vijverlaan 48
NL - 3062 HL Rotterdam
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 10 206 29 29
Fax: +31 10 414 15 60

[email protected]

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