Children are prepared to believe many things, as long as you present them in a convincing way. This must have been what Loes Riphagen was thinking when she created Slaapkamernachtdieren (Bedroom Beasties), her picturebook debut. In this amazing ABC of fabulous creatures, she introduces a whole range of new species, all of which are regular visitors to human bedrooms.
Riphagen has provided each of these imaginary creatures with a fun description, complete with a Latin name and colour illustrations. The gringibbon, for example, spends most of its time under beds and wardrobes, where its furry body leaves behind the dust we know so well, and the flying moper – not to be confused with the mosquito – lives inside lamps and has thick, hard skin on its feet so that they don’t get burned on the light bulb.
This is a beautifully designed book that is great fun to read or just to leaf through. It features 26 nocturnal animals – Riphagen lets her imagination run riot from A for Ammahula to Z for Zzzzawnose, coming up with one crazy creature after another. Her happy little band of beasts is sandwiched between endpapers that indicate where in a child’s bedroom each of the creatures can be found. The book also includes an index to help you work out whether you’ve had a visit from one of these peculiar bedroom beasties. Children who dare to enter into Riphagen’s bizarre imagination and follow her on this fantastic journey through the bedroom will find a lot to enjoy in this book.