Synopses & Reviews
Happy was an international hit that showed off Mies van Hout's uncanny ability to convey feelings with her vibrant illustrations.With Friends she goes one step further and shows emotional interactions. Just as she made the fish of Happy uniquely hers, here she uses monsters to show different situations--they cuddle, laugh, play, but they also fight, tease and more--making the images recognizable for little monsters of all ages.
"Van Hout used wildly expressive fish to illustrate emotions in 2012's Happy. Twelve pairs of equally exuberant monster friends do the job in this excellent companion book, each representing a verb. As in Happy, Van Hout's scribbly, childlike creations are set against a pure black backdrop, letting his neon palette shine all the brighter. While different monsters appear on each spread, there is a clear emotional arc. The word 'play' opens the book, as a yellow doglike creature in a sweater and a turquoise horned monkey smile giddily at each other. 'Bore' on the next page leads to 'tease,' which begets 'fight,' as two monsters bite and claw furiously at each other. Crying, embarrassment, and reconciliation bring the book to its satisfying conclusion. Van Hout expertly conveys the emotional peaks and valleys of each friendship; the monster's eyes and expressions speak volumes, whether in the case of the small smile of a monster that mischievously pokes a much larger creature with a scorpion's tail, or the quiet, regretful glances that two tiny beasties cast at each other, which say all there is to say about 'hope.' Ages 2 up." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Praise for Happy: ""a delightful amuse-bouche of a book"" - Publishers Weekly, starred review "" Mies van Hout's Happy is a tour de force of underwater awesomeness and emotion, showcasing what an artist can do with a few pastels, black paper and something fundamental to express...On the last page, a gloriously plump whalelike creature surges upward, ending the book with a surprising sense of closure: ""delighted."" No reader could feel otherwise. - The New York Times Book Review""The line, color, and texture make each page a pleasure to return to, and each single word is fully expressed in its corresponding picture. Along with the azure-and-sky-blue ovoid fish at the end, readers will pronounce themselves, in yellow, white and green letters, 'delighted.'"" Kirkus
Mies van Hout (1962) studied at the Arts Academy in Groningen, where she majored in graphic design. She has been working as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer since 1989 and has illustrated many children's books over the years. Her skillful and distinctive illustrations are cheerful and witty.
About the Author
Tynaarlo (The Netherlands)