Donnie from children’s books loves to wear dresses and share his fortune

Sasa Ustoga and Lisa MachopetHilde Harshagen’s photo

If Donnie wins the jackpot in throwing the ball, he won’t believe his luck. But when his friends run out of coins and he is left alone, his mood changes. He learns that not every child receives the same amount of money from his parents and that true wealth lies in sharing: “One is born on a mountain of money, and the other has to make a little money, but that is not what is important. Giving up a hand of coins makes you a hero.

So much for plot and moral Donnie at the show† Almost two years ago, Holland introduced Donnie She was first introduced to her main character, Donnie, by author Lisa Machaupt and illustrator Sasha Ustoga. It was the beginning of a colorful fantasy world full of anthropomorphic animals. Purpose of the book: To provide parents with a handle on making contemporary topics such as inclusivity open to discussion for younger target groups.

With the recently released sequel, Maschhaupt’s dream has come true Donnie To make a series: “I hope at some point there will be parents – so to speak – a cupboard full of donuts on various topics.” That is why they started working on the successor almost immediately after the first part was released.

Inequality of opportunity

Where the first story in Donnie’s world has self-acceptance as its main theme (Donnie wants to wear a dress, but his friends make fun of him), Donnie at the show The issue of inequality of opportunity. Machubt is clear about her choice of this problem as a theme for Part Two: “It is an issue that plays a big part. In Amsterdam, where I live, you can see that only by the fact that there are ‘poor’, ‘rich’, ‘white’ and ‘black’ schools. Live People in bubbles appear already at a young age.

It’s not just about social sharing Donnie at the show in a recent phenomenon. And Machaupt is not afraid to use contemporary language. “fissa” (Ceremony), “Tori” (Story) and ‘Team’ (Group of Friends) Go by as examples of words an older reader might need to look up. Is not the permanence of the book affected by this language? “It’s slang in a way, but it’s words that have been around for a long time,” says the author. “I do not mind.”

“Lisa has a certain logic, and I completely trust him,” the painter Ustuga says about the collaboration. “With the team – Lisa, graphic designer Peter Jan Potterhawk and myself – we came up with quick sketches that worked like some kind of storyboard. He then took up the drawing board and transformed that scene sketch into his own distinctive and diverse animal world.

Sasa Ustoga and Lisa Machopet Image Hilda Harshagen

Sasa Ustoga and Lisa MachopetHilde Harshagen’s photo


Ostoja previously worked with many clients. His animals appeared in articles in the language de Volkskrant, on bottles of Innocent juice and on the wall of the office of Nike’s headquarters in the Netherlands. He experiences this diversity as instrumental: “I love being thrown into depth as a painter. By always being able to create your own world, you can really grow as an illustrator.

This growth in creating the children’s book series was reflected in an improved sense of structure and consistency: “When making the first part, I might sometimes get lost in some visual jokes or be too concerned with details. Then I misgraphed too much in the middle of the spread and didn’t consider the spine of the book enough. At first there was a lot of sweating and thinking. Bee Donnie at the show I can distribute my energy better.

According to Ustuga, it was mainly about finding the right balance: ‘You can go in all directions with a children’s book. On the one hand, you can search for a powerful iconic image, the other end is busy pages full of details on the way Where is Wally?† I have tried to find a compromise.

    Illustration without me in rv . photo gallery

Illustration without me in the galleryrv . picture

Theme “Adult”

The question remains whether you can, or should even want to confront children with seemingly “adult” topics. Ostoja: ‘A child’s imagination is next stageThey can handle a lot. Children do not think in terms of limits, everything is possible and everything is allowed. Machaupt was clear about her intentions when she was raised by her main character by two mothers, for example: ‘You say: This exists. Then it is up to the parents to discuss this with their children in their own way.

Needless to say, a children’s book should be more than just a topic of conversation: “If there was no exciting story, no bold illustrations, no beautiful world, the child wouldn’t pick a book,” according to the author. Both the author and the illustrator believe they have succeeded in terms of these ambitions. When I paint, I kind of live in my own little world. So it’s great to see, for example, during the presentation that there are so many fans of Donnie. “They really like him, and it’s funny to see him,” Ostoga said. Machaupt: ‘A parent told me recently that her child had returned from the store with extra candy, to distribute to his friends. “Just like Donnie,” he said.

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