Aunt Ben is not she or he is in the collection of Beam Lammers’ poetry, climate change in the form of farts and a weary pedantic textbook | Youth book review

Children’s book critic Jaap Friso discusses children’s books every month. This time: “I Think I Was Kidnapped” by Bem Lammers, “Farts from a Chimney” by Mark ter Horst and “How We Became the Strongest Animal on Earth” by Yuval Noah Harari.

Just say Aunt Ben

From the title poem I think I was kidnapped : “Sometimes I think / My parents are not my father / But my family.” What kid doesn’t he sometimes suspect: Are these strange people really my father? This first set of Pim Lammers is all about family bonds, a topic that shines a light on it in full. Family is not a dogma for him but a flexible concept, which you can also choose on your own. As in the poem about the boy who decided that his best friend is now his brother.

Bem Lammers recently told this newspaper in an interview that he has made it his mission to write about the gender and sexual diversity of children; It lives up to that in this group.

A fainting boy is in love with Mr. Jasper, his make-up cousin and Aunt Ben who is not he or she, but “these” or “them”. But: “Just say Aunt Ben.” A granddaughter who tells her grandfather that she loves girls is touchingly blessed. The poems that show grandparents are among the best anyway. Likes Baby soup , where Lammers, who grew up in Friesland, handles grief and grief in a subtle way. Just like in the iron cabin Grandpa For parents and grandmothers looking for the right words to find out what’s already clear. ‘They don’t have to explain anything anymore. It was before the silence’.

The selection could have been more stringent; There are a lot of poems that don’t have much to say, which detracts from the high quality of the rest. But Lammers is convincing as a children’s poet and could join the roster of names such as Pete Westra, Edward van de Wendel and Ted van Lichot. Because of the narration and personal tone, the verses are accessible and easy to read. Last but not least: it provides the opportunity to open up a conversation on topics that are not clear to everyone.

Title I think I was kidnapped author Bim Lammers Cameraman Sarah Van Dongen publisher queredo price €16.99 (120 pages) age 8+

★★★★ ring

polar bear without ice

On the cover, a polar bear oozes while the seal looks endearing. Cow, factory and car molds can be recognized in the clouds, which in their own way cause emissions. Groningen-born illustrator Yoko Hiligers shows her best side Farts from the chimney a picture book in which Marc ter Horst explains to preschoolers how climate change works.

The Earth should not get warmer and this means above all that that huge blanket of gases (from cars, factories and cows) should disappear. Otherwise, the polar bear will soon run out of ice. A message that is manageable but also somewhat simplistic, which is why the subtitle is perhaps also “The Little Story on Climate Change”. It is unfortunate that terms such as methane and atmosphere still appear in the annotation at the back. Whether young children are ready for this is a good question. Perhaps they especially enjoy beautiful paintings that provide insight into the subject in their own way.

Title Farting from the chimney. The little story of climate change author Mark ter Horst Infographics Yoko Hiligers publisher Gottmer price €15.99 (32 pages) age 5+

★★★ Renverse

Everything is a story

Why are humans so much stronger than ants? Because people can work together and use stories that make others believe in them. After all, everything is made up and nothing more than a story. Even money and companies like McDonald’s are just stories that adults have come to believe in. The crux of the Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari’s argument is a bestseller sane And the gay god Turn it into a four-part series for kids.

By diving extensively into early history, he explains why the human race became master of the world. Especially by working together and eliminating many other species. Great topic at its core, but Harari’s logic is so laborious, it bends so much and repeats itself so much that attention fades quickly. On the Humberto Tan talk show, he talks about it in a way that captures the imagination far more than this pedantic textbook. More is needed to get children involved in real work. Three more parts to go.

Title How did we become the strongest animal on earth? author Yuval Noah Harari Infographics Ricard Zaplana Ruiz Translation Engy publisher Leopold and Plogsma Peters price 19.99 (168 pages) age 10+

★★ Renverse

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