The White Ravens Database

Presented by   Internationale Jugendbibliothek / International Youth Library

Dutch / Netherlands

Wat je moet doen als je over een nijlpaard struikelt. Gedichten waar je wat aan hebt

(What to do if you stumble on a hippopotamus. Poems that benefit you)

Vendel, Edward van de (text)
Linden, Marie José van der (illus.)
Amsterdam: Querido, 2019. – 68 p.
ISBN 978-90-451-2226-7


White Ravens issue: 2020

Reading age: 8+


This book of original poems could be called a “self-help poetry collection for children”. Even in the most unexpected yet possible situations a child could get into, there is always a solution. For example, “What to do if your train is delayed” or “What to do if someone has died and you didn’t know that person very well”. The title-poem concerns tripping over a hippo – its advice is to say sorry and then gobble up so many sweets that the next hippos you encounter have to get out of your way. The texts are as varied in style and tone as the illustrations, and both are full of humour and irony. The parlando-style poetry bursts with linguistic fun. Edward van de Vendel plays with words in a light-hearted, sparkling way. The author takes children seriously, making it clear that they themselves have to take steps to conquer problems. The author and illustrator previously teamed up in the book “Stem op de okapi” (Vote for the okapi), which received the renowned Woutertje Pieterse Award. [TD]