De bende van De Korenwolf is a classic Dutch children's book series. But I had never read any of the stories when I was child myself. Noemi told me how she loved these when she was little, so I figured I'd pick up a book to read through it.
The series revolves around four kids who live at the hotel that their parents run. All their adventures depart from this imagination-tickling base scenario.
This book bundles three stories:
- De verwdijning van de mislukte barbie
- Het geheim van de verliefde hulpkok
- De redding van de zwevende oma
I read them I random order, and very much enjoyed them. Without making this into a too long-winding review, let me just note a couple of things.
The plots of these stories are deceptively simple from an objective point of view. There is nothing major happening. The beginnings quickly introduce a handful of elements (e.g., a young pop star, tabloid press, and grandmother's declining mobility), and then Jacques weaves them all together in the rest of the story. Such that ultimately all elements are required to resolve the plot. Deceptively simple formula, but it sounds like a recipe for success when trying to write for children. Especially including the many recurring motifs (stroopwafels) throughtout all of the stories.
There is much for children to latch onto in recognition. And though I cannot really tell, because I do not have children myself, I think this would bring a kid gleeful joy when reading.
It serves as good inspiration for my own writing, and the NaNoWriMo project I dreamt up together with Noemi (about a children's book at De Parade, with illustrations in a similar vain to the ones appearing in De Korenwolf).
I do not experience the same nostalgia that I would when reading Roald Dahl or Paul Biegel or Astrid Lindgren. But I can imagine the nostalgia I would have felt, were I to have read these books when I was young.