Illustrator. Storyteller. Fond of wordless picture books.
Mattias de Leeuw received his diploma in illustrative design at St Lucas School of Arts Antwerp in 2011 with De steltenloper [The Stilt Walker], a wordless picture book for which he immediately won a Boekenpluim award. This was followed by De zeepridder [The Soap Knight] (2012), with Kristien In-’t-Ven, about a brave, clean knight with a dragon to slay, and Dertien rennende hertjes [Thirteen Running Deer] (2012) with Edward van de Vendel, in which De Leeuw shows that his drawings can convey as much magic as the text. The German translation was also nominated for the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis. His first non-fiction book is Het grote treinenboek [The Big Book of Trains] (2015), which brings to life the history of the train. De Leeuw’s drawings are characterised by spontaneous brushwork in fresh colours, combined with elegant lines. His pictures are full of details and little side stories to appeal to young and old alike.
Mattias de Leeuw does not do retouching: it has to be right first time.
Thirteen Running Deer
Gerstenberg Verlag, 2014
Author: Edward van de Vendel
Translated by Rolf Erdorf
Original title: Dertien rennende hertjes (De Eenhoorn, 2012)
German title: Lena und das Geheimnis der blauen Hirsche
One day Moon sees thirteen little running deer. They jump out of a blue vase in front of her on the table. It's the most beautiful thing she has ever seen. The little deer call her 'Duchess'. Suddenly the deer disappear again in a blue poster of the ocean. Moon wants to tell everything to mum. But her brother Ralf stops her. Ralf also saw an animal once, he tells. But when Ralf told dad, he never saw his animal again...
A fantastic story about a special bond between a brother and sister. About losing something beautiful and the anger this causes.