Ann De Bode, Charlotte Dematons and Peter Goes explain how to communicate history in imaginative ways.

Dutch and Flemish illustrators are known for their powerfully imaginative approach and their free style. Since Flanders and the Netherlands are honorary guests at this year’s Frankfurter Buchmesse, Haus des Buches has taken the opportunity to organise an exhibition featuring original drawings by Charlotte Dematons, Peter Goes and Ann De Bode on the theme of history. Work by the three illustrators reveals a highly individual and personal connection with the subject. Charlotte Dematons looks back at her country’s turbulent history, while Peter Goes reflects in intricately coloured illustrations on the origins and the history of the entire universe. Ann De Bode, who drew the illustrations for Het meisje en de soldaat, appears in person at the exhibition with Aline Sax, who wrote the children’s book. They talk about the book, which tells the story of an extraordinary bond between a blind girl and an African soldier during the First World War. A combination of Aline Sax’s precise, sensitive writing that places a difficult theme squarely under the spotlight, and the grim illustrations by Ann De Bode. Bart Moeyaert, the honorary guest project’s artistic director, opens the presentation, which remains on show at Haus des Buches until the end of April.

‘To make a book like this, which depicts everything beautiful that the country has to offer... for that we need Charlotte Dematons.’ (NRC Handelsblad)
Appears: Spring 2016. Publisher: Bohem Press.

‘Peter Goes’s Tijdlijn is a magnificently designed history book for young and old, full of educational and entertaining facts, sometimes hidden in the detailed drawings.’ (
Appears: February 2016. Publisher: Beltz & Gelberg. Translation: Verena Kiefer.

‘Het meisje en de soldaat is a subtle, subdued and unexpectedly tough story, with powerfully striking grey-green illustrations (actually paintings) by Ann De Bode.’ (An Stessens,
Appears: February 2016. Publisher: Jacoby & Stuart. Translation: Mirjam Pressler.

(c) Gaby Waldek