Friday, 27 December 2013

Review - Eric in the Land of the Insects by Godfried Bomans

Genre: fantasy / childrens
Pages: 143
Rating: 4,5/5 stars

Summary (from a Goodreads user)
One evening in bed Eric, a third grader studying for a test on insects, magically enters grandfather's painting that depicts a meadow filled to the brim with insects. When Eric understands what actually has happened, he decides to start his search for the frame of the painting, so that he can jump back to his room. This quest will get him in contact with a colorful world of friendly and sometimes not so friendly insects. The wasps, bees, butterflies and other critters are all intrigued by that strange creature that calls himself Eric. As he gets invited to their homes, Eric discovers that in the end the difference between man en insect is not that big. You can indeed learn a lot from the insects, although they themselves have also quite a lot to learn.

My thoughts
I received this book through Nederland leest ('The Netherlands reads'). It is a yearly event to stimulate people to read books. In october or november members of a public library can pick up a free copy of a certain book by a dutch author.

In highschool I had to read several dutch books, none of which I extremely enjoyed, and afterwards I didn't feel like reading dutch books anymore until this one came along. This book is a Dutch classic. Some people regard this book as a childrens book, while others think that children would not be able to understand the whole story. I personally think that children will be perfectly able to understand the storyline, and eventhough there may be a few extra layers that they will not see, it might be a book they will really enjoy. I certainly did! Because of the absurdity of the characters it reminded me a little of Alice in Wonderland and on Goodreads I saw a lot of others making this comparison. Eventhough the language of the book is slightly outdated (which I actually enjoyed) it was a very readable book and fast paced. It read a little like a fairytale. I thought it was definitely not a boring book and I've added some other books by the same writer to my to read list. After reading this book I feel like I might need to give more Dutch books a chance, because by this one I was pleasantly surprised.


  1. How fun! I'd never heard of this book before - looks like it's been translated into English. Might have to check it out for my kids!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. It's not very famous outside of the Netherlands and even here I think for a very long time people had forgotten about this book until it was handed out during this national reading campain and it gained a lot of attention again. I had heard of it before, but also forgotten about it and I'm definitely glad that I was reminded to it and read it. It is a lovely book.