Picture Books


: Iris van der Heide

illustrator: Marije Tolman

The Red Chalk

A magical picture book with the classic theme "swapping may not make you happy" which is beautifully elaborated throughout the story. Sara, a girl not easily satisfied, is for ever trading her toy for another. As soon as she does so, the recipient seems to have great fun with the toy she just discarded. Eventually she sees that a creative mind is more important than the perfect toy, and sharing with friends is the best way to have fun. Clear and down-to-earth. Marije Tolman has created artistic spreads full of atmosphere. Ends cheerfully with a bombastic carnivalesque procession.

Rights sold to France (Les Belles Histoires), Brazil, Germany, Portugal, Mexico, U.S.A., Taiwan, Korea.


3X3 Magazine's Illustration Annual No. 4 Merit Award Winner


"In this crisp little fable by a Dutch team, nothing Sara obtains with her sly propositions pleases her, while all the children she hoodwinks find pleasure in the things they've received. ...The strength of Tolman's colored ink-and-wash drawings lies in the contrast between the children, all rendered in fine, sharp lines, and the boldly colored landscapes in which they play, fertile ground for the imagination. At last someone gives Sara her chalk back, and she gives up her objections ("A hopscotch board doesn't have to be perfect"). Sara is not punished for her roguish trades; the point is rather that her own preoccupations blind her to the possibilities of life. While fractious children may not recognize themselves in Sara, they may well be amused by her story."
-Publishers Weekly

"Rich in fine detail...pretty, delicately drawn illustrations."
-Kirkus Reviews

"Kids who have surveyed a room of toys and pronounced themselves bored will see themselves in this Dutch import. The familiar premise is handsomely extended in the ink-lined, color-washed drawings, which show, in scenes of Sara's friends using their creative powers to make Sara's outlandish claims come true, a world of imagination that's inseparable from reality, reminiscent of Peter Sis' work."

"Delicate pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations are the highlight of this story and deftly detail the make-believe scenarios the other children enjoy."
-School Library Journal

"Fun is in the eye of the beholder, as we watch all the amazing things that don't happen to Sara, as she's whining about the imperfections of her playthings, like the dragon who bounds through the fields behind her, beneath a treeful of tiny monkeys."
-Chicago Tribune

other books by Iris van der Heide:

A Strange Day
A Strange Day

other books by Marije Tolman:

The Tree House
The Tree House

other books with Marije Tolman:

Miss C. Mouse Finds a Perfect Home
Miss C. Mouse Finds a Perfect Ho…