The Big Question

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The Big Question

There’s been plenty of discussion recently about picture books reaching a much wider audience.

The Big Question from Leen Van Den Berg & Kaatje Vermeire is a superb example of how thoughtful and wide reaching picture books can be. Translated from Finish, it’s a beautiful, engaging picture book.

The Big Question is on elephant’s mind.

‘It was a difficult question

and she couldn’t stop thinking about it.’

Luckily it was time for the annual meeting, where everyone was gathering.

The Big Question

I love the eclectic mix of characters gathering on the hillside … thus the scene and tone are set for this quite extraordinary picture book.

Turtle won’t be chairing the meeting as normal as ‘His wife was ill’ instead Ant has been asked to ‘fill in for turtle.’ This is her chance. She is very excited, she has ‘even bought a pair of glasses for the occasion.’

Elephant declares the question she has been pondering for some time, and it really is quite beautiful.

‘How do you know you love someone?’

I adore the various responses from everything from Snow White to the sea, the explorer and the apple tree. What a beautiful surreal like tone to Leen Van Den Berg’s narrative contains.

Their answers are simply beautiful and are sure to find a place in your heart. But Ant? Oh poor Ant just doesn’t understand, ‘What a load of rubbish.’

Kaatje VerThe Big Questionmeire’s (Maia and What Matters) illustrations are really quite mesmerising. They hold a delicate softness whilst being so rich in detail.


The Big Question is a real treat of a picture book. Just divine.


Leen Van Den Berg
Kaatje Vermeire
Book Island

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