Nik-nak has just published my new Superheroes book – in Dutch plus Amharic, Arabic, English, French, Spanish, Tigrinya and Turkish. It’s a story about five kids aged about 11 from different countries, who find themselves with their families in Belgium. Although they’re sometimes teased about not speaking Dutch perfectly, they soon realise that knowing a second (or even a third!) language is in fact, pretty cool!
In a series of three adventures, the kids exercise a maternal language in the service of someone else. They end up by volunteering at a community center to help other kids adjust to their new country.
Although this book is unlike my Betty & Cat books – Superheroes is a traditional book with text in both languages – I strongly believe in the importance of making bilingualism the norm – a thing not to be laughed at, a thing to aspire to! I want to show kids that the world is bigger than one country, one language, and that it can be cool to be different.
The five kids come from different backgrounds – immigrant, expat, refugee – yet they get along because they “get” what it’s like to be bilingual, to be a stranger in a new country.
The book is available through nik-nak.eu Eva Tack did the fun illustrations.