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De Redding (picture book)

Dick Bruna

Last modified: 2020-06-04 by peter hans van den muijzenberg
Keywords: bruna (dick) | rescuers | lifeboat |
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The Rescue, in Dutch called "De Redding", is a book for the very young, and for others who have yet to learn to respect the sea. It tells the adventure of Daan Douwe, who doesn't heed the warnings not to go far in his little green boat as large waves are coming. (Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.)

It's a book in the typical Dick Bruna style, with four-line verses on the left-hand pages and simple clear line illustrations on the right-hand pages. As is often the case with Dick Bruna's work, it's a joy to see how he expresses a whole story in a series of simple verses and drawings.

And if you live on the coast, with toddlers around the house, go buy this book now and read it to them, and show the pictures. It's a lesson they should learn early, and this book teaches it in the form of a real adventure.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg,

Flag of the rescuers

image by Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg,

The adventure involves a lifeboat, as can be seen on the cover of the book. The boat flies a flag, approximately 7:8, divided per saltire red over blue. I assume this is the flag of the lifeguards.

In the Dutch book, Dick Bruna doesn't go into such unnecessary details as "lifeboat" or even "lifeguards". The people are simply "rescuers", and the boat is their boat.

As it happens, this flag is similar to that flying at sea in the work of another clear line artist: Hergé uses divided per saltire red over black as the house flag of the Aurora. Apparently there's something very flag-at-sea-ish about such a design, with clear line bringing it out in these two graphical stories.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg,