Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Reviews: Nut and Bolt

Publish October 2, 2015

From the very first page of Nicole de Cock’s Nut and Bolt, these two friends will win hearts. Bolt is a grey donkey whose gentle eyes and whimsical smile shine, capturing readers’attention so completely that they may not immediately notice the little brown mouse tucked away at the bottom of the page. But that’s Nut, looking not at the reader, but up at Bolt, his best friend. As the story develops de Cock describes all of the wonderful things that Nut does for Bolt, like scrubbing his hooves, laughing at his jokes, and braiding his tail. After all, “…real friends would do anything for each other.”It’s clear that Nut is a real friend to Bolt, but it isn’t until the very end of the book that readers find out what kind of a friend Bolt is to Nut. Originally published as Bout en Moertje by Dutch author/illustrator Nicole de Cock, Nut and Bolt has been beautifully translated by British Columbian author Margriet Ruurs, who shares both de Cock’s birthplace and her interest in the natural world. de Cock uses soft lines and delicate shades of brown and grey to depict the animals, incorporating bright colours only in the objects that bind the friends together: a book, a scarf, a field of flowers. Ruurs’ simple, rhythmic prose works with the illustrations to convey a sense of the happiness and contentment that Nut and Bolt share because of, not in spite of, their differences. Just as a bolt is useless without a nut, so are the grey donkey and the brown mouse without each other. Nut and Bolt celebrates the joy of giving, the thrill of friendship and the power of differences all in one tiny tale.

Nut and Bolt

Nicole de Cock, translated by Margriet Ruurs
Fitzhenry and Whiteside
ISBN 13: 978-1-55455-364-8

Penny Draper
Penny Draper Penny Draper lives in Victoria, British Columbia. She is the author of the award-winning “Disaster Strikes!” series, historical fiction that places young protagonists at the centre of real Canadian disasters.

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