Tortot, the Cold Fish Who Lost His World and Found His Heart

Benny Lindelauf (Author) Ludwig Volbeda (Illustrator)
& 1 more


A spectacularly illustrated story about war and friendship.

Tortot is a cold-hearted field cook who goes off to war. Soldiers drop like flies around him but Tortot just doesn't care. Until, that is, he finds a deserter in his kitchen: a boy who has lost his brothers and his legs in battle. Tortot feels no real sympathy for him, but decides to shelter him for one night. It's a decision that will change him for ever...

Product Details

Pushkin Children's Books
Publish Date
April 03, 2018
8.9 X 1.1 X 7.4 inches | 1.65 pounds

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About the Author

Benny Lindelauf is a multi-award-winning Dutch children's book author whose books have been translated into six languages. He also teaches creative writing to adults and children.

Ludwig Volbeda (1990), is a Dutch illustrator based in Amsterdam. How Tortot Lost His Fish's Heart is the first children's book he has illustrated and it won a nomination for the BoekenPauw prize for best illustrated children's book.


"[A] beautifully translated Dutch import. . . Author Lindelauf's deadpan wit and absurdist satire shine in Watkinson's masterful translation, combining to produce a thoroughly enjoyable, touching tale for all ages. An irreverent fable that tells a timeless tale of war, friendship, and the redemptive power of love." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"The novel is, at turns, part satire and part parable, whimsical and grim, humorous and sad. The deadpan delivery suits the material as do the copious black-and-white line drawings. An attractive package suitable for readers of all ages." -- Michael Cart, Booklist

"Tortot carries a strong message of the absurdity of war." -- Youth Services Book Review

"A timeless and ageless parable about the absurdity of war." -- De Standaard

"Imbued with that tradition of storytelling, of tales you really wish were true ." -- De Volkskrant (five stars)