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Vriendenboek (A Friends’ Book)

Esther van de Paal vriendenboek Snor vriendenboek Esther van de Paal Julie Summerbelle Snor(All photo credits: Yvonne Eijkenduijn of Yvestown)

I’m super proud to announce a little project I’ve been working on with my friend Julie Marabelle (the super talented lady behind the well known brand Famille Summerbelle) and Snor, the coolest publishers here in the Netherlands: we made a Friends’ Book!

vriendenboek Esther van de PaalNow, if you’re not Dutch (or Belgian, or German) you probably have no idea what a Friends’ Book is… Our ‘Vriendenboek‘ (Friends’ Book) consists of 31 double pages with pre-printed questions — one to be filled out by the owner of the book (the ‘This is me’ section), the rest is meant for 30 friends and/or classmates. There are passport-like questions (like name, address, length, hobbies, sort hair, favourite school subject, etc), but also more creative questions such as ‘What is the nicest thing you and I did together’, ‘Draw your dream house’ or ‘This is what my bed looks like’. There’s  space for a photo, which is carried by a character in underwear that can be dressed with the cool clothes stickers that come with the book.

vriendenboek Esther van de PaalThe book is typically aimed at children of the age of 4 to 12 (primary school age), and the idea is that it’s a record of a specific year in your childhood, a record of your friends, but also of the zeitgeist of a specific era. My dad just emptied out his basement and he dropped of some boxes of stuff my mum had kept for me, and coincidentally I found my own friends’ book from 1984/85. It’s just brilliant reading the answers! Some examples: best film: Annie, E.T., Ghost Busters, First Blood (!). Best pop group: Wham, Duran Duran, UB40. What I want to be: Farmer, Housewife, Truckdriver, Horse Stall Cleaner. And goes on. So good! I wonder what has become of all of those childhood friends. I hope they are living their dreams! : )

vriendenboek friend's book vriendenboek06 vriendenboek friends' bookJulie and I have been brainstorming and designing to come up with a modern, cool and good-looking friendship book filled with fun and interesting questions, and it is finally here. And I’m so happy with how it turned out! The way the paper feels, the way the colours turned out, the quality of the stickers in the back — it’s all beautiful!

vriendenboek13 vriendenboek friends bookAt the moment, the Friends’ Book is only available in Dutch… You can get it here for shipment in the Netherlands, or here for international deliveries. And hopefully it will soon be available in English, and other languages as well!

xxx Esther

PS All the beautiful photos above are by my friend Yvonne from Yvestown. Thank you Yvonne (and your neighbours Josefien and Pauline, such sweet models)! And a big thank you to my Dutch blogging friends Bubbelmint, Oh Marie!, Moodkids and UrbanMoms for their lovely reviews. Julie also wrote a nice blogpost about our book, with great photos, here.


Comments (21)

April 16, 2015

Oh I really love this! Hadn’t heard of the concept of a Friends’ Book before. It is a beautiful idea and what a wonderful version you and Julie have created. My 9 year old self would have adored it just as at 39 I’m taken with it’s concept and design (and yes. Duran Duran…sigh!!) I would be so happy to get an English version in the next few years for my daughter. Fingers crossed it gets a launch! xx

Esther in Amsterdam
April 22, 2015

Fingers crossed!! : )

April 16, 2015

Love this! We used to have this growing up in Norway too!

April 16, 2015

What a beautiful concept, a friend’s book! Congratulations, Esther, amazing inspiration you are.

Esther in Amsterdam
April 22, 2015

Thank you Sofie, that’s sweet of you to say! x

April 16, 2015

So, so lovely! I can’t wait to get my hands on one (or more – so perfect for gifting!!) Congratulations Esther and Julie xx

April 16, 2015

Ohhhh, I would like – no, I NEED to some of these Books in german – Esther, do you know, when it will be available n german language?????? It is the Best! So wonderful! Congratulations!!!!!!!

Esther in Amsterdam
April 22, 2015

Thanks Catharina, I really hope they will be available in German at some point x

April 16, 2015

What a great idea! The book is beautiful too. Kudos!

April 16, 2015

Hi Esther. So sweet that you’ll have a book called the friends book. In India when I was teen- preteen age (I’m almost 30 now) we used to have a similar book we called the SLAM BOOK. it was traditional brought to school on the last day before we hit summer vacation. It was popular among the girls, and maybe pre teen boys (I went to an all girls convent school) the book has similar questions and blanks to fill out like the friends book, probably also included sections like current crush depending on age group and we would fill it out with our makers and glitter pens. The school authorities did not support the popularity of this book. Although the friends book look so much more innocent and sweet!!

April 17, 2015

So fun, I cannot wait for the French version!!

April 17, 2015

I picked one up on Wednesday so my daughter could take it to school camp with her yesterday. I can’t wait to see all the entries when she gets back tonight! Really sweet book, well done and thank you! xxx

April 17, 2015

Hello – this looks SO wonderful – please can you get it printed in English ASAP!! xx

April 19, 2015

Well done; a real achievement. I look forward to the publication of the English version.

April 19, 2015

[…] I’m loving this Vrienden Boek on Babyccino Kids!!! […]

April 20, 2015

Hi Esther – it looks so amazing! What a perfect partnership between you and Julie – fab!!!! When is it available in English or German??? My kids will leave their school at the end of this year and absolutely NEED one!

Esther in Amsterdam
April 22, 2015

Haha! I’ll do my best! : ) x

July 25, 2015

Hi, just discovered these books whilst on holiday in Belgium! I would love this book in English. Just lovely!

July 22, 2016

[…] good-natured and sweet person! We even worked together on a personal level — we made the Vriendenboek together which was so much […]

July 16, 2017

There are beautiful! Are they available in English yet? Thanks.x

Esther in Amsterdam
July 17, 2017

Not yet… Sorry! x

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