“Often with ideas like that you wait for the spark to happen. You’re almost there and there’s something missing,” Schoos explained. He found what he was looking for when he met South Korean illustrator Keong-A Song and saw her illustrations. The two collaborated to write and illustrate a story about a little girl called Charlotte, a nod to the popular Grand Duchess of the same name, and her imaginary friend, as they explore Luxembourg.
“What attracted me the most was that this project enabled me to discover the country at the same time,” Song told Delano, adding: “I had just arrived in Luxembourg and it was also a way to stoke my curiosity.” To inform her work, Song said that she began researching the country in books before setting out on foot to discover new places in person. “Sometimes I drew on site to better capture the atmosphere and I took a lot of photos as well,” she said.
For Schoos, a Danish-Luxembourg national, the project came out of a desire to celebrate the “quirky, fantastic, mysterious country” where he was born. At the same time, he wanted to reinforce the idea that children should be free to discover and be themselves, a feeling which he says has grown stronger since he became a father.
“It’s about accompanying children and giving them time to enjoy themselves, to ask questions and be creative before they get locked up in their heads,” he said.
That said, Schoos stresses that the book is not just for children. Like the Pixar movies, “Woow!!! Luxembourg” has humour which can be appreciated by different age groups, making it appropriate for readers aged from 6 to 99.
The book is published by Binsfeld in English, as well as the in the three national languages in Luxembourg. It can be purchased in most book stores in Luxembourg.