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"What would an ocean
be without a monster
lurking in the dark?

It would be like sleep
without dreams."

         - Werner Herzog

"Monsters are the small,
jagged holes in the safe,

predictable world we know.

We can peer through them

at something

that is not harmless,

but incredibly rich and potent."
         - Simon & Hildert (creators)

Monsters. Monsters. And even more monsters.


My father then said: ‘Draw your monsters. All of them.’

Whoosh! Into the safe.

‘Now the’re gone.’

And indeed.

They completely disappeared.

Until, years later, in the midst of night, he jolts awake. 

And he realizes: there's only one thing scarier than seeing monsters. 

And that is losing them.

And then father said: "Draw your monsters."

And I did. All of them. Father carefully picked them up and...

Whoosh! Threw them in the safe. Locked the door.

'Now they're gone,' he said.

And indeed.

They had completely disappeared.

I was saved.

Until years later - in the midst of night - I jolted awake.

And I realized: there's only one thing scarier than seeing monsters.

And that is losing them. 

I Want My Monsters Back

….is a picture book and monster deck that invites children, parents, grandparents, and professionals to explore the monsters within themselves and the world around them.


"What would an ocean
be without a monster
lurking in the dark?

It would be like sleep
without dreams."
        - Werner Herzog

I Want My Monsters Back - The book

The Monster Tarot Deck

About the creators

Addition: The Monster Encyclopedia

Monsters do not exist

"No, this book is not too scary for children. On the contrary: monsters are already a part of children's imaginative worlds. By engaging with them together, you provide comfort and an opportunity to address them constructively. It's often the parents' fear that actually complicates children's ability to deal with their own monsters."
                              - Wim Schouten, Child Psychologist

"Sometimes I am like Fabula.

And I love that.

But not for too long."

                     - Jonas (7)

‘What I deeply appreciate in this approach, is that it invites you and your children to playfully explore having an entirely new relationship with the monsters that live inside and between you. And it’s also just fun to read and play with ;)'
                                              - Dr. Gesa Kappen,

                      collaborator & psychologist specialized in                                         interpersonal relationships,

                                       mother of twins

"Children process feelings through play. Actively engaging with anxious emotions helps them find a place for it. These monster tarot deck is a wonderful tool for that purpose. For parents, but definitely also for teachers and therapists" 
                                          - Mariëlle, Play Therapist

"I think that one is scariest. He seems so angry."
                                             - Ira (5)

How We Got Here

  • Four years of exploration, research, sketching, writing, and monstrous fun to get our monsters back.

  • Seventy paintings multiplied by twenty-eight hours equals one thousand nine hundred sixty hours of painting.

  • Happily undergo the scrutiny by twenty-seven teachers, psychologists, pediatricians, therapists, literary scientists, art historians, and over fifty blatantly honest children.

"It’s our monsters that carry us through our darkest days."
                                            - Hildert & Simon

Why participate?

Do you want your monsters back?

With this Kickstarter campaign, we'll together make it possible for us to see monsters from a fresh perspective. Let's welcome them back into our world! Are you in? 

"Young children are both angels and beasts. But they are still weak. Therefore, the beast within them cannot do much harm yet. That's why they should learn about all these horrors before their eighth year, so they can discover and control the beast within themselves, before they become strong and their inner beast could cause much harm."
                                - Pedagogue Dr. Alí-Akbar Furútan


"Stories like these can help us talk about our inner experiences. They teach us to cope with fears and get a better understanding of the monsters in our own lives. Not just for children, but also for adults."

                                                      - Mariska Rol, master in comparative literature and author of ‘Guantanamo’s Torture Room. Imagining Torture and Trauma in Contemporary Literature.’

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