Kari Stai: Jakob og Neikob – Naboen/Yesper and Noper – the Neighbour

Jakob og Neikob – Naboen
Published by Samlaget, 2016

The fourth book in the series about Yesper and Noper deals with the unfamiliar. One day, Yesper and Noper see that they have a new neighbour. Yesper is happy, while Noper is extremely sceptical, building a tall fence to stop their neighbour coming to see them. Yesper builds a bridge precisely to enable the neighbours to visit each other. Hasn’t Yesper heard that you’re not supposed to talk to strangers? When their neighbour suddenly closes the curtains, Noper thinks this is clear proof: the neighbour has something to hide!

The team of Yesper and Noper still have totally different approaches to life and to the world: Yesper always says ‘yes’, while Noper always says ‘no’. This time, Noper manages to persuade Yesper that their neighbour must either be a thief or a monster, so they decide to do whatever they can to stop the thief or monster getting into their house. Of course, things don’t go quite according to plan, and their neighbour turns out to be somebody who can help then when things go wrong, as this person who has moved into the neighbourhood is actually a firefighter. The Neighbour deals with fear of the unknown and the realisation that what might seem unfamiliar or scary can be quite wonderful, if only you can bring yourself to reach out to the unknown.


The Yesper and Noper series:
1: Yesper and Noper (2008)
2: Yesper and Noper – The Thief Strikes Back (2012)
3: Yesper and Noper and the Empty Room (2014)
4: Yesper and NoperThe Neighbour (2016)
5: Yesper and Noper and Everyone Else (2018)
6: Yesper and NoperThe Storm (2019)

The reviewers wrote:
“Kari Stai’s series about the sourpuss Noper and the optimist Yesper are among the best picture books we’ve got.” (Dagbladet)

“Kari Stai’s Yesper and Noper and the Thief was undoubtedly one of the most perfectly realised publications in Norwegian in 2012 across all genres. With the third book, Yesper and Noper and the Empty Room, Stai again shows the exquisite interplay between text and images, with every word and every geometrical line working closely together. A book about friendship and reconciliation by one of our most stylistically talented authors of books for readers of all ages. (Morgenbladet)

“The concept of Yesper and Noper is brilliantly realised, and The Neighbour maintains the same, high standards, with some delightful variations.” (Barnebokkritikk.no)

Kari Stai (c) Benedikte Skarvik
Kari Stai

Kari Stai (b. 1974) is one of the most popular and respected picture books artists in Norway. She has received especially acclaim for her Yesper and Noper series; the precise language as well as the artistic drawings and use of colours. She has received many prizes, among others the Debutant Prize of the Ministry of Culture, The Brage prize and the Critique’s award for the other two books about Yesper and Noper: Yesper and Noper (Jakob og Neikob), 2008, and Yesper and Noper.The Thief Strikes Back (Jakob og Neikob. Tjuven slår tilbake), 2012.

The books are sold to Germany (vol. 1-2), India (vol. 1-2, 3 languages) Denmark (vol. 1) , Czech (vol. 1),  Egypt (vol. 1-2), Korea (vol. 1-2), China (vol. 1-3) and France (vol. 1). Stai has also made the board books series about Mopp and Mikko. All titles are available in Engish versions.