White Ravens: 1993

173 books      

Special Mention - Japan (Japanese) - 1993 - 1
Funazaki, Yasuko (text)
Kamiya, Shin (illus.)
(Kamehachi, the Old Dog)
Tokyo: Kaiseisha, 1992. 236 p.
ISBN 4-03-635510-4
self-development - dog - outsider - integration - divorced parent - single parent
No one likes 12-year-old Isamu, neither his classmates nor his neighbors; in fact, they avoid him. As soon as he gets an old dog, however, his conduct changes. The process of self-development is accompanied by a fine description of the changing of the seasons, which gives this novel its particular charm. In the last few years, more and more books focusing on domestic problems (e.g., divorced parents) are being published in Japan. As a rule, the stories are set in a metropolitan milieu, not in rural surroundings as in this book. (11+)

Japan (Japanese) - 1993 - 2
Goto, Ryuji (text)
Tabata, Seiichi (illus.)
Nonbiri tenkosei jiken
(The Case of the New Slow Pupil)
Tokyo: Shin nihonshuppansha, 1985 (12th ed. 1992). 182 p.
ISBN 4-406-01191-9
school life - togetherness - verbal abuse
The arrival of a new, especially slow pupil changes the classroom atmosphere. The classmates begin to bully each other, although some want to restore harmony. A well-constructed school story - both pedagogically and didactically - without literary flights of fancy, appealing to a wide circle of readers. (10+)

Japan (Japanese) - 1993 - 3
lwase, Jojo (text)
Ajito, Keiko (illus.)
Usojanaiyo to Tanikawa-kun wa itta
("I Don't Lie," Tanikawa Said)
Tokyo: PHP kenkyujo, 1992. 120 p.
ISBN 4-569-58519-1
friendship - family problems - social conscious- ness - individualism
This story deals with the friendship between a silent girl and a boy who is fighting a problem of always lying in his school classroom. The problems of family and school are depicted realistically. The novel's literary quality is most evident in its notable rhetoric. (12+)

Japan (Japanese) - 1993 - 4
Katayama, Ken (text/illus.)
Tange kun
(Tange, The Cat)
Tokyo: Fukuinkan, 1992. 32 p.
ISBN 4-8340-1163-1
A girl takes home an ownerless cat who lost its eye in a fight. The dynamic, characteristic pictures are as vibrant and willful as the cat himself. (4+)

Japan (Japanese) - 1993 - 5
Matsutani, Miyoko (text)
lse, Hideko (illus.)
Akane-chan no namida no umi
(The Younger Sister Akane's Sea of Tears)
Tokyo: Kodansha, 1992. 204 p.
ISBN 4-06-133514-6
divorced parents - death - siblings - children's imagination
This is last of six volumes of the long-seller imagination series about the siblings Momo and Akanewhich which began in 1964. The distinctive feature of this everyday story lies in the fact that the author tailored the topic of divorce for quite young readers back in the 1960s and takes care to depict unavoidable life circumstances not merely realistically but also to interweave them with ample childlike imagination and then to bind the whole in a very gentle, rhythmic language, giving it a special character. Suitable for reading aloud to younger children. (8+)

Japan (Japanese) - 1993 - 6
Miyazawa, Kenji (text)
Murakami, Tsutomu (illus.)
Kairo dancho
(The Bulfrog and His Gang)
Tokyo: Kaiseisha, 1992. 36 p.
ISBN 4-03-963570-1
animal fable - frogs - exploitation - human
In this animal fable the weak tree frogs obey the weakness bullfrog. But even the strongest and cleverest bullfrog has its limits and weaknesses. In the end the higher powers restore peace in and around the pond. Murakami's unmistakable illustrations illuminate the story symbolism. (10+)

Japan (Japanese) - 1993 - 7
Miyazawa, Kenji (text)
Takashi, Takako (illus.)
Okinagusa. Icho no mi
(The Spring Anemone. The Fruit of the Ginkgo Tree)
Tokyo: Kaiseisha, 1992. 36 p.
ISBN 4-03-963500-0
natural law - submission to destiny
In late spring the seeds of the spring anemone are blown away in the wind and ascend to the heavens where they are transformed into twinkling stars. Thousands of Ginkgo children must leave their mother tree in autumn and plummet into the unknown. Miyasawa's (1896-1933) poetic stories dealing with collective destiny and submission to it are converted here into delicate pictures by blending the techniques of pastels and watercolors. (11+)

Japan (Japanese) - 1993 - 8
Nasuda, Jun (text)
lse, Hideko (illus.)
Sueden no osarna
(The Little "King of Sweden”)
Tokyo: Kodansha, 1992. 230 p.
ISBN 4-06-205805-7
musical passion – clavichord - instrument construction
This story is about a 14-year-old boy who, with the help of his older brother and a young girl, tries to reconstruct a clavichord named 'The Little King of Sweden" so that he can complete the unfinished sonata left behind by his uncle, who has disappeared. The expert description of the construction of the instrument does not burden the reader; rather it strengthens the definite luxurious character of the novel which opens up a new area in the domain of children's literature. The book is beautifully designed, and a touch of melancholy clings to the text. (11+)

Japan (Japanese) - 1993 - 9
Oka, Shuzo (text)
Kamiya, Shin (illus.)
Shonen no hibi
(The Days of Youth)
Tokyo: Kaiseisha, 1992. 181 p.
ISBN 4-03-635490-6
nature and life - youth - rural life
The author's own experiences with nature when he was a child are presented episodically, so that both the mystery and truth of life are expressed in a compelling way. Today the subject of nature in literature for children and young people is directed more toward its functional link with environmental problems and less toward the appreciation of nature in the classical sense found in this book. Whereas there is a growing trend in illustrations for Japanese children's literature of a characterless easy, sweet and comic style, Kamiya's plain, characteristic illustrations are a welcome change and deepen the text. (11+)

Japan (Japanese) - 1993 - 10
Sagara, Atsuko (text)
Yagyu, Genichiro (illus.)
Patoka no Pisuke
(Pea-suke, the Patrol Car)
Tokyo: Fukuinkan, 1992. [32] p.
ISBN 4-8340-1158-5
toys - adventure
A humorously designed picture book for young children about two toys forgotten by their owners in the sandbox. Together they set out on an adventurous journey home. The simple, apt drawings and pictorial compositions become particularly vivacious against the white, docile background. (3+)

Japan (Japanese) - 1993 - 11
Sasaki, Isao (text/illus.)
Natsu no owari umi wa...
(End of Summertime)
Tokyo: Kodansha, 1992. [28] p.
ISBN 4-06-131882-9
summer - countryside - beach
A boy is about to leave the site of his holidays because the time of swimming is drawing to a close. A typically Japanese, modern atmospheric picture book which demands a sensitive visual perspective from the viewer. (6+)

Japan (Japanese) - 1993 - 12
Tani, Shinsuke
Okinawa shonen byoryuki
(Notes of a Boy Who Survived a Shipwreck)
Tokyo: Kin no hoshi sha, 1992. 245 p.
ISBN 4-323-00994-1
World War II - Okinawa - shipwreck - discrimination
On August 22, 1944 the Japanese civilian ship "Tsushima-maru", with approximately 1700 passengers on board (mainly children from Okinawa having been dispatched to the country), was hit by American torpedoes and sunk. Only a few survived. The first half of the novel depicts the experience of a boy as he survives in the ocean; the second half addresses the discrimination which the people evacuated from Okinawa encountered from mainland Japanese. The Japanese version of coming to terms with one's past in children's literature; reading matter dedicated to world peace and justice. (11+)

Republic of China (Chinese) - 1993 - 13
Chen, Dan yan (text)
Huang, Ying Hao (illus.)
Xia Gei Nü Hai De Si Ren Wang Shi
(Stories of the Past Written for Girls)
He Fei: An Huei Wen Yi Chu Ban She, 1991. 235 p.
ISBN 7-5396-0524-311
essays - city life - Chinese Cultural Revolution - young women
The author of this book grew up in China during the Cultural Revolution when books were burned and some people disappeared, never to return. Even amidst the difficulties in her life at that time, she still found beautiful things to appreciate and has presented some of those early experiences in story form. These are a teenage girl's stories about her feelings. (12+)

Republic of China (Chinese) - 1993 - 14
Han, Huei Guang
Xiao Yuan Xi Jü
(School Comedy)
Wu Han: Hu Bei Shao Nian Re Tong Chu Ben Shu, 1991. 361 p.
ISBN 7-5353-0960-8
humor - school life - children - teacher - parents
One legacy of China's very long history past is that children have been regarded as the property of adults, having to follow the dictates of their parents. While some things are different now, the situation of young people in some places is still old-fashioned. The author of this book recognizes that contemporary young people form their opinions from what they see around them. Some characters in the book are portrayed as more mature, brighter and more open than in past books. Several of these stories, written or collected by a language teacher in a high school near Wu Han, a large city in the center of China, have won the Chinese Children's Literature Prize. (10+)

Republic of China (Chinese) - 1993 - 15
Jia, Ying (text)
Zhou, Xiang (illus.)
Ni A Fu
(A Fu Doll)
Beijing: Zhong Gno Shao Nian Re Tong Chu Ben Shu, 1990. 20 p.
(J 426)
ISBN 7-5007-1055-0
folktale - village - disaster - boy - adults - toys
A picture book about gratefulness, sadness and remembering. A brave boy rescues farmers from the wolves, however he is unable to save them from another catastrophe: the local authorities. The pictures in the book show typical northern Chinese landscapes, where the story is set. (8+)

Special Mention - Republic of China (Chinese) - 1993 - 16
Liou, Jian Ping
Jin Nian Ni Qi Suei
(You Are Seven Years Old Now)
Beijing: Zhong Guo Shao Nian Re Tong Chu Ban She, 1990. 227 p.
ISBN 7-5007-0814-9
father's diary - everyday life - parents - only child - society
This book is one of the first Chinese novels to portray the life of a only child. Chinese children today grow up in a world surrounded by adults: they have no brothers or sisters, they are thought to be lonely, proud and self-centered. The novel is crafted in the form of a monologue, a father's diary, dealing with feelings of affection and confusion. - In the book, the author is attempting to redefine the adult-child relationship. The book deals with such an important topic that it has already been translated into Japanese. (10+)

Republic of China (Chinese) - 1993 - 17
Ning Xia Ren Min Chu Ban She (ed.)
Shao Nan Shao Nü Xin Li Xiao Shuo Ji
(A Collection of Teenage Concerns)
A Yin Chuan: Ning Xia Ren Min Chu Ban She, 1987. 159 p.
(Teenage Problem Studying Series)
ISBN 7-227-00014-1 (ed.)
Fiction - loneliness - rebel - dreams
Young Chinese are growing up in an old country Collection of Teenage Concerns) with old cultural traditions. In contrast to the older generation, they are dreaming different dreams, they are rebelling against almost everything. They want a new life. The stories in this book vary from the typical, traditional Chinese literature for children and young people: each one focuses on teenage problems - some from the adult perspective and some from the view of the teenagers themselves. This approach is ground-breaking since the feelings of Chinese young people have largely been ignored pre each reflects a true-to-life situation. (12+)

Special Mention - Republic of China (Taiwan) (Chinese) - 1993 - 18
Hao, Guang Cai (text)
Li, Han Weu (illus.)
Qi Chuang Le, Huang Di
(Get Up, Emperor)
Taibei: Xin Yi Gi Gin Chu Ban She, 1991. 43 p.
ISBN 962-240-609-2
picture book - folktale
A folktale retold In modern fashion, this book is about how a farmer boy helps an emperor get up early in the morning. The simple story line allows ample space for the lovely, handcrafted paper cuts of the creative illustrations which combine the traditional art of Chinese paper cutting and modern art techniques. - Due to the superb Illustrations, this book was awarded the first Xin Yi Children's Literature Prize. (5+)

Republic of China (Taiwan) (Chinese) - 1993 - 19
He, Zhen (reteller)
Li, Shao Wen (illus.)
Lian Hua Fu Ren
(Madame Lotus)
Taibei: Dong Hua Shu Jü Fta Tong Bu, 1989. 16 p.
(Duen Huang Gu Shi)
Buddhism - Sutra - lotus
There are many famous temples and wall paintings in Duen Huang, a very old and mysterious place in the northwestern Chinese desert. This elegant and classical picture book for both children and adults retells a Buddhist Sutra story about a girl, a Queen, 500 sons and seven circles of lotus flowers surrounding a house. The illustrations are copied from an old wall painting in Duen Huang. (8+)

Republic of China (Taiwan) (Chinese) - 1993 - 20
Xiao, Yia and family (text/illus.)
Xun Zhao Lü Shu Ai Pen
(Looking for a Dwarf on a Christmas Tree)
Taipei: Huang Guan Wen Xue Chu Ban You Xian Gong Si, 1991. 24 p.
ISBN 957-33-0587-9
image/reality - everyday life - childhood dreams
A fantasy-like essay with rich feelings and details. The reader is privy to family conversations about how children can make a smooth transition into adult society. The innocence of childhood is portrayed in a Christmas Eve dream. (12+)
(Winner of the Best Children's Book of Zhong)

Bohemia - 1993 - 21
Černý, Jiří (text)
Urban, Ervín (illus.)
Obrázǩějiny z ďějin zeměpisriých objevů
(Pictures from tha History of Geographical Discoveries)
Praha: Albatros, 1992. 237 p.
ISBN 80-00-00349-X
discoverers - travel - comics
An informative book in the form of a sophisticated comic which briefly outlines the momentous adventures of about 50 more or less familiar discoverers. In this book Bohemia does justice to its alleged role as mediator between West and East by virtue of its location in Central Europe since discoverers from both Western and Eastern Europe are taken into consideration. (8+)

Croatia (Croatian) - 1993 - 22 (1)
Balog, Zvonimir (text)
Kunc, Ninoslav (illus.)
Ljubav za početnike
(Love for Beginners)
Zagreb: Mladost, 1991. 173 p.
(Biblioteka vjeverica)
ISBN 86-05-00584-X
love - poetry - sexuality
Frank but perceptive, humorous and witty yet sensitive, Zvonimir Balog deals with the themes of love, awakening sexuality and various problems of puberty in the poems of the first title. - In the second book, he again takes up the subject of his volume which appeared in 1975: "Poems with Cream or The Forest Ranger has the Woods in His Hand" (Pjesme sa šlagorn ili Šumar ima šumu na Dlsanu): this time with even wittier and more original poems about 100 different professions. - Zvonimir Balog, for many years now the best Croatian children's book author who, despite being 60 years old, still belongs to the younger generation, received the children's book prize named after the Croatian children's book classic author Grigor Vitez (1911-1966) for these two works in 1991. (9+)

Croatia (Croatian) - 1993 - 22 (2)
Balog, Zvonimir (text)
Antolčić, Ivica (illus.)
Sto najzanimanja
(One Hundred Most- Professions. What I Will Be When I Grow Up)
Zagreb: Mladost, 1990. 123 p.
ISBN 86-05-00562-9
career - poetry
Frank but perceptive, humorous and witty yet sensitive, Zvonimir Balog deals with the themes of love, awakening sexuality and various problems of puberty in the poems of the first title. - In the second book, he again takes up the subject of his volume which appeared in 1975: "Poems with Cream or The Forest Ranger has the Woods in His Hand" (Pjesme sa šlagorn ili Šumar ima šumu na Dlsanu): this time with even wittier and more original poems about 100 different professions. - Zvonimir Balog, for many years now the best Croatian children's book author who, despite being 60 years old, still belongs to the younger generation, received the children's book prize named after the Croatian children's book classic author Grigor Vitez (1911-1966) for these two works in 1991. (9+)

Croatia (Croatian) - 1993 - 23
Brlić -Mažuranić, lvana (text)
Šutej, Miroslav (illus.)
Srce od licitara
(The Gingerbread Heart)
Zagreb: Mladost, 1990. 110 p.
(Biblioteka vjeverica)
ISBN 86-05-00521-1
Croatia - poetry
The first edition of this narrative and verse collection appeared in 1938 immediately after Brlić- Mažuranić's death; since then this collection along with most of her other works - with the exception of the stories of the shoemaker apprentice Clapitsch (Munich 1983) and her fairytales From the Times of Our Ancestors (Zagreb/ Graz 1984) - have not been published in socialist Yugoslavia, probably because of their bourgeois (yet deeply humanistic) basic attitude and undertone of religious practices. The stories and verses are lively and interesting. In a few of the poems the author even equals the niveau of her grandfather, the great Croatian poet Ivan Mužuranić (Smrt Smail Age Čengića). (5-12)

Special Mention - Croatia (Croatian) - 1993 - 24
Vrkić, Jozo (text)
Trebotić, Matko (illus.)
Bljeli svijet
(The Wide World)
Zagreb: Mladost, 1990. 141 p.
(Biblioteka vjeverica)
ISBN 86-05-00531-9
earthquake - Dalmatia - immigrant workers - Croatia - outsiders - family
A sophisticated, melancholic children's novel set against the backdrop of the earthquake in the Dalmatian mountain country at the beginning of the 1970s. Although somewhat overshadowed by the war going on in the country, the description of life under primitive conditions in the mountainous region, family worries, the problem of the children of emigrant workers who return to their country of origin and general social problems is still current. (9+)

Croatia (Croatian) - 1993 - 25
Glavašević, Siniša
Havranek, D. (photos)
Lišanin, M. (photos)
Mason, J. (photos)
Radauš, V. (photos)
Rakamarić, M. (photos)
Priče iz Vukovara
(Stories from Vukovar)
Zagreb: Matica Hrvatska, 1992. 77 p.
ISBN 86-7807-036-6
Croatia (20th century) - war - Vukovar
Shocking psychogram-like sketches by the young journalist Siniša Glavašević from the besieged northeast Croatian city of Vukovar, which has been fully destroyed in the meantime and in which all traces of the author disappear toward the end of 1991/the beginning of 1992. With several photographs of the Austro-Hungarian Baroque city of Vukovar, as it was, and many photographic documents about the aftermath of destruction and grief in this city. Emotive texts for young people and adults. (14+)

Cyprus - 1993 - 26
Chrysantes, Kypros (text)
Empdokleus, Andrula (illus.)
Demonassa: mia ponemene basilissa tes Kypru
(Demonassa: A Longsuffering Queen of Cyprus)
Leukosia: Ekdoseis Epiphaniu, 1991. 56 p.
Demonasse/legend/Cyprus - sorrow
The Queen of Cyprus, Demonasse, takes an intensive interest in the fate and well-being of her subjects. She is generous but also strict. When her own son disobeys one of her decrees, she commands his execution. In this retelling of a Cypriot legend, the author presents a conflict situation in which the value of justice is put to the test. What is its worth without mercy? Each reader must discover the answer for him or herself. Unfortunately, the illustrations do not match the standards of this excellently written text. (8+)

Greece (Greek) - 1993 - 27
loannides, I.D. (text)
Theopulu Maria (illus.)
O gyros tu kosmu choris lephta
(Around the World without a Penny)
Athen: Kastaniotes, 1989. 115 p.
adventure - donkey - World War I
While searching for his donkey Effendi, which had been confiscated by the military, Bai boards a train filled with prisoners of war and lands with them in Goerlitz, Germany. When the mistake is discovered, he is sent back to Constantinopel and recruited into the Turkish army. After many further adventures, he finally returns, still looking for his donkey, to his hometown. There he finally marries, settles down with his family and finds happiness. With great humor the author describes the life of a simple man who deals with reality as best he can and finds happiness even in tragic circumstances. (12+)

Hungary (Hungarian) - 1993 - 28
Elek, Benedek (text)
Renyl, Krisztina (illus.)
(<Proper name>)
Budapest: Móra, 1991. 175 p.
ISBN 963-11-6714-3
upbringing - siblings - family
Pate has smiled on Katalin Szentpali. She lives in a small castle surrounded by loving parents and siblings. Her social class does not know what it means to worry about tomorrow. However, wealth and luck are transitory: the naive father brings the family to the brink of financial ruin, the mother becomes ill and dies, a strange woman becomes the stepmother in the house. In this situation one learns who one's real friends are. The "better" members of society withdraw leaving Katalin alone. In order to keep the family together, she moves to Budapest and works as a seamstress. She only lives for her brothers and sisters, providing well for them, marrying them off at the right time and being a grandmother to their children. Katalin sacrifices her own life and happiness for her siblings and weak father and, even when she is betrayed, remains true to her first love even after death.

Hungary (Hungarian) - 1993 - 29
Herke, Rózsa (text)
Madár, Eszter (illus.)
Budapest: Herke Rózsa, 1990/1988. (2 vols. 4th ed.) 129 p.; 195 p.
ISBN 963-500-164-9; 963-500-647-0
Hungary - dogs - animal/child - country/city
My name is Devil and I am a shepherd dog. These words introduce the unusual autobiography of the Hungarian shepherd dog. The small black fellow wittily describes his life from puppyhood - where, tike a small child, he is protected, cared for and loved - onwards until gradually the world opens up to him in doghood. He lives in an intact extended family which is still common in Hungary today. Those reading the book will become acquainted not only with the life of a dog but also with a good portion of Hungary and its customs: from life in a small village with horse wagons as the only means of transportation to a small city on the Theiss; from the capital city of Budapest to the grandparents' village where the high mountains are master over sunrise and sunset. - The story is told in two volumes, each composed of short chapters describing a new aspect in the life of Ördög. The black-and-white illustrations complement the narrative in a meaningful and humorous manner.

Latvia (Latvian) - 1993 - 30 (1)
Breže, Andris (idea/illus.)
Doctor Hector
(Doctor Hector)
Rīga: Vaga, 1991. [12] p.
picture story - wordless book - grammar
Three simply designed but quite attractive and extremely original picture books without any particularly didactic ambitions which acquaint children with English words. - In the first book, a dentist removes a contaminated industrialized landscape from the patient's mouth and fills the cavity with a rural idyll. - The second book is a ludicrous picture story: a rather large cat pursues a thief. - The third book contains naively abstruse sketches of various parts of the human body. (4+)

Latvia (Latvian) - 1993 - 30 (2)
Danilāns, Ludīs (idea/illus.)
Muskats - kaķis de- tektīvs
(Muscat the Cat Detective)
Rīga: Vaga, 1991. [12] p.
picture story - wordless book - grammar
Three simply designed but quite attractive and extremely original picture books without any particularly didactic ambitions which acquaint children with English words. - In the first book, a dentist removes a contaminated industrialized landscape from the patient's mouth and fills the cavity with a rural idyll. - The second book is a ludicrous picture story: a rather large cat pursues a thief. - The third book contains naively abstruse sketches of various parts of the human body. (4+)

Latvia (Latvian) - 1993 - 30 (3)
Zābere, lgrīda (idea/illus.)
Rīga: Vaga, 1991. [12] p.
picture story - wordless book - grammar
Three simply designed but quite attractive and extremely original picture books without any particularly didactic ambitions which acquaint children with English words. - In the first book, a dentist removes a contaminated industrialized landscape from the patient's mouth and fills the cavity with a rural idyll. - The second book is a ludicrous picture story: a rather large cat pursues a thief. - The third book contains naively abstruse sketches of various parts of the human body. (4+)

Poland (Polish) - 1993 - 31
Brzozowski, Zbigniew (text)
Eidigėvičius, Stasys (illus.)
Kilka czarodziejskich historii
(Several Stories of Magic)
Warszawa: Nasza Księartgamia, 1991. 86 p.
ISBN 83-10-09055-2
modern fairy tale (Poland)
Five fairy tale narratives in the tradition of magic fairy tales from the folk tradition; despite their traditional motifs, however, they are modern stories. The author plays games - lightheartedly cheerful yet full of suspense - both with the characters involved and with the reader by merging various spheres of reality, very much in keeping with the style of illustrator Stasys Eidrigėvičius. Almost without noticing it, the reader suddenly discovers him or herself as a story character; e.g., a princess gets into a story-within-the-story. - Brzozowski devises fabrications in order to dismiss them again immediately. A book for fairy tale lovers and for those who are not satisfied with fairy tales alone. (9+)

Poland (Polish) - 1993 - 32
Rusinowa, lzabella
Indiane, traperzy i osadnicy w dziejach amerykańskiego zachodu
(Indians, Trappers and Sett-lers in the History of the American West)
Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Szkolne i Pedagogiczne, 1990. 258 p. With illustrations
ISBN 83-02-02696
history - North America (19th century) - Wild West
An excellent nonfiction book about the development of the North American West in the 19th century which simply and clearly, without completely destroying the myths about the Wild West, presents the reader with a mass of information about the political, social, ethnic, religious, cultural and economic development of the western section of the present USA. In addition, the author furnishes an overview of the "West" in art and literature. (12+)

Poland (Polish) - 1993 - 33
Zawadowski, Wacław (text)
Benedek, Krzysztof (graphic adaptation)
Mozaiki matematyczna
(Mathematical Mosaics)
Warszawa: Wydawnictwa Szkolne i Pedagogiczne, 1989. 30 p.
graphics - mosaics - handicrafts
A fairly inconspicuous yet fascinating book that gives instructions for the production of mosaics and graphic works in which duplicated figures overlap, based on Arabic mosaics and the works of the Dutch graphic artist Mauritius Cornelis Escher. The examples range from non-object-oriented square patterns with only a single cutting line to object-oriented representations of more complicated figures (rhombuses, hexagons) with a multitude of finely crafted cuts. (10+)

Romania (Romanian) - 1993 - 34
Kerim, Silvia (text)
Petruţiu, Liana Maria (illus.)
Inima povaştii
(The Heart of the Story)
Bucureşti: Craangă, 1991. 59 p.
ISBN 973-25-0407-2
parent/child - war - modern fairy tale - nature - animal - environmental protection
This book has two parts: "Fairy Tales" and "True Fairy Tales." The author herself says: "All fairy tales are really true. Only some are conceived in fantasy - a dream of reality - and others in reality itself. - In the "Fairy Tale" part, the author works with a broad palette of magical motives. She tells of the grandmother in the hospital who delights sick children with stories, of the moon who observes war on earth and is delighted when the earth at last really can smile again and allow grass to grow over its wounds, of meadows, deserts and personified stars who become Santa Claus. - The second part contains fairy tales conceived in reality. These are the true stories of animals (frog, horse, dog, snails) and a tree which is now a chair. Each narrative ends with an explanation, the heart of the fairy tale, which explains the background. In this second part, as in the delicate attempts in the first, children are presented with the necessity of protecting nature. - Liana Maria Petruƫiu's illustrations are a beautiful, meaningful supplement to the text, although their value is demeaned due to the extremely poor quality of the printing process. (6+)

Romania (Romanian) - 1993 - 35
Mărghitan, Liviu (text)
Georgescu, Aneta (illus.)
Zece tezaure carpatine
(Ten Karpaten Treasures)
Bucureşti: Creangă, 1988. 80 p.
Archaeology is a topic only rarely addressed in books for children and young people. It is supposed to be too complex and dry and suited only to the tastes of interested adults. In spite of this prejudice, Liviu Mărghitan finds a convincing way of making archaeology come alive. Prefacing the long-winded description of the excavated treasures, he places a short account of the circumstances under which the described objects were found. These narratives (which one could easily entitle "Well, what about that!") arouse curiosity and make the subsequent, absolutely essential description of the gold and silver art treasures more interesting. - The precise reproduction (black ink, dotted drawings) make the objects more three-dimensional and underscore the descriptions. (12+)

Romania (Romanian) - 1993 - 36
Sadoveanu, Mihail
Măria sa Puiul Pădurii
(His Highness the Forest Boy)
Bucureşti: Editura Eden, 1992. 215 p.
ISBN 973-9141-01-3
upbringing - child/mother - love - nature - legend (Germany)
Mihail Sadoveanu presents the legend of Genoveva of Brabant in his novel, rendering it with new accents. Of course he tells of Genoveva's beauty and grief, however the main part of the account revolves around her child: growing up in the forest, having a very special relationship with the animals there and, although his mother is the only human being around him, developing no savage traits but being able to later easily fit into human society. Sadoveanu himself said that he wanted his novel to show how heredity can determine a child's development. - The novel takes the form of a story within a story, introduced and ending with the trading route of four brothers who receive their wares from a ship in Antwerp and distribute them over the whole of Europe. They are coupled in Genoveva's resue with the wedding of the youngest brother. - This novel had sunk into oblivion for the past 40 years in Romania, banned by the Communists after being classified as mystical. (10+)

Russia (Russian) - 1993 - 37
Arsen'ev, Vladimir Klavdievič
Shneerson, Victor (transl.)
Dersu Uzala
(Dersu Uzala)
Moscow: Raduga, 1990. 333 p.
ISBN 5-05-002822-1
adventure - fantasy
Dersu Uzala is one of the most important literary works by the Russian traveling researcher, ethnographer and author V.K. Arsen'ev (1872-1930). Arsen'ev fuses scientific precision in his natural descriptions with a feeling for nature and depicts experiences in a brief but poetic language. His works also reveal influences from Asiatic authors. - The book's hero is an old hunter, leader and faithful friend of the author; a man of great wisdom and knowledge of nature, he has already appeared in the volume Po Ussurijskomu kraju (In the Country Along the Ussuri). Dersu Uzala can only live in and with nature; his attempted contact with modern civilization (at the beginning of this century) ends in a fiasco. An interesting and instructive story which awakens interest for distant countries, travels, geography etc. - Although the work has appeared twice in German (1949 and 1952) and English (1941 and 1965) translation and although the great Japan- ese producer Akira Kurosawa (The 7 Samurai) made it into a film in 1973 entitled Uzala the Kirgise (Kurosawa was above all interested in the figure of Uzala himself), it has remained practically unknown in the West. (12+)

Russia (Russian) - 1993 - 38
Eršov, lgor' (illus.)
Bobrowski, Thea-Marianne (transl.)
Russische Volksmärchen
(Alënuška, Russian Folktales)
(Russian Orig. Title: Alënuška)
Moskau: Raduga, 1989. 77 p.
ISBN 5-05-002207-X
fairy tale (Russia)
At least for the Westerner, fairy tale books still belong to the best the Russian book market has to offer for children. A very nicely designed edition with delicate ornamental illustrations in a blend of techniques. (5+)

Russia (Russian) - 1993 - 39
Korovin, Valentin (ed.)
Alimov, Sergej (illus.)
Erb, Marga (transl.)
Schick, Flita (transl.)
Umbreit, Hannelore (transl.)
Lange, W. (transl.)
Gnuhn, Wolfgang (transl.)
Russische Geistergeschichten
(Fantastičeskij mir XIX veka; Russian Ghost Stories)
Moskau: Raduga, 1990. 349 p.
ISBN 5-05-003030-7
ghost stories - Russian romanticism
Seven fascinating ghost stories in the style of Russian romanticism; the only one known In the West is A.S. Puschkin's Pique Lady. The other narratives which take place in a realistic material world into which a subtle demonic, grotesquely fantastic ghost world suddenly intrudes are by Antoni Pogorel’skij (i.e.: Aleksej A. Perovskij, 1787-1836), Orest M. Somov (1793-1833), Aleksandr A. Bestužev-Marlinskij (1797-1837), Evgenij A. Baratynskij (1800-1844), Osip (Julijan) I. Senkovskij, Vladimir F. Odoevskij (1803-1869) and Aleksej Konstantinovič Tolstoj (1817-1875; cousin of Lev N. Tolstoj, not to be confused with the socialist author Ateksej Nikolaevič, Tolstoj) - all highly intelligent people in important functions, often geniuses who, with the exception of the reactionary Oriental specialist Baratynskij, supported progress and liberalization and were closely connected with the revolutionary Decembrists.

Russia (Russian) - 1993 - 40
Majofis, M. (illus.)
(Sindbad the Sailor)
Moskva: Zolotoj ključik, 1991. 92 p.
fairy tale (Arabia)
A very interesting edition of the six journeys of Sindbad Illustrated by the important Russian artist Majofis who once again deals with the local color of the material to be covered without being untrue to himself.

Special Mention - Russia (Russian) - 1993 - 41
Sef, Roman (i.e. Roal'd Semënovič Sef) (text)
Vaščenko, Jurij (illus.)
Ključ ot skazki
(The Key to the Fairy Tale)
Moskva: Datskaja literatura, 1989. 238 p.
ISBN 5-08-001994-8
A fancifully illustrated edition of brilliant poems for children by a not so young Russian author (born in 1931). Roman Sef is associated with both traditional Soviet Russian children's lyric (Kornej Čukovskij, Sarnuil Maršak, Vladimir Majakovskij) as well as Russian folk literature (some of his verses remind one of "(Častuški" - a kind of Russian popular ditty) and has an excellent feeling for rhythm. From his choice of theme and the way he approaches a topic, he is not unlike Josef Guggenmoos to whom he is in no way inferior with regard to his jokes. (8+)

Russia (Russian) - 1993 - 42
Strelkova, Irina (ed.)
Elkonina, Natalija (illus.)
Calvert, Amanda (transl.)
Cook-Horyjy, K.M. (transl.)
Bobrova, Raisa (transl.)
Sel'skij dvor
(Animal Tales from the Russian Countryside)
Moscow: Raduga, 1990. 125 p.
ISBN 5-05-002839-6
farm animals - pets
Narratives about pets and farm animals and the consequences of civilization on Russian farms by Fëdor Abrarnov, Viktor Astaf’ev, Vassilij Belov, Evgenij Nosov, Vladimir Solouchin and Michail Prišvin who have all made a name for themselves throughout Russia by writing outstanding works for children and young people. (9+)

Serbia and Montenegro (Serbian) - 1993 - 43
Jovanovović Zmaj, Jovan
Krstić, Uglješa (ed.)
Čika Jova srpskoj deci. Priče i pesme o veri i običajima
(Uncle Johnny for the Serbian Children. Stories and Verses About Faith and Folklore)
Beograd: Vajat, 1992. 95 + 6 p.
(Biseri dečje književnosti))
ISBN 86-7039-034-5
religion - folklore - poetry
Supplementary to earlier editions of works by the Serbian physician, satirist (social criticism and criticism of the system in power during the reign of the Hapsburgs and Serbian kingdom), poet of the Serbian romanticism and classical writer of children's literature, Jovan Jovanović, with the additional surname of Zmaj (1833-1904), which have already appeared in the children's magazine Neven (1880-1911) who occasionally was its sole contributor, the renowned Serbian publisher Uglješa Krstić has brought out works of Zmaj which, due to their religious content, could not be published in the last approximately 50 years. Unfortunately, the volume begins with the "Prayer of the Young Serb" which in today's era of Serbian nationalism will be understood completely differently than how Zmaj, a progressive and socially critical poet, certainly meant it, using the strong and repeated emphasis of the Serbian name to express nothing more than the aspiration of the southern Slavs for independence from the Hapsburgs. (6+)

Slovakia (Slovak) - 1993 - 44
Ormandík, Marek (illus.)
Amnesty International rozprsáva o všeobecnej deklarácii ľudských práv
(Amnesty International on the General Declaration of Human Rights)
(Original title: La déclaration des droits de l'homme)
Bratislava: Archa - Amnesty International v ČSFR, 1992. [44] p.
ISBN 80-7115-035-5
human rights - Amnesty International
A very worthy book explaining human rights to children, conveying in this way the middle and long-term requirements for the manifestation of democracy - essential not only in the former socialist countries. - The book has also been published by the same publishing house in the Czech language. (6+)

Slovakia (Slovak) - 1993 - 45
Hevier, Daniel (text)
Bajusová, Oľga (illus.)
(The Speaking Book)
Bratislava: Mladé letá, 1992. [72] p.
ISBN 80-06-00478-1
poem - language games - language acquisition
Daniel Hevier, one the most popular and wittiest Slovakian poets for children, has created ingenious children's verse in this effective book for children of about three years of age. Without having the character of a textbook, it is a resource for phonetic, phonologic, morphologic and semantic language acquisition. In language, word and vowel games, he considers characteristics and objects from nature, the child's everyday world and the world of fairy tales. (3+)

Special Mention - Slovakia (Slovak) - 1993 - 46
Klimáček, Villam (text)
Votava, Aleš (illus.)
Bratislava: Slovenský spisovateľ, 1992. [96] p.
ISBN 80-220-0371-9
poem - youth culture
Poems for young people which precisely capture young people's "feeling" and their interests. A rhapsody of love and music. Hidden behind banalities and a certain flippancy, partly packaged in nonsense, the author transports deep emotions and critical thoughts here. (12+)

Slovakia (Slovak) - 1993 - 47
Lacková, Elena (text)
Weiss, Eduard (illus.)
Rómske rozprávky. Ramane paramisa
(Gypsy Fairy Tales)
Košice: Východoslovenské vydavateľstvo, 1992. 95 p.
ISBN 80-0049-5
fairy tale - gypsy - bilingual book
A quite nicely illustrated bilingual book by the East Slovakian Publishing House in Košice for the cultural community of Romi nationals in Prešov (Slovakian/Romi). - Bilingual editions are rare, but a bilingual edition with a text in Romi is an absolute rarity. Perhaps publishing houses in other countries will also be moved to bring out books in the respective Romi variant. (8+)

Turkey (Turkish) - 1993 - 48
Ural, Serpil (text/illus.)
(The Present)
Istanbul: Ya-Pa Yayinlari, 1986. 16 p.
book - friends - nature
This is the story of a young girl who is most happy when she is outside and can enjoy the songs of the birds. When she is forced to stay inside in the winter months, a good fairy descends from the heavens and brings her a book filled with a thousand marvels to keep her company. - Ural is primarily an illustrator and much beloved in Turkey. While her texts usually have a didactic purpose, her illustrations appeal directly to younger children. (5+)
(Noma award winner)

Australia (English) - 1993 - 49
Caswell, Briar
A Cage of Butterflies
St. Lucia: University of Queensland, 1992. 164 p.
ISBN 0-7022-2416-2
science Fiction - gifted children - science (misuse) - corporation
Caswell's story is triggered by the death of a young research scientist in a road accident. When his sister tries to tidy up loose ends in his research, her quest leads her to a 'farm' where a research team is at work to develop marketable products from the bizarre brilliance of two groups of children. The story dramatizes the way in which corporate goals devised for the benefit of institutions continually threaten our welfare. The episodic first-person narration by several people in alternation may require the reader's close attention. This is, though, a gripping story in which science fiction is used as a device to probe the realities of the present. (12+)

Australia (English) - 1993 - 50
Challoner, Jack
My First Batteries & Magnets Book
Sydney: Hodder & Stoughton, 1992. 48 p.
ISBN 0-340-56686-8
magnetism - electricity - science experiments
This is one book of the series "Science by pictures" in which young children are skillfully introduced to experiments and projects. First, they are shown the basics - the special powers of magnets or how to connect a battery in a circuit to light a bulb. Then, they learn how to use that knowledge to make magnets for the refrigerator door or a stock car with headlights, or even a radio. The step-by-step instructions in this oversized, brightly illustrated book are clear and easy to follow. At the end of each project there are also short explanations of what is happening and why. (8+)

Australia (English) - 1993 - 51
Farmer, Graeme
Brothers in Arms
Sydney: Hodder & Stoughton, 1992. 142 p.
ISBN 0-340-56681-7
World War II (Japan/Australia) Vietnam War (Australia) - war memories - family (Japan) - bereavement
This is an enthralling adventure story triggered by the arrival of Yukio, a very determined young Japanese boy seeking the remains of his grandfather who had been reported missing after a failed submarine mission during World War II, in a small Australian coastal village. There he is befriended by an Australian boy and an Aborigine boy who had been enemies. Yukio's father's intention to purchase land for tourism in the town brings out the contemporary national rivalries and racism commonly found where two cultures impinge on one another. In addition to numerous well-drawn side characters, the complicated emotional circumstances of three families are revealed as the boys follow the clues leading to the sunken submarine. The after-effects of two wars on the parent's lives become clear to the boys, giving them a chance to make their own commitment to peaceful tolerance without any tinge of didacticism. (12+)

Australia (English) - 1993 - 52
Tyrrell, Clodagh (ed.)
Tyrrell, Margot (ed.)
Goodbye and Hello
Ringwood: Viking/Penguin Books Australia, 1992. 229 p.
ISBN 0-670-84391-1
This is a collection of short stories by well-known Irish and Australian authors of youth literature Commissioned to be written around the theme of “leaving and arriving.” Because there are sixteen stories in all, the book explores many forms of transition in life. There is the harsh reality of sacrifices required of those who seek a “fresh start” by migrating; there are the losses as well as the gains of turning thirteen; there is the shock of finding your special place changed and wondering how that also changes you. The collection avoids repetition, maintains a high standard storytelling and gains from its blend of peatbog and eucalyptus aromas. (12+)

Australia (English) - 1993 - 53
Pender, Lydia (text)
Niland, Kilmeny (illus.)
The Land and the Spirit. An Australian Alphabet
Sydney: Margaret Hamilton, 1993. [32] p.
ISBN 0-947241-06-X
alphabet-nature (Australia)
This approach to the alphabet goes beyond the naming of objects. Rhythmical, playful poems of four to sixteen lines in length describe and illuminate the peculiarities of each Australian phenomenon, for example Ibis, Magpie, or Wombat. Glowing watercolor illustrations of varying formats provide wide diversity to the presentation for Australia. The language level is appropriate for early readers and reading aloud. (4-8)

Canada (English) - 1993 - 54
Day, Marie (text/illus.)
Dragon in the Rocks. A Story Based on the Childhood of Early Paleontologist Mary Anning
Toronto: Owl/Greey de Pencier, 1992. [32] p.
ISBN 0-920775-76-4
Mary Anning (1799-1847)/biography – Paleontology/England/19th century
This picture book for young readers tell a seemingly simple tale of curiosity and determination within the wider context of an historical geological discovery. Twelve-year-old Mary Anning had always enjoyed collecting fossils with her father, an amateur collector, who before he died, taught her the techniques of chipping and separating fossils from rocks. He also told her of a dragon skeleton he had once seen in a cave near their home in Lyme Regis on the southern coast of England. One day the opportunity arose to visit the cave herself, and subsequently she spent many months chipping, numbering and packing up the fossil pieces of the 26-foot-long ichthyosaur skeleton, which has now been on display at the Natural History Museum in London for nearly 200 years. Although the story ends with the visit of important scientists to her home to see her rebuilt skeleton, children may well be inspired to learn more about the interests and life of this unsung heroine and about paleontology. This approach is a welcome variation to the endless stream of dinosaur books available today. (5-10)

Canada (English) - 1993 - 55
Gay, Marie-Louise (text/illus.)
Mademoiselle Moon
Toronto: Stoddart, 1993. [32] p.
ISBN 0-7737-2653-5
Love - friendship
Mister Sun and Mademoiselle Moon have been best friends from the moment Mister Sun climbed out of his shell. Both of them, however, had a busy work-schedule and for years they could only catch glimpses of each other. But when she loses her job one day, Mister Sun promises to help her. A sudden storm comes up and Mademoiselle Sun takes shelter in a lighthouse where her brightly beaming smile is indeed much needed. This poetic tale about love and friendship has a charming pencil illustrations which convey a sense of playfulness and warmth. (5+)

Canada (English) - 1993 - 56
Reid, Barbara
Two by Two
Richmond Hill: North Winds Press/Scholastic, 1992. [32] p.
ISBN 0-590-73656-6
Noah's ark
Using Plasticine shaped and pressed onto illustration board, Reid has once again developed astoundingly detailed and realistic scenes in an uncommon media. Spread after spread, each time from a different perspective, we see Noah's ark being built, the animals brought on board, the flood and the return to pastoral, peaceful life. The rhymed text is also set to music in an endnote. Young children cannot help but be fascinated by seeing the animals they know are presented here in a medium they are quite familiar with. Thus it is a book which will stimulate their own creative activity and draw them back for many re-readings. (3+)

Great Britain (English) - 1993 - 57
Mahy, Margaret
London: Hamish Hamilton, 1992. 185 p.
ISBN 0-241-13170-7
family - friendship - father/son - family/violence
Tristam Catt has lived with his semi-unemployed, hippie-like father in a rural, ramshackle home without running water or electricity ever since his mother tired of their impoverished, marginal existence and left to seek her fortune in Australia. While Tris still waits every day for a letter from her, he spends his time outside of school adventuring in the nearby woods and fields with a made-up intergalactic companion named Selsey Firebone. As chance will have it, he encounters a young girl with a similar capacity for fantasy and adventure whose family he had known well when he was a small child. She needs his help to escape from the children's home in which she has been placed and the stepfather who is trying to kidnap her. The concept of "underrunners" in the title applies here not only to the gullies and underground channels in this landscape which make wonderful hiding places and harbor danger for car or hikers, but also to the undercurrent traps and dangers for children in instable or changing families. This well-crafted adventure story offers a richly satisfying mix of story elements and twists of plot and impressively captures the reality of the world as it is formed by adults from the child's perspective. (10+)

Great Britain (English) - 1993 - 58
Mellett, Peter
Rossiter, Jane
Liquids in Action
London: Franklin Watts, 1992. 32 p.
(Science Through Cookery)
ISBN 0-7496-0926-5
science - cooking
What an enticement: to be able to eat the results of a science demonstration. The attractively designed two-page spreads illustrate scientific principles such as density or surface tension and guide the reader through simple kitchen recipes such as ice cream or dressings in step-by-step color photos. (8+)

Great Britain (English) - 1993 - 59
Oram, Hiawyn (text)
McKee, David (illus.)
Out of the Blue. Stories and Poems about Colour
London: Andersen Press, 1992. [64] p.
ISBN 0-86242-384-8
anthology/color - color
Typically English humor jumps out of every page of this anthology of stories and poems which explore some aspect - whether common and cliched or witty and clever - of a particular color. The texts are printed over McKee's well-designed and highly varied double-paged layouts done in the appropriate color and illustrating the corresponding text. The short vignettes often reveal the source of a common expression in a madcap story, while the poems take a wider approach to the topic of color and succeed in rhyme and meter but are entertaining. (5-9+)

Great Britain (English) - 1993 - 60
Ray, Jane (text/illus.)
Tha Story of Creation. Words from Genesis
London: Orchard, 1992. [24] p.
ISBN 1-85213-281-7
(Also published in New York: Dutton/Penguin, 1993.)
creation/Bible Story
The story of how the world began as told in the King James version of Genesis is translated into pictures by the award-winning illustrator. The folk-art rendering of the newly created world of nature and animals is presented in vibrant water-colors in several gold-framed panels of various sizes and shapes on each page. (5-9)

India (English) - 1993 - 61
Subir, Roy (illus.)
Twenty-Four Short Stories
New Delhi: Children's Book Trust, 1991. 150 p.
ISBN 81-7011-622-8
short stories (India)
This collection of stories by twenty-four of India's most accomplished writers for children offers a wide variety of themes and settings. The narratives ae well-constructed, briskly paced. Some involve adventure or dangerous encounters, others family disputes or the resolution of an everyday-life problem. Common to all is a respect for life and human values such as justice, bravery and friendship. (10-14)

Ireland (English) - 1993 - 62
Francis, Paul
Cléirigh, Máirtin ó (transl.)
Sí an Bhrú
(New Grange)
Baile Átha Cliath: An Gúm, 1991. [28] p.
Ireland/New Grange - sun worship (Ireland)
More than 5,000 years ago in the Stone Age sun-worshipping farmers crossed the western seas in pursuit of the home of the sun and landed in Ireland. This picture book-like information book describes the magnificent passage graves, the Irish equivalent of Stonehenge, that were built at New Grange and elsewhere and presents a plausible theory about them. The enigma which they offer to Irish and world pre-history is reflected in the striking pen-and-ink illustrations on each double-page spread. (6-10)

Ireland (English) - 1993 - 63
Mullins, Tom (selected/introduced)
Irish Stories for Children
Dublin: Mercier Press, n.d.. 111 p.
ISBN 1-85635-027-4
anthology/short storeis (Ireland)
The range and variety of well-crafted stories in this volume fully confirm the famous Irish tradition of story-telling. The 16 stories by well- known Irish writers from this century (unfortunately there are no biographical notes included) take the reader from real-life families to animal fantasy and back again. Because of their real Irish settings, these stories are well-suited for multicultural collections. And whether the Irish brogue is there or not, one can easily imagine these stories being read aloud over and over again. (10+)

New Zealand (English) - 1993 - 64
Boock, Paula
Out Walked Me!
Dunedin: John McIndoe, 1991. 77 p.
ISBN 0-86868-129-6
coming of age
Mel insults the Minister of Education during his visit to her school because he embarrassed her best friend Wai, a redheaded Maori girl. To her surprise, Wai is not at all thankful, but angry. The very same day, Mel decides to leave school and hitchhikes to Christchurch where her father lives. During the following days she learns more about herself and finds a new friend. She finally returns home upon learning that Wai has died in a car accident. This award-winning novel deals with a crucial time in the life of a young girl in a very believable narrative style. (12+)

New Zealand (English) - 1993 - 65
Mataira, Kāterina (text)
Kemp, Terewal (text)
Ngata, Hone lhi-O-Te-Rangi (illus.)
Cry-Baby Moon
Wellington and Raglan: Mallinson Rendel and ahuru Enterprises, 1992. [26] p.
ISBN 0-908606-80-X
fable/Maori - moon/fable
The moon is crying because she cannot see her face in the sea. Each passer-by, Cloud, Rain, Thunder and Lightning, in turn suggest that something is wrong with her. Rainbow, however, advises her to ask the spirit of the sea to still the wind and calm the waves. At last she can see her dazzling reflection and is happy. This simple fable is faced off against illustrations in striking, bright-hued pastel rainbow tones which give faces and personalities to the natural characters of the story. (3-7)

USA (English) - 1993 - 66
Ball, Duncan (text)
Ulrich, George (illus.)
Emily Eyefinger
New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992. 82 p.
ISBN 0-671-74618-9
otherness/acceptance - eyes
Emily Eyefinger was born with an extra eye on the end of her finger. Her parents fear that she will not like being different from other children, but as she grows older she finds that having an extra eye comes in handy. She finds lost objects in hard-to-see places, helps a boat captain navigate in the fog, and even identifies bank robbers. Readers will have great fun with Emily's high spirited adventures and gain some insights into her adjustments to being different. The pen-and- ink illustrations underscore the playful quality of the text. The author has already published numerous books in his adopted home of Australia. (8-10)

USA (English) - 1993 - 67
Blair, David Nelson
Fear the Condor
New York: Lodestar Books, 1992. 137 p.
ISBN 0-525-67381-4
Aymara Indians - Bolivia (1930s)
In 1932 the Bolivian president provoked the Chaco War, a dispute over lowland plans claimed by both Bolivia and Paraguay. Both sides suffered disastrous casualties, mostly among the Ayrnore and other Indian groups who were forced to fight in a war that was not their own. In Bolivia, the war became a symbol for the suffering and oppression the Indian peoples had endured for centuries and they began to fight for their civil rights. This is the historical background for the story of Bartolina Ch'oke, a young Aymara girl who comes of age in the 1930s and witnesses the beginning of change in her people's way of life. (12+)

USA (English) - 1993 - 68
Ernst, Usa Campbell (text/illus.)
Zinnia and Dot
New York: Viking/Penguin, 1992. [16] p.
ISBN 0-670-83091-7
friendship - rivalry - sharing
Zinnia and Dot, two hens who live alone in an old chicken coop, spend their time fighting about whose eggs are the most beautiful and perfect. One day a weasel steals all their eggs except for one. They agree to share the egg until it is hatched, but still hate each other. When the weasel returns again. they finally out aside their quarrels and fight him off together. This common victory is the starting point for their friendship and when the baby chick is hatched, it grows up with two mother hens. The bright and simple illustrations hilariously portray the interaction of the two smug hens. (3+)

USA (English) - 1993 - 69
Folsom, Franklin
Black Cowboy. The Life and Legend of George McJunkin
Niwot: Roberts Flinehart, 1992. 162 p.
(Forgotten Pioneers Series)
ISBN 1-879373-14-974
George McJunkin (1851-1922)/biography - African-Americans (19th century) - Wild West - slavery (USA)
George McJunkin was a very determined freedom-loving man who led a dramatic and adventure-filled life in the cattle-raising parts of the Wild West. This black cowboy made a such lasting impression on people who knew him that a highly readable biography could be written about the man whose name is associated with a bone pit, now known as the Folsom Pit, where first proof was found for the existence of Indians in North America over 10,000 years ago. The changing social structure during McJunkin's life- time, especially the position of Blacks, is an undercurrent theme. The fascinating process of tracing the life and acquaintances of one individual in recent history is described in an appendix. While documentary details remain in the foreground, the author uses an anecdotal approach with frequent dialogue to portray his characters and the key events. (10+)

Special Mention - USA (English) - 1993 - 70
Nye, Naomi Shihab (selected)
The Same Sky: A Collection of Poems from around the World
New York: Four Winds Press/Macmillan, 1992. 212 p.
ISBN 0-02-768440-7
poetry (international)
When a topic or theme like "multiculturalism" comes into vogue, whether in children's literature or any other field, many projects develop which are clearly done just to corner a piece of the market. And then again an idea may be realized and a work produced which probably never would have come about or received such publishing support without a strong impetus. Such is the case here. In 1991, the prize-winning American poet Naomi Shihab Nye sent out a call to all corners of the earth for entries for this collection and probably never dreamed of the great response she would receive. Her immediate goal was to find more poems from contemporary poets from other "foreign" countries to share with younger readers when working as a poet-in-the-school, to help them learn more about writing poetry and to open windows to new friendships. In the end she selected 129 poems from 68 countries and arranged for excellent English translations. The poems are grouped under six general headings, although, in one sense, each poem actually stands alone just as much as it stands together with the others. As one reads one begins to feel the presence of an international community - that is the essential and special experience which this volume helps create. For those readers who feel they have found a new friend, there are biographical notes on the authors; also included are a world map, an index to countries and an alphabetical author index. As an international anthology of translated poetry, it seems conceivable and commendable that the original works also be published in other languages, taking one more step toward closing the circle. (10+)

USA (English) - 1993 - 71
Namioka, Lensey
Coming of the Bear
New York: Harper Collins, 1992. 230 p.
ISBN 0-06-020288-2
Japan/history (16th century) - Samurai - Ainu - war/prevention
Zenta and Matsuko, two samurai who have left their home country because of civil war, are stranded on an island inhabited by Ainus, a strange, round-eyed people. At first they are cautiously welcomed by their hosts, but when it becomes clear that they are really captives, they escape to the Japanese settlement on another part of the island. They find the Japanese preparing for war against the Ainus. Soon the two friends are torn in their loyalties and realize that they have to try to prevent the war. This historical novel tells a story that is very important today; tolerance and understanding between different cultures can only be achieved with great effort. (12+)

USA (English) - 1993 - 72
Sinclair, Sandra
Extraordinary Eyes. How Animals See the World
New York: Dial Books, 1992. 42 p.
ISBN 0-8037-0806-8
vision (animals)
Setting out from the explanation of how eyes work, this informational book traces the developments in animal vision from the oldest or most primitive creatures up to the advanced primate and human eyes. Through comparison and contrast, readers learn that there are animals with clusters of eyes, eyes at the end of tentacles, and even eyes which create their own light. Although there is still much more to be learned about animal sight, modern science has been able to develop useful technologies based on the knowledge gained about animals' different methods of seeing. The text is clearly written and well-organized and illustrated by beautiful color photographs. An index provides access to terms defined or mentioned throughout the book. (10+)

USA (English) - 1993 - 73
Parks, Rosa
Haskins, Jim
Rosa Parks: My Story
York: Dial, 1992. 192 p.
ISBN 0-8037-0673-1
Rosa Parks (autobiography) - African-Americans - civil rights movement (USA)
In this compelling account, Rosa Parks writes about her childhood and the events that led up to her refusal on December 1, 1955, to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Her act of civil disobedience set in motion the year-long Montgomery Bus Boycott and the subsequent decision of the Supreme Court on desegregation. The history of the civil rights movement is told by one of its most prominent activists and illustrated with high-quality documentary black-and-white photos. The historical significance of this particular period and the personal integrity of one individual are very well expressed in this autobiography. (10+)

USA (English) - 1993 - 74
Hirschfelder, Arlene B. (selected)
Singer, Beverly P. (selected)
Rising Voices. Writings of Young Native Americans
New York: Scribner's, 1992. 115 p.
ISBN 0-684-19207-1
Native Americans - poetry/USA/Native America
This collection of poems and essays written by Native American children and young adults gives an insight into the realities of their lives over the past hundred years. Their writings speak of issues that are central to members of an oppressed minority: identity, family and community, ritual and ceremony, education and history. This book is typical of many that were published in 1992 dealing with the experiences of ethnic minorities in the United States. (10+)

USA (English) - 1993 - 75
Scieszka, Jon (text)
Lane, Smith (illus.)
The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales
New York: Viking/Penguin Books, 1992. [52] p.
ISBN 0-670-84487-X
fairy tales (adaptation)
The author and illustrator are gloriously successful in this spoof at two levels. First, the design and layout of a book as such is mocked from the TITLE PAGE through to the copyright warning on the last page ("Anyone caught telling these fairly stupid tales will be visited, in person, the Stinky Cheese Man"). Secondly, the content and moralistic intent of 10 standard European fairytales have been turned into slapstick farces. Not only the tales selected should strike a chord with school-age children, but also the flippant, cabaret-style manner of dialogue between the very self-assertive do-as-they-will main characters such as the ugly duckling (who is), the frog prince (who isn’t) or with Jack the narrator who survives all. The illustrations, at times resembling the color and line of European modern art, employ a vast variety of techniques, styles and perspectives which draw the reader to take a closer look. (8+)

USA (English) - 1993 - 76
Cummings, Pat (compiled/edited)
Talking with Artists
York: Bradbury, 1992. 96 p.
ISBN 0-02-724245-5
book illustration (USA) - biography/book illustrators
Pat Cummings, an illustrator herself, was motivated by her talks and correspondence with school children to show them more about the many paths which lead to becoming a professional artist. Here she allows 13 other artists (in addition to herself) to tell their own story and asks them eight additional questions which reveal what they have in common or do differently in their working lives. Characteristic illustrations of each artist are included as well as a glossary of basic art and book terminology and five titles of each illustrator's favorite own books. This work is primarily anecdotal and does not enter into artistic discussions about media, perspective, etc., but offers a springboard to further investigation for young readers interested in art as a serious activity. (10+)

USA (English) - 1993 - 77
Wisniewski, David
Sundiata. Lion Kind of Mali
New York: Clarion Books, 1992. [32] p.
ISBN 0-395-61302-7
Mali/legend - Africa/history (13th century) - handicap
This is the story of Sundiata who became the king of Mali in the 13th century, establishing the last great trading empire of West Africa. Physically handicapped as a child, Sundiata is nonetheless made his father's heir but is forced into exile by his usurping older half-brother. In another city his talents were recognized and he was trained to be the leader his father had destined him to become. When his homeland is invaded, he is asked to return. The most striking feature of this book is the spectacular double- spread illustrations of cut and elaborately assembled colored papers. An endnote explains the important historical background of the story, its survival until today and the artist's efforts to accurately portray African culture. (5-10)

Austria (German) - 1993 - 78
Bartos-Höppner, Barbara (text)
Hölle, Erich (illus.)
(<Proper name>)
Wien: Betz, 1992. [n.p.]
ISBN 3-219-10537-8
rübezahl - saga
A selection of six "Rübezahl" stories is embedded in still another story in this lavishly illustrated book: old Melcher, who as a boy carried food- stuffs over the mountain ranges to the Schneekoppe and once met the mountain spirit himself, now shares what he knows of him with the children. This particular plot structure and the author's narrative tone make the individual episodes tangible and warm. The color, form and content of the large pictures are worked together into an harmonious whole. Additionally, the Transylvanian mountains, home of "Rübezahl", has once again come geographically and politically closer to western Europe. (5+)

Austria (German) - 1993 - 79
Pacovská, Květa (text/illus.)
(Midnight Game)
Saizburg: Neugebauer, 1992. [n.p.]
ISBN 3-85195-300-2
rearrangement game - imagination - game book
The idea of game books which rearrange parts of a whole, splitting people and putting them back together again in novel combinations has been around forever it seems. However, rarely was one presented as artistically as this one demonstrating the possibilities of this congenial game art form by Hans Christian Andersen Award winner Květa Pacovská. Exquisitely laid out, the book extends an invitation to parents and children to make up their own stories. (4+)

Special Mention - Austria (German) - 1993 - 80
Morgenstern, Christian (text)
Zwerger, Lisbeth (selection/illus.)
Kindergedichte & Galganlieder
(Children's Poems and Macabre Songs)
Saizburg: Neugebauer, 1992. [n.p.]
ISBN 3-85195-301-0
poetry - Germany - picture book
A treasure of book illustrations: children's poems allow the graphic artist much more freedom tor his own ideas than prose text. Thus we find a spectrum of inspiring ideas in artistically akribic delicate workmanship in this little book. Typeface, paper coloring, page design are diversely presented. Each page reveals a new lyrical picture world. A book which will become a classic for children and adults. (4+)
(A suggestion for the 2nd edition: Morgenstern titled his wordless poem "Fisches Nachtgesang", not "Fischer's".)

Austria (German) - 1993 - 81
Stojka, Ceija
Berger, Karin (ed.)
Reisende auf dieser Welt. Aus dem Leben einer Rom-Zigeunerin
(Nomads on Earth. The Life of a Romanic Gypsy)
Wien: Picas, 1992. 176 p.
ISBN 3-85452-237-1
Romas - Austria (20th century) - concentration camps - everyday life - children's book
Born in 1933, the child Ceija Stojka and her family experienced persecution at the hands of German fascists and internment in the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. After 1945 the family resumed traveling by wagon through Austria, earning their living by trading horses. Due to progressive mechanization, this way of life became economically unviable for the Romanic families, and most were forced to put down roots, - The author's memories are related in a very lively manner and elucidate some of the rough romanticism - and some of the difficulties - of the wandering life- style. Despite the fate suffered by many of the Romanic peoples, one finds no hatred of Germans in the pages of the book - only sadness about those people who do not listen to reason. (12+)

Germany (German) - 1993 - 82
Amberg, Dorothea (text)
Heuninck, Ronald (illus.)
Stan Bolovan zähmt den Drachen
(Stan Bolovan Tames the Dragon)
Stuttgart: Freies Geistesleben, 1992. [n.p.]
ISBN 3-7725-1140-6
dragon - weak/strong - cunning - battle - liveli- hood - family - childlessness - fairy tales - Romania - picture book
Transylvanian fairy tales rarely appear in Germany as single editions. This one, based on Ion Pop Reteganul's collection (Povesti Ardelenesti), communicates the irrefutable argument that whoever does not have enough physical strength to fight against someone stronger (perhaps even a dragon) should try to gain the victory by exercising cunning and intelligence. The farmer Stan Bolovan does just that: he not only lives to tell the tale but also brings home a lot of gold. - The emotions of the outwitted dragon are delightfully portrayed in the delicate, full-page pictures drawn with colored pencils. With their flowing transitions and atmosphere of harmony (despite the adventurous content), the illustrations remain within the anthroposophic tradition. (5+)

Germany (German) - 1993 - 83
Askenazy, Ludwig (text)
Petraškevics, Juris (illus.)
Der Schlittschuhkarpfen
(The Ice-Skating Carp)
Köln: Middelhauve, 1992. [n.p.]
ISBN 3-7876-9340-8
carp - ice skating - imaginative story/picture book
A charming nonsense story and entrancing pictures: A favorite book. How the avid ice-skating carp cuts artistic figures on the ice and, thus, may keep the skates which a small girl forgot on the frozen pond. Vivacious illustrations which extend beyond the edge of the page, not at all appropriate for children in the pedagogical sense (i.e. not explicitly simple), but quite suitable for the childlike need for the naive, unconditional, imaginative joy of life. (6+)

Germany (German) - 1993 - 84
Bofinger, Manfred (text/illus.)
Flossi und Fressi
(Flossie and Fressi)
Leipzig: Leiv, 1992. [n.p.]
ISBN 3-928885-19-7
friendship - cunning - large/small - comics - children's book
Flossi is a small shy sea lion (motto and resolution: "Act more modest than you are, be shrewd and on your guard. Whoever laughs last gains courage!"); Fressi is a large white bear ("Act much more important than you are since a rough shell camouflages the plush bear inside you!"). They are friends in the circus "Liev." The picture story tells how, despite all their love for one another, they make life difficult for each other by their bragging, cunning and sprite. - These circus comics, over which the German union flag waves, not without a deeper meaning, are characterized by clear colors and forms, page division in four ever-recurring rectangles. (5+)

Germany (German) - 1993 - 85
Chariot, Robert (text/illus.)
Max, der Verwandlungskünstler
(Max the Quick-Change Artist)
Neusäß: Beck, 1992. [n.p.]
ISBN 3-929014-00-9
transformation- identity - imaginative story - picture book
Giordano, Mario (text) blue. The large-print text could be exciting for children beginning to read, the pictures also for smaller children who could look at the book without their parents. The quality of the layout radiates peace and harmony. (4+)

Germany (German) - 1993 - 86
Erlbruch, Wolf (text/illus.)
Das Bärenwunder
(The Bear Miracle)
Wuppertal: Hammer, 1992. 16 p.
ISBN 3-87294-493-2
propagation - sex education - bears - picture book
The big bear consults with a hare, a fish and a bird about how he can become a father. It is spring, and his mother has unfortunately only told him a story about a cloud where small bears live before they come into the world. This leaves him sad and feeling helpless - until a she-bear comes along who knows more about having children. The substantial animal radiates flawless situational comedy in his substantial child's helplessness in the face of the existential questions of life. An especially big adult, so to speak, who is also dependent on help: it is good for a child to know that such things can happen. - This bear is a worthy successor to the author's "little mole” - with a similar thirst for knowledge. (4+)

Germany (German) - 1993 - 87
Faerber, Regina
Der weite Horizont: vom Beginn einer Frauen-Hebe; für Mädchen und alle anderen
(The Wide Horizon: The Beginning of a Lesbian Relationship; for young women and everyone else)
Bad Homburg: Fiiedel, 1992. 185 p.
ISBN 3-927937-14-2
love - girls - women - partnership - lesbian relationship - young adults book
A highly interesting new configuration of this species of books for girls: it reports about this communal partnership of an adult woman and a young girl. However it is not one of those offending "problem" books, at least not in its tone and narrative force. It gives an account of love, its emerging and departing, the reactions of a positive or conditionally inclined environment - simply a love story which can claim the reader's interest. (16+)

Germany (German) - 1993 - 88
Giordano, Mario (text)
Wilharm, Sabine (illus.)
Die wilde Chartotta
(Wild Charlotte)
Berlin: Elefantenpress, 1992. 150 p.
ISBN 3-88520-428-2
Piracy - helpfulness-imaginative narrative - Children’s book
Wild Charlotte is a rather shabby sailing ship on which a handful of pirates undertake fantastic adventures for the welfare of humankind. Imaginative storytelling about the likewise wild but good-hearted pirates who end up with their ship in the under(sea)world and, although ruffled, still emerge victorious. Relaxing/exciting entertainment for younger and older readers. (8+)

Germany (German) - 1993 - 89
Hohler, Franz (text)
Berthold, Matthias (illus.)
Dr. Parkplatz
(<Proper name>)
Ravensburg: Maier, 1992. 63 p.
(RTB Kinder- litaratur)
ISBN 3-473-51830-1
doctor - advice - outsiders/community - suc- cess/envy - helpfulness - imagination - children's book
Dr. Parkplatz is a doctor - of linguistics. The people in the village erroneously think that he is a medical doctor, however. Before he has made sense of this connection, he has already helped many of his visitors by giving good advice. Naturally without demanding payment. Thus he raises the ire of the medical profession and is supposed to leave the city, particularly after quite inexplicable occurrences are observed in his vicinity. - The cabaret artist Hohler attacks the predicaments of foreigners and outsiders with verve and success in this unextravagant book. (8+)

Germany (German) - 1993 - 90
Jäckel, Karin
Sag keinern, wer dein Vater ist! Das Schicksal von Priestarkindern: Zeugnissa - Berichte - Fragen
(Don't Tell Anyone Who Your Father Is: Tha Fate of Priests' Children: Accounts - Reports - Questions)
Recklinghausen: Bitter, 1992. 253 p.
ISBN 3-7903-0460-3
celibacy - fatherhood - motherhood - father/child - single parents / nonfiction
A topic which has not yet been discussed in literature for children and young people: the dilemma of celibacy, sexual partnerships and the parenthood of priests is faithfully conveyed in the context of meticulous research. The picture of the male priest which emerges seems quite ambivalent and full of conflict. None escape unscathed, not the man himself nor his partner and certainly not their children who are exposed to subtle environmental censure. The young people concerned have the most trouble in dealing with their own guilt feelings (which are often handed down from their parents) - above all since they cannot expect outside help. The publication of these statements and reports is all the more important since these conflicts are still shrouded in public silence today, contingent on private psychotherapeutic service. (14+)

Germany (German) - 1993 - 91
Leer, Wim van (text)
Trier, Walter (illus.)
Richter, Hans-Michael (transl. from Dutch)
Dahne, Gerhard (epilogue)
Die Verzückung der Kurzschnabel-Berg-Amsel
(The Rapture of the Short-Beaked Mountain Blackbird)
Berlin: Aitberliner Verlag, 1992. [n.p.]
ISBN 3-357-00414-3
bird/children - imaginative story/picture book
The unique fate of this picture book justifies its appearance as a German translation in the White Ravens: the illustrator Walter Trier, who had to emigrate after 1933, is connected with the work of Erich Kästner and both with the International Youth Library. Author Wim van Leer, who also had to flee from the German national socialists, met Walter Trier while in England and wrote the little nonsense story about the funny blackbird especially for him. - The Altberliner Publishing House has now printed this book, which had never before appeared, thus offering an additional lovely mosaic tile in the work of Walter Trier, featuring his unmistakable hand- writing in a text other than that of Ench Kästner this time. (4+)

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 1993 - 92
Klüger, Ruth
waiter leban. Eien Jugend
(Keep On Keeping On. A Youth)
Göttingen: Wallstein, 1993. 285 p.
ISBN 3-89244-036-0
biography - young adult's book. Jews - Austria/Germany (20th century) - concentration camps - National Socialism - auto biography - young adult's book.
Courage to be true to one's own unadorned memory and a genuine literary language distinguish this extraordinary autobiography. And these qualities cannot be taken for granted since the book deals with a childhood experience of the holocaust - an historic fact which today, due to the persistent and abundant public interest in the subject, can no longer be the private concern of an individual's memory - unless there are aspects to report which have not before been considered worth mentioning: an early youth in which the greatest mystery is death rather than love and sexuality, curiosity about death, the sense that people experience similar fates quite individually and that their wounds are therefore unpredictable and diverse. Also that poetry and literature must be taken literally in catastrophic situations, in case something of it should be true: aspects of survival which radiate a vitality in defiance of all the austere and negative conditions, survival which is to be understood as living. - Although not conceived as a book for young people, this account is highly superior to all other so-called problem books published about this topic and should be made internationally accessible to every interested young person. The author teaches in the German Department of an American university. She wrote the book in German. (16+)

Germany (German) - 1993 - 93
Pressler, Mirjam
Ich sehne mich so. Die Lebensgeschichte der Anne Frank
(I Yearn for So Much. Anne Frank’s Life Story)
Weinheim: Beltz & Gelberg, 1992. 152 p.
(Beltz Biographie))
ISBN 3-407-80722-8
Jews - Germany (20th century) - Holland World War II-Anne Frank - biography
Although Anne Frank's diary should be familiar to every young person today this biography fascinates the reader from the first page to the last. Drawing in part on the available sources, in part reading what is easily overlooked between the lines in the familiar texts, the author sketches the entire surroundings of the girl in her everyday life before and during the time of her hiding out in Amsterdam. Anne’s love for writing - her future career choice - is portrayed in an especially poignant manner. It is clear that her wish has been granted in the worldwide dissemination of her diaries. (12+)

Germany (German) - 1993 - 94
Rachowski, Utz
Biermann, Wolf (epilogue)
Die Stimmen des Summers
(The Voices of Summer)
Berlin: Oberbaum, 1992. 73 p.
ISBN 3-926409-70-3
Prague invasion (1968) - East Germany - civil courage - violence - prison - Berlin Wall - childhood - young adult's book
Contemporary history is presented in short nar-ratives. For instance, a scene from the Warsaw Pact troop invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968: tank columns on the way to the East German border intrude into a child's life. The brother attempts to delay the column by performing motor scooter stunts. - A juvenile delinquent and an East German prison are implied. - The Berlin Wall is built on a Sunday, August 13th - the day of the mother's birthday, when the family was going to go on an outing in the blueberry woods. Instead, that is the day the relatives leave East Germany forever. - The fact that the short texts do not structurally hang together hinders their easy consumption. This book could be appropriate for young adults. In 1991 the author received the Eduard Mörike Förderpreis. (16+)

Germany (German) - 1993 - 95
Serke, Jürgen
Die varbrannten Dichter. Lebensgeschichten und Dokumente
(The Burned Up Writers. Life Stories and Documents)
Weinheim: Beltz & Gelberg, 1992. 410 p.
(Epilogue by the author. Revised/expanded edition of the 1977 original.)
ISBN 3-407-80721-X
censure - literature - Germany (20th century) - book burning - exile - writers - young adult's book - nonfiction
The fact that the political persecution of authors and poets has remained a threat even among those living today has underscored the necessity of the historical discussion of this problem in the international sphere: a selection of the works and fates of authors forbidden by the national socialists are presented. Although some individual contributions to the volume have already been printed in magazines for the public, this re-print of the entire body deserves special attention in one particular aspect: the assessment and the divergent attention it was afforded in the previously socially, ideologically and politically divided Germany is documented here, thereby illuminating aspects of original research and literature reception contingent on different forms of state government and their ideological maxims. (16+)

Switzerland (German) - 1993 - 96
Draeger, Heinz-Joachim (text/illus.)
Affencirkus Kunterbunt
(Monkey Circus Higgledy-Piggledy)
Zürich: pro juventute, 1992. [n.p.]
(Atlantis Kinderbücher)
ISBN 3-7152-0245-9
circus - imagination - picture book
In the monkey circus the animals perform all the numbers themselves (except the one in which four people in cars have to elevate their vehicles on their hind tires). In addition, one can admire horse pyramids, high wire lions, water and fire spouting camel humps - and everything glows colorfully in the mysterious darkness. Even Pegasus is there - a good omen for this effectual picture book which manages with a minimum of text. (3+)

Switzerland (German) - 1993 - 97
Feth, Monika (text)
Buchholz, Quint (illus.)
Der Weg durch die Bilder
(The Way Through the Pictures)
Aarau: Sauerländer, 1992. 187 p.
ISBN 3-7941-3482-6
parapsychology - everyday life - village - science - childhood - children's book.
Ada is a farmer's daughter and has healing ca-pabilities. In addition, she can foresee catastrophies. In school she also often has "states" which resemble breakdowns. Her parents finally allow her to be tested in the institute of an experienced parapsychologist. Although Ada submits to the discipline demanded in the experiments, she returns afterward to her village and her parents with a light heart. With the help of her grandmother, she has learned to live with her gifts. The book skillfully and in an unspectacular manner treats a topic accorded little prior attention. A fascinating book. (12+)

Switzerland (German) - 1993 - 98
Mebs, Gudrun (text)
Rudelius, Wolfgang (illus.)
Schokolada im Regan
(Chocolate in the Rain)
Zürich: Nagal & Kimche, 1992. 116 p.
ISBN 3-312-00751-8
child/adult - father/daughter - mother/daughter - brother/sister - friendship (girl/boy) - children's book
The narratives in this volume are all about the problems of children, but none are "problem stories." Gudrun Mebs is one the few German authors who can accomplish this feat: relating childhood concerns and conflicts - without allowing a moral to slip into her language or style. Thus, each text is fresh and pleasant, whether dealing with sad or cheerful subjects. Some of the stories were also adapted for radio. (7+)

Switzerland (German) - 1993 - 99
Wiesmüller, Dieter (text/illus.)
Pernix. Die Abenteuer eines kleinen Sauriers in Urzeitwald
(Pernix: The Adventures of a Little Dinosaurier in the Prehistoric Forest)
Aarau: Sauerländer, 1992. [n.p.]
ISBN 3-7941-3434-6
dinosaurs - prehistoric times - large/small outsiders/community - picture book
Among the legions of dinosaur books, this one is certainly an exception. The mammoths are depicted in a technically crafted, masterly fashion next to small examples, dim prehistoric light all around and a story about solitariness and security in an intact community, about the small ones’ fear of the large ones and about devouring and being devoured. From the example of the dinosauer, a child can form a picture of the dangers which had to be survived in prehistoric times, the world of gigantic creatures. (5+)

Special Mention - Belgium (French) - 1993 - 100
Brouillard, Anne
Le sourire du loup
(The Wolf’s Smile)
Bruxelles: Dessain / Paris: Epigones, 1992. [26] p.
ISBN 3-2-7366-3605-8
wordless book - wolves
The young artist attracts attention with an extraordinary succession of pictures. There are large-format transformation games which make use of purely pictorial elements. Forms and colors shift dramatically from one double page to the next. The perspective moves in closer and closer, sweeps downward and backs off again. The action starts with a four-pointed white landscape in front of a red heaven with black pine tree tops below. Gradually one can see into the woods more precisely: a black wolf appears between the pale tree stumps, comes closer, his head gets larger and larger, the rocks change to teeth, the heavens to a tongue, they solidify into an explosive flash of lightning, then the teeth change back again into rocks, the old order returns, the wolf goes away. (4+)

Belgium (French) - 1993 - 101
Vincent, Gabrielle (text/illus.)
Ernest et Célestine au jour le jour
(Ernest and Célestine Day By Day)
Paris, Lourain-la-Neuve: Duculot, 1992. [36] p.
(Les albums Duculot)
ISBN 2-8011-0977-0
bears - mice - family life
Much to our own delight and that of many others in numerous countries in which they are now well-known, this pair has not aged in the least. Every year Ernest, the large paternal bear, and Ćelestine, his small adopted mouse daughter, experience new modest everyday adventures. This time the story is about the forbidden gathering of exquisite plums and the sanctioned picking of forest flowers, about birthday parties, invitations and heavy shopping bags - all events bearing witness to their usual satisfying togetherness. - Duculot is one of the few Belgian publishing houses which brings out literature exclusively for children and young people. The program encompasses mostly picture books but also books for young people and art books. (4+)

Canada (French) - 1993 - 102
Carrier, Roch (text)
Tanobe, Miyuki (illus.)
Canada, je t’saime, I love you
Montréal: Livres Toundra, 1991. 72 p.
ISBN 2-88776-253-0
Canada - city - painting - bilingual book
The most important cities of Canada are presented in individual chapters in this lovely bilingual nonfiction picture book. Roch Carrier has traveled all over the country and tells of his experiences - above all personal encounters in the various cities - depicted by Miyuki Tanabe in naive portraits full of colorful delight. An objective representation of Canada? More a subjective, humanly distilled declaration of love by two well- known artists. At the end of the book, there are five pages of objective data about the cities. A cultivated art volume which is a credit to the bi- lingual publishing house. Both children and adults will enjoy the book. (11+)

Special Mention - Canada (French) - 1993 - 103
Duchesne, Christiane
(<Proper name>)
Montréal: Québec/Amérique, 1992. 158 p.
(Roman 37)
ISBN 2-89037-592-7
mental handicap - friendship - protective spirit
The mentally handicapped Victor apparently marches to the beat of his own drummer. He is absolutely convinced that the earth is flat. On the other hand, Mme Belon, the neighbor whom he sometimes visits, is determined to win a trip around the world. Victor is worried about her. When she comes to the end of the world, she will fall off into the abyss. He decides to build a fence to protect her from such disaster. However, the task he has set for himself proves to be unworkable. Victor's nightly appearances, his two inner protective spirits Grigou and Serpente, know what to do and hurry to help. But even the three of them are not up to the task. In the end Victor is able to be convinced that the earth is round. The author has been successful in creating a whimsical account full of empathy for child- like reasoning processes. The dialogues between Victor and his invisible friends are charming. (9+)
(Prix du Gouverneur Général 1992)

Canada (French) - 1993 - 104
Pasquet, Jacques (text)
Daigle, Stéphane (illus.)
L'esprit de la lune
(The Moon's Spirit)
Montréal: Québec/Amérique, 1992. 23 p.
ISBN 2-89037-596-X
folk fairy tale - Inuit Indians
A collection of 14 mostly short fairy tales and narratives based on the oral tradition of the Inuit Indians who today inhabit a still relatively large area of the northeast tip of Québec. One can sense that the author has taken much care in the translation so as to preserve the original spirit of the fairy tales. They tell of animals, people and giants, of magical powers, or explain natural phenomena and have a surprisingly matter-of-fact effect, sometime cruelly realistic. These are unusual fairy tales which dispense with moral doctrines, conveying however a proper portion of life experience since cleverness is needed to extricate oneself out of many muddled situations. For each fairy tale there is a black- and-white illustration which calls totem poles to mind. A book worth reading! (10+)

Canada (French) - 1993 - 105
Rochon, Esther
L'Ombre et le cheval
(The Shadow and the Horse)
Montréal: Paulines, 1992. 121 p.
(Jeunesse-pop 78)
ISBN 2-89-39-538-3
science fiction
In Québec science fiction and fantasy literature are extremely popular and also a special domain of the publishing house Paulines. The author of this book writes science fiction for adults as well as for young people. This one deals with a future in which sunlight has become a deadly danger. The young Ella lives in a artists’ village which earns its living by projecting luminous horses onto the sky at night. After the death of the grandfather Anskad - he died burned down to a shadow in Death Valley - the leadership of the village is incumbent on her. Only Anskad's brother Sim, who was himself burned by the sun and lies wasting away on a hospital bed, knows about his brother's fate. Will the luminous horses in the heavens become public property? The author raises profound questions about self-determination and self-satisfaction, about creativity and solidarity which will appeal to the reader's intelligence. (13+)
(Finaliste du Prix du Gouveneur Général 1992)

France (French) - 1993 - 106
Blondeau, Gérard
La monde marveilleux des insectes
(The Wonderful World of Insects)
Toulouse: Milan, 1992. 65 p. With photos
ISBN 2-86726-772-2
A nonfiction picture book which familiarizes children with the thrilling and bizarre world of insects like no other book. Not only the extraordinarily beautiful and clear photographs, but also the arrangement in the individual chapters capture one's attention: how insects move and propagate, feed and defend themselves, communicate with each other etc. and the manner in which these needs can be satisfied. The diversity of solutions and the ingenuity of nature is simply fascinating. The relatively brief text calls attention to peculiarities. The book concludes with comprehensive suggestions about how children can discover the world of insects and which ones they can capture and breed in addition to a section about the usefulness of insects and the dangers of modern insecticide procedures. (10+)

France (French) - 1993 - 107
Canault, Nina
L’Infiniment petit
(The Infinitely Small)
Paris: Hachette, 1992. 46 p. With photos
(Las frontierès de l'invisible)
ISBN 2-010-17936-6
natural science - microscope - magnification
In the picture it looks like an impenetrable jungle or an eerie entrance to a hidden grotto, in reality it is well-groomed dog hair and a pore on the palm of a hand. Under the microscope, sugar crystals become metal bars, a minute crab in a flake of dust, a threatening monster. Stimulating pictures open up new worlds, revealing hidden aspects of daily phenomena. The accompanying text is well-structured: scientific explanations alternate with anecdotes - allegedly containing some errors. Nevertheless an attractive and gripping nonfiction picture book. Yet to appear in the same series: The Infinitely Concealed and The Infinitely Rapid, The Infinitely Distant has already been published. (10+)
(Prix Totem du Salon du Livre de Montreuil 1992)

France (French) - 1993 - 108
Coupry, François
La fils du concierge de l'opéra
(The Son of the Opera House Janitor)
Paris: Gallimard, 1991. 156 p.
(Page blanche)
ISBN 2-07-056592-0
fantastic narrative - father/son - first love - opera
The 5-year-old son of the opera house janitor gradually becomes aware of his environment: a maze of passageways, halls and staircases which appear to have no exit. The father raises his son in such a way as is seemly for a successor to his position; i.e., every morning the child has to watch a performance - as the only spectator; the whole production is apparently performed solely for his benefit. His off-and-on relationship with the somewhat older daughter of the boxes doorkeeper is his only consolation. One day, almost by chance, he discovers the truth: the gigantic edifice is the only intact building in the area, everything else around it has been destroyed. Now he can make sense of his whole situation: the world of the theater, this imitation of reality, has become the only one worth preserving. A Kafka-like narrative in the first-person with undeniable literary qualities. (13+)

France (French) - 1993 - 109
Dessine-moi la Meer
(Draw Me the Sea)
Paris: Gautier-Languereua, 1992. 45 p. With art prints
ISBN 2-217-53201-4
children's drawings - sea
Dessine-moi la mer is not only a collection of children's pictures all having to do with the ocean but an extraordinary art volume of surprising pictorial richness. The selected pictures were created for the annual drawing contests organized by the A.P.C.M. (Association for the Promotion of Schoolclass Holidays by the Sea). Between 1985 and 1990, thousands of 9 to 10- year-old school children participated. The French tradition of books written by children, young people or whole school classes extends back to the 1920s. Today most of these books are illustrated fairy tale books (e.g., the bilingual series of the former G.E.S. Publishing House, unfortunately no longer available). (3+)

France (French) - 1993 - 110
Gauthier, Xavière
L'herbe de guerre
(The Grass of War)
Paris: Syros Alternatives, 1992. 95 p.
(Les uns les autres)
ISBN 2-86738-743-4
first-person narrative - New Caledonia - Kanake revolt (1878)
The plot is set in New Caledonia when the revolt of 1878 by the autochtonous people against the French colonists was mercilessly crushed. A Kanake, 30-year-old Kowi, tells about what happened to him when he was 12 years of age. The Kanaken culture is described from the point of view of an insider; we experience the scorn of the conquerors, their lack of understanding, how the behavior of the whites is falsely interpreted by the Kanaka, their disappointed hopes, their helplessness. Initially the style seems somewhat wooden, but it becomes increasingly more fluid. Words in the native language are interspersed throughout the text to explain certain customs. A narrative, cruel in some passages, about an infamous chapter of the history of colonization which may have been replicated in other places. (12+)

France (French) - 1993 - 111
Honaker, Michel
Le prince d'ébène
(The Ivory Prince)
Paris: Rageot, 1992. 150 p.
(Cascade Aventure)
ISBN 2-7002-1169-3
adventure - castle - school - violin - good/evil
The story is set in England in the 19th century. Young Luther is accepted into the famous violin academy of Balmour. One disappointment follows another, however. The threatening atmosphere, unjust and senile teachers, condescending and envious classmates appear to prevent any kind of progress. At night he thinks he hears a weeping violin, someone seems to be pursuing him. What drama is concealed behind the dismal castle walls? Luther does not give up: he solves the mystery, frees the violin and wins the annual competition in front of the queen. - A narrative in the first-person which we breathlessly follow to the end despite some improbabilities. Good wins over evil, self-discipline and perseverance are rewarded. Yet another successful work from the respected publishers who mainly bring out novels and narratives by French authors. (9+)

France (French) - 1993 - 112
Laurencin, Geneviève (text)
Pef (illus.)
Le dimanche noyé de grand-père
(Grandfather's Sunken Sunday)
Rennes: Ouest-France, 1992. [44] p.
ISBN 2-7373-0525-X
aging - death - grandfather/grandson
Whereas aging and death have already been made topics of picture books, senility and dying have remained taboo. Grégoire can hardly wait for his beloved grandfather Papé, a former ship captain, now retired, to arrive for lunch. Although his parents do their best to ignore Papé's disorderly attire and his bad table manners, Gregoire relishes them. Playing with Papé is such fun! But Papé has an accident in the bathroom, Gregoire takes his confused sentences literally and gets ready for a last game together on the stormy high seas. His grandfather's decline and death occupy the second half of the picture book. - The grandfather who is portrayed here in his contortions is an anarchic type. His childlike features please the grandson who has no fear of him. The absolute unity of text and pictures is conspicuous. The figures hurry across the pages, the caricatured drawing style creates the necessary emotional distance until in a final allegory Papé, rolled up like a baby, sinks into the sea. A lively and moving picture book which required some courage to draw. (7+)

France (French) - 1993 - 113
Michel, François (text)
Larvor, Yves (illus.)
Le livre animé de l'eau
(The Water Play Book)
Paris: Bayart Editions, 1992. [12] p.
ISBN 2-227-70427-6
play book - water
Here is the third volume of a remarkable non-fiction play book series, no less successful than the first two: the first title La terre qui bouge about volcanoes and earthquakes received an award in Bologna in 1991. Five double pages offer a clear and aesthetically appealing depiction of different aspects of the water cycle: e.g., the indispensability of water as the source of all life, the course of water both above and underground, the waste of water in cities, various applications of hydraulic power. An exciting explorative journey thanks to the excellent work of the illustrator and layouter who offer us a play book rich in informative "surprises." (8+)

France (French) - 1993 - 114
Muzi, Jean (text)
Franquin, Gérard (illus.)
Dix-neuf fables de singes
(19 Monkey Fables)
Paris: Castor Poche Flammarion, 1992. 132 p.
(Castor poche junior 387)
ISBN 2-08-162236-X
fable - monkeys - folktales
A collection of pleasant fairy tales and fables from all over the world in which the monkey appears not only in his hereditary role as clown and smart aleck but also as sage and unselfish helper. This is the seventh fairy tale book by the author, who grew up in Morocco. In his selection of fairy tales, the author admirably fulfills the cosmopolitan tradition of this paperback series for children and young people. (9+)

Special Mention - France (French) - 1993 - 115
Rodrigo, Jean-Michel (text)
Perdereau, Hélène (illus.)
Pérou. Destination bidonvilles
(Peru, Destination Slums)
Paris: Albin Michel Jeunesse, 1992. 60 p.
(Camets du monde 18)
ISBN 2-226-05826-5
Peru - travel report - slums - Villa el Salvador
Becoming acquainted with the world by means of fictional or authentic travel reports, sketches and adventure narratives set in the capitals of the world are in demand these days in French literature for children and young people. Thus, the 18 titles of the series "Garnets du monde" are right on target. Cultivated design, thoughtful and lively layout, the quality of the information and the immediacy of the personal reports and the travel sketches themselves all contribute to their popularity. In this volume, the trip extends from the Andes to the model city "Villa el Salvador", the densely populated poor district of Peru, built in the desert near the capital city of Lima. The author conveys a thought-provoking insight into the problems of this community which, owing to the personal efforts of its inhabitants and its clever leadership, succeeded in becoming an autonomous and workable one. Atmospheric watercolors of breathtaking landscapes and the situation sketches let us participate in the events. (11+)
(Awarded the Plaque of the "Cinquième centenaire de la rencontre des deux mondes" 1992)

France (French) - 1993 - 116
Pennac, Daniel (text)
Chabot, Jean-Philippe (illus.)
Kamo. L'Agence Babel
(Kamo. The Babel Agency)
Paris: Gallimard Jeunesse, 1992. 92 p.
(Lecture junior 1)
ISBN 2-07-055108-3
languages - European classics
A new publishing concept underlies the series "Lecture junior" for 10 to 12-year-olds. These are large, almost square paperbacks. Neither author nor title are displayed on the glossy cover; the cover is supposed to speak for itself. The layout is relaxed with humorous pictures interspersed throughout the text. Among the many translations from English, the "Kamo" narratives by Daniel Pennac are the exception. In this book, Kamo's mother thinks up all sorts of ideas to lure her son and other boys into learning languages. By the way, the author is of the opinion that the study of European classics is not a bad way to go about this, especially when the heroes of past centuries are transformed into mysterious pen pals. - An entertaining little novel. (10+)

France (French) - 1993 - 117
Petit musée
(Little Museum)
Paris: Ecole des loisirs, 1992. 309 p. With art prints
ISBN 2-211-047-08-4
ABC book - art education - painting (13th-20th century)
The French preference for "Imagiers" in the style of Père Castor - a kind of ABC book - and the increasing interest in art books for children have inspired this publishing house to try a novel experiment: to familiarize even small children with European art. Instead of drawing new objects for every letter, both responsible illustrators, Alain le Saux and Grégoire Solotareff, have chosen to select segments from works of art which depict the respective objects, persons or animals. The selection draws from all centuries and artistic styles; approximately 90 painters are represented with one or more pictures. A book for bibliophiles. both young and old. (6+)

Special Mention - Switzerland (French) - 1993 - 118
Moessinger, Pierre
Boix, Manuel (illus.)
Genf: La Joie de Lire, 1992. 32 p.
(Connus, méconnus)
ISBN 2-88258-018-5
biography - Socrates - Greek history (470- 399 B.C.)
An especially notable volume from the series "known unknown" in which personalities of Western cultural history are presented. Here we read a fictional letter from Socrates to his sons, a mental legacy in which he sums up for them his vision of good and evil, important and unimportant. The agreement between the philosophical and the aesthetic message of the lovely pictures is striking. The illustrations are arranged like theater scenes, bordered by Greek columns and temple friezes and the text is integrated into the illustrations. The motifs are based on Greek vase painting, ancient statues and ivory brooches. A book with a powerful message, once again confirming the cultural objective of this one- woman publishing house and book shop in Geneva. (10+)

Italy (Italian) - 1993 - 119
Ambrogi, Silvano
Il ritorno degli alberi perduti
(The Retum of the Lost Trees)
Firenze: Le Monnier, 1992. 168 p.
ISBN 88-00-33096-7
biography-Socrates-Greek history (470-399 B.C.)
Ambrogi normally writes for the "Corriere della Sera." In this book he turns his back on journalism and invents a fantastic world in which, thanks to the wonders of technology, mankind's memory of nature is effectively extinguished completely. An icy orderliness dominates. The plants which have survived on other planets return, restoring emotions and disorder again. (8+)

Italy (Italian) - 1993 - 120
Baum, L. Frank (text)
Costa, Nicoletta (illus.)
Il mago di Oz
(The Wizard of Oz)
Pordenone: C'era una volta, 1992. 56 p.
modern fairy tale - USA - friendship - magic
The fascination of this adventurous journey in Kansas seems to become stronger from generation to generation. The craze in Italy has now extended to the picture book. The text was somewhat simplified and shortened, the pictures newly created by the increasingly successful illustrator Nicoletta Costa from Triest, who remains faithful to her naive style here. Special praise is due the publishing house C'era una volta for producing highly artistic original editions which would be too financially risky for larger publishers. (4+)

Special Mention - Italy (Italian) - 1993 - 121
Baia delle Favole
(Fairy Tale Bay)
Genova: Feguagiskia' studios, 1992. 179 p.
modern fairy tale
For the last 25 years, the spa community of Sestri Levante has awarded Italy's most important prize for fairy tales, the "Premio Sestri Levante H.C. Andersen." On the occasion of its anniversary, this anthology has appeared, presenting a veritable treasure house for collectors of contemporary fairy tales. Among the winners of the last quarter century are such prominent authors as Giovanni Arpino (1971), Silvano Pezzetta (1974) and Alberto Moravia (1976), 1977's winner Italo Calvino wrote an especially extraordinary as well as quite realistic story: l disegni arrabbiati (The Evil Drawings). The girl Lodolinda's moods and the kinship with sheep, clouds and cauliflower appear in addition to Federico's mad ideas, one of which - to put the goldfish in the dishwasher - Lodolinda can prevent only with great difficulty. Never I have read such an pertinent and fast-paced description of children. Altogether imaginative and outstanding texts, even if the opinion of the individual authors about the form of the contemporary fairy tale diverges widely. Italian humor and a feeling for Italy's great fairy tale tradition break into the most surprising blossoms here. (6+)

Italy (Italian) - 1993 - 122
Carlo, Anna De (text/illus.)
Tod e la musica
(Tod and Music)
Milano: Fabbri, 1992. [28] p.
ISBN 88-450-4027-5
A new talent has emerged on the Italian picture book scene. With lots of verve, strong colors and a whirling protagonist (Tod the antbear) Anne De Carlo presents the history of music from its beginnings to the present day in only a few pages. For instance, the account of the folk music of different nations is remarkable. The figures are so cheeky, the text so funny that young readers will not even notice how much they are learning. (4+)

Italy (Italian) - 1993 - 123
Galeazzi, Andrea (ed.)
Abbatiello, Antonella (illus.)
Esopo, piccolo favole del bosco
(Aesop's Short Fables from the Woods)
Fierenze: Fatatrac, 1992. n.p.
ISBN 88-85089-89-5
Without an instruction manual, this book would be impossible to understand: multicolored panels were imprinted with texts and pictures, When one finds the matching panels, puts them in the envelopes and turns them in the right rhythm all at the same time, then a fable appears in the windows. Beginning readers do not have to suppress their playful energy here. Due to its functionality and robustness, this is a successful variant of pop-up and game books. And with it, a successful start for the small and independent Florentiner publishing house with a series (called "Giradisco" = record player) which will hopefully continue. (3+)

Italy (Italian) - 1993 - 124
Kucich, Ola
(<Proper name>)
Milano: Editrice Nuovi Autori, 1992. 95 p.
ISBN 88-7230-087-8
boy - puberty - affluent society
Josie is a typical child of today's affluent society. He has everything a boy could wish for. But he is lonely. His parents, both successful in their professions, do not take much care of him. They cannot give him the love and attention he needs, the results of which are seen in his ambitious upbringing based on time investment - all of which combine to make Josie precocious. The problems arising from this situation are poignantly described. Kucich is a yet unknown author in Italy, She was born in Trento and has lived for many years in Fiume. She studied medicine and languages and was a lecturer in German language and literature at various schools and universifies. With this book she demonstrates great empathy for and commitment to the problems of young people. The dialogues are particularly convincing in style. One can anxiously await her next book. If she can lower the moral index finger a bit and polish the somewhat phlegmatic and placard-style writing, Kucich could establish herself as a young people's author not only in Italy. (11+)

Italy (Italian) - 1993 - 125
Lazzarato, Francesca
Ongini, Vinicio
La fata della tuna
(The Moon Fairy)
Milant: A. Mondadori, 1992. 80 p.
ISBN 88-04-36294-4
Legend (Philippines) – bilingual text
This thin and inexpensive volume offers more than a mere collection of Philippino myths and legends. It presents a foreign culture in richly illustrated fashion appropriate for children. The introduction is bilingual (Italian/Tagalog). The book is expressly geared to native Philippinos and children of immigrants. In the appendix, particulars of the Philippines are vividly compared with those of Italy (Italy has 70,000 Philippino immigrants). In this way, prejudices and fears can be overcome. More children's book publishers could take this book as an example for using similar concepts to try to do justice to their multicultural society, thus making an important contribution to peaceful integration. (5-9)

Italy (Italian) - 1993 - 126
Melegari, Vezio
Manuale dalle tre caravelle
(Handbook of the Three Caravelles)
Milano: A. Mondadori, 1992. 188 p.
ISBN 88-04-35238-8
ships - adventure
Vezio Melegari, an experienced and successful author of nonfiction for young people, has turned his attention to three-masted sailing ships (with the typical raised stern). One learns both exotic as well as historical details pertaining to this kind of legendary ship which Columbus used in his expeditions. (For example, the pines used in building the caravelles were felled only during winter nights at full moon.) It is astonishing how Melegari creates convincing suspense in this nonfiction. Graphic detail and an abundant combination of various kinds of pictures (each double page is illustrated!) make hearts not only of pirate fans beat faster. (10+)

Italy (Italian) - 1993 - 127
Molesini, Andrea (text)
Maggioni, Federico (illus.)
Il matto e l'ippopota
(The Lunatic and the Hippopotamus)
Milano: A. Mondadori, 1992. 61 p.
ISBN 88-04-35704-5
modern fairy tale - fantasy
The young Venetian author goes for broke in his fourth children's book: A lunatic with a helicopter hat and a hippopotamus go on an insane space journey where they meet the most incredible creatures and objects. The cosmic garlic-and- soap pizza is one of the more harmless phenomena, It seems Molesini wants to compete with the action of video games and TV advertising with his shrill prose (for children under 10 years). The results are noticeable. The only things which do not yet do justice to the great Italian tradition of children's books are its ideas and linguistic wit. (6-10)

Italy (Italian) - 1993 - 128
Pedrali, Giuseppe
Donna di spade
(The Woman of the Swords)
Firenze: Sansoni, 1992. 264 p.
ISBN 88-383-1408-X
history - Charles I - Langobarden - Pavia
The siege of Pavia forms the historic frame for this novel. With his established blend of historical facts, myths and literary subtleness, Pedrali has tried to write a sequel to his very successful novel Il tesoro del Bigatto. Although the "sword woman" will hardly achieve wide circulation, the book named after her still belongs to the highly recommendable publications of this kind for young people. (10+)

Italy (Italian) - 1993 - 129
Pitzorno, Bianca
La bambina col falcons
(The Girl and the Falcon)
Firenze: Salani, 1992. 240 p.
(Le linci)
ISBN 88-7782-226-0
history - Crusades - siblings
In the year 1215 the Christian world is awaiting the crusades promised repeatedly by the pope but invariably delayed. Costanza and Melisenda, two quite dissimilar sisters, are the protagonists of this historical novel. Their quarrels, their hopes, their diverse talents and their moments of happiness are described in Pitzorno's 33rd novel (if we have counted correctly). What is remarkable is that girls always play the main role in all the books of this author. In addition, it is not the great moments of world history which are the focus, but the private lives of young people. (9+)

Italy (Italian) - 1993 - 130
Pitzorno, Bianci
Sulle tracce del tesoro scomparso
(Following the Tracks of the Lost Treasure)
Milano: A. Mondadori, 1992. 276 p.
ISBN 88-04-36085-2
archaeology - treasure hunt - Sardinia
This is a strongly autobiographically shaded novel by Pitzorno, who has studied archaeology. Here she depicts the adventures of two sisters who are allowed to take part in the excavations on Sardinia, The trouble comes when a precious, prehistoric vase disappears from the small museum. One sister hunts for the vase, the other searches for a mysterious treasure which plays an important role in a legend. Pitzorno skillfully links the girls' personal experiences with turbulent events which keep the whole village in suspense. (11+)

Italy (Italian) - 1993 - 131
Piumini, Roberto (text)
Mariniello, Cecco (illus.)
Non piangere, cipolla
(Don't Cry, Onion)
Milano: A. Mondadori, 1992. 64 p.
ISBN 88-04-36290-1
poetry - food
A book as a restaurant: "Welcome, friend, to this restaurant. Here you will find fine, healthy and nutritious food: food for the mouth, the eyes, the ears and the mind," Thus Italy's most original living children's book author introduces this thin volume of poetry which revolves exclusively around food. Piumini limits himself to the basic foods and Italy's most common dishes (pastas- ciutta, pizza, polenta, risotto etc.). But he does it in such a devoted way that the reader feels like having these simple but savory dishes. This book is a real treat in every way, above all in its relishing of language. (5-10)

Italy (Italian) - 1993 - 132
Tamaro, Susanna (text)
Ross, Tony (illus.)
Cuore di Ciccia
(A Heart Made of Fat)
Milano: A. Mondadori, 1992. 107 p.
ISBN 88-04-35796-7
food - obesity - fantasy
The refrigerator is Michele's best friend. All the agonizing diets decreed by his mother cannot destroy this friendship. The conflict increases, however, and Michele escapes into an imaginary world where he successfully accomplishes an heroic deed which restores his lost self-confidence. The moral of the story is clear: external appearance is not so important. Here external appearance is reenacted in a fanciful way. The book can give children the strength to accept their looks and to fortify themselves against all sorts of teasing. (8+)

Italy (Italian) - 1993 - 133
Ventura, Piero (text/illus.)
I vestiti
Milano: A. Mondadori, 1992. 65 p.
ISBN 88-04-35810-6
What were the first clothes made of? What color were Romans' shoes? These and many other questions are resolved in the popular drawings of Piero Ventura, the most well-known and most successful Italian illustrator. The fashions in vogue in the different epochs offer his graphic talent splendid stimulation. A comprehensive index illustrates the astonishing development of clothing from a functional protection against cold and dust to a totally superfluous catwalk extravagance. (7+)

Switzerland (Italian) - 1993 - 134
Derib (text/illus.)
(<Proper name>)
Genevra: Fundaziun per la vita, 1992. 94 p.
ISBN 2-940015-04-X
This is a drastic, classic comic which could fascinate young people. It begins with a healthy, tennis-playing teenager and ends with her tragic death due to AIDS. The author-illustrator is familiar with the world of school children and thus successful in depicting the subject from their point of view. Owing to the broad basis of identification, this book could actually arouse a sense of responsibility in those growing up. It was translated into all four official Swiss languages and deserves dissemination in other countries as well. (9+)

Brazil (Portuguese) - 1993 - 135
Furnari, Eva
Par um fio
(Within a Hair's Breadth)
São Paulo: Edições Paulinas, 1992. [12] p.
(Lua nova)
wordless book - ecology - humor
By tossing away a match, plucking a flower, shooting at a bird, a carefree little man walking along triggers a chain reaction which leads to his painful fall from his apparently secure, outlined, rectangular world. In a compelling yet humanitarian way, in a sequence of only twelve drawings, the connection between careless actions and the destruction of the foundations of one's very life become apparent - even for very small children. (3+)

Brazil (Portuguese) - 1993 - 136
Iococca, Liliana (text)
Franco, Siron (illus.)
Eu, você e tudo que existe. Fábula ecológica
(Me, You and Everything Else that Exists. An Ecological Fable)
São Paulo: Ática, 1991. [24] p.
ISBN 85-08-04006-7
creation - ecology - air - trees - memory - myth
Ecology books are enjoying a boom in Brazil. As in other countries, some of the books are either junk or merely well-meaning. Liliana laccoca puts her trust in simple, poetic language, allowing a mythical world to emerge in which a beginning and an end (that becomes a beginning again) are optimistically woven together. And a colorful tree spreads its branches both at the beginning and the conclusion of the book. In between, the components of the world being conjured up here - animals, Indians, property- marking fences, suffocating smoke, people rousing themselves from lethargy and forgetfullness - are all depicted in an abstract fashion and extravagant and powerful colors. (7+)

Special Mention - Brazil (Portuguese) - 1993 - 137
Nunes, Lygia Bojunga (text)
Yolanda, Regina (illus.)
Fazendo Ana Paz
(The Making of Ana Paz)
Rio de Janeiro: AGIR, 1992. 54 p.
ISBN 85-220-0340-8
artist's life - fiction
Fazendo Ana Paz tells of the process of literary composition. While the description how of the figure Ana Paz and her environment - above all the figure of her father - consistently elude the narrator's creative designs occupies the story level, an artistically consummate story materializes on the discourse level. The individual phases of the writing process are recounted mostly in the dialogues between the child Ana Paz and the narrator. Other figures, a young girl and an old woman who extorts an optimistic view of the future at the end of her days, are discovered to be stages of a single life. L.B. Nunes frequently describes the creative process in its dramatic, even tragic dimension (Tschau, We Three), but never before with such a light touch and an earnest, self-ironical cheerfulness. The Brazil of today in which the figures are anchored, the shadows of the military past and the social conditions in which they live and move, give the story its depth and compelling power, extending beyond the purely artistic set of problems. Whoever is fortunate enough to experience Nunes in the theater with the stageplay Ana Paz - in which she assumes all four roles - will gain an additional appreciation of Ana Paz, especially where the reader's own imagination had attributed its own particular intonation to the figure. (13+)

Brazil (Portuguese) - 1993 - 138
Paes, José Paulo (text)
Maia, Luis (illus.)
Poemas para brincar
(Poems to Play By)
São Paulo: Ática, 1990. [10] p.
ISBN 85-08-03720-1
poetry - language games - nonsense
José Paulo Paes is a good poet. That is a well- known fact. Illustrator Maia skillfully stages his laconic linguistic games, striking rhyme couplets, nonsense narratives and original definitions on the graphic plane. In bright colors, with delicate yet resolute strokes, he separates the figures into their component parts, sets them down opposite each other, allows the evocative images to meander across the pages. Many-layered yet with clear contours, the illustrations present occasions for continually new and amusing discoveries in harmony with the text. (5+)

Brazil (Portuguese) - 1993 - 139
Rangel, Paulo
Assassinato na Floresta
(Murder in the Jungle)
São Paulo: FTD, 1991. 223 p.
(As aventuras de lvo Cotoxó)
ISBN 85-322-0421-X
detectives - environment - Indians - Amazon - productive cooperative - criminality (inter- national)
The list of characters on the first page promises a story full of action and suspense since the young police reporter and his friends have already become well-known through their escapades in two other novels (see also White Ravens 1991). This time Cotoxó discovers that the India rubber collector Raimunda, who apparently died a natural death, has actually been murdered. Tracking down the clues leads first of all into the jungle and then into the highest circles of international high finance. The people behind the crimes are mercenary farmers. And everything is done under the cover of environmental protection organizations. Whoever is interested in contemporary background information on Brazil and the "Calha Norte" and also in reading for pleasure will gladly overlook certain pasha tendencies still exhibited by the hero. (15+)

Brazil (Portuguese) - 1993 - 140
Rocha, Ruth (text)
Azevedo, Vera (illus.)
O mistério do cademinho preto
(The Secret of the Black Booklet)
São Paulo: Melhoramentos, 1991. 56 p.
ISBN 85-06-01405-0
detective story - literature - school - mystery
The protagonists of this book, 15-year-old Maria Emilia and her school friend Pedro, easily learn "how one writes a book," On two levels, one "real", full of everyday situations and conversations about the joint book project and a second, the one of the developing novel, the experienced author R. Rocha treats different aspects of literary creation, e.g., the narrative perspective, poetic logic and style, bringing in her literary models quite incidentally. At the conclusion, Maria Emília burns what she has already written since she now knows that one has to start in a completely different way. (14+)

Brazil (Portuguese) - 1993 - 141
Saldanha, Paula (text)
Yolanda, Regina (illus.)
Do outro lado do mar
(On the Other Side of the Ocean)
Rio de Janeiro: Salamandra, 1992. 47 p.
childhood - nature - sea
A short preface, seven lines long, introduces the theme: the continually recurring "Once upon a time" when life on an island was heavenly, when fishermen still lived on the beaches, when the water was clear and only the ferry's shrill whistle gave any indication that there was a connection to the foreign world "on the other side". The author is talking about Paquetá, an island in the Bay of Rio, now flooded with real estate speculators. In thirteen song-like chapters ("Time, Change", "Friends, Family, Country"), the author calls up shadowy scenes of her own life, universally conveyable. Her mother's black-and-white linoleum cuts accentuate the static memory image, Paula's prose describe the regularity and the dark tone of the waves. (10+)

Brazil (Portuguese) - 1993 - 142
Zatz, Lia (text)
Lopes, Fernando (illus.)
Galileu leu
(Galileu Read)
Belo Horizonte: Lê, 1992. 24 p.
school - reading - fantasy - football - fear
In a few pages, using still fewer words, the fear of his teacher is unfolded: everything Galileu reads is wrong, he constantly mixes up words and really gets rattled when the teacher ridicules him (the jeers are graphically highlighted). Thanks to the psychology of the author, after the school vacation the teacher cautiously searches for clues to the boy's speech blunders and opens up the world of poetry to the whole class in the process. The drastic illustrations convert the panic of the child and his linguistic mix-ups into placard and caricature-like art form. (7+)

Portugal (Portuguese) - 1993 - 143
Albuquerque, Luis de (text)
Magalhães, Ana Maria (text)
Alçada, Isabel (text)
Vilar, Emilio (illus.)
Os descobrimentos Portugueses. Viagens e aventuras
(The Portuguese Discoveries. Journeys and Adventures)
Lisboa: Caminho, 1991. 218 p.
ISBN 972-21-0587-6
navigation - discovery - Africa - India
It is well-known that Portugal was a great seafaring nation in the past and that in the 15th century it had discovered parts of Africa and the Far East for Europe. The extent and the after effects of the warlike conquests are recalled to mind by this book - a successful mixture of historic-geographical portrayal and adventure stories. Attractive drawings of the kinds of ships in vogue at the time, the equipment, maps etc. as well as a chronology of Portuguese history between 1293 and 1495 round out the picture. (9+)

Portugal (Portuguese) - 1993 - 144
Monteiro, Sara Horta (text)
Cabrita, Assunção (illus.)
As meninas de la Mancha
(The Children of La Mancha)
Porto: ASA, 1991. 78 p.
(ASA juvenil)
ISBN 972-41-0907-0
children's fantasy - adventure - family - every day life
In an apartment complex colorfully painted with animals and plants, extraordinary worlds are concealed behind ordinary doors: sunstruck beaches, fruitful gardens, overflowing toy store, jungles... In apartment after apartment the sisters Alice and Margarida and their friend Carolina conquer new expanses of adventure, What began as an entertaining game, however, becomes a fearful and lonely ordeal as they realize that they have also overthrown their real world with their magic spell. They find the way back home only after they make a detour to the Iast apartment which has retained its non-magical quality. - The author presents imaginative and everyday worlds, each with its own characteristics, and joins them by making use of all the rules of literary style and childhood experience. (10+)
(Prémio Inasset/Inapa Inéditos de Literature Infantil 1990 promovido pelo Centro Nacional de Cultura)

Portugal (Portuguese) - 1993 - 145
Soares, Luísa Ducla (text)
Alberto, Crisótomo (illus.)
É preciso crescer
(I Want to Grow Up Right Now)
Porto: ASA, 1992. 24 p.
ISBN 972-41-0921-6
childhood - dissatisfaction - magic - adoption
Impatience prompts little Chico to take a magic potion in order to grow up tester. However, no one recognizes the long-haired boy in school, his parents shut the door in the face of the bearded young man. The antidote which he drinks with his last breath naturally has fatal consequences as well. In brief, staccato-like sentences, the story is consistently propelled forwards and/or backwards. The moral of the story "the person who is in a hurry to grow up takes twice as long in the end” cannot be questioned in this story. The unattractive colored pencil drawings expound the text only superficially; however, they do take away something of its inexorable repercussions. (7+)

Spain (Spanish) - 1993 - 146
Atxaga, Bernardo
Saban, Aránzazu (transl. from Basque)
Memorias de una vaca
(Memoirs of a Cow)
Madrid: SM, 1992. 206 p.
(Barco de vapor)
ISBN 84-348-3745-5
cow autobiography - civil war (Spain) - Maquis - outsiders - homeland
Peace in Spain at the beginning of the 1940s. Not quite, since in the Basken region far from Madrid insubordinate people, the Maquis, fight for their hereditary rights. The cow Mo grants us a partial but thorough insight into these disputes. Her voice and reflections reach us from her exile in France. We owe the memories to the "inner voice" every cow is born with, whose continual interference Mo must often argue against. Intelligence and animal wit in supple prose: this combination is as unusual as the flawlessly maintained narrative perspective. The author (and publishing house) must certainly be likewise congratulated for finding this translator. (12+)

Spain (Spanish) - 1993 - 147
Carbó Joaquim
Operación Moscardón
(Operation Blowfly)
Madrid: Anaya, 1992. 129 p.
(Espacio abierto)
(Translated from Catalan)
ISBN 84-207-4489-1
literature - war (Indochina) – underworld
Before moving house, the first-person narrator comes across a yellowed manuscript. It is the story of a hero modeled after Papillon, in reality an unscrupulous adventurer nicknamed "blowfly" with whose story the destitute narrator and his former girlfriend and her father wanted to acquire lots of money and achieve literary fame. On another narrative level, set off typographically, the tensions in the writers' workshop and their costly background research are described and the moral of the experiment is drawn (among other things: don't do anything without a good contract!) (15+)

Spain (Spanish) - 1993 - 148
Farias, Juan (text)
Monreal, Violeta (illus.)
Madrid: Susaeta, 1992. 77 p.
ISBN 84-305-7329-1
Middle Ages - poverty - kidnapping - marriage - tramp
Farias never needs many words to sketch his figures and their poor lives and to guide them into the tragedies which for poor people, especially when they must eke out a living by stealing, begging and doing other unpleasant things and live in the Middle Ages, certainly seem predestined. What is astonishing is how he designs types of people with such frugal means, allowing them to kindle our sympathy, how he makes life circumstances experienceable without making his denunciations explicit. (11+)

Spain (Spanish) - 1993 - 149
Mozo, Paloma de San Juan (text)
Ginesta, Montse (illus.)
Me la he cargado
(I Certainly Botched That Up Nicely)
Madrid: Alfaguara, 1991. 125 p.
(juvenil alfaguara 425))
ISBN 84-204-4724-2
A long essay, written by the protagonist during school vacation at the bidding of her teacher, makes quite a stir. With a light-hearted, naive attitude, quasi without periods and commas, great and insignificant events and observations are related: we are precisely informed about Franco's death in 1975 and the welcome free period which results - although without the TV series, about the strange conduct of the art teacher while rolling his cigarettes (and certainly immediately afterwards) and also about the hygienic conditions of the toilets. The fact that the conduct of the teachers and directors does not reveal much about their pedagogical abilities and feelings of responsibility becomes particularly obvious in this narrative style which breaks taboos. The consequence is; the student is expelled from school. (13+)

Denmark (Danish) - 1993 - 150
Holde, Tove
Vejen mellem to dale
(The Way Between Two Valleys)
Aarhus: Modtryck, 1992. 169 p.
ISBN 87-7394-265-0
gypsy - World War II
A very sad and realistic story of 14-year-old Agil, a gypsy who travels around Europe with his father in a circus at the beginning of World War II. They can hide for some time but in the end are put into a concentration camp. Agil manages to escape and tries to get to Denmark where he has some relatives. On his way he encounters violence and cruelty, but he also meets with help and compassion. (12+)

Denmark (Danish) - 1993 - 151
Melander, Helle
S., Svend Otto (illus.)
Nat i Tivoli
(Night at the Tivoli)
Copenhagen: Forum, 1992. 28 p.
ISBN 87-553-1956-4
fantasy - Copenhagen/Tivoli
The amusement park Tivoli celebrates its 150th anniversary in 1993. Young readers can enjoy all the attractions while accompanying a boy and girl from a Tivoli-poster. On a moonlit night when fantasy reigns, the two of them are raised to life and meet Pierrot, Harlekin and Columbine. Once again Svend Otto S. has confirmed his reputution as an illustrator of beautiful children’s books. (5+)

Denmark (Danish) - 1993 - 152
Nielsen, Lean
Min Soldateronkel: En historie fra en barndom
(My uncle, the Soldier: The Story of a Childhood)
Copenhagen: Hoest, 1992. 49 p.
ISBN 87-14-19115-6
World War II (1939-1945) - soldier - Denmark/ history (1944-1947)
This story is told from a child's viewpoint and shows in a warm and gripping way how difficult it is to understand the world of adults: Why does nobody seem to like Uncle Peter, who is so strong and self-determined? The answer to this question probably can be found in his past as a soldier... (8+)

Finland (French) - 1993 - 153
Kunnas, Tarja (text)
Kunnas, Mauri (illus.)
Etusivun Juttu: eli kuinka sanomalehti syntyy
(The Layouter or How a Newspaper Originates)
Helsinki: Otava, 1990. 44 p.
ISBN 951-1-11442-5
newspaper - manufacturing - nonfiction picture book
The confusing variety of elements which go into a newspaper is dealt with here in caricature form: not only is essential information quasi inadvertently conveyed, at the same time the mickey is taken out of the entire newspaper trade. The book is certainly the most original and entertaining contribution ever to this theme. To cap it all off, the product of the chaotic editorial office is enclosed: a newspaper parody on genuine ligneous paper. (8+)

Finland (Finnish) - 1993 - 154
Larmola, Maija (text)
Lumme, Leena (illus.)
Kesätukka ja muita juttuja Kukkulan korttelista
(Kesätukka and the Story of the Kukkulan Quarter)
Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura (SKS), 1990. 64 p.
ISBN 951-717-603-1
children's book - cultural history
Among the numerous publications about cultural history for children, this text and picture book about the Kukkulan quarter of Helsinki in the 1920s is one of the few which may also interest children from other cultures. A narrative text links the numerous vivid, cleverly drawn pictures which impart a lively depiction of everyday life when today's grandmothers were young, Finnish local color is adeptly united here with general facts of interest. A short appendix, likewise illustrated, explains historically typical ideas, a bibliography lists the sources. (10+)

Norway (Norwegian) - 1993 - 155
Audum-Mulholland, Beate
Allerkjæreste Mamma
(Dearest Mummy)
Oslo: Aschehoug, 1992. 100 p.
ISBN 82-03-17174-5
Amir lives in a small town with his grandmother and his father. His mother has disappeared. Often he talks with his doll about the reasons why she might have left him alone. This moving story tells how, with the help of fantasy, the boy copes with the loss of his mother. (8+)

Norway (Norwegian) - 1993 - 156
Lindskog, Runo (text)
Morisse, Tor (illus.)
Buster på jakt
(Buster Goes Hunting)
Oslo: Ernst G. Mortensens, 1992. 26 p.
ISBN 82-527-1155-3
dog - hunt - mistakes
Buster is very keen on hunting. Unfortunately, when he finally goes out to the woods for the first time, he discovers that he does not know exactly what an elk looks like. But in the end he can demonstrate that he is a real expert on foxes. The very funny illustrations with some slightly absurd components give the reader opportunity to identify many different animals. (5+)

Norway (Norwegian) - 1993 - 157
Skjønsberg, Harald (text)
0ien, Jan-Kåre (illus.)
Da det regnet i Oslo
(When It Rained in Oslo)
Oslo: Damm, 1991. 76 p.
ISBN 82-517-7787-9
Norway - refugees - World War II (1942)
Accompanied by Marie, Anders visits his grandfather. The old man tells the youngsters the story of Johan and Marie - without letting them know that it is his very own story. - Short sentences and a simple style of language make this book very easy to read; nevertheless it conveys a very moving impression of Norwegian refugees threatened by German soldiers. (8+)

Norway (Norwegian) - 1993 - 158
Såtvedt, Olav
(Silver Mountain)
Ølso: Gyldendal Norsk, 1992. 125 p.
ISBN 82-05-20659-7
Norway - unemployment - poverty - history (1801-1806)
The story takes place in 1805: 16-year-old Amund has already worked 6 years in a silver mine when he becomes unemployed. The book describes how Amund experiences hunger, poverty, violence and desperation. In spite of the desolate theme, the author uses a warm and loving tone, indicating that the world today is perhaps not so very different from the world in former times. (11+)

Sweden (Swedish) - 1993 - 159
Anrell, Lasse (text)
Lepp, Mati (illus.)
Spinkis och Blixten
(<Proper names>)
Stockholm: Bonniers Junior, 1992. 32 p.
ISBN 91-48-52031-4
soccer - acceptance
An entertaining, funny book about a dream come true: being accepted by a soccer team in spite of being the smallest child. The different characters in this story are portrayed in a very warm- hearted and human manner both in the text as well as in the pictures, and young readers will find it easy to share their expectations, joy and disappointments. (8+)

Norway (Norwegian) - 1993 - 160
Höglund, Anna (text/illus.)
Resor jag aldrig gjort: av Syborg Stenstump
(Journeys that I Never Made: by Syborg Stenstsump)
Stockholm: Bonniers, 1992. 38 p.
ISBN 91-48-52030-6
traveling - fantasy
Syborg Stenstump ventures forth on really remarkable journeys - sitting alone on her sofa at home reading in her atlas. The text is simple but striking and accentuates the unrestrained fantasy of the illustrations. Some of the slightly ironic observations may not be understood by small children, but adults who read it aloud will immensely enjoy this colorful book. (6+)

Norway (Norwegian) - 1993 - 161
Larsson, Mats
(The Street Girl)
Stockholm: AWE/Gebers, 1991. 119 p.
ISBN 91-20-10136-8
Brazil - street children - drugs - prostitution
Mats Larsson has dedicated this book to all the street children who have to fight for their living in this world. In a very realistic, sometimes shocking way he describes the desperate and hopeless life of these children who grow up without love and security. Their constant confrontation with violence, drugs and prostitution and the background of the menace of death squads are portrayed in a very authentic way. (11+)

Norway (Norwegian) - 1993 - 162
Palmenfelt, Ulf (text)
Grähs, Gunna (illus.)
Nar Fan flådde smeden och andra hiskeliga historier
(When the Devil Skinned the Blacksmith and Other Atrocious Stories)
Stockholm: Tiden, 1992. 93 p.
ISBN 91-550-3774-7
ghosts - horror stories - folktale (19th century)
A funny collection of ghost and horror stories in which the expressive, sometimes grotesque pictures of Gunna Grähs contribute powerfully to the total reading experience: her illustrations are at least as gruesome as the 19th century folk- tales which Ulf Palmenfelt retells with a slightly modern touch. In the foreword the author explains roughly the way people lived in former times. (10+)

Norway (Norwegian) - 1993 - 163
Lindgren, Barbro (text)
Pyk, Madeleine (text/illus.)
Jam-Jam! lb-lb!
(<Proper name>)
Stockholm: Eriksson & Lindgren, 1992. 32 p.
ISBN 91-87804-29-8
Fantasy blossoms abundantly in this novel written in letter form. Daily life takes on completely new shapes in words and pictures. Bizarre and full of humor and love are the letters that Barbro Undgren and Madeleine Pyk have written to one another over half a year long, informing each other about the life and destiny of two cats, one belonging to a farmer and the other living in the city. The result is this stimulating cat-art-book for readers of all ages. (12+)

Norway (Norwegian) - 1993 - 164
Stark, Ulf (text)
Höllund, Anna (illus.)
Kan du vissla Johanna
(Can You Whistle, Johanna?)
Stockholm: Bonniers, 1992. 48 p.
ISBN 91-48-51930-8
grandfather - friendship - death
One day Berra's friend tells him about all the advantages of having a grandfather. Fully convinced, Berra decides to choose one from a home for elderly people and adopt him. It turns out to be a real hit! Both of them have a lot of fun, but the end is very near. - A warm-hearted story, not overly sentimental, with humorous touches, but also earnest and melancholic. The pictures are a perfect completion of the text which may be a bit too extensive for beginning readers. (10+)

Belgium - 1993 - 165
Dreesen, Jaak (text)
Aertssen, Kristien (illus.)
Aan de overkant van de rivier
(On the Other Side of the River)
Averbode: Atiora, 1991. 76 p.
ISBN 90-317-0914-X
illness - death - grandmother/grandchild
Mirjam is in a coma. "She is now 14 years old and she may remain unconscious until she is 25. How can one cope with this situation? Mirjam lies as still as though she were carved out of marble". The grandmother stays seated by her granddaughter's bedside the whole time, relating the story of her life, including the problems she overcame. When Mirjam finally awakens, it is time for the grandmother to be buried. A moving story in which both story lines, that of Mirjam's coma and the grandmother's memories of the war - come beautifully together. Grandma and Mirjam need each other. The story provides hope for the future. (14+)

Belgium (Dutch) - 1993 - 166
Moeyaert, Bart (text)
Heymans, Annemie (illus.)
Voor altijd, altijd
(For Always, Always)
Tilburg: Zwijsen, 1992.
ISBN 90-276-2324-4
death - emotion
A red-headed woman sits by the lake. She is very sad. She misses Tasja Mei. Upon seeing the woman, Nanne is curious about the story behind her sadness. She first thinks Tasja Mei is a run-away cat. From Neuling she learns the real identity of Tasja Mei. “Tasja Mei was drowned last summer. She was only 8 years old. She could have been your girlfriend (...) Willa Mei is her mother. She went crazy because of her grief. She is the strangest mother in the village." In a sensitive way the theme of death is discussed, The characters and their feelings are precisely described in pure and well-chosen words. (8+)

The Netherlands - 1993 - 167
Dros, Imme (text)
Geelen, Harrie (illus.)
De O van Opa
(G is for Grandpa)
Houten: Van Holkema & Warendorf, 1990. 61 p.
ISBN 90-269-1182-3
Jim has two grannies but only one grandpa. That is why he wants to know all there is to know about the other grandfather who is already dead. So grandma gives him grandpa's many-drawered cabinet which holds one game for each day he visits her. A lovable little book with pen-and- ink drawings. (5+)

The Netherlands - 1993 - 168
Lieshout, Ted van (text/illus.)
Mijn botjes zijn bekleed met deftig vel
(My Bones are Dressed in Elegant Skin)
Amsterdam: Leopold, 1990. 31 p.
ISBN 90-258-3960-6
poetry - the Netherlands - war - self-discovery
An artistically designed "poetry picture book" for teenagers, with poems full of reflections about subjects such as love, happiness, growing-up, war and death. Both illustrations and language depict the author's quest to express common subjects in a new way. (13+)

The Netherlands - 1993 - 169
Tellegen, Toon (text)
Geelen, Harrie (illus.)
Juffrouw Kachel
(Miss Stove)
Amsterdam: Querido, 1991. 112 p.
ISBN 90-214-8389-0
diary - school/problem
Mean, cruel and vicious, Miss Stove beats the children in her classroom. One of the children, the first-person narrator, records in his diary 1001 ways to take revenge. "Later, when I am a writer, I will be free to devise an appropriate end for her." A concisely written, subtle and surprising book with unusual, intriguing computer illustrations. (9+)

The Netherlands - 1993 - 170
Heymans, Annemie (text/illus.)
Heymans, Margriet (text/illus.)
De prinses van de moestuin
(The Vegetable Garden Princess)
Amsterdam: Querido, 1991. 46 p.
ISBN 90-214-6594-9
death/mother - dream - father/daughter
Hanna and Lutje Matte live together with their father in a beautiful house. But they find it too quiet at home: father cares only about his work, sits surrounded by papers all day long. And mother ... mother died some time before. Full of sadness and anger, Hanna runs away from home, creeping through a hole in the hedge. On the other side of the hedge, she finds her mother's vegetable garden where she wants to stay for the rest of her life. And Lutte Matte dreams about the gorgeous princess Rosa. An exceptionally beautiful picture book with black-and- white and colour prints - for all ages. There should be more of these books! (5+)