White Ravens: 1997

261 books      

Japan (Japanese) - 1997 - 1
Funakoshi, Kanna (text)
Izawa, Yôji (illus.)
Sorani
(In the sky)
Tokyo: Suemori Books, 1995. [36] p.
ISBN 4-915777-13-8
Balloon - Loss - Treasure - Sky
A young girl accidentally lets loose the string of her treasured new red balloon and runs after it for a long time, trying to catch it. When it disappears at last, high in the sky, she suddenly feels very lonely. At sunset the sun turns the western horizon red, in the sky the crescent of the moon shines and the stars glow - the treasures of the universe. The very ingenious layout, in which both pictures and text are merely suggestive, inspire the imagination. In spite of the book's small format, the author conveys the boundless-ness of the sky and the familiarity of the universe. (6+)

Japan (Japanese) - 1997 - 2 (1)
Funazaki, Katsuhiko (text)
Akaba, Suekichi (illus.)
Nihon no shinwa. Zen 6kan. 1. Kuni no hajimari
(Japanese Myths. Vols. 1-6. 1. Origins of Japan)
Tokyo: Akane shobo, 1995. [32] p.
ISBN 4-251-00821-9
Japan/Myth
Japan's mystical world of gods and goddesses according to the oldest extant chronicle, the »Kojiki« (Records of Ancient Matters), is retold here in a concise narrative, accompanied by painterly, highly aesthetic illustrations. The Kojiki, which were collected and written down in 712 at the wish of the Genmei Tenno, include both the origin myths of Japan and the genealogy of many gods and goddesses and their deeds. The illustrator Akaba, who is especially known for his Japanese painting style, bases his impressive, authentic pictures for the most important episodes in this epic on ethnological and cultural historical research. Especially striking is the use of decorative elements, such as tender blossoms, in ominous scenes, in order to create a harmonious balance. (8+) ☆

Japan (Japanese) - 1997 - 2 (2)
Funazaki, Katsuhiko (text)
Akaba, Suekichi (illus.)
Nihon no shinwa. Zen 6kan. 2. Ama no iwato
(Japanese Myths. Vols. 1-6. 2. The heavenly cave of Ama no iwato)
Tokyo: Akane shobo, 1995. [32] p.
ISBN 4-251-00822-7
Japan/Myth
Japan's mystical world of gods and goddesses according to the oldest extant chronicle, the »Kojiki« (Records of Ancient Matters), is retold here in a concise narrative, accompanied by painterly, highly aesthetic illustrations. The Kojiki, which were collected and written down in 712 at the wish of the Genmei Tenno, include both the origin myths of Japan and the genealogy of many gods and goddesses and their deeds. The illustrator Akaba, who is especially known for his Japanese painting style, bases his impressive, authentic pictures for the most important episodes in this epic on ethnological and cultural historical research. Especially striking is the use of decorative elements, such as tender blossoms, in ominous scenes, in order to create a harmonious balance. (8+) ☆

Japan (Japanese) - 1997 - 2 (3)
Funazaki, Katsuhiko (text)
Akaba, Suekichi (illus.)
Nihon no shinwa. Zen 6kan. 3. Yamata no orochi
(Japanese Myths. Vols. 1-6. 3. The eight-headed dragon)
Tokyo: Akane shobo, 1995. [32] p.
ISBN 4-251-00823-5
Japan/Myth
Japan's mystical world of gods and goddesses according to the oldest extant chronicle, the »Kojiki« (Records of Ancient Matters), is retold here in a concise narrative, accompanied by painterly, highly aesthetic illustrations. The Kojiki, which were collected and written down in 712 at the wish of the Genmei Tenno, include both the origin myths of Japan and the genealogy of many gods and goddesses and their deeds. The illustrator Akaba, who is especially known for his Japanese painting style, bases his impressive, authentic pictures for the most important episodes in this epic on ethnological and cultural historical research. Especially striking is the use of decorative elements, such as tender blossoms, in ominous scenes, in order to create a harmonious balance. (8+) ☆

Japan (Japanese) - 1997 - 2 (4)
Funazaki, Katsuhiko (text)
Akaba, Suekichi (illus.)
Nihon no shinwa. Zen 6kan. 4. Inaba no shirousagi
(Japanese Myths. Vols. 1-6. 4. The white hare of Inaba)
Tokyo: Akane shobo, 1995. [32] p.
ISBN 4-251-00824-3
Japan/Myth
Japan's mystical world of gods and goddesses according to the oldest extant chronicle, the »Kojiki« (Records of Ancient Matters), is retold here in a concise narrative, accompanied by painterly, highly aesthetic illustrations. The Kojiki, which were collected and written down in 712 at the wish of the Genmei Tenno, include both the origin myths of Japan and the genealogy of many gods and goddesses and their deeds. The illustrator Akaba, who is especially known for his Japanese painting style, bases his impressive, authentic pictures for the most important episodes in this epic on ethnological and cultural historical research. Especially striking is the use of decorative elements, such as tender blossoms, in ominous scenes, in order to create a harmonious balance. (8+) ☆

Japan (Japanese) - 1997 - 2 (5)
Funazaki, Katsuhiko (text)
Akaba, Suekichi (illus.)
Nihon no shinwa. Zen 6kan. 5. Susanoo to Ookuninushi
(Japanese Myths. Vols. 1-6. 5. Susanoo and Ookuninushi <gods>)
Tokyo: Akane shobo, 1995. [32] p.
ISBN 4-251-00825-1
Japan/Myth
Japan's mystical world of gods and goddesses according to the oldest extant chronicle, the »Kojiki« (Records of Ancient Matters), is retold here in a concise narrative, accompanied by painterly, highly aesthetic illustrations. The Kojiki, which were collected and written down in 712 at the wish of the Genmei Tenno, include both the origin myths of Japan and the genealogy of many gods and goddesses and their deeds. The illustrator Akaba, who is especially known for his Japanese painting style, bases his impressive, authentic pictures for the most important episodes in this epic on ethnological and cultural historical research. Especially striking is the use of decorative elements, such as tender blossoms, in ominous scenes, in order to create a harmonious balance. (8+) ☆

Japan (Japanese) - 1997 - 2 (6)
Funazaki, Katsuhiko (text)
Akaba, Suekichi (illus.)
Nihon no shinwa. Zen 6kan. 6. Umisachi Yamasachi
(Japanese Myths. Vols. 1-6. 6. Umisachi and Yamasachi <gods>)
Tokyo: Akane shobo, 1995. [32] p.
ISBN 4-251-00826-X
Japan/Myth
Japan's mystical world of gods and goddesses according to the oldest extant chronicle, the »Kojiki« (Records of Ancient Matters), is retold here in a concise narrative, accompanied by painterly, highly aesthetic illustrations. The Kojiki, which were collected and written down in 712 at the wish of the Genmei Tenno, include both the origin myths of Japan and the genealogy of many gods and goddesses and their deeds. The illustrator Akaba, who is especially known for his Japanese painting style, bases his impressive, authentic pictures for the most important episodes in this epic on ethnological and cultural historical research. Especially striking is the use of decorative elements, such as tender blossoms, in ominous scenes, in order to create a harmonious balance. (8+) ☆

Japan (Japanese) - 1997 - 3
Inada, Kazuko
Tsutsui, Etsuko
Nihon no mukashibanashi 1-3
(Japanese Folktales, Vols. 1-3)
Tokyo: Kogumasha, 1996. Each 192 p.
ISBN 4-7721-9019-8/-9021-X/-9022-8
Japan/Folk tales/Anthology
This is a collection of well-known and less wellknown folk tales which have been meticulously reworked by the folktale researcher Inada and the experienced storyteller Tsutsui. It is especially well-suited for reading aloud. Expressions from the various regions of Japan, though they could present readers and listeners with problems, have to a certain degree been retained in the dialogues, sayings and in the forewords and afterwords, in order to render the original tales in as authentic an atmosphere as possible. (9+)

Japan (Japanese) - 1997 - 4
Itô, Hiroshi (text/illus.)
Daijôbu daijôbu
(It's alright, you'll survive)
Tokyo: Kodansha, 1995. 31 p.
(Ritoru; 13)
ISBN 4-06-252863-0
Grandfather - Grandchild - Protection - Wisdom - Encouragement
»Daijôbu« means »It's not so bad« or »It will be alright«. This is what a grandfather always tells his young grandson to soothe and encourage him when he has a problem with himself or the rest of the world. The grandfather has always been a grand playmate and passed along his knowledge and wisdom about the ways of the world, but now he is very old and lying in the hospital. The young boy wants in turn to encourage and comfort his beloved grandfather, to help him get well. This portrays a perfect image of the relationship between generations, in text and in tender, humorous illustrations. (7+)
(27th Kodansha Cultural Prize in Publishing for Picture Books 1996)

Japan (Japanese) - 1997 - 5
Katayama, Ken (text/illus.)
Kokkochan no kakashi
(Kokko and her scarecrow)
Tokyo: Fukuinkan shoten, 1996. [32] p.
ISBN 4-8340-1363-4
Scarecrow - Worry
The kind of happy childhood that children can have when adults find practical ways to understand their needs is shown in this picture book. Little Kokko, her brother and father have created a scarecrow that is actually put to use by a farmwife. The scarecrow is often on Kokko's mind, as she wonders will it survive the changes of weather, will it still be able to keep guard over the high stalks of rice and vegetables and what will happen to it after the harvest. The farmwife, standing for the author, quietly anticipates the child's cares and delights by caring for the scarecrow. In the powerful illustrations the figures are very much present, and the warm, earthy colors exude vitality and security. (4+)

Japan (Japanese) - 1997 - 6
Kitamura, Kenji (text)
Ishikura, Kinji (illus.)
Ginyanma tobu sora
(The sky where dragonflys fly)
Tokyo: Komine shoten, 1995. 327 p.
ISBN 4-338-10707-3
Japan/China/War - Militarism - Childhood memories - Everyday life
This autobiographical novel documents childhood memories of the year 1940 when an escalation of the long-term conflict between Japan and China had led to militarism, even in the schools and the playgrounds. Goods are becoming scarce throughout the country, but the children nonetheless find ways to live and play as children do, even in times of war. They believe the lies they heard, tell lies themselves, sometimes unhappily, sometimes regretfully. They are afraid, but they also become acquainted with goodness and this gives them courage in difficult situations. This subtle antiwar book, which will help to deal with the past, is written in a naturalistic style that allows the reader to find his own critical approach to war and its side-effects. (11+) ☆
(36th Japanese Association of Writers for Children Prize 1996)

Japan (Japanese) - 1997 - 7
Lee, Sang Keum (text)
Hoashi, Jirô (illus.)
Hambun no furusato. Watashi ga Nihon ni itatoki no koto
(My other homeland. My childhood in Japan)
Tokyo: Fukuinkan shoten, 1995 (1993). 432 p.
ISBN 4-8340-1180-1
Japan/Koreans - Emigration - Family life - Discrimination - Homeland - Autobiography
When Japan was defeated in 1945, nearly 1.6 million Koreans returned to Korean homeland within a year. Among them was the author, 15 years old then, who had been born and raised in Japan. Her parents were both victims of the Japanese colonialists. In describing her family life in Japan the author shows great respect for her mother, who despite discrimination and bullying never lost her patriotic pride and human dignity. Though everyday life was trying, there were still moments when the author met upright, honest Japanese or found comfort in nature. So she still considers Japan to be half of her homeland. This work casts light on the questions of homeland and of injustice toward other peoples. The sensitively designed cover illustration with typical Korean objects and the sparse, realistic illustrations accompany the text. (13+) ☆

Japan (Japanese) - 1997 - 8
Miyazawa, Kenji (text)
Sasameya, Yuki (illus.)
Gadorufu no yuri
(The lilies of the travelling Gadorufu)
Tokyo: Kaiseisha, 1996. 32 p.
ISBN 4-03-963680-5
Lily - Love - Dream
Children as well as adults still enjoy the works of the modern classic writer Kenji Miyazawa (1896-1933), but also many illustrators enjoy the challenge of portraying his imaginative world in their own way, because his unique use of language is very stimulating. This picture book is an example of this phenomenon. The story tells of a momentary, intensive love of a traveller for the white lilies in a garden, which during a flash of lightening appear to him so proud and majestic. Sensuality and dreams are presented most impressively in these colorframed, lyrical pictures. (13+)
(Shôgakukan Award for Illustration)

Japan (Japanese) - 1997 - 9
Miyazawa, Kenji (text)
Murakami, Tsutomu (illus.)
Oinomori to Zarumori, Nusutomori
(The Wolf's Forest, the Basket Forest, and the Thieves' Forest)
Tokyo: Kaiseisha, 1996. 36 p.
(Nihon no dôwa meisakusen)
ISBN 4-03-963650-3
Settlers - Nature spirits - Mountains - Forest - Harmony - Modern fairy tale
A group of farmer families begins to cultivate a wasteland surrounded by four mountains. Their efforts are rewarded, but over the course of time strange things occur - wolves capture their children, a mountain spirit steals their farming tools, a black giant from the mountains takes away their millet. Miyazawa (1896-1933), one of the most favourite modern-day classical writers for children and adults, takes the reader back to the earliest settlements of his homeland in northern Japan at the foot of the Iwate Mountain and shows how the mountains, forests and people lived alongside one another. The carefully composed paintings, with their somewhat stylized and fragmentary, finely outlined elements, highlight the engaging comical aspects of these fabulous tales. (10+)

Japan (Japanese) - 1997 - 10
Mizukami, Tsutomu (text)
Tsukasa, Osamu (illus.)
Nihon Ryôiki. Tôi mukashi no fushigina monogatari
(Miracle tales from old Japan. Buddhist moral tales)
Tokyo: Iwanami shoten, 1995. 198 p.
ISBN 4-00-113134-X
Japan /Folk tale- Buddhism - Retribution - Belief - Moral
Japan's oldest collection of Setsuwa (Buddhist moral tales), »Nihon Ryôiki« (also Reiiki), was written down between 810-824 by the monk Kyôkai. These legends describe amazing events which occur in connection with the Buddhist principle of causality (the consequences of good or evil deeds). The 41 stories selected and adapted here for young readers depict, for instance, people who are reborn as animals, or a dead man who is sent back alive to the world of the living by the ruler of hell, or a talking skull. The folk tales and matters of belief are presented in a didactic manner, having originally served to teach listeners how to live in harmony with one another. For today's reader their appeal lies less in the religious content than in the concise, clear and vivid descriptions and the elements of fantasy. In the end one realizes that the human nature has not essentially changed and that death is never far removed from life. (13+) ☆

Japan (Japanese) - 1997 - 11
Saitô, Hiroshi (text)
Takabatake, Jun (illus.)
Gempei no kaze. Shirakomaki
(The storm between the tribes of Minamoto and Taira. The story of the fabulous white fox)
Tokyo: Kaiseisha, 1996. 222 p.
ISBN 4-03-744210-8
Fox/Man/Transformation - Self-knowledge - Hero - War - Meaninglessness - Japan/Middle Ages
Driven away by its mother, a young fox makes its own way in the world. Having learned the art of shape-changing from hermits, he goes to live among people. As a man the protagonist becomes caught up in historical events of the Middle Ages (12th century) and encounters famous war heros. From a cool and distanced perspective, he analyzes the deeds of those heros, which appear to some extent meaningless from today's point of view. This novel is a combination of several genres, combining elements of historical narration, fantasy, folk tale and Bildungsroman. Sequels are to follow. (12+) ☆

Japan (Japanese) - 1997 - 12
Sawada, Toshiki (text/illus.)
Afurika no oto. A story of West African drum & dance
(The sounds of Africa. A story of West African drum & dance)
Tokyo: Kodansha, 1996. [35] p.
ISBN 4-06-207681-0
West Africa - Drum - Everyday life - Nature - Harmony
A goat-skin drum and dance are essential elements of west African culture. The making of the drum and its many uses in the everyday life of the African tribesmen is shown in this picture book, which uses the typical colors of the landscape. These pictures show how closely the lives of these peoples are related to their natural surroundings. (4+) ☆

Special Mention - Japan (Japanese) - 1997 - 13
Sueyoshi, Akiko (text)
Fujikawa, Hideyuki (illus.)
Chi to ushio no ô
(The king of the land and the sea)
Tokyo: Kodansha, 1996. 414 p.
ISBN 4-06-208015-X
Japan/Myth <Motif>- Quest - Love - Curse - Woman/Serpent/Transformation - Reconciliation - Gods
Saru, an orphaned boy travelling with a theater troupe of dwarfs, is asked by the priestess-queen of the land of Amaguni to find her daughter, Mio, who had been set out to die because of her weak physical condition. During his search, Saru also discovers the key to his own ancestry. After setting off on his quest, accompanied by a brave and clever dwarf girl, he encounters a tribal chief whose wife has placed a curse on their daughter, Nagisa, causing her to turn into a serpent every night, until the curse is lifted. To fulfill this double quest, he travels all the way to the bottom of the ocean, the kingdom of eternal life, where he finds Mio and Nagisa's mother, the daughter of the god of the sea. He succeeds in overcoming many difficulties and restoring harmony in both worlds. In this turbulent story, which contains elements of Japanese mythology, the author focuses in particular on the emotions of humans and gods regarding love. Through the detailed and colorful narrative, the reader is transported into an engrossing world of ancient times. This novel is a delightful rarity in the Japanese fantasy genre. (12+) ☆

Special Mention - Japan (Japanese) - 1997 - 14
Tomiyasu, Yôko (text)
Iino, Kazuyoshi (illus.)
Chiisana yamagami Suzuna-hime
(Princess Suzuna, the young mountain spirit)
Tokyo: Kaiseisha, 1996. 134 p.
ISBN 4-03-528310-X
Nature god - Father/ Daughter - Independence - Challenge - Promise
Princess Suzuna wants to break out of her sheltered life and finally have at least one mountain to rule herself. Her father, the great mountain who rules over all mountains and looks after all animals and nature, decides to test the abilities of his daughter. On one day she must give all the leaves on the mountain their autumn colors so that the animals can get ready for their winter sleep. This cheery, modern fairy tale, with its clearly drawn characters, is told in a refreshing voice. The headstrong, spontaneous and energetic protagonist, as she is shown in the illustrations, makes the book especially appealing. In three sequel volumes, the princess is given further challenges to deal with. (8+)

Special Mention - Japan (Japanese) - 1997 - 15
Uji, Isao (text/illus.)
Tententen yukiakari
(Toot, toot, toot .... in the snow)
Tokyo: Shikosha, 1995. [24] p.
Street-car - Snow - Signal - City-landscape
A street-car passes by scenery which is shown as in snapshot photos. »Toot, toot, toot...« sounds the clear signal at the crossings, breaking the stillness of the snowy surroundings. Animals run across the tracks, street workers climb in a ditch, a thief clambers over a wall, a man is heading home. The repetition of the onomatopoetic words for the signal sound convey the passage of the street-car. The steadily falling snow and gentle reflections of light makes the reader conscious of the stillness of the snowbound city inspite of the lively movements of the characters. (3+)
(43rd Sankei Award for Children's Books & Publications [JR-Prize] 1996)

Special Mention - Japan (Japanese) - 1997 - 16
Yumoto, Kazumi
Haru no orugan
(The organ in spring)
Tokyo: Tokuma shoten, 1995. 240 p.
ISBN 4-19-860250-6
Feelings - Growing up - Family conflict - Siblings - Grandfather
Twelve-year-old Tomomi is about to enter Middle School, but she feels fairly indifferent about it and cannot enjoy her spring holidays. She is dissatisfied with herself and the conflicts of her parents and with her neighbor weigh upon her mind. Her grandfather's interest in the family heirlooms seems equally senseless. The old, defective organ which her grandfather finds in the closet symbolizes the mental state of the protagonist, her passage from childhood to adolescence, but also her grandfather's silent wish to bring the family, which seems about to disintegrate, back together again. (12+)

Republic of China (Chinese) - 1997 - 17 (1)
Gu, Jun (adapt.)
Tang, Yongli (illus.)
Caihui ben zhongguo minjian gushi: Hasake zu
(Colored treasury of folktales from China: The Kazakh people)
Hangzhou: Zhejiang-Shaonian-Ertong-Chubanshe, 1990. 45 p.
ISBN 7-5342-0786-x
China/Folktales/Legends - Kazakh - Daghur - Yao
In this extensive series, of which three examples have been selected here, folktales from the various regions of multiethnic China are represented. Each volume contains two richly illustrated stories from one ethnic group. Each volume is illustrated by a different artist. The traditional Chinese style of illustration art predominates, but some artists give their work individual touches, thus creating a new approach to the subject. In the appendix of each volume one finds additional information and pictures and photos which give further details about the ethnic group, especially their traditional manner of dress. (10+) ☆

Republic of China (Chinese) - 1997 - 17 (2)
Ruo, Wen (adapt.)
Caihui ben zhongguo minjian gushi: Dawo'er zu
(Colored treasury of folktales from China: The Daghur people)
Hangzhou: Zhejiang-Shaonian-Ertong-Chubanshe, 1990. 45 p.
ISBN 7-5342-0780-0
China/Folktales/Legends - Kazakh - Daghur - Yao
In this extensive series, of which three examples have been selected here, folktales from the various regions of multiethnic China are represented. Each volume contains two richly illustrated stories from one ethnic group. Each volume is illustrated by a different artist. The traditional Chinese style of illustration art predominates, but some artists give their work individual touches, thus creating a new approach to the subject. In the appendix of each volume one finds additional information and pictures and photos which give further details about the ethnic group, especially their traditional manner of dress. (10+) ☆

Republic of China (Chinese) - 1997 - 17 (3)
Yi, Chuan (adapt.)
Hu, Shourong (illus.)
Hu, Junrong (illus.)
Caihui ben zhongguo minjian gushi: Yao zu
(Colored treasury of folktales from China: The Yao people)
Hangzhou: Zhejiang-Shaonian-Ertong-Chubanshe, 1990. 45 p.
ISBN 7-5342-0783-5
China/Folktales/Legends - Kazakh - Daghur - Yao
In this extensive series, of which three examples have been selected here, folktales from the various regions of multiethnic China are represented. Each volume contains two richly illustrated stories from one ethnic group. Each volume is illustrated by a different artist. The traditional Chinese style of illustration art predominates, but some artists give their work individual touches, thus creating a new approach to the subject. In the appendix of each volume one finds additional information and pictures and photos which give further details about the ethnic group, especially their traditional manner of dress. (10+) ☆

Republic of China (Chinese) - 1997 - 18 (1)
Cao, Yuzhang (Editor in chief)
Lu, Zhui (adapt.)
Liu, Jian (illus.)
Zhongguo chuatong wenhua gushi huicui. 2. Zhengyi de weiyi. Jiecao pian
(Collection of stories from the traditional culture of China. 2. The dignity of justice. A book of moral integrety)
Hangzhou: Zhejiang-Shaonian-Ertong-Chubanshe, 1994. 72 p.
ISBN 7-5338-1404-5
China/Traditional stories - Justice - Virtue - Art
This ten-volume series, with its lovely design in square format, is a collection of stories from the traditonal culture of China. Usually each doublepage spread includes one story and, on the facing page, a colored illustration. Each volume is illustrated by a different artist. As in the series above (cat. no. 17), the pictures employ the traditional Chinese illustration art. The colored backgrounds call to mind fine paper. The occasional use of stamps (seals) and Chinese characters, vertical formats, rounded edges and the stylistic reduction of figures, plants and landscapes lend these books their visual approach. (10+)

Republic of China (Chinese) - 1997 - 18 (2)
Cao, Yuzhang (Editor in chief)
Chen, Yongyao (adapt.)
Wu, Shanming (illus.)
Zhongguo chuatong wenhua gushi huicui. 4. Chengcai de zuji. Chengcai pian
(Collection of stories from the traditional culture of China. 4. Footsteps of virtous development. The book of virtue)
Hangzhou: Zhejiang-Shaonian-Ertong-Chubanshe, 1994. 82 p.
ISBN 7-5338-1398-7
China/Traditional stories - Justice - Virtue - Art
This ten-volume series, with its lovely design in square format, is a collection of stories from the traditonal culture of China. Usually each doublepage spread includes one story and, on the facing page, a colored illustration. Each volume is illustrated by a different artist. As in the series above (cat. no. 17), the pictures employ the traditional Chinese illustration art. The colored backgrounds call to mind fine paper. The occasional use of stamps (seals) and Chinese characters, vertical formats, rounded edges and the stylistic reduction of figures, plants and landscapes lend these books their visual approach. (10+)

Republic of China (Chinese) - 1997 - 18 (3)
Cao, Yuzhang (Editor in chief)
Chen, Bei (adapt.)
Zeng, Chao (adapt.)
Wu, Sheng (illus.)
Zhongguo chuatong wenhua gushi huicui. 1. Yishu de fengcai. Yishu pian
(Collection of stories from the traditional culture of China. 1. The charms of art. A book of art.)
Hangzhou: Zhejiang-Shaonian-Ertong-Chubanshe, 1994. 77 p.
ISBN 7-5338-1400-2
China/Traditional stories - Justice - Virtue - Art
This ten-volume series, with its lovely design in square format, is a collection of stories from the traditonal culture of China. Usually each doublepage spread includes one story and, on the facing page, a colored illustration. Each volume is illustrated by a different artist. As in the series above (cat. no. 17), the pictures employ the traditional Chinese illustration art. The colored backgrounds call to mind fine paper. The occasional use of stamps (seals) and Chinese characters, vertical formats, rounded edges and the stylistic reduction of figures, plants and landscapes lend these books their visual approach. (10+)

Republic of China (Chinese) - 1997 - 19
Guan, Jiaqi
Zhenzhu naicha de youhuo
(The lure of the girl shaking ice tea)
Taibei: Youshi (Youth Cultural Publishing), 1995. 199 p.
ISBN 957-530-723-2
China/Short stories - Love - Romance - Sexual love -Adolescence
In these 16 stories the author depicts the feelings and experiences of modern teenagers in Taiwan - their sexual fantasies, friendships, first romance, anxieties, etc. In one story a boy watches a young girl shaking ice tea, her movement emphasizing her young, sensual figure. That night she becomes a pin-up girl in his dreams and his bedding is stained in the morning. He realizes that he is becoming a young man. He begins to buy a cup of tea each day, just to watch her shaking the ice tea. (13+)

Special Mention - Republic of China (Chinese) - 1997 - 20
Lin, Haiyin (text)
Guan, Weixing (illus.)
Cheng nan jiu shi 1-3: Huianguan de Xiaoguizi - Women kan hai qu. Lan Yiniang - Lü dagun'r. Baba de huar luole
(Xiaoguizi of Huianguan: We are going to the sea - The conkubine Lan - The donkey tosses and turns. Father's flowers are drooping)
Taibei: Gelin Wenjua (Grimm Press), 1994. Each 64 p.
ISBN 957-754-023-7 (-024-5/-024-3/026-1)
China/Short stories
In these beautifully drawn and well-told picture books, a six-year old narrator tells about people she met during her childhood in Beijing: a lunatic woman looking for her lover and her deserted baby, an orphaned girl forced by her foster father to earn money by singing, a thief who steals for his brother's sake. Each tale is an excellent characterization of human nature. The stories have been classics for adults and young people for many years in Taiwan. This picture book edition has excellent portrayals of people, well-researched attention to details of clothing and tools, and meticulous use of light and space to create perfect harmony with the text. (11+) ☆

Special Mention - Republic of China (Chinese) - 1997 - 21
Sun, Qingfeng (text)
Zhao, Guozong (illus.)
Shei chi le caihong?
(Who ate the rainbow?)
Taibei: Xinyi Jijin Chubanshe (Hsing-I Foundation), 1995. [20] p.
ISBN 957-642-204-3
Rainbow - Transformation
Wonderous things happen to the animals and the tree that come into contact with the rainbow. When Uh-oh, the rainbow is cut in half by a kite string, it is eaten by a big fish, which is in turn eaten by a duck, which lays a rainbow egg. The snake eats the egg and acquires rainbow colors. When it touches a withered tree, the tree is immediately restored to life and even bears rainbow fruit. This simple, imaginative tale is accompanied by beautiful illustrations done initially on ceramic surfaces. (5+) ☼

Special Mention - Republic of China (Chinese) - 1997 - 22
Xai, Ruihong
Ashima de huisheng
(Ashima's echo)
Taibei: Shibao Wenhua (China Times Publishing), 1995. 149 p.
ISBN 957-13-1709-8
Marriage - Escape - Wizard - Echo
Based on a famous narrative poem found among the Sa-Ni peoples of Yunnan in southern China, this young adult novel tells the story of a beautiful young girl who is courted by many young men. When she turns down the landlord's only son, the landlord kidnaps her, but before the marriage can take place she is rescued by her brother. Angry and insulted, the landlord has a wizard invoke a storm which causes Ah-Shih-Ma to be lost in the mountains. When her brother and the villagers search for her and call her name, they hear nothing but an echo. This vividly descriptive narrative blends traditional poetry with modern language in an exquisitely designed volume. (11+) ☆

Special Mention - Republic of China (Chinese) - 1997 - 23
Xia, Zuli
Haijiao Tianya chiziqing
(The feeling of newborns on the other side of the world)
Taibei: Minshengbao (Min Sheng Daily), 1995. 185 p.
ISBN 957-8932-48-0
Parent/Child - Separation - Loneliness
During his summer holidays, 13-year-old Vi-Shin goes to San Francisco to study. His uncle's family treats him like a lodger. He senses the separation from his family, living in a country he knew only from movies and television. More and more Taiwanese parents are sending their children abroad, where they lead the lives of semi-orphans. Mean-while their parents must work very hard to afford this. Both sides wonder at times whether it is worth all the disadvantages. The implications of this practice are told in six realistic short stories. (10+) ☆

Ghana (English) - 1997 - 24
Dadson, Nana (text)
Sutherland, Ralph (illus.)
Suma went walking
n.p.: Afram Publications, 1996. 16 p.
(Excl. dist. by African Books Collective, Oxford)
ISBN 9964-70-144-6
Africa/Animals - Size - Comparison
In this text a little girl encounters a series of animals who compare her size to theirs. She wonders how she can be so many contradictory things at the same time. Then the turtle explains that what she is doesn't depend on what other people say. Each of the strikingly well-drawn ink drawings is overlaid with two colors. (4+) ☼

Kenya (English) - 1997 - 25
King, Bridget (ed./text)
Marks, Jonti (text)
Leggat, Gillian (text)
Miranda, Robin (illus.)
The magic drum. Stories from Africa's savannah, sea and skies
Nairobi: Jacaranda Designs, 1996. 64 p.
ISBN 9966-884-05-X
South Africa/Fable - Kenya/Fable - Animal - Pride - Dreams - Fear
This volume encompasses three modern animal fables set in Kenya and South Africa. All the animals living near the waterhole enjoy dancing to the sounds of Fodo the Frog's magic drum but one day when his dancing friends destroy a farmer's garden, he nearly gets caught and eaten. Now, though we hear his drumming, he shies away from men. Laika, a romantic young crab, learns not to see her dream of prince charming more realisti-cally after her search for footprints (which she mistakenly understands as »foot prince«) leads her to spend a night alone on the shore. And, finally, the neversatisfied little red bird, who continually persuades his creator to change his shape and improve his status, gets his just reward. The comic and matched by the bold colors on the full-page illustrations done by a self-taught airbrush artist who skilfully captures the African settings and animal life. (4+)

Namibia (English) - 1997 - 26
Utley, Jaspar
Ngoma and Click. Namibian detective stories
Windhoek: Gamsberg Macmillan, 1995. 107 p.
ISBN 0-86848-953-0
Detective - Shaman
These nine detective stories introduce Ngoma and Click, a shaman and his Bushman companion, an odd pair of detectives whose powers of observation and ability to reasoning are reminiscent of Sherlock and Watson or even Detective Columbo though, in addition, they draw upon their cultural knowledge and African traditions to solve each case. Each story is set in a different part of Namibia and contains interesting details of social and family customs and provides a glimpse of some aspects of modern life, ranging from industrial espionage, illegal smuggling, racial hatred or marital strife. The excellent characterization and vivid storytelling make this book of suspenseful tales hard to put down. (12+)

Namibia (English) - 1997 - 27
DeVincent, Stephen (comp.)
The orphan calf and the magical cheetah. Cheetah poems, essays and illustrations by the Namibian people
Windhoek: New Namibia Books, 1996. 77 p.
(Excl. dist. by African Books Collective, Oxford)
ISBN 99916-31-54-2
Cheetah - Endangered animals - Animal protection
This attractively designed nonfiction book is a literary collage designed to inform, motivate and also to entertain readers of all ages. The cheetah is an endangered animal with a global population of only 12,500. Though protected by law in Namibia since 1975, more active protection is needed. Interspersed with factual details about the cheetah on colorful double-page spreads in this anthology is a broad selection of poetry, essays, short stories and artwork from Namibian young people. A glossary explains many basic terms and concepts.The paperbound book is printed on high-quality glossy paper and the illustrations are excellently reproduced. (10+)

South Africa (English) - 1997 - 28
Carvalho, Carlos (text/illus.)
Zizi & !Xau. The eagle calls
Cape Town: Human & Rousseau, 1996. 64 p.
ISBN 0-7981-3637-5
Africa/History - Quest - Friendship - Gold - Adventure
This precisely drawn, long narrative comic book is a historical adventure story set in the pre-colonial days at the center of Great Zimbabwe. Two boys from different tribes with different languages meet and become loyal friends while travelling alone away from their tribal homes. They endure a period of humane captivity in another gold-mining tribe which is then attacked by war-mongers (aided by a lone rifle-carrying white man), and help to save the tribal treasure. The protagonists are appealing and the plot is rich in background detail. An appendix supplies a map and a description of things used in the story. There is already a sequel available. (8+)

South Africa (English) - 1997 - 29
D'Arcy, M. Cassiem
Rage of the sea wind
Cape Town: Tafelberg, 1996. 113 p.
ISBN 0-624-03467-4
Death - Fishing - Poverty
After his father's death, the 13-year-old Muslim boy Amien becomes head of the family and struggles to help his mother support all three children in the impoverished fishing village. Their trekfishermen friends rally to their defense when Amien's rich uncle demands that they hand over the coveted fishing license and a small chest of family heirlooms from the East Indies. In spite of the uncle's wily ways and midnight raid, a chance turn of events lets Amien learn the monetary value of their treasures, which will help the children to obtain training for better jobs. This highly suspenseful tale of adventure, courage, family loyalty and ambition is told in a rich narrative by a South African-born medical practitioner. A glossary of Muslim and fishing-related terms is included. (12+)

South Africa (English) - 1997 - 30
Merwe, Louise van der (text)
Grimsdell, Jeremy (illus.)
Heroes and Lionhearts
Durban: Gecko Books, 1996. 54 p.
ISBN 1-875011-10-2
Heroes - Animal/Man
These twelve heart-warming stories set in modernday South Africa feature animals and humans who have risked their lives to save others, sometimes at terrible costs. The author, a journalist and animal rights campaigner, uses a clear style mixing factual background detail and the first-hand dialogs and commentary of those involved to present the gripping events in an narrative. (8+) ☼

South Africa (English) - 1997 - 31
Stewart, Dianne (text)
Daly, Jude (illus.)
The gift of the sun
Cape Town: Tafelberg, 1996. [28] p.
(In coproduction with Frances Lincoln, London)
ISBN 0-624-03452-6
Africa/Folktale - Husband/Wife - Laziness - Farm
Thulani, a lazy farmer who has one cow but yearns only to bask in the sun, tries in turn a number of different money-making schemes by selling his cow for a goat, his goat for a sheep, his sheep for geese, and his geese for sunflower seeds. His longsuffering wife nearly dispairs, until she finds that the sunflower seeds cause her chickens to lay more eggs. With their additional income from the eggs, Thulani begins to enjoy his new occupation of buying and trading. The warmly colored, abstractnaive pictures are an excellent complement to the entertaining tale. (5+)

Special Mention - Zimbabwe (English) - 1997 - 32
Alumenda, Stephen (text/illus.)
How Thopo became a great n'anga
Harare: Baobab Books/Academic Books, 1996. 30 p.
(Excl. dist. by African Books Collective, Oxford)
ISBN 0-908311-89-3
Homeless boy - Village life -Identity
Thopo is an orphan, »street boy«, an outsider in a Zimbabwean village where cultural rules and beliefs still play an important role. Brave and mischieveous, he resists all efforts to find him a family or send him to school, and is, of course, secretly envied by the other children. One day he even dares to challenge the village wiseman, the »n'anga«, the only person allowed to touch the sacred python Thopo has found. Thopo negotiates a deal with the n'anga, but soon disappears for several months. Then, to everyone's surprise, a new role is established for him in the village in a ceremony organized by the old n'anga. This is a contemporary folktale about real-life relationships which are governed by traditional beliefs and practices. The unity of story with the black-andwhite illustrations, typography and layout is quite striking. (8+) ☆

Australia (English) - 1997 - 33
Berolah, Lorraine (text)
Collins, Lilyjane (text)
Cristaudo, Noel (text/illus.)
Betty and Bala and the proper big pumpkin
St. Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1996. [32] p.
ISBN 0-7022-2938-5
Brother/Sister - Grandmother - Shopping - Everyday life - Adventure
A brother and sister set off with their grandmother to buy the missing ingredient for a special dish and nearly lose it several times in the course of their leisurely shopping jaunt. This simple but expressive story about children experiencing an everyday adventure is greatly enhanced by the excellently drafted drawings colored in warm, bright shades which convey the relaxed atmosphere of a fishing village on Thursday Island in the Torres Straits of northern Australia. (5+)

Australia (English) - 1997 - 34
Caswell, Brian
Asturias
St. Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1996. 233 p.
ISBN 0-7022-2877-X
Music - Rock-band - Grandfather - Friendship - Loyalty - Death
Caswell is a master of the art of telling a story from a sequence of different perspectives. Here he lets each member of a young successful teenage rock group tell their side of the story. From the intriguing prelude to the end, the story is overshadowed by the magical influence of one of the band-member's long-dead Spanish uncle, a guitarplayer obsessed with music. The plot revolves at the immediate level around the personal costs of fame and fortune, while the motifs of power, personal integrity, guilt, caring and friendship mark the conflicts and resolution of the dramatic course of events. The complex and interwoven storyline resembles one found today in televised serials, but its literary versatility make up for the novel's occasional clichéd elements. (13+)

Special Mention - Australia (English) - 1997 - 35
Crew, Gary (text)
Woolman, Steven (illus.)
Caleb
(<Proper name>)
Flinders Park: Era, 1996. [48] p.
ISBN 1-86374-248-4
Man/Insect - Transformation - Mystery
One is immediately struck by the way the story and illustration fully complement one another. On each page the spaciously laid-out text is printed over full-page ochre-coloured chalk and pencil drawings of insects of shapes and sizes. The plot is gradually unfolded by the first person narrator as he recalls his relationship with Caleb, a highly unusual fellow student of botany who bears an uncanny resemblence to the insects they study. The various events in the course of their year together, which allow the narrator to sense just how different Caleb is, are captured in subtly revealing black ink drawings. Crew's ending comes not unexpectedly, but succeeds in leaving the reader with a spine-tingling sense of uneasiness. (10+)

Special Mention - Australia (English) - 1997 - 36
Disher, Garry
Walk twenty, run twenty
Sydney: Angus&Robertson, 1996. 81 p.
ISBN 0-207-18814-9
Death - Grief - Family - Crime - Detective
After his parents' death, Rick must go to live with his cousins' family in the sheep-herding Razorback. His three cousins have little understanding for his grief and he can't fit into their family life. One day, Rick and his cousins try to thwart the theft of the sheep herd by three violent thieves. In order to conserve his energy and stay calm in moments of danger, Rick recalls several pieces of advice his father had given him. He is instrumental in outwitting the thieves and the bond that is formed with his cousins helps Rick to start moving on with his life. The first person narrative succeeds in capturing Rick's inner turmoil while also conveying the rural atmosphere. The suspenseful turn of plot makes great reading. (10+)

Special Mention - Australia (English) - 1997 - 37
Earls, Nick
After January
St. Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1996. 195 p.
ISBN 0-7022-2823-0
Romance - First Love
While waiting to receive notice of acceptance at university in a few weeks, Alex idles away the days at their seaside cottage, punctuated by sparse communication with his single-parent mother. This mother-son companionship, which has been central to his life, shifts as Alex unexpectedly meets a girl his own age. As Fortuna and Alex begin to discover one another, with all their differences in background and aspirations, everything else in Alex's life fades into the background. This witty, first-person narrative is marked by inner monologs and detached observations which map Alex's path toward manhood and self-realization. This novel captures a period of late adolescence in an ordinary life which, notably, is not fraught with family conflicts or adverse social circumstances. (15+)

Special Mention - Australia (English) - 1997 - 38
Kuchling, Gerald (text)
Kuchling, Gundi (illus.)
Yakkin the swamp tortoise. The most dangerous year
Flinders Park: Era Publications, 1996. [32] p.
ISBN 1-86374-272-7
(Orig. publ. Chelonia Enterprises, 1995)
Tortoise - Wildlife conservation
This well-written narrative-style information book presents the life cycle of an endangered species in Western Australia, called Yakkin by the local aboriginals. While the text focusses on the environment and Yakkin's natural enemies, the boldly colored, full-sized illustrations on each facing page reinforce the text with lively, eye-catching detail. An appendix by the biology researcher, Gerald Kuchling, gives further factual information and explains the on-going efforts to protect the swamp turtle's habitat with much international support. The book has been widely prised by ecologists and wildlife conservations. German and French editions are available. (8+)
(Eve Pownall Award for Information Books Honor Book 1996)

Special Mention - Australia (English) - 1997 - 39
Macleod, Mark (comp.)
Ready or not
Milsons Point: Mark Macleod/Random House Australia, 1996. 308 p.
ISBN 0-09-183161-X
Australia/Short story - Sexual orientation
This anthology of 20 short stories gathers excellent short pieces on the theme of gender and sexuality by the best contemporary Australian-born or resident writers for young people, nearly all original publications. The narrative styles are as polished as they are varied: first person, stream of consciousness, shifting perspectives, or in diary or letter form. Most of the protagonists are adolescents becoming aware of their sexual orientation for the first time, or young adults seeking love and understanding. Interspersed with black-and-white cartoons which humorously portray the trials and tribulations of being gay or lesbian, the book also includes a short biography and statement by each (not necessarily homosexual) author. (14+)

New Zealand (English) - 1997 - 40
Crump, Barry (text)
Ball, Murray (illus.)
Mrs. Windyflax and the Pungapeople
Auckland: Hodder Moa Beckett, 1995. [34] p.
ISBN 1-86958-185-7
Fantasy - Pranks
This light-hearted, nonsensical story in rhyme relates the tale of a »funny little lady« who is plagued by a horde of invisible little green creatures, the »pungapeople«, who are constantly stealing her mailbox and playing other pranks. She turns to the local police officer, whose valiant but hapless attempts to enforce the law are recorded here in full-page illustrations which contain as much wit and slapstick as the text. The raw coastal cliffs are rendered in bold exhuberent color, giving the book an authentic New Zealand atmosphere. (4+)

New Zealand (English) - 1997 - 41
Joseph, Vivienne
Worlds apart
Wellington: Mallinson Rendel, 1996. 119 p.
ISBN 0-908783-14-0
School - Hamlet - Bully - Family problems - Suicide - Parent/Child
At the school in the new area where Cara and her parents have moved in hopes of forgetting the mysterious suicide of brother and son, the English class is studying Hamlet. While dealing intensively with the dilemmas faced both by Hamlet and by her brother, Cara herself has to deal with the bullying of a girl in her class, the easy-going attitude of her new college-dropout boyfriend, and her parent's inability to deal with their family tragedy. In this fast-moving plot the author carefully weaves these story elements into a satisfying whole, in which Cara learns about herself and how to cope with the effects of other people's behavior. (14+)

New Zealand (English) - 1997 - 42
Lasenby, Jack
The battle of Pook Island
Dunedin: Longacre Press, 1996. 200 p.
ISBN 1-877135-03-8
New Zealand/1930s - School - Rivalry - Adventure
This is the third adventure novel about the Seddon Street Gang, four boys and girls growing up during the 1930s in New Zealand. Returning to school after a summer full of adventure and personal growth, each of the children gets involved again in family life. At school they unite against their archrivals, the Milk Street Gang. Lasenby, a former teacher and today one of New Zealand's most popular writers, relies on colorful, direct dialogs to reveal the relationships between the characters and to make the situations come alive. The second book of this series, »The Waterfall«, was the winner of the 1996 Aim Junior Fiction Award. (10+)

Great Britain (English) - 1997 - 43
Ardley, Bridget
Ardley, Neil
The Oxford children's A to Z of the human body
Oxford: University Press, 1996. 64 p.. With illustrations
ISBN 0-19-910318-6
Human body
This clearly formulated, alphabetical compendium of over 300 terms is striking for its concise definitions and the innovative manner of integrating explanatory illustrations within the page layout. The terms range from the parts and features of the body (e.g., abdomen; immune system; tears), its life processes (e.g. ageing; memory), medical treatment and apparatus (e.g., symptom; thermometer) illnesses and conditions (e.g. allergy; TB), to substances which have an effect of the body (e.g. alcohol). The illustrations range from photographs, microscopic enlargements, to stylistic color drawings. Neil Ardley, who collaborated with David Macauley on »The way things work«, once again shows how a book of this genre can be attractive, fun and informative. (9+) ☼

Great Britain (English) - 1997 - 44
Bateson-Hill, Margaret (text)
Pelizzoli, Francesca (illus.)
Wan, Manyee (Chinese text)
Qu, Sha-Liu (paper-cut)
Lao Lao of Dragon Mountain
London: DeAgostini Ed., 1996. [28] p.
ISBN 1-899883-28-2
Old woman - Emperor - Greed - Dragon
This newly written story by a British storyteller incorporates many elements of Chinese folktales into a tale about an upright, generous and obedient old woman who loves to entertain children with her paper-cuts. Then the greedy emperor locks her up on a tower where she is to use her skills to create jewels. Finally, the Ice Dragon rescues her and turns the emperor and the guards into ice monuments. The beautifully designed book, which integrates illustration, typography and background in an unusual manner, renders the story in both English and Chinese and includes simple instructions for paper-cuts. (6+)

Great Britain (English) - 1997 - 45
Behan, Brendan (reteller)
Lynch, P.J. (illus.)
The King of Ireland's son
London: Andersen Press, 1996. [32] p.
ISBN 0-86263-693-6
Ireland/Folktale - Giant - Prince - Princess - Trickery
The Irish storytelling tradition, with its wild exaggerations and magical resolutions after long journeys and battles of cleverness, is displayed here in full glory both in word and picture. Lynch offers superb watercolor paintings in which the choice of perspective, elaborate attention to detail, and full palette of colors and hue work together to achieve stunning effects. They are the ideal complement to Behan's vivid retelling of the tale of the youngest son who, with the help of a magical horse, releases the beautiful princess being held captive by a seemingly clever, but ultimately defeatable giant. (6+)

Great Britain (English) - 1997 - 46
Burgess, Melvin
Tiger Tiger
London: Andersen, 1996. 149 p.
ISBN 0-86264-683-9
Wildlife park - Tiger - Transformation - Organized crime
In the Yorkshire hills of England a wildlife park for Siberian tigers is run with the alleged goal of increasing the population of this endangered species and returning them to their natural habitats. A young boy of the nearby town feels especially drawn to the charismatic young female tiger and, knowing this, she in turn comes to him for help after a Chinese syndicate invades the park and kills most of the tigers, whose bones are valued as a rare and expensive medicine. Changing shapes between tiger and young girl with her supernatural mental powers, she takes revenge on all members of the conspiracy in this suspenseful tale of realistic fantasy. (10+)

Great Britain (English) - 1997 - 47
Elboz, Stephen
The Byzantium Bazaar
Oxford: University Press, 1996. 136 p.
ISBN 0-19-271578-X
Grandfather - Criminality - Homeless - Animal protection - Friendship
When Bridie arrives at her beloved grandfather's home and junk-yard business for a visit, she discovers it taken over by two very weird and violent characters who will not tell her what has become of him and even keep her suitcase with all her belongings. Left to her own resources, she finds help among the street people, a loyal clan of social outcasts, and is taken in by an old woman who has closed her family department store and turned it into a refuge for stray animals. With the help of Miss Firbanks and her adult son, Bridie succeeds at last in locating her helpless, penniless grandfather and restoring order in their lives. This engrossing fantasy novel borders on our reality but creates a world of its own where, despite the presence of real and imagined evil forces, human values of compassion and loyalty prevail. (12+)

Great Britain (English) - 1997 - 48
Evans, Christine (coll.)
The blue moon and other stories from Wales
Dyfed: Pont Books/Gomer Press, 1995. 142 p.
ISBN 1-85902-228-6
Wales/Short stories - Everyday life
The tales collected here deal with events in the daily life of young people in Wales today. In some respects their experiences are universal, but at times the particular influence of their setting and culture shines through. Some of the stories are written in the first person from the perspective of an adolescent looking back at an event in earlier childhood. Some are melancholy reminiscences, while others reflect happy moments of understanding. (10+) ☆

Great Britain (English) - 1997 - 49
Hazell, Rebecca (text/illus.)
The Barefoot book of heroes. Great men from many times and places
Bath: Barefoot, 1997. 80 p.
ISBN 1-898000-38-7
Fame - Hero
The men profiled in this eclectic volume are praised for their genial achievements and their compassionate understanding of the human condition. Each of the vivid profiles is accompanied by a subchapter dealing with the historical and cultural context and a map on which the main places of their lives and times are clearly marked. The inclusion of outstanding figures outside of the European cultural tradition such as Prince Taishi Shotoku of Japan, Mansa Kankan Musa of West Africa, and Sequoyah of the Cherokee Nation is of particular significance. The texts are clearly written in a narrative which goes beyond a dry array of facts and is accompanied by appropriate, captioned watercolor illustrations. The author has already published a book on heroines with the same publisher. (10+) ☆

Great Britain (English) - 1997 - 50
Rosen, Michael (text)
Graham, Bob (illus.)
This is our house
London: Walker Books, 1996. [28] p.
ISBN 0-7445-3750-9
Friendship - Play - Selfishness - Discrimination
When a young boy decides that the cardboard box house belongs to him all alone, he forbids entry to each playmate on account of their sex, size, appearance or behavior. But the others won't stand for such nonsense and when he leaves the box to go to the toilet, they of course gleefully take over. But these would-be »squatters« do not hold a grudge long, and George is allowed to join them in the end. The simple, full-paged water-color illustrations are full of delightful detail. (4+)

Special Mention - Great Britain (English) - 1997 - 51
Smith, Michael
After the darkness
London: Scholastic, 1996. 192 p.
ISBN 0-590-54260-5
France/History 1940 - Vichy Regime - Jews/Persecution
In this story-within-a-story, a modern-day French boy, Oliver, discovers the ghosts of two Jewish children from Paris who had been forced to take refuge with their parents in an unoccupied mansion in Vichy France in July 1940, just after the Vichy government agreed to turn all Jews over to the Nazi occupiers. Their mother was killed for refusing an order of the local militia and their father captured along with his underground helper. Abandoned and locked in a hideaway, the children have no chance to escape. Only Oliver's fascination with their presence in the garden of his new home gradually leads him to believe the story they tell him and find the one man who can tell them what they need to know to set their souls to rest - the old French resistance fighter who had been with their father in a concentration camp. This story combines elements of historical and magical realism to give insight into a period which forced men, women and children to choose sides, make moral decisions and take risks. The narrator weaves the different strands of this moving story together in a suspenseful manner, filling in the missing elements of the mystery step-by-step. (12+)

Special Mention - Great Britain (English) - 1997 - 52
Touré, Masée
Bai Bureh's countrymen
London: Janus Publishing, 1995. 128 p.
ISBN 1-85756-189-9
Sierra Leone - Family - Small people - Power - Beliefs
The author of these three stories is a young adult born in Sierra Leone and now attending school in England. She draws upon her family background in the novella-length title story in which the power relationships of employers, religious leaders, healers, and politicians are observed by a young girl of great perceptivity and self-confidence. As she grows older - but like Oskar in Grass's »The Tin Drum«, not taller - she learns to use her observations and also becomes inspired by the legendary tribal chief Bai Bureh, a figure of resistence and integrity at the end of the 19th century. The author opens up the experiences and culture of an African people in a contemporary setting and her writing will be enjoyed for its vivid depictions and its detailed, well-paced plots. (12+) ☆

Ireland (English) - 1997 - 53
Arrigan, Mary
The dwellers beneath
Dublin: Attic Press, 1996. 122 p.
(Bright sparks; 24)
ISBN 1-85594-114-7
Kidnapping - Sect - Alternative society - Mystery - Adventure
When Miriam's father loses his business, the family must leave its upper-class home for a smaller house in a less attractive part of town. At her new public school, Miriam is befriended by children of very different social backgrounds. When one of them mysteriously disappears, Miriam and her new friends discover only by chance the tunnel into an underground world where a fanatic religious sect has been living for generations, kidnapping children from time to time to keep their society going. Their experiences in this other, »peaceful« but rigidly structured world, where they find children held in captivity, and their dramatic escape make for a thrilling read. The tightly-woven plot and character development make the novel memorable. (12+)

Ireland (English) - 1997 - 54
O'Louglin, Aislinn (text)
Fitzpatrick, Marie-Louise (illus.)
A right royal pain. Rumpelstiltskin - the true story
Dublin: Wolfhound Press, 1996. 79 p.
ISBN 0-86327-514-1
Straw - Gold - Greed - Name/Secret
Rumpelstiltskin finally tells us his own side of the story about how he helped a very spoiled and ungrateful miller's dauther to live up to her father's claims that she could spin straw to gold. One quickly discovers that there can be two sides to any story and learns to sympathize with the kindhearted, wrongfully maligned elf. The hip, youthful first-person voice and the imaginative twists to this adaptation - which O'Louglin also connects to »Sleeping Beauty« and »Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs« - make for an all-around enjoyable read. (8+) ☼

Ireland (English) - 1997 - 55
Ré Ó Laighléis
Ecstasy and other stories
Dublin: Beacon Books/Poolbeg, 1996. 104 p.
ISBN 1-85371-611-1
Ireland/Short stories - Ireland/City life
These hard-hitting short stories are set in contemporary urban Ireland and deal with topics ranging from drugs (as suggested by the title) to unemployment, but the moment of the first kiss and a kidnapping. The characters come quickly alive and the open-ended tales are often stimulate the reader. The earlier Irish-language edition of these stories was a Bisto Book of the Year Merit Award winner. (14+)

Canada (English) - 1997 - 56
Andrews, Jan
Keri
(<Proper name>)
Toronto: Groundwood Books/Douglas & McIntyre, 1996. 94 p.
ISBN 0-88899-240-8
Newfoundland - Whale - Mother/Daughter - Brother/Sister - Change
Keri and her mother have been at odds with each other often ever since Keri's father had to sell his boat and take a job on a fishing ship. Keri finds it very difficult to accept this and other changes taking place in her village in the wake of Newfoundland's changing economic situation. When she and her brother find a whale stranded near their home she spontaneously insists they stay with it all night in hopes of saving it. When their mother finally comes searching for them, the pent up frustrations on both sides are finally vented. The author succeeds in depicting realistically a motherdaughter conflict and an adolescent's growing awareness of her world. The story rings true with the use of idiomatic speech. (10+)
(Governor-General's Literary Awards [Children's Literature-text] Shortlist 1996)

Canada (English) - 1997 - 57
Granfield, Linda (text)
Wilson, Janet (illus.)
In Flanders fields. The story of the poem by John McCrae
Toronto: Stoddart, 1996. [32] p.
ISBN 0-7737-2991-7
(First printed in 1995 by Lester Publishing)
First World War/France/Belgium - War
This very attractively designed information book documents many aspects of the First World War in France and Belgium using as a visual and textual canvas the famous anti-war poem which begins with the line »In Flanders fields the poppies blow«, written by a young Canadian doctor and poet in 1915. Wilson's beautiful, atmospheric paintings illustrate each line of the poem, while photos and black-and-white sketches round out the story of the pain and tragedy involved in the »war to end all wars.« (8+)

Canada (English) - 1997 - 58
Lawson, Julie (text)
Zimmermann, Werner (illus.)
Whatever you do, don't go near that canoe!
Richmond Hill: North Winds/Scholastic Canada, 1996. 30 p.
ISBN 0-590-24429-9
Curiosity - Adventure - Island - Pirate
Two adventurous children in the Canadian wilderness are warned by their friend Captain Kelsey McKee not to go near »that canoe«. What child could resist this challenge? After a long journey, they do indeed meet a horde of wild pirates on an island who invite them to a campfire meal before sending them on their way again with pockets full of gold coins. This cryptic, rhyming picture book is written in verse in the first person.The wildly colorful double-spread illustrations reflect the light-hearted approach to this imaginative journey into the unknown. (8+)
(Governor General's Literary Awards [Children's literature - Illustration] 1996 shortlist)

Canada (English) - 1997 - 59
Little, Jean (text)
Wales, Johnny (illus.)
Gruntle Piggle takes off
Toronto: Viking/Penguin Books Canada, 1996. [32] p.
ISBN 0-670-86340-8
Grandfather/Granddaughter - City/Land - Differences
A young city-dwelling piglet whose parents pursue academic professions in the big city has an urging to discover her roots, in particular to meet her estranged, country grandfather. Full of adventure she sets off one day for the barnyard at Swine Corners and soon discovers that rural life is not as idyllic as she had imagined. But she realizes something about her grandfather that no one else had suspected, and sets out to rectify it. On the one level an entertaining animal tale, at another level a story of accepting differences not as barriers but as mutual enrichment. The captivating pastel watercolor illustrations extend the text with many witty details. (6+)

Canada (English) - 1997 - 60
McKibbon, Hugh William (text)
Cameron, Scott (illus.)
The token gift
Toronto: Annick, 1996. [30] p.
ISBN 1-55037-499-0
India/Legend - Chess - Honor
A clever and supposedly wise old man becomes wealthy from the sale of a 64-square board game of strategy he called Chaturanga. When the king summons him to court and offers a reward to the game's inventor, he uses his cleverness and mathematical knowledge to outwit the king and force him to abdicate in favor of the old man. After one day the new king realizes the emptiness of his wish for greatness, and restores the true king to the throne. In this way, both men give witness to the meaning of good and honorable behavior. Today this board game is known the world over as chess. The full-page oil-painting illustrations of each element of the narrative enable this story about human values to come alive. (6+)

Canada (English) - 1997 - 61
Yee, Paul (text)
Chan, Harvey (illus.)
Ghost train
Toronto: Groundwood Books, 1996. [32] p.
ISBN 0-8899-257-2
North America/Chinese - Father/Daughter - Dream - Railway - Death
A young Chinese girl, Choon-Yi, who possesses nothing but a talent to paint, follows her father to North America, where he works on laying the railway, only to learn that he was recently killed in an accident. In a dream he asks her »to paint the train that runs on the road I built.« He takes her on the ghost train and shows her the restless spirits of the many dead Chinese workers who long to return to their homes. Now her painting becomes filled with their faces in the train windows and she is ready to take them back to China.The exquisite paintings on these over-sized pages are done in sombe hues of brown which reflect the sorrowful, ghostly atmosphere of the story. The text conveys with feeling this part of the Chinese experience and the magical realism of the bond between the living and the dead. (8+) ☆
(Governor-General's Literary Awards [Children's literature - text] 1996)

USA (English) - 1997 - 62
Coles, William E.
Another kind of Monday
New York: Atheneum, 1996. 234 p.
ISBN 0-689-80254-4
Quest - Romance - Self-discovery - Pittsburgh/ History 1850-1996 - Racial identity
At the school library Mark borrows a copy of Dickens' »Great Expectations« and finds in it an envelope containing $300 and an invitation to participate in a quest with further rewards. Each stage involves solving elaborate riddles about a local site of historical significance where further instructions have been hidden together with increasing sums of cash. In the third stage Mark is required to select a girl to continue working with. When he chooses an intelligent classmate, daughter of a white father and black mother, their at first tension-fraught partnership gradually leads to romance. This odyssee of self-discovery, arranged by a mysterious stranger, leads them to extensive research in libraries and archives and at times very dangerous undertakings. The suspense and complications of the well-crafted plot make this novel hard to put down. (14+)

USA (English) - 1997 - 63
Freeman, Suzanne
The cuckoo's child
New York: Greenwillow, 1996. 249 p.
ISBN 0-688-14290-7
Parent - Death - Cultural Identity - Self-discovery
Mia and her older half-sisters have lived for four years in Lebanon but Mia has always longed to return to the USA and lead a perfectly normal family life. When her parents' sailboat disappears in the Ionian Sea, the girls must return to Tennessee to live with their unmarried aunt. Gradually it becomes certain that her parents are dead and Mia's feelings of abandonment and all the associated emotional confusion are vented in daredevil behavior. Her one mainstay is an elderly neighbor, also orphaned as a child, whose story of the cuckoo bird ultimately gives Mia a metaphor which helps her to adjust to the changes in her life. This first-person narrative by a new author allows the reader to empathize with the spirited, self assertive girl. (10+)

USA (English) - 1997 - 64
Han, Oki S. (adapt./illus.)
Plunkett, Stephanie Haboush (adapt.)
Kongi and Potgi. A Cinderella story from Korea
New York: Dial, 1996. [32] p.
ISBN 0-8037-1572-2
Korea/Folktale - Cinderella - Stepmother - Animals
Many elements of this very popular Korean version of Cinderella are identical to the Perrault version.The motherless girl's father ignores the stepmother's ill-treatment, but kind animals of the field and woods help her to fulfill her enormous workload and enable her to attend the prince's party. Later she is identified by the Korean-style slipper and marries the prince. Aside from the very attractively painted portrayal of rural farm life in Korea, the ending of the tale reveals much of Korea's cultural perspective: the stepmother and daughter repent of their wicked behavior and the new queen's steadfast goodness »helped her to serve her people well.« (4+) ☆

USA (English) - 1997 - 65
Langsen, Richard C. (text)
Rubel, Nicole (illus.)
When someone in the family drinks too much
New York: Dial, 1996. [32] p.
ISBN 0-8037-1686-9
Alcoholism - Parent/Child
Using the familiar techniques of an picture book - a teddy bear family as protagonists and colorful illustrations overlaid with a few words of text - the author, a family therapist, and illustrator speak directly to children about the phenomenon of alcoholism: what alcoholism is, how to recognize it, how alcoholics deal with their situation, how alcoholism affects the rest of the family, especially children, and some positive ways of coping with an alcoholic family member. This work has all the features of an information book, but the immediacy and accessibility of a storybook. (6+) ☼

USA (English) - 1997 - 66
Lester, Julius (adapt.)
Schindler, S.D. (illus.)
Sam and the tigers
New York: Dial, 1996. 40 p.
ISBN 0-80037-3038-9
Tiger - Clothing - Trickery - Pancake
The original fantasy-like tale of Little Black Sambo, written by a Scottish woman for her children in 1899, has had the reputation of presenting Blacks as dumb and ugly. In this version two of the USA's foremost writers and illustrators for children and Black themselves, give the story a new look. Sam is a strong-willed child who likes gaudy clothing. When faced with five greedy robber-tigers, he patiently waits for his chance to outwit them, taking home his due reward - a jug of tiger butter - for a neighborhood feast of orangeand- black striped pancakes. The story retains all the original fantastic elements while the richly detailed watercolor illustrations add to the humor and fun of the whole adventure. (5+)

Special Mention - USA (English) - 1997 - 67
Martin, Trude
Obee and Mungadeech
New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996. 107 p.
ISBN 0-689-80644-2
Imaginary friend - Friendship - School - Parent/ Child - Self-identity - Parental Separation
Kate is a highly sensitive and introspective young girl living in New York City. Aside from her girlfriend Beth, she confides her fears and problems in an invisible friend. Both her science teacher and a rival school friend encourage her to accept the challenges facing her - overtly in the form of a science project competion, but implicitly another one, the separation of her parents. In a fresh and captivating narrative the author explores a now common situation of a young girl coping with selfdoubt and a parental crisis which she observes but is helpless to change. The story is full of witty real-life dialogues and inner monologs, and the author makes clever use of a fantasy-like idea involving newborns' capacity to analyze the world and to speak with each other. (12+)

Special Mention - USA (English) - 1997 - 68
Paterson, Katherine
Jip. His story
New York: Lodestar/Dutton, 1996. 181 p.
ISBN 0-535-67543-4
USA/History 19th century - Slavery - African - American - Identity - Friendship - Quaker
Found abandoned as a small child on a country road in Vermont, Jip grows up on the town poor farm along with other social outcasts. As a healthy and intelligent young boy he bears responsibility for the handicapped and for the farmwork, receiving no recognition or even the chance for schooling. One day a stranger shows particular interest in Jip and his family origins. When at last Jip learns that he is the son of a runaway slave and her white master, who has now discovered Jips whereabouts, he receives help from Quaker neighbors to flee to Canada via the »Underground Railroad«, a secret escape network. In her usual skilful storytelling style, Paterson weaves a suspenseful tale with a cast of interesting characters against a realistic historical background. (10+) ☆

Special Mention - USA (English) - 1997 - 69
Prelutsky, Jack (text)
Sís, Peter (illus.)
Monday's troll
New York: Greenwillow, 1996. 40 p.
ISBN 0-688-09644-1
Troll - Wizard - Giant
This team of poet and painter collaborate for the second time on a volume of thematic poetry embedded on full-paged paintings which respond to and interpret each poem's ideas and tone. Told in the first-person, the poems give humorous insight into the thoughts and behavior of trolls, wizards, witches, giants and ogres. Most of the 17 poems are composed in several stanzas with measured lines and end rhyme which simply roll of the tongue. (10+)

Special Mention - USA (English) - 1997 - 70
Voigt, Cynthia
Bad girls
New York: Scholastic, 1996. 277 p.
ISBN 0-590-60134-2
School - Friendship - Rivalry - Pranks
The fifth-grade girls, Mikey and Margolo, find themselves next to each other, in alphabetical order, on the first day of their new school. Though they have different family backgrounds and experiences, their initially tentative friendship deepens. Each day they find ways to assert themselves against obnoxious boys and a teacher whose strict rules of order challenge their natural sense of dignity and self-identity. Voigt succeeds masterfully in portraying the thoughts and intense feelings of two high-spirited protagonists, their irreverent sense of fun and daring, and a classroom of children poised between childhood and adolescence. (10+)

Austria (German) - 1997 - 71
Auer, Martin (text)
Sormann, Christine (illus.)
Was die alte Maiasaura erzählt. Ein Bilderbuch über die Evolution
(Tales told by the old Maiasaura. A picture book about evolution)
Mödling: St. Gabriel, 1996. [32] p.
ISBN 3-85264-497-6
Evolution - Dinosaurs - Present - Future
The old Maiasaura tells her dinosaur children her dream of Earth - how it was when they came, what was there before them and what would come afterwards. Large-sized pictures show the evolution of the animals after the dinosaurs died out, and finally how the world was developed by human beings, those strange and naked two-legged creatures. This is a brief survey of the origins of our world for young people, as narrated by friendly dinosaurs. (5+)

Austria (German) - 1997 - 72
Jambyn, Dashdandog (text)
Harranth, Wolf (German text)
Byambyn, Chintogtokh (illus.)
Mazaalai - Die Geschichte eines mongolischen Bären
(Mazaalai - The story of a Mongolian bear)
Wien: hpt Verlagsges., 1995. [28] p.
ISBN 3-7004-1244-4
Gobi Desert - Bear - Ecology
During the drought all the animals leave the Gobi desert and look for their food and drink elsewhere. Only the little desert bear, the Mazaalai, wants to stay where he was born. All alone he wanders through the deserted countryside until he meets a person who can bring water up from deep below. The Gobi turns green again, the animals return. The vastness of the Mongolian landscape and the Mongolian's close bonds with nature are made evident in the text and imagery of this little book. (6+)

Austria (German) - 1997 - 73
Frischmuth, Barbara (text)
Kallay, Dušan (illus.)
Vom Mädchen, das übers Wasser ging
(The girl who walked on water)
Wien: Dachs, 1996. [32] p.
ISBN 3-85191-075-3
Man/Animal - Security - Utopia
A young girl has gone lost and finds shelter with the animals at the river. This utopia or true community among man and beast is portrayed here in text and image on a higher level. The discriminating use of artistic means keeps the book from lapsing into trite didactics. (5+)

Austria (German) - 1997 - 74
Gepp, Gerhard (text/illus.)
Kleines Boot auf großer Reise
(Little Boat takes a long journey)
Wien: Picus, 1996. [28] p.
ISBN 3-8452-087-5
Homeland - Monotony - Travel - Adventure - Homecoming
A little boat swims with the other boats, always on the same lake. Bored of this, it flies one day with a fantastic flying machine to the sea where it enjoys exciting adventures to tell all about upon returning home. As exemplary the story, so also the illustrations. Especially the main characters desire to look beyond their own pond. This will strike a chord with younger children and in the simply organized, block-style illustrations there are many details which will appeal to them. (4+)

Austria (German) - 1997 - 75
Harranth, Wolf (text)
Candea, Romulus (illus.)
Das Flötenkonzert
(The fute concert)
Wien: Jungbrunnen, 1996. [28] p.
ISBN 3-7026-5679-0
Flutist - Concert - Memorization - Stage fright
The flutist A.M. Winkelried is completely unnerved. He cannot find his musical score anywhere. Though he knows that he has the piece he is to play this evening completely memorized, he is about to die of stage fright. But the excitement only spurs on his talent. The audience gives him a standing ovation, and he decides that he will never play from his score again. Endorsed by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, this book will encourage younger perfectionists to have more courage, self-confidence and daring. (6+)

Austria (German) - 1997 - 76
Huainigg, Franz-Joseph (text)
Ritter, Annegert (illus.)
Fred hat Zeit
(Fred taks his time)
Mödling: St. Gabriel, 1996. [28] p.
ISBN 3-85264-513-1
Boredom - Time - Journalism - Stress - Illness
Fred does everything at a very slow pace. He is always the last one finished at meals. The other children at kindergarten are bored with him, although he finds his own games very entertaining. No amount of warnings will help. But the situation changes when Fred's father, a journalist, falls sick due to stress and his hectic pace of life. Now the doctor's advice is to follow Fred's pace, although of course no one will ever manage to be quite as slow as Fred. (8+)

Austria (German) - 1997 - 77
Laube, Sigrid (text)
Wechdorn, Susanne (illus.)
nn Jakob unterm Kirschbaum sitzt
(When Jacob sits under the cherry tree)
Wien: Jungbrunnen, 1996. [32] p.
ISBN 3-7026-5684-7
Daytime - Daydream - Nature - Shadow
A young boy experiences a summertime of nature, discovering the various aspects of the day under an old cherry tree, with animals all around him. His daydreams carry him away, he plays with them, tries to jump over his shadow and observes how it changes from morning to night. The contemplative view of a long hot summer day, with its intact world of nature and the comfort taken in it by a child, radiates from this book. (6+)

Special Mention - Austria (German) - 1997 - 78
Welsh, Renate
Disteltage
(Days of thistles)
Wien: Obelisk, 1996. 156 p.
ISBN 3-85197-301-1
(Simultaneously publ. by Nagel & Kimche. Zürich, 1996)
Mother/Daughter - Grandmother - Illness - Overburden
Sarah is overburdened with caring for her sick mother. She has to forge her mother's signature to get money for the household and a doctor's attest for missing school. Though she is helped by a fellow pupil at school, the help she gets from her grandmother at home seems instead to be a hinderance of her own efforts. With considerable sensitivity to the explosiveness of such a difficult situation, the author finds the precise narrative balance. (10+)

Germany (German) - 1997 - 79
Abraham, Peter
Piepheini
(Squeaky Henry)
München: Ellermann, 1996. 157 p.
ISBN 3-7707-3040-2
Second World War - Berlin/History 1945 - Evacuation - Pomerania - Escape - Death
Heinrich (Henry) is often teased by his classmates as »squeaky Henry«. When, in the winter of 1945, he makes a remark about listening to enemy radio stations, there seems to be such danger for the family that the father goes underground and Heinrich is sent away to Pomerania. He is still there when the war ends and they must flee from the Red Army across the ice of Frisches Haff on the Gulf of Danzig. Bombs are dropped on the refugees and terrible things happen. Though Heinrich survives and finds his father again, their family is destroyed; Heinrich grows up in an orphanage. Based on his own biography, the author vividly recalls the war and post-war years of fifty years ago. (10+)

Germany (German) - 1997 - 80
Ahl, Sigi (text/illus.)
Papepipopu
(<Nonsense word>)
Hamburg: Carlsen, 1996. [24] p.
ISBN 3-551-51475
Speech - Word play - Toilet training
»Papa«, calls little sister, »pepe« and points with horror at her little brother, who is standing up on the swing and making wee-wee. His bottom side is also in action? Papa has nothing better to do than stare in amazement. But his amazement is all the greater when little sister runs to Mama and is suddenly able to say, »Pepe knows how to swing properly!«. The witty words and illustrations describe this elementary family situation. (5+)

Germany (German) - 1997 - 81
Askenazy, Ludvik (text)
Wiesmüller, Dieter (illus.)
Das Wunderei
(The magical egg)
Hamburg: Carlsen, 1996. [24] p.
ISBN 3-551-51528-X
Imagination - Egg - Miniature world - Game - Magic
On a highway bridge Robert finds an egg, »so blue that it takes your breath away«, which contains a little miniature world that opens up when one knocks on the shell. He succeeds in getting the miniature girl, Ninette, to come out of the egg into his world, but loses her again when the magical egg finally breaks. The beholder of this picture book is swept away into a world of nighttime spaces in which anything seems possible. (6+)

Germany (German) - 1997 - 82
Berner, Rotraut Susanne (text/illus.)
Das Abenteuer
(The adventure)
Weinheim: Beltz & Gelberg, 1996. [32] p.
ISBN 3-407-79172-0
Cat - Dog - Fear - Play - Friendship - Adventure
A pleasurable, though entirely accidental encounter help to correct the long-standing misunderstanding between two neighbors. While at play the ball rolls from the cat house to the dog mansion and the attempt to get it back leads for the first time to an understanding between the two parties. And there is a chance for more. Together with her text, Berner's colorful pictures make for thoroughly entertaining reading. (5+)

Germany (German) - 1997 - 83
Boddin, Heidrun (text/illus.)
Verflixte Fliegen!
(Those darn flies!)
München: Middelhauve, 1996. [36] p.
ISBN 3-7876-9384-X
Flies
The joys and sorrows of being a fly are portrayed here for young children in short lyrics along with charming illustrations. Printed on brown packing paper, the bold colors of the fly family members achieve their fullest expression. (4+)

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 1997 - 84
Dayre, Valérie (text)
Erlbruch, Wolf (illus.)
Honke, Gudrun (transl.)
Graeff, Max Christian (transl.)
Die Menschenfresserin
(The lady cannibal)
Wuppertal: Hammer, 1996. [32] p.
ISBN 3-87294-715-X
(French ed.: L' Ogresse en Pleurs. Toulouse: Éditions Milan, 1996)
Mother/Son - Cannibalism - Depth psychology - Love - Regret
As the crowning moment of her evil life, a woman plans to eat a child. Afterwards, she is shattered by her own deed, for she has eaten her own child. The »devouring mother« has surely never been depicted to such horrible extremity and with such aesthetic souvereignity before this picture book. The excellent German translation of the impressive, laconic text is both expounded upon and extended by Erlbruch's pictures, which leave wide berth for interpretation. Decorative elements such as the ever recurring, surrealistically strewn philodendra leaves or the child's sailor's suit allow an analysis, or perhaps a persiflage, of middleclass life. Just as the frontispiece of the book shows a young girl playing the German playground game »Heaven and Hell« (hopscotch), the story takes the reader down the long path of often unconscious human behavior. (14+)

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 1997 - 85
Grote, Wilfrid (text)
Ballhaus, Verena (illus.)
Adios, Emilio. Viel Glück, Emil Lück!
(Bye, Emilio. Good luck, Emil Luck!)
München: Kerle, 1996. 81 p.
ISBN 3-85303-129-3
Argentina/History 1920s/1930s - Emigration - Father - Homecoming
In the 1920s and 1930s the massive unemployment forces a brave family father to seek work overseas, in the oil fields of Argentina. From there he is able to provide his family at home in Gronau-an-der- Leine with the basic minimum needs. This fastpaced narrative revolves around his adventures and his often sly methods of getting by in a foreign land. Inventive, ironic illustrations round out this attractive little book, which will appeal to a wide age-range. (7+)

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 1997 - 86
Heller, Eva (text)
Sowa, Michael (illus.)
Das unerwartete Geschenk vom Weihnachtsmann und von Frau Glück und Herrn Liebe
(The unexpected gift from Santa Claus, Lady Luck and Monsieur L'Amour)
Oldenburg: Lappan, 1996. [32] p.
ISBN 3-89082-154-5
Christmas - Gift-giving - Surprise - Happiness
Good luck knows neither the time nor the day, that is the Christmas message of this cheerful story. In prosaic pictures, which give an ironic view of cosy, middle-class homelife, we witness how Santa Claus, Lady Luck and Monsieur L'Amour go to great extremes to pass along their surplus stock of dolls to little boys and girls. Then the computer notices that this present has been placed ten years too early in the sack, because of a technical error. Thus Antonia gets her doll Simonetta already now, unexpectedly und unplanned. Three cheers for the picture book computer. (7+)

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 1997 - 87
Hensgen, Andrea
Dich habe ich in die Mitte der Welt gestellt
(I have placed you at the middle of the world)
München: Bertelsmann, 1996. 286 p.
ISBN 3-570-12389-8
Rite of passage - Identity - First love - Intellectual history
The members of a graduating class who participate in a project week on the theme of »the history of European thought« experience at the same time a chance to clarify their own ideas of themselves and their relationships with one another. Although the author takes this aspect very seriously, she also weaves into the narrative a considerable wealth of information about culture and important thinkers in central Europe. Yet throughout the novel, the protagonists remain vivid and interesting figures at the core of the narrative. (14+)

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 1997 - 88
Holub, Josef (text)
Bonifaz und der Räuber Knapp
(Boniface and the Robber Knapp)
Weinheim: Beltz & Gelberg, 1996. 241 p.
ISBN 3-407-70696-X
Germany/History 1867 - Orphan - Adoption - Thief - Discrimination - Friendship - Village life - Emigration
The orphan Boniface is sent to live with his uncle, the village mayor, in the Wurttemberg village of Graab. Nearly killed along the way, he later learns that he had been rescued by Knapp, who is known in the village as a robber. Boniface is soon fast friends with Knapp's son Christian, but when the family is forced by the neighborhood gossips to emigrate overseas, they are separated. In a natural, sympathetic manner the author transports the reader into the world of the young protagonist. (8+)

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 1997 - 89
Jandl, Ernst (text)
Junge, Norman (illus.)
Immer höher
(Higher and higher)
Weinheim: Beltz & Gelberg, 1996. [28] p.
ISBN 3-407-79178-X
Austria/Poetry
This (relatively) large book with a (relatively) short text moves effortlessly from the microcosmos of the protagonist to the macrocosmos of the universe. But nothing is given an explanation, even when objects are imbued with animation. In a quite matter-of-fact manner the poet and illustrator expand to the maximum the horizons of experience using a minimum of means. Each page contains only those objects described in the line of text. Changes are shown in night-time blue, new situations in clear daylight. The continuity in the course of events shown in the sequence of illus-trations corresponds perfectly to the rhythm of the text. (5+)

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 1997 - 90
Kahlert, Elke (text)
Glienke, Amelie (illus.)
Das Kinderkarussell
(The children's merry-go-round)
Reinbek: Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag, 1997. 123 p.
(rororo rotfuchs; 808)
ISBN 3-499-20808-3
Merry-go-round - Crime - Forgery - Detective story
Sophie and Fabian are concerned about their old merry-go-round because the dappled-grey horse is missing. So they scatter a little ash and decide to play detective. At last they get to the root of things, but not without taking some dangerous risks. A gang of forgers had been using the horse's body as a hiding place. With humour and subtle finesse the author shows what fun children have keeping little and big secrets - and how inventive they can be in trying to fool the adults. (8+)

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 1997 - 91
Kishon, Ephraim (text)
Kishon, Renana (illus.)
Ein Schnuller mit dem Namen Zezi
(A pacifier named Zezi)
München: Lentz, 1996. [28] p.
ISBN 3-88010-412-3
Baby - Pacifier - Conflict - Trickery
In this book for both young and old, a subversive little baby learns how to keep its family and babysitters in non-stop action by hiding its one and only beloved pacifier and throwing a tantrum until it gets it. The pictures, with lift-up flaps for all sorts of po- tential hiding places, will delight playful youngsters. They are done by the »former baby«, now adult daughter of of the well-known adult author Kishon. (6+)

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 1997 - 92
Koch, Marianne (text)
Janssen, Susanne (illus.)
Die Abenteuer der kleinen Wolke
(The adventure of the little cloud)
München: Hanser, 1996. [32] p.
ISBN 3-446-18485-6
Cloud - Flight - Adventure - Help
The little cloud makes its first long journey and finds lots to tell about the joys and dangers it has experienced. Although the pictures clearly reveal the influence of her master teacher, the alternative, more feminine style of this young illustrator give cause to follow her future development. (4+)

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 1997 - 93
Krenzer, Rolf (text)
Mirtschin, Jutta (illus.)
Die Babuschka, Sascha und das Huhn Natascha
(The Babushka, Sasha and Natasha, the chicken)
Lahr: Kaufmann, 1996. [32] p.
ISBN 3-7806-2375-7
Grandmother/Grandchild - Russia/Easter - Poverty - Charity/Giving
In this story about the joys of sharing and giving, Babuschka arranges for her grandchild Sascha to enjoy Easter by sharing their own Easter banquet meal with children even poorer than themselves. The festivities of a Russian Easter night are portrayed in this quiet, reflective and optimistic book. (6+)

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 1997 - 94
Kulot-Fritsch, Daniela (text/illus.)
Nasebohren ist schön
(Nose-picking is fun)
Stuttgart: Thienemann, 1996. 32 p.
ISBN 3-522-43227-4
Child-rearing - Social convention - Threat - Lies
The children of the elephant, mouse and frog families love to pick their noses. That's forbidden! cry the parents. Why? the children want to know. Disease! their elders tell them. But look there - the grandparents, who have almost nothing to do with child-rearing, do not feel obliged to act as role models - and pick their noses, too. This merry and colorful picture book extolls the passionate pleasures of pursuing one's needs and of forming subversive alliances between old and young against dry conventions. (6+)

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 1997 - 95
Lawitzky, Gerd
Kasper, König, Räuber
(Punch, King, Robber)
Berlin: Elefantenpress, 1996. 111 p.
ISBN 3-88520-594-7
Clothing - Role exchange - Confusion - Duty
For the most part, Punch, King and Robber are quite satisfied with their lives, though they find their jobs distasteful at times. One day each gets so angry that he casts off his official dress - joker cap, crown and pistol. Now, without their proper owners, these three objects cause the greatest amount of confusion when they land in the wrong hands and on the wrong heads. But in the end they all come to the conclusion that things work best when done by professionals. This is a humorously told parable about real life clothed in figures familiar to smaller children. (6+)

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 1997 - 96
Maar, Paul (text)
Bofinger, Manfred (illus.)
Der Buchstaben-Fresser
(The letter eater)
Hamburg: Oetinger, 1996. 63 p.
ISBN 3-7891-0509-0
Letter - Reading - Name - Imagination - Wordplay
What makes »Tanne« turn into »Wanne«, or »Reis« turn into cold »Eis«? Naturally it is the work of the letter-eater, also known as letter-switcher. All this is fairly upsetting in the everyday life of Claudia and her parents, until they manage to trick him back into his (R)Ei(S) and carry it off to a deserted forest. Ever since then the woods have been filled with »Kuchen« (cakes) instead of »Buchen « (beech trees), which are eaten by »Elchen« (elks) instead of »Eichen« (oak trees). Only the way that objects change into words is not treated in this text. (8+)

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 1997 - 97
Maar, Paul (text)
Kasparavičius, Kestutis (illus.)
Lisas Reise
(Lisa's journey)
Esslingen: Schreiber, 1996. [28] p.
ISBN 3-215-13020-3
Reality - Conformity - Constraint - Freedom - Dream
In her sleep, Lisa passes through a nightmare of strange and even antagonistic worlds filled with balls, corners, colors and headstands, until she finally reaches the land of feathers (her own bed), where she doesn't have to be round, or cornery, colorful or stand on her head. At the abstract level, even smaller beholders of this picture book will find sufficient imagery and text to understand the concept of (involuntary) conformity in a predefined situation and see ways of extracting themselves from unjustified constraint. (5+)

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 1997 - 98
Michels, Tilde (text)
Bhend, Käthi (illus.)
Kleine Hasen werden groß
(Little rabbits grow up)
Würzburg: Arena, 1996. 92 p.
ISBN 3-401-07181-5
Rabbit - Hare - Family - Growing-up - Social differences
With amazement and a little displeasure, the children of the field rabbit family and the wild hare family discover certain differences between their kinfolk. They begin to have doubts about the customs and attributes of their families. Are big ears perhaps better than small ones? Isn't a cave more comfortable than a burrow in the ground? In the course of time all these questions seem to get answered themselves. And in the end the youngest generation moves on to start their own families. Accompanied and enhanced by naturalistic, richly detailed but imaginative pictrues, this book gives young readers not only a glimpse into the life of rabbits, but also guidance in finding one's way through different living conditions. (5+)

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 1997 - 99
Mitgutsch, Ali (text/illus.)
Rudelius, Wolfgang (cover)
Zwiggel, der Zwerg
(Zwiggel, the dwarf)
Weinheim: Beltz & Gelberg, 1996. 112 p.
ISBN 3-407-79687-0
Dwarf - Adventure - Wordplay
Zwiggel, a dwarf child only 200 or 300 years old, takes a stroll through the world of human beings, where he discovers square little »living boxes«, that sometimes have shining holes, »adventure boxes«, where people experience adventures just by watching, »moving tin boxes« or »learning boxes« for the little people. Other things such as »Gembooi« (Gameboy) or »Woogmen« (Walkmen) seem to be inexplicable. But Evi, his little human girlfriend, gives him just the answers he needs. Leisurely, like any Zwiggel, he slowly sets out to experience this new environment - leaving plenty of time for the read-along beholder to sink into the story and see familiar things from a new, but not obviously adult point of view. (6+)

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 1997 - 100
Rudelius, Wolfgang
In einer anderen Welt
(In another world)
Weinheim: Beltz & Gelberg, 1996. 145 p.
ISBN 3-407-79736-2
Mental illness - Outsider - Friend - Garden - Violence
Uli, a latch-key child, becomes friends with the fascinating young man, Walder, who lives in the garden colony and tells stories that just cannot be true or makes up things with which he can communicate or conspire. He telephones with a cordless telephone, supposedly with his father in Africa. But he gets on the nerves of »normal« people, and when they won't let him put up a peace sculpture at Christmas, he goes crazy. His house and garden are destroyed and he disappears from Uli's life. This books gives an impressive view of the world of an mentally instable outsider, showing the differences in the way in which an unprejudiced adolescent and the stick-in-the-mud, philistine middle-class perceive him. (10+)

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 1997 - 101
Schlüter, Andreas
Die Rollschuhräuber
(The roller-skate thieves)
Berlin: Altberliner Verlag, 1996. 182 p.
ISBN 3-357-00790-8
Courier - Roller-skates - Crime - Gang - Talisman
The courier service »Rat's teeth« zips around Berlin on roller-skates or rollerblades in order to fulfill otherwise unaffordable wishes. The misunderstandings and difficulties set in when a gang of handbag-snatchers who look very much like the courier kids appear on the scene. With tricks and tempo the »good guys« set themselves off from the »bad guys« and lead to their downfall. With its first volume, this sprightly detective series is off to a good start. (8+)

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 1997 - 102
Siege, Nasrin
Shirin
(<Proper name>)
Weinheim: Beltz & Gelberg, 1996. 147 p.
ISBN 3-407-79698-6
Germany - Foreigner - Muslim - Outsider - School - Friendship
When Shirin and her family move to Germany, she is one of the first Iranian children who has to adjust to a new life in a foreign land. She and her sisters experience all the difficulties of this situation - within the family, at school and in their free time. Her fellow pupils make her life so difficult, that she herself arranges to be enrolled in a different school. Things are further complicated by the fact that she is a Muslim, and her father very strictly religious. But finally she succeeds in feeling comfortable in her German surroundings, at the price, however, of no longer having a real homeland. This fascinating narrative is based on authentic experiences, written by an Iranian woman who has lived in Germany since her childhood and writes today in German. (8+) ☆

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 1997 - 103
Stiemert, Elisabeth (text)
Kehr, Karoline (illus.)
Kinder, Krach und große Ohren
(Children, noise and big ears)
Hildesheim: Gerstenberg, 1996. [32] p.
ISBN 3-8067-4175-1
Noise - Neighbors - Conflict
Family Upstairs and Mrs. Downstairs are at odds with each other because the Upstairs children make too much noise. But when the noise stops one day after so many complaints, Mrs. Downstairs falls ill with a case of »listening hypertrophy«, where her ears begin to grow boundlessly, always listening for the slightest sound from the floor above. Medical advice is now quite simply to hear noise from upstairs again. Her ears begin to shrink back to normal and things are peaceful again. Aside from this imaginative story, the book stands out for its lively, skilfully drawn and witty pictures. (6+)

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 1997 - 104
Wiencirz, Gerlinde (text)
Röckener, Andreas (illus.)
Eine Schlacht? Die könnt ihr haben!
(A battle! You're in for it!)
München: Bertelsmann, 1996. [28] p.
ISBN 3-570-12371-5
King - War - Dictatorship - Peace - Work - Friendship
The lion, a bored despot, decides to make war with his neighbors. The soldiers are called up, but since the apple harvest is in full swing, the war games will have to wait. But waiting is boring, picking apples together is more fun. So a truce is reached and the lion is left all alone. Brilliant tones emphasize the optimistic tenor of the story. (4+)

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 1997 - 105
Wolfsgruber, Linda (text/illus.)
Wolf oder Schaf - böse oder brav?
(Wolf or sheep - evil or good)
München: Kerle, 1996. [28] p.
ISBN 3-85303-118-8
Disguise - Wolf - Sheep - Good/Evil
»Take care whom you trust« is the message of this visually and textually complex picture book for older children. One must learn to look very closely, listen very closely before deciding who to get involved with (sheep in wolf's clothing or wolf in sheep's clothing), and also to discover the hidden evil and the hidden goodness in other living creatures. When read in the company of an adult, children can learn important lessons about the ways of the world. (8+)

Switzerland (German) - 1997 - 106
Diebold, Ute (text/illus)
Jetzt reicht's
(That's enough)
Gossau: Neugebauer, 1996. [32] p.
ISBN 3-85195-378-9
Eating habits - Animals - Table manners
The menu at the zoo is certainly monotonous, at least for the giraffe, the elephant and the hare. So they decide to try getting something better at the restaurant - which is easier said than done. In the end, they can only wonder what people find so great about eating out. With the help of dramafilled pictures, the unsightliness of the many little pig-like eaters make it become clear, that certain general rules of good behavior and table manners, especially in public, are necessary for everyone's sense of well-being. (4+)

Switzerland (German) - 1997 - 107
Gerber-Hess, Maja
Mama im Knast
(Mama in jail)
Luzern: rex, 1996. 216 p.
ISBN 3-7252-0644-9
Mother/Daughter - Manslaughter - Prison - Discrimination
A middle-class family falls apart when the (patriarchal) father loses his job. As the successful, sole bread-winner, the mother finds herself pressured by her superior, becomes open for blackmail, and finally kills him one day in self-defense. After an unsuccessful suicide attempt, she is sentenced to prison for manslaughter. In this first-person narrative, a teenage daugther gives thought to her own situation and that of her family. Written with a certain distance, this novel shows how an adolescent can deal with exceptionally difficult family circumstances. (12+)

Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 1997 - 108
Jaeckel, Hans
Ibo
(<Proper name>)
Zürich: Unionsverlag, 1996. 168 p.
ISBN 3-293-00233-1
Germany/Turkish youth - Crime - Family
As a very young child, the Turkish boy Ibrahim (Ibo) joins his father and brother in Hamburg. His mother and other brothers and sisters join them much later, but in the meantime Ibo has been expelled several times from school for fights and petty crimes. His is the world of the Turkish markets in the harbor district where he earns his own money with clever business »practices«. His tales betray, however, a longing for an intact family life and a knowable future, although he himself lives from day to day, deed to deed. Ibo's authentic narrative about the at times his asocial urban environment with unpolished and criminal but still likeable figures - both Germans and foreigners, his difficulties at home and his decision to enroll in job training, is an impressive reading both in terms of narrative style and content. (14+)

Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 1997 - 109
Manz, Hans (text)
Binder, Hannes (illus.)
Pantoffeln für den Esel
(Slippers for the donkey)
Zürich: Nagel & Kimche, 1996. 117 p.
ISBN 3-312-00800-X
Animals - Adventure
One day a donkey asks his farmer for a pair of slippers, because he wants to be just as happy in the evenings as his master. He is stubborn enough to get what he wants, but realizes that he hasn't done himself any favor. Proudly he parades with the splendid, but cumbersome foot-coverings back and forth in front of all the female donkeys and is happy at last to be able to present his footwear to a vain little donkey beauty - out of love, of course. Full-paged black-and-white woodcuts and largesized typeface make each of these 15 fairy tale or fable-like stories quite appealing. (5+)

Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 1997 - 110
Rowe, John A. (text/illus.)
Baumann, Peter (German text)
Ferkel Ferdinand
(Piglet Ferdinand)
Gossau: Neugebauer, 1996. [32] p.
ISBN 3-85195-380-0
(Engl. ed: Peter Piglet. New York: North-South Books, 1996)
Pig - Shoes - Vanity - Helpfulness - Sacrifice
One glorious morning, the kind little piglet Ferdinand finds a pair of golden shoes just lying about in the forest. He tries them on, walks about and feels like a dancer. But to his great disappointment, the shoes have disappeared the next morning. One has been turned into a turtle's house and the other into a bird's nest. Ferdinand decides to let well enough alone and rejoices over his new-found ease of movement. From his snout to his little curly tail, this is likeable little pig inspite of his forgiveable weaknesses. In each large-size picture the golden shoes cast a glow on everything and everyone around them. As a visual sign of reward for Ferdinand's willing sacrifice, he is shown walking barefoot toward the golden depths of the page. (6+)

Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 1997 - 111
Slawski, Wolfgang (text/illus.)
Die Besucher-Sucher
(Waiting for visitors)
Gossau: Nord-Süd, 1996. [28] p.
ISBN 3-314-00728-0
Loneliness - Railway station - Travel - Friendship
A man waits everyday at the railway station for someone coming to visit him - in vain. Even when he decides one day to wait at a different station - no luck. But then he finds others in a similar situation, and their number grows and grows. When all of these visitor-seekers begin to travel the world without meeting a single visitor, they finally decide to visit one another from now on. Thus the problem is solved to everyone's satisfaction. The humorous text and pictures will encourage children to set off looking for people like themselves when no one comes looking for them. (6+)

Cameroon (French) - 1997 - 112
Onana, Désiré
Matike, l'enfant de la rue
(Matike, the street child)
Yaoundé: Editions Akoma MBA, 1995. 24 p.
(Distrib: Les Amis de la Joie par les Livres, Paris)
City life - Poverty - Parental violence - Street child - Job training
Plain and memorable black-and-white stencil pictures illustrate this story of an African boy who runs away from home to escape the beatings of his father and family poverty. He earns his own keep on the street for a while until he is taken into a youth correction center. There he also learns a skilled job as a carpenter and finally returns to his home. This appealing picture book comes out of a studio in Cameroon which was founded by a group of African authors and illustrators who want to design and publish attractive and high-quality books for children. (6+) ☆ ☼

Ivory Coast (French) - 1997 - 113
Koné Doh Fandanh, Joël
Le défilé des innocents
(The defiling of the innocents)
Abidjan: Edilis, 1996. 88 p.
ISBN 2-909238-46-6
Student - AIDS - Sex instruction
This first novel of a 22-year-old African revolves around two students whose fate is determined by AIDS. While the first-person narrator learns to accept the prognosis of an early death, the other is so shattered that he commits a terrible suicide. In a flash back, the narrative depicts their earlier friendship, their conversations about their future plans, their view of the world, their attitudes toward the African and the white cultures. As fascinating as this is, the reader may be shocked by the undisguised sexual aggressivity toward girls. In order to digest these passages of the novel, which is in general well-written, the reader should be mature and self-reflective. (15+)

Belgium (French) - 1997 - 114
Brouillard, Anne (text/illus.)
Le pays du rêve
(The land of dreams)
Paris: Duculot, 1996. [44] p.
ISBN 2-203-55358-8
Dream - Reality
At first glance this picture book is quite puzzling. In the illustrations there are two clearly different worlds of experience to be seen. In one, spacious and airy double-paged landscapes and interiors predominate. The genuine reality, on the other hand, is depicted in black-and-white sequences of small pictures. The text mirrors the leap of consciousness from the real to the dream-time world. A child speaks of his dreams in which a song, a ship and a deserted house continually appear. The mystery of this dream is superimposed on the experiences of the real world, with all its familiar, everyday sounds and activities. (8+)

Belgium (French) - 1997 - 115
Place, François (text/illus.)
Du pays des amazones aux îles indigo
(From the land of the Amazonas to the Indigo Islands)
Paris: Casterman/Gallimard, 1996. 144 p.
ISBN 2-203-14244-8
Utopia - Island - Travel
Inspired by myths and legendary reports about sunken cultures, the author-illustrator dreamed up the utopian island of Orbæ and presents its very different regions in a three-volume atlas. The fantastic reports about its imaginary countries are told by storytellers, explorers, and chroniclers. The highly detailed, subtly shaded illustrations alternate between raw landscapes and paradisical pastures, from oriental dream-like cities to icebergs. Documentary tables in the style of old geography books help maintain the fiction of a meticulously researched reality. (11+)

Belgium (French) - 1997 - 116
Rascal (text)
Chatellard, Isabelle (illus.)
Olivia à Paris
(Olivia in Paris)
Paris: Pastel, 1996. [32] p.
ISBN 2-211-03697-X
Paris - Chicken - Tourist
Olivia, a stout country hen, decides to visit the egg-market in Paris. With a roguish, sparkling touch the illustrator shows the beauty and temptations of the legendary metropolis from the ecstatic perspective of the country brooder. Her enthusiasm is reflected in the boisterous momentum of the picture angles and the humorous citation of the many details that form the myth of the tourist attraction Paris. The warm colors and prefe-rence for brilliant patterns underline the merry, festive atmosphere. (3+)

France (French) - 1997 - 117
Amelin, Michel (text)
Frély, Gilles (illus.)
Un crime est-il facile?
(A crime is easy?)
Paris: Epigones, 1996. 90 p.
ISBN 2-7366-4646-0
Twins - Detective - Crime - Jealousy - Mistrust - Reconciliation - Friendship
The victim of the crime is a doll. Tracking down the evil-doer who so brutally damaged it, the twin detectives are unexpectedly caught up in a network of jealousy and mistrust involving their own classmates. When the perpetrator is discovered, everyone involved resolves their conflict with humor, honesty and forgiveness. This lesson in reconciliation is passed along to the reader in a suspenseful and amusing narrative. (9+) ☼

France (French) - 1997 - 118
Bernard, Fred (text)
Roca, François (illus.)
La reine des fourmis a disparu
(The queen of the ants has disappeared)
Paris: Albin Michel, 1996. [48] p.
ISBN 2-226-08234-4
Tropical forest - Ants - Queen - Odyssee - New York - Reunion - Conservation
Two red ants turn into detectives and comb the tropical forest to find their abducted queen, landing finally in an airplane bound for New York, where they finally find their missing ruler in a giant museum of natural history - being investigated by a researcher. The disproportional relationship between the tiny ants and their enormous adventure turns this into an enchanting story. The superrealistic illustrations give the scenes a fantastic, magical character. In the course of their adventures, many objective details about the tropical forest and its animal life are pointed out, serving to illuminate issues of nature conservation. (8+)

France (French) - 1997 - 119
Boujon, Claude (text/illus.)
La chaise bleu
(The blue chair)
Paris: L'École des loisirs, 1996. [36] p.
ISBN 2-211-04211-2
Desert - Hare - Dog - Chair - Play
There is no mistaking the laconic picture storytelling style used by Boujon, who died last year. A hare and a dog are taking a walk in the middle of a desert. A blue spot seen from the distance is discovered to be a chair. That is all it takes to have a romp, since the imagination does all the rest. Each tries to outdo the other in thinking up new scenes using the chair as a prop. Along comes an Arabian camel and puts an end to their fun with the categorical statement: a chair is meant to be sat in! So hare and dog move on, leaving the camel - sitting - to his boredom. (5+)

France (French) - 1997 - 120
Comte, Herbert (text)
Le Cabinet de Curiosité
(The curio cabinet)
Paris: Circonflexe, 1995. 90 p.
ISBN 2-87833-150-8
Curio - World travel
A collector opens up his curio cabinet to show what he has gathered during his world travels. One piece after the other is revealed in the photographs, while the text describes the origin, purpose and manner of acquisition with a sympathetic view toward the object and the people who made it. Many of them bear cultural significance, such as the little tablet of the Koran from Morocco, while others, such as the little fishbone wedge used for dog harnesses in Alaska, stimulate the imagination, or, like the spine of a shark from Mexico, highlight the exotic. For those who are willing, these many little objects open up the possiblity to encounter the pleasures of a multifaceted world. (8+) ☆

Special Mention - France (French) - 1997 - 121
David, François (text)
Galeron, Henri (illus.)
Une petite flamme dans la nuit
(A little flame in the night)
Paris: Bayard, 1996. 105 p.
ISBN 2-227-704-63-2
Concentration camp - Terror - Survival - Storytelling - Parable - Hope - Resistance
Night after night a woman whispers parable tales of terror and despotism in the ear of a child to help it go to sleep. The illustrations leave no doubt as to where these absurd situations take place: a high barbed wire fence with watch-towers, surrounding the barren grounds and barracks of a concentration camp. Each story follows upon a short conversation between the rebellious child and the woman, who hopes that the forced sleep will help the child endure the coming day. The parables describe the brutal tyranny of a despot long ago. Each ends with the fragile hope that the terror, though long lasting, will come to an end if the memory of resistance and freedom is kept alive. When on the twelvth night the woman does not return to their common plank bed, the child's stony heart falls away and it can cry again. In the following night, a younger child takes the woman's place, and the older one takes on the role of the woman, telling the same stories again. The illustrations for the individual parables are extraordinary in capturing the timeless, metaphoric nature of the stories. They possess a literary power of expression by revealing the grotesque-comical aspect of totalitarian terror, thus underlining its absurdity. (10+)

Special Mention - France (French) - 1997 - 122
Didier, Jean (text/illus.)
Didier, Zad (text/illus.)
Zoum Chat de traîneau
(Zoum, the sled-cat)
Toulouse: Milan, 1996. 38 p.
ISBN 2-84113-410-5
Cat - Sled - Adventure - Lie - Storytelling
This picture book has several attractions to offer. It fulfills the need of children for spooky stories with a balanced mixture of fright and relief. And it uses the well-known storytelling perspective of Grandfather telling about days gone by. And, thirdly, it offers an aesthetic delight with full-paged, striking illustrations. The idea of making the storyteller a grandfather cat who sees no reason to stick too closely to the truth give the at once merry and spooky adventures a humorous coating. Who could imagine a cat playing the part of a sled-dog! (5+) ☼

Special Mention - France (French) - 1997 - 123
Douzou, Olivier (text)
Simon, Isabelle (illus.)
Autobus numéro 33
(Autobus No. 33)
Rodez: Éditions du Rouergue, 1996. [48] p.
ISBN 2-84156-023-6
Bus - Travel - Racial equality
The metaphor of the earth as boat in which we are all sitting inspired the illustrator to write this story about a little red bus which takes a journey around the whole world. Scattered throughout the continents are bus-stops at which a pair - in each case a human and an animal - are waiting for this modernday Noah's Ark. The photos of painted pottery figures portray the passengers, people of all races and ages in the company of an equally motley crowd of animals. The excerpts of a rudimentary world map help to give a geographical orientation. The humanistic message of this pretty little volume is quite subtle: there is no room for discrimination on this bus line. (7+) ☆

Special Mention - France (French) - 1997 - 124
Gudule
L'envers du décor
(The reverse side of the scene)
Paris: Hachette Jeunesse, 1996. 192 p.
ISBN 2-01-321338-7
Unemployment - Homelessness - Housesquatting - Solidarity - Charity
Felix and his mother have fallen upon hard times. They take refuge in a house illegally occupied by people out of work and illegal immigrants. The reader feels drawn in by the narrator and her concern for the social disadvantaged, taking part in their motley crew until they are brutally driven apart by the house demolition. Any tendency to regard the house-squatting movement as idyllic is firmly counteracted by the illustrations. With an unsettling and at times even grotesque clarity, the pictures mirror the desolate situation of society's outsiders, testing the humanity of the reader in this confrontation with unvarnished reality. (13+)

Special Mention - France (French) - 1997 - 125
Hans, Marie-Pierre (text/illus.)
Monsieur William
(Mr. William)
Paris: Grasset-Jeunesse, 1996. [32] p.
ISBN 2-246-51941-1
Goldfish - House - Imitation - Family
When no one else is home, Mr. William, a goldfish, takes leave of his fishbowl. He looks like a blown-up red beach ball, so fat that only half of him fits on the horizontal double-pages. He makes use of everything he finds, shaving himself, trying on Father's necktie and cruising around in the car. This is a picture book to look at with the very youngest, for whom reading means pointing and naming the colorful, haptic objects. The background, with its apparent lumps and scraps of newspaper paper maché, ideal for little fingers to fiddle with, will appeal to the tactile senses as well. (2+)

Special Mention - France (French) - 1997 - 126
Hellings, Colette (text)
Jacobs, Nadine (illus.)
Un bébé tombé du ciel
(A baby who fell from heaven)
Paris: Archimède, 1996. 30 p.
ISBN 2-211038921
Giraffe
A baby giraffe falls indeed from heaven, since at birth it is dropped 2 meters to earth. In just a few minutes it can stand up and begin to suckle at its mother's udder and to discover the world. This picture book shows the experiences in the first few days of life, how it is accepted into the herd and attacked by a lioness. The impressive expanse of the African savannah is ever-present in the doublespread illustrations of this generously sized landscape-format picture book. A brief appendix supplies further information about giraffes, which are fairly underrepresented in information books. (5+)

Special Mention - France (French) - 1997 - 127
Jardin, Alexandre (text)
Derobe, Alain (photos)
de Broca, Alexandre (special effects)
Cybermaman ou le voyage extraordinaire au centre d'un ordinateur
(Cybermaman or the extraordinary journey to the center of a computer)
Paris: Gallimard, 1996. 64 p.
ISBN 2-07-059412-2
Computer - Virtual reality - Adventure
A writer, a photographer and a specialist for optical effects have collaborated here, using technical equipment to create a new style of photonovel (livre cinématographique). The plot involves a virtual journey into the inner workings of a personal computer. Three brothers and sisters head off into cyberspace with their head-mounted displays after their computer crashs in order to find their favorite program which contains pictures, mementos and voice recordings of their dead mother. The oversized glossy photographs (of this oversized book) bring to view the surrealist nature of virtual space, including anti-viruses, which resembles a very real and opulent hall of horrors. (7+)

Special Mention - France (French) - 1997 - 128
Judes, Marie-Odile (text)
Bourre, Martine (illus.)
Maxime Loupiot
(Maxim Wolff)
Paris: Père Castor Flammarion, 1996. 32 p.
ISBN 2-08-160327-6
Wolf - Father/Son - Career choice
Father Wolf is in despair over his young son who takes after no one else in the family. He prefers gardening to hunting! All efforts to re-educate him to the ways of a wolf fail miserably. But the joke is on Father Wolf. This animal family leads a very human-like life in the vivacious illustrations. The artist had great fun in hinting at the wolfs' nature of the inhabitants in the details of the furniture. In spite of the fundamental antagonism of the fatherson relationship, there is much love and tenderness to be seen. This allows the young reader, undisturbed by any sense of fear, to take delight in the mishaps of this clumsy father. (6+)

Special Mention - France (French) - 1997 - 129
Kerisel, Françoise
Nona des sables
(Nona of the desert)
Paris: Albin Michel, 1996. 40 p.
ISBN 2-226-08236-0
Algeria - Colonization - War - Family - Memory
A young girl searches with a passion for her own roots in the family genealogy. She presses her great-grandmother to recall her past in Africa, but the old woman buries herself in painful silence, recalling how her forbears had moved to Algeria as colonizers in the 19th century, only to return to France during the Algerian war. Nona has lost her roots and yearns to return to the mimosa and the desert. But the shame over all that took place in the course of colonization and war seals her mouth. The interaction of this detective work and resistance to memory is reflected in scraps of conversation. Reproductions of historical postcards from Algeria are stitched between the leaves of this large-sized album. (10+)

Special Mention - France (French) - 1997 - 130
Korkos, Alain (text)
Truong, Marcelino (illus.)
En attendant Eliane
(Waiting for Elaine)
Paris: Syros, 1996. 75 p.
(Les uns les autres)
ISBN 2-841-46-321-4
Jews - Algeria/Pogrom 1934 - Emigration - Paris/Deportation 1942
The publisher has established a series of highly literary novels which treats the events of the most recent past and present involving breaches of human rights and violence in multicultural conflicts. The novels' protagonists are fictional, but their historical contexts are authentic. This particular novel deals with an Arabic Jew from Algeria, the last of his family, who lived through the waves of anti-semitic discrimination both in his homeland and in exile in Paris. Alone one rainy evening he recalls in a moving soliloquy the events that led to his parents' and sister's deaths in Algeria and Germany. The author weaves an epic tale on several levels and helps the young reader to keep on with the story even when the narration may engender only revolt, shock and pain. (14+) ☆

Special Mention - France (French) - 1997 - 131
Lévy, Didier (text)
Galibour, Coralie (illus.)
Peut-on faire confiance à un crocodile affamé?
(Can you trust a hungry crocodile?)
Paris: Albin Michel Jeunesse, 1996. [52] p.
ISBN 2-266-07170-9
Toad - Crocodile - Journey - Trust - Intelligence - Friendship
The answer to the question posed in the title would seem to be: no! Especially if one is a good-natured toad travelling in a balloon with a crocodile whose friendship ends where his hunger begins. But the happy end of the journey of this very odd couple proves that with a little intelligence and sympathy an enjoyable coexistence is possible, despite the extreme differences. The lively colors and surprisingly amusing viewpoints in the various sized pictures convey the humor and wisdom of this story in a high-spirited manner. (5+)

Special Mention - France (French) - 1997 - 132
Merleau-Ponty, Claire (text)
Ballantine, Kevin (photos)
Sally et le voleur du rêve
(Sally and the thief of dreams)
Paris: Hatier, 1996. 60 p.
ISBN 2-7438-0055-0
Australia - Aborigines - Painting - Tabu - Cultural gap - Adventure
The story of the aborigines and their nomad culture are caught up in the history of Sally and her family. After a taboo regarding the unique paintings of the tribes is broken, the resulting intrigue is used to elaborate on the rituals, the legends of life's origins. The fragile existence of this culture is vividly depicted, located on the breaking point between tradition and modernity, threatened with perversion by tourism and greedy profit. Scattered throughout the narrative are authentic ethnographic photos which also have the charm of intimate family memories. The documentary appendix provides supplemental details and summarizes the Aborigines' problems. (8+) ☆

Special Mention - France (French) - 1997 - 133
Mets, Alan (text/illus.)
Je suis parti!
(I'm on my way!)
Paris: L'École des Loisirs, 1996. 36 p.
ISBN 2-211-041-07-8
Cat - Night - Travel - Adventure
These travel adventures of a black cat produce a superb bedtime story. All the episodes take place at night in full-page, landscape format illustrations. Only one sentence is sufficient to explain each situation. Generous use of space and bold colors change the picture story from agitated to smooth lines, depending on the rise or decline in the drama of the scene. The lively eyes of the story's protagonists, who meet unexpectedly, have a language of their own. Peaceful cosiness prevails whenever you encounter a sleeper. (4+)

Special Mention - France (French) - 1997 - 134
Morgenstern, Susie
Lettres d'amour de 0 à 10
(Love letters from 0 to 10)
Paris: L'École des loisirs, 1996. 210 p.
ISBN 2-211-03693-7
Motherless child - Loneliness - Friendship - Joy of life
Ernest's mother died at his birth and his father left him to grow up with his grandmother, who lives almost completely immersed in memories of her past. As result, Ernest's life is sad and monotonous. But this changes overnight when Victoire, the new girl in his class who has an unlimited capacity for joy as well as 13 brothers, »adopts« him and awakens his lust for life. There is none too little comedy, but the story also gives room to fine psychological insights. The transformation which takes place in the lives of Ernest and his grandmother follows the well-proven maxim: One must first enjoy life, before preparing to die. (10+)
(Prix Totem Roman 1996)

Special Mention - France (French) - 1997 - 135
Morvan, Françoise (text)
Lapointe, Claude (illus.)
La gavotte du mille-pattes
(The gavotte of the centipede)
Arles: Actes Sud, 1996. 62 p.
Animals - Nonsense poetry
Children who enjoy the sounds of words and wordplay will be well-rewarded with this droll parade of animals. Inspired by the nonsense poems which describe a colorful bestiary in the absurdest situations, the illustrator has let his imagination run wild, trumping the text with even more nonsensical pictures. With souvereignity his full-paged illustrations dominate the narrow, upright format of this handy and prettily designed little book. (5+)

Special Mention - France (French) - 1997 - 136
Nozière, Jean-Paul
Une sixième en accordéon
(The sixth-grade accordeon class)
Paris: Rageot-Éditeur, 1996. 92 p.
ISBN 2-7002-2364-0
Gypsies - Differentness - Integration - Squatters
Feeling like good samaritans, the children of a sixth-grade class prepare to welcome Zoltan, a boy whose gypsy family has become squatters in the town's run-down city hall. In minutely recorded scenes, Zoltan's perceptive benchmate describes the ultimate failure of their attempts at integration. Even the teachers, who admire his talent on the accordeon and are portrayed as being unprejudiced, are unable to deal with his differentness, expressed in apathy and reserve. In the end, protests from the citizenry lead to a solution of »he gypsy problem« when the police enforce their eviction. (9+) ☆

Special Mention - France (French) - 1997 - 137
Place, François (text)
Besse, Christophe (illus.)
Le camion fantôme
(The ghostwagon)
Paris: Hachette Jeunesse, 1996. [32] p.
ISBN 2-01-223276-0
Old man - Retirement home - Mouse - Friendship - Helpfulness
When Monsieur Verchou, the vegetable seller, retires and moves into a retirement home, the four little mice who, like little elves, had always secretly loaded up his cart for the market, are sad. With cunning tricks, abetted by their friends, they manage to restore the run-down wagon and remove their protégé from the home. Large pictures in landscape format, drawn in vibrant colors and contours, reveal in abundant, realistic details the stages of this fantastical tale. (5+) ☼

Special Mention - France (French) - 1997 - 138
Prigent, Andrée (text/illus.)
Pouloute, l'hippopotame
(Pouloute, the hippopotamus)
Paris: Les Éditions Didier, 1996. [28] p.
ISBN 2-278-30013-X
Hippopotamus - Island - Sea - Colors - Painting
On a very tiny round island in the deep blue sea there is a tall chimney that looks like a cake made with an upside pail in a sandbox. A blue hippopotamus comes along every day with a little wagon full of painting tools and paints fish or starfish on its wall. Rain and moonlight turn them into lively animals that splash about in the water. Changing perspectives and picture segments lend the story its charm and surprise effects. Nothing can spoil this miniature, carefree world of play. The only question left unanswered is what color the fish will be painted tomorrow. (3+)

Special Mention - France (French) - 1997 - 139
Schneegans, Nicole
Une image de Lou
(A picture of Lou)
Paris: Gallimard, 1996. 330 p.
Albert-Lasard, Louise (1885-1969) - Biography - Painting
The highly unusual life of the headstrong artist, Louise Albert-Lasard, who is usually remembered only for her friendship with Rilke, is depicted in this biography. Driven by her artistic vocation and an iron will, she overcame many obstacles which arose from her middle-class Jewish background and a handicap in walking. Eccentric and independent, her chosen life-style led from Munich, Paris, and Berlin, where she stood in close contact with the avant-garde of the art world. Spanning two world wars and travels around the world, her life took place in a lively epoch of intellectual and world history which will be of great interest to adolescent readers. (16+)

Special Mention - France (French) - 1997 - 140
Sebbar, Leïla
La jeune fille au balcon
(The young girl on the balcony)
Paris: Seuil, 1996. 148 p.
ISBN 2 02 024800-X
Algeria/France - Family - Integration - Islam - Fundamentalism - Women's role
This ensemble of six tales gives a multifaceted perspective of the long-suffering and difficult relationship between Algeria and France. The fates of several persons are chosen to show the old and new wounds which stem from the colonial wars and years of immigration, from the current conflicts of identity and problems of integration, from the collision between modern times and religious tradition. The author, daughter of Algerian-French parents, gives a penetrating view of the current civil war in Algeria. Hers is the view of the protagonists and thus in immediate contact with the suffering victims. (13+) ☆

Special Mention - France (French) - 1997 - 141
Serres, Alain (text)
Mellinette, Martine (illus.)
Il y a le monde
(There is the world)
Le Chambon-sur-Lignon: Cheyne éditeur, 1996. [80] p.
Poetry/French - Travel - Observation - Life experience - Humanity
This bibliophile edition contains a collection of travel poetry written over many years. In only a few sentences the sensually recorded experiences are crystallized into an image, impressions into thoughts. Serres's travels took him from Mexico to Egypt. Brief, red-lettered lyrical notes, cross paths with graphic pen-drawings in orange and black, setting accents and awakening associations of leaves, birds, tracks and silhouettes. The fresh, very personal words reveal the author's power of perception and experience of life, for which young readers will be receptive. (12+)

Italy (Italian) - 1997 - 142
Argilli, Marcello (text)
Cimatoribus, Alessandra (illus.)
Alla signorina Elle con tanto affetto
(To Miss »L« with love)
Firenze: Fatatrac, 1996. 63 p.
(I nuovi ottagoni; 12 : Dire fare giocare)
ISBN 88-86228-74-0
Language - Alphabet - Wordplay
This book includes eight fantasy tales based on language and alphabet. The main characters are spelling, pronunciation, syntactical and grammatical mistakes, which experience adventures within various puns. Together they form a lively story reminiscent of Rodari's, Gianni »Il libro degli errori«. While ignoring the school standards of proper speech and writing, lingustic knowledge is subtly conveyed, letting children realize that it is possible to play and have fun with words. The book's aesthetically pleasing design presents the puns with extraordinary charm. The bright and expressive illustrations, some using lettering and collage techniques, employ strong contrasts in line and color. (8+)

Italy (Italian) - 1997 - 143
Bellot, Gina (text)
Pasini, Marilena (illus.)
La torta storta. Rime & filastrocche
(The crooked cake. Nursery rhymes and verses)
Roma: Nuove Edizioni Romane, 1996. 56 p.
(Nuova biblioteca dei ragazzi; 15: Poesia)
ISBN 88-85990-35-5
Poetry/Italian - Children's rhymes
This collection of 41 short nursery rhymes includes a full range of creativity, emotions, thought, feeling, nonsense and limerick. The book makes pleasant and light-hearted reading sustained by amusement and poetry, smile and memory. The alternating color and black-and-white illustrations scan the rhyming couplet's rhythm, suggesting new graphic inventions. (6+)

Italy (Italian) - 1997 - 144
Bindi Mondaini, Donatella (text)
Mariniello, Cecco (illus.)
Un coniglio nel cappello
(A rabbit in the hat)
Trieste: Edizioni EL, 1996. 87 p.
(Le letture; 105)
ISBN 88-7068-997-2
Appearance - Social expectations - Only child - Friendship
Twelve-year-old Silvia is too tall and too slim, has red hair and a freckled nose, and what's more she is an only child. But Silvia has many friends, including one with an enviable family of many children where she spends a lot of time. One day Silvia meets a friendly old magician and from that moment on her life is filled with adventures, unexpected events and new acquaintances. The tale brings out children's difficulty of accepting their physical differences and shows a way to overcome problems of communication, especially with adults. (5+)

Special Mention - Italy (Italian) - 1997 - 145
Conte, Tonino (text)
Luzzati, Emanuele (illus.)
Genova, una città in 20 storie
(Genoa, a city in 20 tales)
Roma: Laterza, 1996. 111 p.
ISBN 88-420-5099-7
Genoa/History
The author invites the reader on a voyage of discovery through the city of Genoa, past and present. He tells about its maritime tradition (Genoa was one of four Italian maritime republics), its legendary heroes, the architecture of its noble palaces and cultural festivals. He takes the reader on an enchanting walk through the ancient atmosphere of its streets, in search of the city's soul, which reveals itself in the intimate relationship with the sea. Blue prevails over all other colors in expressing the pervasive water of the sea that shapes the city's identity. In the illustrations Luzzati lavishes his enchanting chromatism and mastery of scene-settings to give a constituent lightness to the cityscape. His endless imagination lets him combine every possible kind of graphic technique. (12+)

Special Mention - Italy (Italian) - 1997 - 146
Lazzarato, Francesca (adapt.)
Galloni, Adelchi (illus.)
L'elefante di pietra. Fiabe e favole della tradizione indiana
(The stone elephant. Tales and legends from India)
Milano: Mondadori, 1996. 79 p.
(Fiabe Junior; 11)
ISBN 88-04-41545-2
India/Tales - India/Legends
The author continues her work of acquainting children with folktales from foreign cultures, choosing for this collection some of the most important traditional tales and legends of India. As usual, the anthology is supplemented by a documentary appendix consisting of concise and easily understood information and maps of the Indian subcontinent's history and geography, and in this way illustrating India's complicated religious and linguistic diversity, traditions, customs, and art styles for a better understanding of folktales. The text is complemented by watercolor illustrations which succeed in rendering the enchanting atmosphere of the Orient. (9+) ☆

Special Mention - Italy (Italian) - 1997 - 147
Lazzarato, Francesca (adapt.)
Ziliotto, Donatella (adapt.)
Carrer, Chiara (illus.)
Manuale del cacciatore di fantasmi
(Handbook for ghost-hunters)
Firenze: Salani, 1996. 115 p.
ISBN 88-7782-499-9
Ghost - Horror - Short stories
The best way of overcoming one's fear of ghosts is to hunt them, and with this »handbook« the authors supply information on how to become a »perfect ghost hunter«. The book includes short tales, legends, traditions, tricks and games for parties, all related to horror. Fear in all its forms (place, sound, color) is faced, showing that you can have fun with it. The black-and-white pendrawings capture important moments of suspense and drama. (10+)

Special Mention - Italy (Italian) - 1997 - 148
Luciani, Domenica (text)
Luciani, Roberto (illus.)
Cinema segreto
(Filming secrets)
Firenze: Giunti, 1996. 190 p.
(Giunti Ragazzi Universale; 19)
ISBN 88-09-20867-6
Video camera - Film - Everyday life - Observation - Friendship
Sara and Marina are friends who share a common passion for films, both seeing and making them. With Sara's father's video camera they decide to make a movie about their families' everyday life. Unknown to everyone, the two girls film, among other things, Sara's sister running away from home, her boyfriend in love with an older woman or a party of Sara's parents. The girls spy on grown-ups and reveal their secret and hypocritical behaviors, collecting the evidence in a new form of audio-video-electronic diary. For each event there is a congenial reference to characters and motifs from famous recent films (such as »Beauty and the Beast« or »Jurassic Park«). The author's appealing use of language, imitating the idiom spoken by today's teenagers, achieves highly witty effects. (11+)

Special Mention - Italy (Italian) - 1997 - 149
Mignone, Sebastiano Ruiz (text)
Frasca, Simone (illus.)
Guidone Mangiaterra e gli sporcaccioni
(Guidone the Earth-eater and the filthy slobs)
Casale Monferrato: Piemme, 1996. 128 p.
(Il battello a vapore, Serie azzurra; 22)
ISBN 88-384-3522-7
Italy/Folktale - Fairy tale - Curse - Odor - Filth - Adventure - Love - Courage - Justice
Lovely Rita is supposed to marry Gardenio III Profumo, the prince of the Kingdom of Profumino. But then, out of spite, a filthy Slob (Sporcaccione) succeeds in making her stomach rumble with »embarrassing noises«. In search of a good doctor, the much underestimated little Guidone sets off on an adventurous journey full of unexpected encounters, dramatic moments and Sporcaccioni's evil traps. The tale belongs to the fantasy genre, with a prince, an enchanted beauty, a strange witch and a wicked wizard who resemble the characters of classical fairy tales. The author brings together with proportion and gaiety figures from the folklore of Italy's different regions in a felicitous combination of prose and verse. (7+)
(Premio Andersen 1996 for age group 6 to 9)

Special Mention - Italy (Italian) - 1997 - 150
Nanetti, Angela (text)
D'Altan, Paolo (illus.)
Mistero sull'isola
(Mystery on the island)
Trieste: Einaudi Ragazzi, 1996. 133 p.
(Narrativa; 54)
ISBN 88-7926-216-5
Island - Loneliness - Family conflict - Abduction - Growing up
Dario leads a very lonely life on an island which comes alive only during the summer months. But his hope for a dangerous adventure is fulfilled when he becomes suspicious of a boat's illegal cargo and the strange signals coming from a mysterious villa. When he starts to investigate, Dario gets into trouble and his father's vineyards are set on fire, forcing him to face up to the reality of organized crime. This is a story of kidnapping but also of initiation into adulthood, the time to face one's parents and forgive their failures. The author's narrative style skilfully conveys the island's atmosphere of »omertà« (conspiracy of silence) and fear which is also well portrayed by the illustrator's quivering line-drawings. (11+)

Special Mention - Italy (Italian) - 1997 - 151
Pratesi, Fulco (text)
Maugeri, Stefano (illus.)
Dalle caverne ai grattacieli. Gli italiani e l'ambiente
(From caves to skyscrapers. Italians and the environment)
Roma: Laterza, 1996. 158 p.
(Laterza ragazzi)
ISBN 88-420-5047-4
Environmental destruction/History - Environmental protection
Human attacks on flora and fauna began already in the Paleolithic Age and have continued over the centuries, from an ever increasing deforestation for farming and settlements, right up to the presentday life-endangering level of pollution. Giving an interesting historical overview, this work also shows how to lead a more natural and respectful lifestyle. Even if we cannot turn back the course of time and disassemble our high-tech world, the author maintains that it is possible to halt the future destruction of nature. The drawings by Maugeri that complement the text have a touch of irony that encourages understanding and reflection. (12+)

Special Mention - Italy (Italian) - 1997 - 152
Quarzo, Guido (text)
Costa, Nicoletta (illus.)
Marmellata di basilico
(Basil jam)
Trieste: Edizioni EL, 1996. 49 p.
(Le letture; 101)
ISBN 88-7068-915-8
Liguria - Village life - Tradition - School holidays - Grandmother - Environmental awareness
Giulia spends her summer holidays with her grandmother in a fishing village with cottages encircled by thick green foliage laying below hills that drop to the sea dotted with many islets. In her imagination she sees also pirates and treasures to hunt. This is a short, witty and well-crafted tale of daydreams and wishes, which mixes realistic description with fantastic visions. It also features the conspiratorial tie between grandparents and grandchildren. Pencil drawings with joyful and captivating simplicity accompany the text. (6+)

Special Mention - Italy (Italian) - 1997 - 153
Quarzo, Guido (text)
Mariniello, Cecco (illus.)
Ranocchi a merenda
(Frogs for snacks)
Casale Monferrato: Piemme, 1996. 49 p.
(Il battello a vapore, Serie bianca; 15)
ISBN 88-384-3415-8
Frog prince <motif> - Transformation - Adventure - Love - Friendship
Once upon a time there was a lonely fairy who turned every frog she met into a prince - wrongly believing that they were all enchanted princes - in the hope of finding the prince of her dreams. But the poor frogs complained bitterly because, though they had the appearance of human beings, they still ate gnats and were unable to speak. At last one clever frog invited her to turn herself into a frog and join him in the pond. She did and they lived happily ever after. The amusing illustrations successfully harmonize with the author's singular, fluent style. (6+) ☼

Special Mention - Italy (Italian) - 1997 - 154
Scuderi, Lucia (text/illus.)
Hoplà
(Oops!)
Firenze: Fatatrac, 1996. [12] p.
(Dalla parte degli animali)
ISBN 88-86228-70-8
Chicken - Egg - Curiosity - Crocodile
A chicken encounters a gigantic egg and tries to open it by force. Using its sharp beak as a tool, it gets the shock of its life when a grinning crocodile suddenly peeps out of the shell. This is the essence of the simple story which is told in only a few pictures and summarized on the last page in three sentences. The expressiveness of the chalk-drawn illustrations of this small-sized board book are most impressive. Lucia Scuderi reduces the story to its minimal elements. There is nothing more to see than a white chicken, an orange egg and a deep blue background. With no more than the perfectly captured postures and expressions of the chicken, the youngest reader will readily understand the plot. (3+)

Special Mention - Portugal (Portuguese) - 1997 - 155
La Fontaine, Jean de (text)
Modesto, António (illus.)
Sabler, António (transl.)
Fábulas
(Fables)
Porto: Edinter, 1995. [88] p.
ISBN 972-43-0264-4
LaFontaine, Jean de - Fables
This collection of 20 fables from Jean de La Fontaine includes such well-known favorites as »The Lion and the Mouse« and the »Hare and the Tortoise.« For each fable there is a full-paged (landscape format) color illustration by António Modesto, which portrays in general only the main characters. They are the focus of the artist, free against a colored background, with additional details only sporadically hinted at. The occasional landscape illustrations stand out with their organic, flowing and expressive forms. There is a conspicuous contrast between the predominant pastel tones in many pictures and the luminous shades of blue and green in others. Often the artist portrays the protagonists as if using a zoom lens, bringing them in so close that only a segment can be seen. Among the wide range of perspectives, one sees the chattering raven in the tree, while the reed is seen looking up at the mighty oak. The illustrations of the beautiful, meticulously designed book, which is bound in carmine red linen, bear a resemblance to the pictures of the Italian artist Lorenzo Mattotti. (8+)

Special Mention - Portugal (Portuguese) - 1997 - 156
Mota, António (text)
Christ, Bayard (illus.)
A casa das bengalas
(The house of walking sticks)
Porto: Edinter, 1995. 147 p.
(Edinter Jovem; 14)
ISBN 972-43-0254-7
Old age - Generational conflict - Retirement home - City/Land
A grandfather who has lived his entire life in the country moves in with his family in the big city, but doesn't get along with them - nor they with him. He returns to his village and ultimately moves into a nearby retirement home. The decision is accompanied with tears, feelings of guilt and a portion of resignation, which everyone involved learns to live with. From the point of view of the grandchild, related with laconic, dry humor, António Mota gives us sure fire, realistic descriptions that do not avoid the unpleasant parts of growing old. This excellent tale treats old age with great respect and loving kindness, without drifting off into cheap show of emotion. (12+)

Spain (Spanish) - 1997 - 157
Alcántara, Ricardo (text)
Gusti (illus.)
Quién quiere a los viejos?
(Who likes old people anyway?)
Zaragoza: Vives, 1996. 105 p.
(Ala delta; 200; Serie verde)
ISBN 84-263-3263-3
Old man - Old woman - Love - Respect - Dignity
Violeta loves Evaristo and Evaristo loves Violeta. This would be nothing special except that they are not youngsters anymore. When Evaristo is finally ready to confess his love to Violeta, her niece Josefina goes to all extremes to prevent Violeta from learning that Evaristo wants to marry her. Until the happy end finally arrives, the unsuspecting Violeta is just a pawn in the hands of Josefina, who strives above all to protect her inheritance. Although this entertaining and sometimes even suspenseful and touching story tends at times to be a little too black-and-white, it convicingly conveys the idea that falling in love is something quite natural and can happen to anyone at any time in life. (9+)

Spain (Spanish) - 1997 - 158
Davi (i.e. David Zaday Caballero) (text/illus.)
Historias de soles
(Stories of suns)
Barcelona: Destino, 1996. 36 p.
ISBN 84-233-2670-5
Sun
In this story the sun has many faces. In short episodes and events we encounter such strange species as the spaghetti sun or the pirate sun and learn about its everyday routines, the differences between the sun that rises over the mountains and the sun that rises over the ocean. With humor, poetic charm and witty, absurd wordplay the text takes aim at various stereotypes and platitudes - which may not always be readily understood by the very young readers. The text finds a congenial match in the line drawings which are touched in warm colors and seem just dashed off. This still quite young author-illustrator (born 1974) won the Apel·ls Mestres Pize for Illustration with this work. (5+)

Spain (Spanish) - 1997 - 159
Fraile, Ruth (text)
Alcover, José Luis (illus.)
Hamburguesa de mamut. Historia de la alimentación humana
(Mammoth hamburgers. The history of human nutrition)
Madrid: Ediciones de la Torre, 1996. 110 p.
(Colección Alba y Mayo; Serie Ciencia; 2)
ISBN 84-7960-079-9
Nutrition/History
This information book provides a short, entertaining outline of the history of human nutrition. It takes into consideration everything from the menus of our Stone Age ancestors to our present-day eating habits. Along with the historical developments there is also information about habits determined by climate or culture and practical tips for a balanced diet. Humorous color illustrations round out this informative book. (10+) ☆

Spain (Spanish) - 1997 - 160
López Narváez, Concha (text)
Salmerón, Carmelo (text)
Salmerón ópez, Rafael (illus.)
El viaje de Viento Pequeño
(Little Wind's journey)
León: Everest, 1996. 71 p.
(Montaña encantada)
ISBN 84-241-3269-6
Wind - Growing up - Personality development - Self-realization
What will I grow up to be? thinks Little Wind. In order to answer this important question about his future, Little Wind travels around the world, meeting with others like himself who already have very different occupations, such as the hardworking Mill Wind or the destructive Violent Wind. Little Wind is at a loss, because none of those jobs interest him. But finally he finds the right profession as Park Wind that lets kites fly and helps birds to fly. In a simple style this story makes clear that every individal has his or her own ablities; every activity isvaluable and most important of all is that it is satisfying. (6+) ☼

Special Mention - Spain (Spanish) - 1997 - 161
Madrid, Juan
Los cañones de Durango
(The canons of Durango)
Madrid: Alfaguara, 1996. 168 p.
(Serie roja)
ISBN 84-204-4450-2
Mexico/Revolution/History 1915 - Father/Son - Quest - War - Civil war
This novel looks back upon the adventure of an about 18-year-old Spanish youth, Salvador, during the confusion of the Mexican revolution. After his mother dies, he travels to that country, already torn by Civil War, to find his father who is fighting on the side of Pancho Villa, the revolutionary. After surviving several death-threating situation, he finds his father, but can only speak to him for +a short time before his father is killed in the battle of the city of Torreón. Salvador then returns to Spain. The novel is absolutely gripping and skilfully interweaves the adventures o a fictitious hero in the process of growing up with historical events. The real protagonist of the book is war itself. As a representative of other (civil) wars, it is clearly portrayed as merciless cruelty that stops for nothing and no one. War is like a game of chance in which survival is only an accident, and life worth nothing. People are shot without hesitation, hung up or cruelly mistreated. The warprofiteers feather their own nests, reporters try to get »good« pictures. All this is depicted very realistically, direct and without any filters, from the not yet warped perspective of the newcomer, Salvador. The novel does not moralize and yet it is deeply moral, since the images speak for themselves, making any commentary superfluous. (14+)

Special Mention - Spain (Spanish) - 1997 - 162
Morábito, Fabio (text)
Seoane, Marina (illus.)
Cuando las panteras no eran negras
(When the panthers were not yet black)
Madrid: Siruela, 1996. 98 p.
(Las tres edades; 45)
ISBN 84-7844-304-5
Panther - Evolution - Transformation - Group/Individual - Freedom - Independence
This story about the supposed transformation of the panther from an animal of the savannah to a cat of prey of the jungle is in essence a parable of the antagonistic relationship between the strict rules governing a group and the self-determining, independent loner. The author poses the thesis that independence and the desire to overcome boundaries are superior to a desire for security and the fearful clinging to everything familiar. The precise and intense descriptions of nature and sometimes surprsing applications of huan parameters to the animal kingdom make fascinating reading. Yet the novel provokes protest in as much as by making animals think as humans it suggests that the law of the jungle, Darwin's principle of the survival of the fittest, is also a determinant for human life. (13+)

Special Mention - Spain (Spanish) - 1997 - 163
Moure Trenor, Gonzalo
Lili, Libertad
(Lili, Freedom)
Madrid: SM, 1996. 109 p.
(El barco de vapor / Serie roja; 92)
ISBN 84-348-5066-4
Outsider - Loneliness - Courage - Self-confidence - Personality development
Lili is still new in town and feels uncomfortable, alone and unnoticed. And it is not easy to get along with her mother, who has gotten heavily involved in her profession since the divorce from Lili's father. When Lili is the only one to appear in the classroom without a costume on the day before Mardi Gras, she is suddenly the center of attention - and is all the more so when she is the only one to appear in costume on the following day. The teachers accuse her of being defiant and insubordinate, but for Lili it is the way she takes to strengthen her self-confidence nd define her own personality. The story describes very exactly and sensitively the feelings of children who have to deal with their surroundings and their role as an outsider. (11+)
(Premio El Barco de Vapor 1995)

Special Mention - Spain (Spanish) - 1997 - 164
Piérola, Mabel (text/illus.)
Historia de la piedra y la montaña
(The story of the stone and the mountain)
Barcelona: Edebé, 1996. [36] p.
(Tren azul; 26)
ISBN 84-236-4096-5
Ignorance - Hate - Jealousy - Intimacy - Friendship - Love
Since time immemorial stone and mountain have lived along side one another in a vast, barren landscape. The involuntary neighbors are united in their mutual distaste and a jealousy based on the other's differentness. It is finally the wind which must blow for hundreds of years in order to bring the two together before they discover with amazement that they are made of the same material. Mabel Piérola has set highly individualistic illustrations to her parabel about ignorance and prejudice held by two basically identical beings. The forms seem t recede into blurs, only hinted at in the earth-tone pictures. Some objects are given only an abstract representation, as for example time, which is represented by little grey rectangles. (6+)

Special Mention - Spain (Spanish) - 1997 - 165
Rosell, Joel Franz (text)
Sesé, Daniel (illus.)
Las aventuras de Rosa de los Vientos y Perico el de los Palotes. Novela en ocho cuentos y medio
(The adventures of Rosa of the Winds and Perico with the Sticks. A novel in eight and a half stories)
Barcelona: Arca, 1996. 115 p.
(Tren de cuerda; 21)
ISBN 84-478-0382-1
Kite - Fantasy journey - Foreign world - Social criticism
The protagonists of this fairytale-like fantasy take leave of their home country, a tiny kingdom »as big as a fly-speck« with their self-made kite. In the course of their travels they encounter foreign societies, bizarre rulers and puffed-up scholars. In the end they return to their own country, which they had once saved from the expansionst efforts of their king. This highly imaginative story by the Cubanauthor, Rosell, follows th tradition of the »voyage imaginaire« and provides much food for thought. As in »Gulliver's travels« the countries visited are satirical reflections of the protagonists' own world. By looking in from the outside, it is possible to criticize the authorities and the deficiencies of human society. (9+)

Spain (Catalan) - 1997 - 166
Duran, Teresa (text)
Max (illus.)
Què hi ha per a sopar?
(What's for supper?)
Barcelona: Publ. de l'Abadia de Montserrat, 1996. 24 p.
(Popof i Kocatasca; 1)
ISBN 84-7826-719-0
Winter - Soup - Rooster - Hunting
On account of the biting frost, the queen commands the royal cook, Popov, to cook a hearty soup. But all of the chickens which might be eligible for this meal are warned by the suspicious rooster, Kocatasca, and flee the castle in a panic. When the enraged Popov sets off to hunt down Kocatasca instead, he quite accidentally defeats a dangerous dragon. As a result, various dragon dishes can be served and the poultry is saved. This humorous story, the first in a new series, is accompanied by comic-like pictures which give excellent expression to the pace and grotesqeness of the text. (8)

Spain (Catalan) - 1997 - 167
Grimm, Jacob (text)
Grimm, Wilhelm (text)
Carrasco, Xavier (adapt.)
Infante, Francesc (illus.)
El nan belluguet
(Rumpelstiltskin)
Barcelona: La Galera, 1996. [28] p.
(laGalera popular; 27)
ISBN 84-246-1457-7
German/Fairy tale - Devil - Pledge - Name - Secret
This new volume in the series »la Galera popular« is a further example of the excellent quality of this prize-winning collection of folk and fairy tales from around the world. The text, illustrations, vignettes, layout, typography and design make this adaption of »Rumpelstilzchen« a reading pleasure. Francesc Infante, 1996 winner of Spain's Premio Nacional, has created the illustrations in his characteristic style. Brownish tones predominate, figures and backgrounds are abstract and stylized, the shapes are often noticealy geometric, ad through the distortin of porportion and perspe-tives the portrayals are especially expressive. (6+)

Spain (Galician) - 1997 - 168
Docampo, Xabier P. (text)
Jaraba, Fran (illus.)
Cando petan na porta pola noite
(Knocks on the door at night)
Vigo: Ed. Xerais de Galicia, 1994. 91 p.
(Merlín)
ISBN 84-7507-804-4
(Spanish ed.: Madrid: Anaya, 1996)
Fear - Horror
This collection of four spooky stories do not work their effect with bloodthirstiness or extreme phantasy, but rather by creating an atmosphere of uneasiness. In each one the main protagonists gets tangled up in a situation which he doesn't understand and cannot escape: a man who encounters his doppelganger or another man who is given notice of his departure from this life in the form of an obituary notice. Xabier Docampo weaves the traditional literary elements of his native Galicia into his idiosyncratic stories. He was awarded the Spanish natonal literary prize for ths work. (9+)

Special Mention - Switzerland (French) - 1997 - 169
Bille, S. Corinna
Chappaz, Maurice
L'attente des images
(Images in waiting)
Genève: La Joie de Lire, 1996. 76 p. With illustrations
ISBN 2-88258-073-8
Middle East - Islam - Miniatures - Observation
The favorite book of Corinna Bille (1912-1979) in her father's library contained miniature paintings of the islamic world of the Middle East. The fascination of this lyrical, mysterious, stylistic world in miniature remained with the author her whole life long. A collection of reflections on these pictures has now been made accessible in a bibliophile edition by her husband, the writer Maurice Chappaz. He has also added three texts of his own and a very personal afterword. In the descrip-tions there is a union of microscopic observation, that perceives even the most unlikely feaures, and of sensiive intuition, that is capable of uncovering the melancholy that is present in these pictures. Both adults and youth will be tempted by this manner of observation to enjoy this leisurely en-counter with the princesses, princes and wisemen in the gardens of oriental poetry. (13+)

Special Mention - Switzerland (French) - 1997 - 170
Louis, Catherine
Le Livre
(The book)
Genève: La Joie de Lire, 1996. [24] p.
(Ciboulette et Léon)
ISBN 2-88258-097-8
Bear - Play - Book - Wordless picture book
This is an example of a series of four-inch square books made especially for little hands. Each contains a story without words in a sequence with all the charm and magic of an animated film. The two protagonists, a child and a bear, impishly show all the things one can do with a book besides reading it and how to perfect the art of playing with illusions. (3+)

Argentina (Spanish) - 1997 - 171
Birmajer, Marcelo (text)
Forcadell, María Gabriela (illus.)
Fábulas salvajes
(Wild fables)
Buenos Aires: Ed. Sudamericana, 1996. 79 p.
(Sudamericana joven)
ISBN 950-07-1180-x
Fables - Animals
Marcelo Birmajer follows in te tradition of Aesop's and LaFontaine's animal fables, but breaks with it in as much as he very consciously avoids ending his short, laconic texts with the usual, ready-to-use moral of the story. Perhaps this is the very reason that these fables encourage the readers to ask such elementary questions as: What is good and what is evil? Is there such a thing as a moral? And who gives us the right to judge the behavior of others? Would we turn into a-moral, wild beasts if there were no moral principles? With their often surprising turns of plot and unexpected ndings, these fables invie discussion and contradiction because they depart from the accustomed trains of thought. (12+)

Argentina (Spanish) - 1997 - 172
Montes, Graciela (text)
Rojas, Oscar (illus.)
Aventuras y desaventuras de Casiperro del Hambre
(Adventures and misadventures of Poordog the Starved)
Buenos Aires: Colihue, 1995. 140 p.
(Colección Los Libros de Boris)
ISBN 950-581-275-2
City life - Dog - Outsider - Poverty
The dog Oreja struggles through life as a true underdog, doing service among other things as a circus attraction or as a model for toys. At long last he finds someone - like himself also a homeless streetwalker - who endows him with a sense of worth and nobility in the form of a melodious name which resembles that of Spanish aristocrats, Casiperro Gil del Hambre, Caballero de la Oreja. As the title of the book suggests, this masterfully told story borrows from the picaresque novel. With the autobiograpical, demasking perspectve of an outsider and an episodic narrative structure, it casts light on the ways of the world - in this case, in a modern-day metropolis. (10+)

Brazil (Portuguese) - 1997 - 173
Chamlian, Regina (text)
Alexandrino, Helena (illus.)
A cuca vem pegar
(The Cucu will get you)
São Paulo: Ática, 1996. 40 p.
(Contos de espantar meninos)
ISBN 85-08-05874-8
Brazil/Folktale - Witch - Cannibalism - Nighttime - Kidnapping
In the series »Contos de espantar meninos« (Tales to scare children), Regina Chamlin retells fantastic folktales and stories found in the Brazilian tradition, accompanied by the prize-winning artist Helena Alexandrino. This volume relates the story of Julinho, a young boy, who is kidnapped by the witch, Cuca. She steals children from their beds at night and takes them to her castle, where she will eventually make a meal of them. Fortunately, he and others are saved when the witch eats much too much other food and explodes from flatulence. he full-sized color illutrations and black-and-white line drawings depict the magical character of the witch's castle and the bizarreness of this spooky but funny tale. (8+)

Brazil (Portuguese) - 1997 - 174
Goldin, Alberto (text)
Ohtake, Tomie (illus.)
Gota d'agua
(Waterdrop)
São Paulo: Berlendis & Vertecchia, 1995. [44] p.
(Arte para Criança)
Ohtake, Tomie - Painting - Arts
In this ambitious series of art books for children each volume brings together one artist and one author, both from Brazil. The author creates literary pieces for each of the artist's works being presented in order to make their approaches to art more accessible. These are less information books than creative encounters, invitations to get involved with visual art. In this book Alberto Goldin tells the lyrical tale of the »life« and travels of a waterdrop based on the abstract pictures of the painter Tomie Ohtake. (10+)

Brazil (Portuguese) - 1997 - 175
Mello, Roger (text/illus.)
Bumba meu boi bumbá
(<Brazilian folklore dance>)
Rio de Janeiro: Agir, 1996. [24] p.
ISBN 85-220-0452-8
Brazil/Folklore - Bull/Slaughter - Punishment/Rescue
Bumba meu boi is an amusing drama-filled dance in the traditional Brazilian folklore. In essence it deals with Pai Francisco, who cuts out the tongue of a bull to satisfy the cravings of his pregnant wife. He is - or should be - meted out a cruel punishment, but is saved when the animal is revived. Roger Mello re-tells the tale here in verse form on the basis of tales in Brazil's oral tradition. His illustrations make use of the ornamental patterns of the Indian folklore in conjunction with elements of modern art: geometric stilization, cubist disproportion and compositions resembling colage. Those who know Mello's work will be once again fascinated to see that he does not confine himself to any one style, but is always trying out new techniques. (10+)

Chile (Spanish) - 1997 - 176
Morel, Alicia (text)
Gerber, Thomas (illus.)
La era del sueño
(The age of dreams)
Santiago de Chile: Dolmen Ed., 1995. 109 p.
ISBN 956-201-242-3
Fairy tales - Legends - Fantasy worlds
This information book introduces the world of fairies, trolls, dwarfs and giants. In various chapters the figures of legends, mythical tales and folktales, as well as literary fairy tales or the works of Shakespeare are presented. Furthermore, the reader becomes acquainted with legendary and magical places such as the famous islands such as Avalon, castles such as Camelot or distant worlds such as El Dorado. This book gives a glimpse of the nearly inmeasurable diversity of the topic; by moving across cultures and epoches and approaching the subject in thematic groups, it shows interesting lnks and parallels beteen creatures and places of different origins. (13+)

Colombia (Spanish) - 1997 - 177
Reyes, Yolanda (text)
Rabanal, Daniel (illus.)
El terror de sexto »B« y otras historias del colegio
(The terror of class 6B and other school stories)
Bogotá: Santillana, 1995. 96 p.
ISBN 958-24-0282-2
School/Short story
In a skillful, psychologically insightful manner Reyes tells seven stories about everyday life at school each with a different main protagonist. They are school children that can be found anywhere. The reader will recognize them and identify with their experiences such as falling in love or dreading to face the next day of school. The stories are witty and humorous, at times subversive, and in each case showing an irreverent attitude toward school as an institution. The author does not try to pretend to be one of the kids by using a supposedly youthful slng, nor does she pointa moralizing finger. (10+)

Mexico (Spanish) - 1997 - 178
Posadas, Carmen (text)
Martínez, Enrique (illus.)
Liliana bruja urbana
(Liliana, the urban witch)
México, D.F.: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1996 (1st ed. 1995). 47 p.
(A la orilla del viento; 63: Para los que están aprendiendo a leer)
ISBN 968-16-4680-0
Witch - Tom cat - Modern life - Tradition - City life - Country life
Although Liliana, an urban witch, appreciates the comforts of modern life, she is simply sick and tired of the hustle and bustle of her surroundings. So she decides to move to the country, taking along her spoiled tom cat, Gómez, who finds the idea awful. Life in the country turns out to be idyllic but quite uncomfortable because the convenient instant magic potion cubes soon run out and Liliana has to begin brewing everything in the old fashioned mannr again. In the end thetwo city creatures return to their old haunts in the city. This tale casts an original light on the differences in life styles between city and country; the fluent, humorous narrative is abundantly spiked with witty ideas. (8+)

Special Mention - Venezuela (Spanish) - 1997 - 179
Cotte, Carlos (illus.)
Chumba la cachumba
(<Nonsense song>)
Caracas: Ekaré, 1995. 28 p.
(Colección Clave de sol; Canciones tradicionales para cantar y contar)
ISBN 980-257-114-8
Venezuela/Folk song - Cemetery - Skeleton
Thirteen verses of a traditional Venezuelan nonsense song give structure to this amusing and very originally designed picture book. The catchy rhythm of the monotonous melody encourage everyone to sing along, to dance and clap along. The rhythm is also evident in the dynamic of the double-sided illustrations, which are a mixed technique of computer graphic and hand-painted pictures. The song gives answer to the question as to how the dead keep from being bored to death. They let their imagination run wild, they put on plays, dance and sing. These pale, boney figures dance their funny-scary roundabouts against the background of the cemetery with its stylized, interlocking crosses and gravestones in varying shades of grey under a petroleum green sky, facing the eye of the beholder as if on a stage or in front of a camera. Between the grotesque contortions, grimaces and funny props the adult reader will discover sophisticated citations from literature, art and popular culture such as the Mona Lisa or the Infanta from Velázquez's »Las Meninas«. The most irreverent reference is surely the parody of Da Vinci's »The Last Supper« in which the skeletons are found devouring tasty deserts while in the background a stained-glass window portrays the saints of our modern consumer society: sport heros and Mickey Mouse. (3+)

Special Mention - Canada (French) - 1997 - 180
Desrosiers, Sylvie
Le long silence
(The long silence)
Montréal: La courte échelle, 1996. 146 p.
ISBN 2-89021-256
Suicide - Bereavement - Friendship - Puberty
Alice is dead. The beautiful, talented and popular young girl committed suicide. Matthew stands at her coffin, angry and confused, just one hour before cremation. He calls to mind all the things he did together with Alice: in kindergarten they were playmates and then inseparable friends at school, daring and full of life. For him, a shy young boy, their friendship had turned, unawares, into love. But Alice had pulled back. Her friend only comes to realize what dangers and sensitivity hovered behind her self-assured facade, after she took that final step. Through his grief, Matthew is certain at last, that Alice will remain a part of his life. This hour of leave-taking becomes for him a rite of initiation. He knows now, that to love does not mean to possess. The psychological insight of the author into her protagonists state of mind give the novel its credibility. Especially convincing from a literary perspective are the monologues which shift between the past and the present. The narrative voice reflects the hero's manner of thought. By being honest with himself he gains the reader's empathy. (13+)
(Prix Brive-Montréal 12/17, 1996)

Special Mention - Canada (French) - 1997 - 181
Lamontagne, Michel
L'arbre noir
(The black tree)
Montréal: Médiaspaul, 1996. 163 p.
ISBN 2-89420-329-2
Planet/Lizard - Immigrants - Assimilation -
Cultural conflict - Adventure - Science Fiction This first novel is set in extraterrestial fields and uses all the tricks of science fiction with humor and intelligence. Twelve-year-old Jean has emigrated with his parents to the lizard planet of Tiäne, where he is now a guest and forced to adapt to the different life-style and disgusting eating habits of the »natives.« Jean's commentaries on these very funny collisions of two different cultures give young readers, indirectly, some insights into problems of integration and cultural conflicts. (11+)

Special Mention - Canada (French) - 1997 - 182
Noël, Michel
Pien
(<Proper name>)
Waterloo: Ed. Michel Quintin, 1996. 195 p.
ISBN 2-89435-084-8
Northern Canada/1950s - Childhood memories
These are well-written memories of a childhood in the northern region of Canada which read like a historical novel. How long past the 1950s seem today, when a youth grows up in the northern region of Canada where the Indians still live as nomads in the forests and the Whites almost like colonialists. Such a life has its hard but fascinating side, but the modern-day technological advances are unstoppable and bring radical changes with them. The individual protagonists are well-drawn character portraits and still untouched nature is experienced as a wonderful mystery. (12+)

Special Mention - Canada (French) - 1997 - 183
Tibo, Gilles
Noémie, le secret de Madame Lubago
(Noémie, Madame Lubago's secret)
Boucherville: Québec/Amérique Jeunesse, 1996. 164 p.
ISBN 2-89037-698-2
Child/Old Woman - Friendship - Tenderness - Play - Learning - Wordly wisdom
Young Noémie, lively and full of antics, is absolutely convinced that her neighbor, the kindhearted Madame Lumbago, has a hidden treasure in her apartment. Noémie tries out every possible trick, but her ultimate finding of the treasure is only secondary to the storyline. More important is the tender friendship between the two of them, which unfolds in so many ways - in rollicking nonsense at play, gazing at the wonders of the world together or being with each other without need for words when Monsieur Lumbago dies suddenly. (8+)
(Prix du Gouverneur Général catégorie littérature de jeunesse [texte], 1996)

Denmark (Danish) - 1997 - 184
Bredsdorff, Bodil
Safran
(<Proper name>)
København: Høst & Søn, 1996. 99 p.
ISBN 87-14-19422-8
Thief - Escape - Adventure
Safran gathers herbs with her mute father in the mountains and dreams of sharing an idyllic house in the city with her family. After joining up with a group of caravan travellers in order to reach the city of her dreams, it is attacked by highway thieves. She is able to escape and find her own way with the help of a young robber who is on the run. But it is a long way back home. The author weaves together adventure, a love story and a coming-ofage tale into a gripping story. (10+) ☼

Special Mention - Denmark (Danish) - 1997 - 185
Clausen, Jacob
Som et lille himmerige
(Like a little piece of heaven)
København: Forum, 1996. 130 p.
ISBN 87-553-2496-9
Escape - Farmer - Friendship
After twelve-year-old Jim defends himself with a knife against three stronger boys, he must flee for fear of being followed. He goes to an old solitary farmer who readily lets him help with the work and gives Jim the sense of being needed. When Alfred falls ill and is taken away in an ambulance, Jim has to find his own way. In a plain, sober but for that reason quite remarkable tone, the author develops this moving comradship that is based on mutual help and creates a little idyll outside of the threat-filled world. (12+) ☼

Special Mention - Denmark (Danish) - 1997 - 186
Karrebæk, Dorte (text/illus.)
Pigen der var go' til mange ting
(The girl who could do so many things)
København: Forum, 1996. [28] p.
ISBN 87-553-2389-8
Parent/Child - Conflict - Personality development
This is a story of a girl who has to do everything for herself because her parents are completely occupied with themselves and their arguments. She proposes that they hold a masked ball and her parents actually turn into a cat and dog, corresponding to their behavior. She soon grows up and goes her own way - »sooner or later all children leave home, she left sooner.« The illustrations are fascinating in their mixture of grotesque exaggeration and charming portrayal of the heroine. The events take place in recognizable settings which are reduced to simple, expressive caricatures. The artist uses bold colors but has limited herself to only a few tones. Dorte Karrebæk is an artist well worth discovering. (10+)

Special Mention - Denmark (Danish) - 1997 - 187
Lundbye, Vagn (text)
Edeltoft, Anne Mette (illus.)
Karolines dyrejeg
(Karoline's Me-animal)
København: Thorup, 1996. [34] p.
ISBN 87-899-4355-4
Zoo - Animals - Protection
While visiting the zoo, a little girl learns that every person has an animal that is supposed to protect him or her. After considering a number of animals, the warthog is the one which appears to her in a dream. Both the author and illustrator make their debut in the picture book world. They succeed in depicting the relationships between man and animal in an original manner while sparking the imagination with realistic, sometimes somewhat uncanny, but not mawkish illustrations. (6+)

Special Mention - Denmark (Danish) - 1997 - 188
Petersen, Palle
Najas sommer. En historie fra Grønland
(Naja's summer. A story from Greenland)
Risskov: Klematis, 1995. 32 p.
ISBN 87-7721-637-7
Greenland - Childhood - Everyday life
Greenland is a part of the world we should be interested in getting to know. But there are few books about life there. This photography book gives an interesting glimpse at the everyday life of a child in Greenland. (8+) ☆

Special Mention - Denmark (Danish) - 1997 - 189
Saxild, Jørgen
Og det var Løkken!
(And that was Lokken!)
Frederiksberg: Branner og Korch, 1996. 201 p.
ISBN 87-411-5791-5
School holiday - First romance
The first-person narrator enjoys a school holiday without parents at the seaside with three friends. Emotional turbulences are inevitable when, how could it be otherwise, a girl by the name of Linnea, enters his scope of view. Like several other Danish writers, Saxild is very skilled in depicting the inner moods of adolenscents, whose hopes are as intense as their doubts. (14+)

Norway (Norwegian) - 1997 - 190
Austrem, Liv Marie (text)
Düzakin, Akin (illus.)
Tvillingbror
(The twin brother)
Oslo: Det Norske Samlaget, 1995. [28] p.
ISBN 82-521-4522-1
Siblings - Competetive behavior - Love
A lively girl has a provokingly well-behaved brother who she cannot bear. They get to know each other better after a ski accident. Their relationship is illustrated by Düzakin, who is of Turkish ancestry, with fairly cool precision. Many of his naturalistic details seem to be collages, but are for the most part drawings. The child figures resemble dolls, but have a wide range of facial expressions. The artist has many surprises up his sleeve. (6+)

Norway (Norwegian) - 1997 - 191
Ekman, Fam
Kaffebønneslekten
(The coffee bean family line)
Oslo: Cappelen, 1996. [32] p.
ISBN 82-02-15835-4
Coffee - Imaginary world
This story is as surrealistic as the illustrations. It tells how some people have descended from apes, while others - who love coffee very much - are obviously descendents of a coffee bean. Even though the pictures resemble free-style graphics, they are indeed perfectly matched with the text and form the most fascinating part of this book. The artist has mixed together very different techniques - scratchboard, drawing, collages of self-made patterned papers, prints from paper and lino-cut. (10+)

Norway (Norwegian) - 1997 - 192
[En og tjue] 21 hundreår; Finn Graff <Initials>
(21 Centuries)
Oslo: Aschehoug, 1996. 350 p.
ISBN 82-03-24119-0
Culture - Civilization/History 1 AD - 2100 AD
Twenty-one well-known and less well-known Norwegian writers have written a story fitting to each century - thoughtful, diverse and in every respect remarkable literary contributions for the coming millenium. (14+) ☆

Norway (Norwegian) - 1997 - 193
Gaarder, Jostein (text)
Kjelsen, Reidar (illus.)
Hallo? Er det noen her?
(Hello, is anyone there?)
Oslo: Gyldendal Norsk, 1996. 140 p.
ISBN 82-525-3145-8
Child/Baby - Sibling - Human life
Before Joakim gets a new brother he dreams of this new earth creature as coming from another star and explains to the newcomer all about life on the planet Earth. Gaarder turns this idea into a fantastic tale, telling it mainly in dialog form. It is outdone by the even more fantastic, grotesque illustrations whose monsters are more funny than frightening. (8+)

Norway (Norwegian) - 1997 - 194
Hansen, Thore (text/illus.)
Vår verden, Victoria
(Our world, Victoria)
Oslo: Gyldendal Norsk, 1995. 37 p.
ISBN 82-05-23199-0
Imagination - Dream travel
In this brief story about a strange uncle who abducts his niece into the realm of his fantasy, the author demonstrates how creatively he can create fantasy worlds in pictures - in black-and-white drawings that have no need for colors. (8+)

Norway (Norwegian) - 1997 - 195
Loe, Erlend (text)
Hiorthøy, Kim (illus.)
Kurt blir grusom
(Kurt becomes cruel)
Oslo: Cappelen, 1995. 103 p.
ISBN 82-02-157791-9
Money - Meglomania
Truck driver Kurt is considered to a friendly man by everyone, including himself. One day he miraculously gets an entire truck full of money and he completely flips out. He wants to become a government minister and spends incredible sums of money on an election campaign that in the end only brings him one vote - his own. As a result he goes wild, and must pay for the damage he does with a demolition truck with the rest of his money. The moral of the story is: mammon corrupts. Not this, but rather the pithy style of depiction, full of dry humor, and illustrated with very original bizarre caricatures, make the book quite remarkable. (10+)

Norway (Norwegian) - 1997 - 196
Loe, Erlend (text)
Hiorthøy, Kim (illus.)
Den store røde hunden
(The big red dog)
Oslo: Cappelen, 1996. [38] p.
ISBN 82-02-15834-6
Family conflict - Self-assertion
Putting Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel and Jonas together in one story has rarely been done up to now. During a car trip with her grandparents, a little girl runs off into the woods to take a pee. In a solitary cottage she meets an old man who gives her shelter. The next day she is eaten up by a great red dog, frees herself and tames him with a megaphone. Then she does the same to her long-lost grandparents and brother William. Just as crazy as the story itself are also the illustrations - a wild and humorous mixture of caricature, hobby painting and Tachist spots on every single page. (8+)

Norway (Norwegian) - 1997 - 197
Natvig, Lars (text)
Dybvig, Per (illus.)
Johan uten frukt
(Fearless Johann)
Oslo: Bonnier Carlsen, 1996. [30] p.
ISBN 82-424-1070-4
Boy/Girl - Friendship
This story of a boy who is afraid of nothing - neither spiders nor girls - is in essence quite simple. But the bizarre, sometimes grotesquely exaggerated pictures turn it into an aesthetic adventure. (6+)

Norway (Norwegian) - 1997 - 198
Nyquist, Arild (text)
Elling, Lars (illus.)
Knapphuset
(The button house)
Oslo: Aschehoug, 1995. 81 p.
ISBN 82-03-24107-7
Meaning of life
Following in the best Skandinavian tradition, this short tale describes the slightly painful questions of a dreamy young boy who has very different parents as he asks about the meaning of life and about hope for the future. The value of the text is matched by the meticulous printing and the uniquely monumental collages of the artist Elling. (12+)

Norway (Norwegian) - 1997 - 199
Sæther, Wera
Maisbarnebarna
(The grandchildren of maize)
Oslo: J.W. Cappelen, 1996. 54 p.
ISBN 82-02-15802-8
Guatemala - Maya - Corn
In this documentary report about the rural life of Maya children, the author presents the fate of the Maya peoples since the age of Columbus and also describes their traditional customs and myths. The photographs are not merely dry sources of ethnographic information, but convey a lively, atmospheric impression of the lives of these village children. (10+) ☆

Norway (Norwegian) - 1997 - 200
Sortland, Bjørn (text)
Elling, Lars (illus.)
Forteljinga om jakta på forteljinga
(The story of the hunt for stories)
Oslo: Det Norske Samlaget, 1995. [44] p.
ISBN 82-521-4538-8
Writer - Reader
The enormous success of these picturebook makers with their art book for children, »Red, blue and a bit of yellow«, has encouraged them to take a shot at writers. Dedicated to »all the patient and helpful librarians of the world«, this book brings the youthful hero Henrik into contact with a series of famous writers as he searches for the library to get a new book for his uncle. In the end, Salman Rushdie gives him a blue-covered book and remarks that Henrik himself is the hero of the story he has experienced. The author skilfully fills the tale with the same mysticm that real literature uses to captivate its readers. (10+) ☆

Sweden (Swedish) - 1997 - 201
Anderson, Lena (text/illus.)
Tick-tack
Stockholm: Eriksson & Lindgren, 1996. [28] p.
ISBN 91-87804-91-3
Daily routine - Bedtime
Pictures which include short verses depict the day of an uncle who is taking care of his nephews. In the course of the story he works through the numbers one to twelve. But the whole thing is narrated with such humor and the animal protagonists portrayed with such expressiveness that the numbers seem ultimately just a welcome opportunity to invent a tale. (4+)

Sweden (Swedish) - 1997 - 202
Bredow, Katarina von
Knappt lovlig
(Scarcely permitted)
Stockholm: Norstedts förlag, 1996. 224 p.
ISBN 91-1-963032-8
First love - Friendship
Fifteen-year-old Hanna, who lives alone with her single-parenting mother, searches out human contact in most unusual ways. Her girlfriend is an outsider and her first love is a 30-year-old man. In neither situation is she disappointed. The author succeeds in depicting the mental state of a teenage girl as universally human. Her books do not deserve to be shoved into the category of girl literature, since boys would also find them valuable. (14+)

Sweden (Swedish) - 1997 - 203
Danielsson, Bernt
Liv och död
(Life and death)
Stockholm: Norstedts förlag, 1996. 197 p.
ISBN 91-1-960182-4
First love - Detective story
As in his previous works, Danielsson succeeds in making this story about holidays at the seashore an elegant mixture of love affairs, phantom criminals and strange personalities to produce a highly original narrative. (14+)

Sweden (Swedish) - 1997 - 204
Ericsson, Eric (text)
Alvner, Christina (illus.)
Karlssons farmor får besök
(Karlssons grandmother has a visitor)
Stockholm: BonnierCarlsen, 1996. 36 p.
ISBN 91-638-0646-0
Loneliness - Woman - Monster - Friendship
One day Mrs. Carlsson, who lives alone in the country, receives a case of bananas and in it, to her surprise, is an exotic monster. It is so gluttonous and egoistic that her life is turned upside down and she finally drops it off at the zoo. But then they each have such a longing for the other, that the monster returns and helps the old woman cope with her loneliness. It is not so much the story itself but its rendering in caricature illustrations of a traditional style that make this book remarkable. The still relatively unknown artist is quite good at depicting facial expressions and takes this opportunity to satirize a typical bourgeois Swedish home. (6+)

Sweden (Swedish) - 1997 - 205
Gravitation. Berättelser om att bli stor
(Gravity. Tales of growing up)
Stockholm: Alfabeta, 1995. 160 p.
ISBN 91-7712-4170
Growing up/Anthology
Seventeen renown Swedish authors, including Peter Pohl and Mats Wahl, write about growing up, about the suspenseful moment between childhood and the adult world. They draw either from their own experiences or depict fictitious fates - but in any case quite enthralling. (14+) ☆

Sweden (Swedish) - 1997 - 206
Hörling, Anna (text/illus.)
Tussas kalas
(Tussa's birthday invitation)
Stockholm: Rabén & Sjögren, 1996. 29 p.
ISBN 91-29-63819-4
Birthday party
This presumably ordinary topic is treated here with such unusually funny pictures that not only the joys but also the sorrows (of the others) at such an event are fully visible. (4+)

Sweden (Swedish) - 1997 - 207
Lindström, Eva
Lurix
(<Proper name>)
Stockholm: Alfabeta, 1996. [28] p.
ISBN 91-7712-492-8
Animal/Man - Friendship
A lonely woman and a lonely, helpless fantasy animal can become friends. They remain loyal, even when others try to separate them. That is the message of the touching story, presented in colorfully well-balanced, naive illustrations. (6+)

Sweden (Swedish) - 1997 - 208
Marko, Susanne (text)
Hyman-Vallien, Ulrica (illus.)
Rappatack. Svartsjukans sånger
(Rappatack. The songs of jealousy)
Stockholm: Natur och Kultur, 1996. [28] p.
ISBN 91-27-05767-4
First-born - Jealousy
Extremely expressive illustrations make this story of a little girl's jealousy of her soon to arrive sibling an exciting aesthetic experience. (6+)

Sweden (Swedish) - 1997 - 209
Nilsson, Ulf (text)
Hald, Fibben (illus.)
Enqvist, Marianne (illus.)
Höglund, Anna (illus.)
Mästaren och de fyra skrivarna. En berättelse om Jesu liv och död
(The master and the four writers. A story of Jesus' life and death)
Stockholm: Natur och Kultur, 1995. 245 p.
ISBN 91-27-03977-3
New Testament/Interpretation
This especially remarkable book makes its appearance at a time when the decline of Biblical knowledge in the Swedish society and especially among its youth is already widespread. A renown author has taken on the task of citing the key passages of the four gospels, making their interpretations easy to follow and putting them into the context of their times. Without any missionary zeal, he conveys the truths contained in the gospels that have universal relevance in a powerful manner. Three highly regarded illustrators and a satisfying printing design help this edition to rise well above similar attempts. (12+)

Sweden (Swedish) - 1997 - 210
Olsson, Ragnar (text)
Torudd, Cecilia (illus.)
Svansboken
(The book of tails)
Stockholm: Alfabeta, 1995. [26] p.
ISBN 91-7712-411-1
Tails
Tails from all around the world are collected here. The caricurist Torudd, who is well-known for his impudent style, demonstrates what they are good for. That all the tails of this world, as different as they may appear, are in truth the same, makes this picture book a perfect model of international understanding. (6+)

Sweden (Swedish) - 1997 - 211
Pohl, Peter
När alla ljuger
(When everyone is lying)
Stockholm: Rabén & Sjögren, 1995. 190 p.
ISBN 91-29-63042-8
Father/Daughter - Business criminality
By now one of Swedens most well-known youth book authors, Pohl succeeds again and again in depicting very realistically the shocking experience and the resulting inner development of his protagonists. In this case it is Lotta, a girl brought up in a sheltered family, whose world crashes down around her when her beloved father, a powerful businessman, dies a mysterious death. (14+)

Sweden (Swedish) - 1997 - 212
Stalfelt, Pernilla (text/illus.)
Hårboken
(The book of hair)
Stockholm: Eriksson & Lindgren, 1996. [28] p.
ISBN 91-87804-84-0
Hair
Different forms of hair and the advantages and disadvantages of hair are presented here in a very funny manner. Pernilla Stalfelt's illustrations are intentionally primitive caricatures which underline the comedy of the individual scenarios. (8+)

Sweden (Swedish) - 1997 - 213
Stark, Ulf (text)
Enqvist, Marianne (illus.)
Guldhjärtat
(The golden heart)
Stockholm: Bonnier Carlsen, 1996. 86 p.
ISBN 91-638-3348-4
First love
Short and , but very exact in choice of expression - a technique Stark is master of - this is a love story about a piano-playing boy and a girl who loses her golden heart-charm in the water. He returns it to her, only to claim her real heart. (10+) ☼

Special Mention - Sweden (Swedish) - 1997 - 214
Thor, Annika
En ö i havet
(An island in the sea)
Stockholm: Bonnier Carlsen, 1996. 196 p.
ISBN 91-638-3306-9
Sweden - Immigration - Jew - Xenophobia
Certainly books about the crimes of the German Nazis are destined to find a wide readership, not only on account of their political content, but unfortunately also because they hold out promise of a particular suspense. That is all the more reason to recommend this book. It portrays the fate of two Jewish girls from Vienna who are sent to foster parents in Sweden. Hence the theme is not persecution or escape in Germany, but rather how children are at the mercy of others in a foreign country. Of course, they find friendly, helpful people, but their integration is not easy. Remarkable is the manner in which the author also includes in her fascinating narrative the aggressivity shown to strangers - whether they are Jews or not - and thus contributing to a coming-to-terms with a part of Swedish history which has long been tabu. (12+)

Special Mention - Sweden (Swedish) - 1997 - 215
Torudd, Cecilia
Vi måste bada!
(We have to take a bath!)
Stockholm: Rabén & Sjögren, 1995. [26] p.
ISBN 91-29-63093-2
Toddler - Brother - Play
A little boy decides to help his even smaller brother because his mother wants to sleep in one morning. In the end the mother needs to spend much more time putting things back in order, than if she had gotten up and done everything herself. This book by the well-known caricaturist is an example of the outstanding Swedish books for small children, which are so witty that adults can take pleasure in them, too. (4+)

Special Mention - Sweden (Swedish) - 1997 - 216
Wahl, Mats
Emma och Daniel. Mötet
(Emma and Daniel. The meeting)
Stockholm: Bonnier Carlsen, 1996. 154 p.
ISBN 91-638-3340-9
Tolerance - Single-parent family
Emma's single-parent father has invited Daniel and his mother, whom he became acquainted with through a newspaper ad, to his holiday house in the moun-tains. His daughter protests, but has to put up with the situation. Through their joint experiences, the two very different children get to know each other just as well as the adults. As in his earlier works, Wahl has an excellent manner of drawing his characters and portraying their development. (12+)

Czech Republic (Czech) - 1997 - 217
Bořkovcová, Hana
Zakázané holky
(Forbidden girls)
Praha: Albatros, 1995. 205 p.
ISBN 80-00-00216-7
Czechoslovakia/World War II - National Socialism - Everyday life - Friendship
This novel is set in a Czech town in the year 1940. Returning from school holidays, Janka misses his school friend, Dina. As a Jew, Dina is no longer allowed to attend the public high school. Without sentimentality or didacticism, the author depicts everyday life in the protectorate Bohemia and Moravia of Nazi Germany. In a lively narrative using many dialogues, she shows the consequences of the racial discrimination laws from the perspective of a fourteen-year-old girl. The author portrays people who were able to retain their honor, humor and imagination in difficult times. (14+)

Czech Republic (Czech) - 1997 - 218
Černík, Michal (reteller)
Duda, Stanislav (illus.)
Pohádky o kohoutkovi a slepičce
(The tale of the rooster and the hen)
Praha: Sedistra, 1996. 82 p.
ISBN 80-85998-02-5
Rooster - Hen - Animal tale
This classic animal tale of the rooster and the hen (building a house, selling eggs, composing a song, etc.) is retold here in a very humorous manner by a Czech author who was already popular in the socialist era. The text is superbly extended by the colorful, impudent illustrations of Stanislav Duda. (6+)

Czech Republic (Czech) - 1997 - 219
Krůta, Jan (text)
Striegl, Aleš (illus.)
Čurumbum
(<Proper name>)
Praha: Sedistra, 1996. 53 p.
ISBN 80-85998-00-9
High-rise building - Everyday life/Child - Dwarf
Little Pet'a moves with his mother from their own house into an apartment in a high-rise building. The tall complex with its many apartments appears unfriendly and cheerless. While exploring the basement area one day he meets the dwarf Čurumbum and with this friend from the world of fantasy he soon finds life in this big house much more fun. This story will appeal especially to chil-dren who live in anonymous pre-fabricated housing areas. Even though it may cannot solve the problems of children (and adults) in such houses, it offers them some form of identi-fication. (6+)

Czech Republic (Czech) - 1997 - 220
Šaloun, Emil (text)
Skopal, Rostislav (illus.)
Kak Kašpárek učil čerty zpívat
(How Punch taught the devils to sing)
Boskovice: albert, 1995. 94 p.
ISBN 80-85834-32-4
Punch - Devil - Singing
This classic-style, suspenseful Punch story is published by a small publisher located close to Brno. It forms a bridge between contemporary reality and imagination which takes the reader back to the days of rural life in the 19th century. In fairy-tale like episodes the author draws upon the problems and behavioral patterns that we know today in our current society. In an old mill, Punch battles against the devils and of course wins in the end. (6+)

Czech Republic (Czech) - 1997 - 221
Sís, Petr (text/illus.)
Hvězdný posel. Kniha o životě slavného vědce, matematika, astronoma, filozofa a fyzika Galilea Galileiho
(U.S. ed.: Starry messenger. a book depicting the life of a famous scientist, mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, physicist Galileo Galilei)
Praha: Albatros, 1996. [32] p.
ISBN 80-00-00473-9
Galilei, Galileo
This latest work by the Czech-American artist Petr Sís about the life and discoveries of Galileo is striking for the vast number of images which the author-illustrator has developed here: the oriental silhouette of an Italian city, reproductions of old maps of Italy and Europe, presentations of the Ptolemiac and Copernican systems with their Zodiac signs, a painting of children playing modelled after Breughel, representations of Galileo's experiments, etc. On all these pictures, which derive from historical sources, Petr Sís sets his own unmistakeable stamp. In every picture one can continually discover new details, sometimes quite evident, sometimes somewhat hidden contextual clues or statements. alongside the illustrations, particular mention should be given to the successful book design, with its ornamentation, pictures within pictures, and the hand-written portions of text. (8+)

Czech Republic (Czech) - 1997 - 222
Stránský, Jiří (text)
Forman, Matěj (illus.)
Povídačky pro Kláru
(Cozy chats for Clara)
Praha: Sedistra, 1996. 100 p.
ISBN 80-85998-04-1
Everyday life/Child - Family - Animals
Clara's father is a captain and away for very long stretches of time. But when he comes home, he has lots of time to spend with Mama, Clara and Martin. His merry little stories for Clara, mostly about animals, will entertain both children and adults in their simplicity of style and composition as well as the direct tone of speech. The imaginative illustrations by the puppet player, Matěj Forman, son of the film director Miloš Forman, underline the charm of the story. (6+)

Poland (Polish) - 1997 - 223
Onichimowska, Anna
Samotne wyspy i storczyk
(Lonely islands and an orchid)
Warszawa: Filipinka, 1994. 127 p.
ISBN 83-901110-2-0

Poland (Polish) - 1997 - 224
Onichimowska, Anna
Žegnaj na zawsze
(Goodbye forever)
Warszawa: Filipinka, 1996. 145 p.
ISBN 83-904937-2-1
Growing up - Love - Interpersonal relations - Modelling
Anna Onichimowska (born 1952) is currently one of the most productive, most talented and most popular authors for young people in Poland. These two books deal with a problematic love story between the shy 18-year-old Ewa and the rather easy-living art student Marek. During their relationship each of them matures in some ways, partly because of the influence of other problems among their friends and family. In the second volume, Ewa finishes school and goes to study in Warsaw, while working part-time as a photographer's model. When she has to choose between university and Marek on the one hand and her blossoming career on the other, she choses the latter and goes off to Paris. In the guise of a light romance, the author deals with a wide variety of problems facing youth and young adults today - family conflicts, couple relationships, drugs, pregnancy and babies. (14+)

Poland (Polish) - 1997 - 225
Terakowska, Dorota
W Krainie Kota
(In the land of the cat)
Wrocław: Siedmoróg, 1996. 174 p.
ISBN 83-7162-072-1
Tarot - Infant - Cat - Imaginary journey - Reality - Fantasy
A young woman is led into a cryptic world of the tarot by her newborn infant and a mysterious cat. the plot unfolds on two parallel planes - in reality and in the imagination. Each influences the other and the borderline between fiction and reality seems to fade away. At the end of the novel the young mother is found lying in the street in the real world, where she is assumed to be an orphan, while in the imaginary world she is the sister of a lost prince. A happy end seems to be found, but already the next story begins. Another woman is expecting a child and she senses that something is not quite right. This astounding book for older children - there are no child protagonists - suggests that there is acutally no reality at all and that everyone needs one another's help, whether in the imagination or what we consider to be reality. On magical journeys from one world to the other, we can learn much about ourselves. (10+)

Russia (Russian) - 1997 - 226
Balobanova, Ekaterina Vjačeslavovna (reteller)
Peterson, Ol'ga Michajlovna (reteller)
Gordeev, Denis Dmitrievič (illus.)
Rycari Kruglogo Stola. Predanija Romanskich narodov srednevekovoj Evropy
(The knights of the Round table. Tales of the Romanic peoples in the European Middle Ages)
Moskva: Argus, 1995. 379 p.
(Venok skazok / »Predanija sedych vekov«; 1)
ISBN 5-85549-002-5
Legend - Chivalry
There are hardly any books for young adults with a current theme being published in eastern Europe at the present time, but evidently there is a new interest being taken in those historical themes which were largely avoided during the socialist era, such as a positive portrayal of the feudal period. This volume is a comprehensive anthology of romances of chivalry retold by the Russian specialist for western and central European folklore, E.V. Balobanova (1844-1927), and the translator and literary scholar, O.M. Peterson. It includes, among other titles, the »Song of Roland«, tales of the Magician Merlin, the legend of Parcival, the stories of Reynard (a French collection of fox fables), »El Cid« and the Spanish novel »Amadis.« This beautifully designed volume employs a typography borrowed from the Irish alphabet and decorative floral elements in the style of the illuminated manuscripts of the Middle ages. (12+)

Russia (Russian) - 1997 - 227
Judin, Georgij Nikolaevič (text/illus.)
Muromskoe čudo. O svjatom bogatyre Il'e Muromce, Petre i Fevronii, episkope Vasilij i okajannom zmee
(The miracle of Murom. The holy hero Ilya Muromec, Peter and Fevroniya, Bishop Vasiliy and the cursed dragon)
Moskva: ģllis Lak, 1995. 144 p.
ISBN 5-7195-0042-1
Murom - Saint - Legend/Russia
Ilya Muromec, who lived in the 12th century, is one of the most important figures of Russian heroic ballads (Byliny). In the course of the centuries he has been promoted to a hero per se in the traditional literature. During the socialist era, however, the religious aspects of the legend were largely downplayed. Here the popular children's book author and illustrator Georgij Judin makes rich use of ikon-like pictures to tell the story of Ilya Muromec and other saints from the region of Murom, about 300 kilometers east of Moscow. He writes in a correspondingly historicizing style, placing considerable emphasis on the religious aspects of the legends. (12+)

Slovakia (Slovak) - 1997 - 228
Činčurová, Emília (text)
Čáp, Vladimír (illus.)
Ahoj, praveké jaštery
(Hello, prehistoric lizards)
Bratislava: Q111, 1995. [68] p.
ISBN 80-85401-25-8
Dinosaurs
This is a particularly original work from the new Slovakian publishing house, Q111. Beginning with the myths and tales of dragons in various countries of the earth, Emilia Činčurová reports about the discoveries of four types of dinosaurs by the English physician and natural scientist, Gideon Mantell. In comic strip style, garnished with funny dialogs between school children while visiting a paleontological museum, information about the size, characteristics, habits and living space of different dinosaur types. There is also use made of the now classic illustrations of the Czech artist Zdeňek Burian. (8+)

Slovenia (Slovenian) - 1997 - 229
Hoffmann, E.T.A. (text)
Kranjc, Mojca (transl.)
Stupica, Marija Lucija (illus.)
Hrestač in mišji kralj
(The nutcracker and the mouse king)
(German orig.: Nußknacker und Mausekönig)
Ljubljana: DZS, 1996. 75 p.
(Zbirka Velikanček; 4)
ISBN 86-341-1264-0
Christmas - Toys - Reality - Fantasy - Battle - Mouse - Nutcracker - Soldier
The former Slovenian State Publishing House has always had a high reputation in Slovenia. Since its privatization, the imprint has only gotten better, particularly in its book design, as proven by this volume. The national and international prizewinning illustrator Marija Lucija Stupica (born 1950) comes from a highly regarded family of artists in Slovenia and has gained renown for her illustrations of H.C. Andersen. Also in her other works she feels more at home in fantasy than in reality. In this work she addresses children as well as adults. The illustrations, done in muted grey, brown and yellow tones, make for a rather cool effect by reducing images to their essentials and using static poses. This corresponds, however, to the melancholy and lyricism of this romantic tale. (8+)

Slovenia (Slovenian) - 1997 - 230
Lainšček, Feri (text)
Ribič, Igor (illus.)
Velecirkus argo
(Circus Argo)
Ljubljana: Prešernova družba, 1996. 128 p.
ISBN 961-6186-17-5
Reality - Imagination - Magician - Circus - Friendship - Adventure
In this fantasy a magician is able to present the thoughts of a girl, Gela Gela, and a boy, Tulsi Bulsi, to his circus audience as a mysterious realistic projection. By accident the boy and girl find themselves caught up in the mental world of an ape and are unable to return to their own reality. Through a chain of circumstances, Tulsi Bulsi believes that Gela Gela has betrayed him and he becomes harsh and evil. Only after many adventures does she manage to gain his trust again, making their return to the real world possible. After their long odyssee it turns out that they had only been in the ape world for a short time beween two circus performances, so no one except for the magician had known that they were missing. (8+)

Slovenia (Slovenian) - 1997 - 231
Tarman, Draga M. (text)
Demšar, Danijel (illus.)
Ko se dan konča
(When the day ends)
Ljubljana: DZS, 1995. 31 p.
(Zbirka Čudeži narave; 2)
ISBN 86-341-1400-7
Night - Animals - Plants
This information book about the night is a remarkable combination of highly literary and lyrical texts with well-founded information about the night-time life of animals and plants in different regions. Along with gardens, meadows, ponds and forests in central Europe, the book presents the night-time biosphere in various parts of the tropics. In an appendix the author describes the sensory organs which help animals to find their way through the night. Blue and green tones dominate the atmospheric illustrations . (6+)

Ukrania (Russian) - 1997 - 232
Krotov, Viktor G. (text)
Vlasova, Anna (illus.)
Š erbov, Michail (illus.)
Volšebnyj vozok - 1. Vagik u itsja putešestvovat', 142pp. 2. Putešestvie v razgrade, 202pp. 3. Vglub' i vvys', 194pp.
(The magic coach - 1. Vagik learns how to travel. 2. Unbounded travels. 3. Upwards and downwards)
Each: Odessa: Dva slona, 1995.
(Semejnaja biblioteka; Pervaja kniga dlja detej)
ISBN 5-86699-043-1/044-X/045-8
Imaginary travel - Reality - Imagination
In this three-volume fantasy by the mathematician, novelist and philosopher Viktor Krotkov, in which traces of the »Alice-in-Wonderland« theme can be seen, a magician invites a boy to take a magical journey, in the course of which he must fulfill many tasks before reaching the magic fountain. On his way he encounters many helpful spirits, but also evil creatures. Unlike many fantasy novels from Western countries, this work is not overburdened with intellectual and philosophical issues. The author endeavors instead to help children find their own identity. He worked for 20 years on this novel by telling parts of it in this or similar versions to children orally. In this written edition there still remains something of the direct style of narrative. (10+)

Belgium (Dutch) - 1997 - 233
Boonen, Heide (text)
Dendooven, Gerda (illus.)
Mijn vingers zijn niet lang genoeg
(My fingers aren't long enough)
Averbode: Altiora, 1996. 46 p.
ISBN 90-317-1222-1
Mother/Daughter - Death - Accident
Charlotte dreams about her mother, who was killed in a car crash. »Charlotte loved the night, she hated the day. Particularly that day. The car came from nowhere.« At night, she sees her mother again and again in her dreams. Although all the objects in her room, including her doll Cuddles, sympathize with her, they have their own lives as well. For instance, the wardrobe (Napoleon III) is in love with the wardrobe in the neighbor's house across the road, while Dorien, the spider, is pregnant. When the sun takes the place of the moon, Charlotte wakes up sadly, crying. Essentially this story is about a young girl's process of mourning following her mother's death, but amusing situations counterbalance deep-felt emotions in a harmonious way. The story is written in subdued and plain language, which finds its match in the typography and the illustrations. A very special book which will stimulate much thought. (8+)

Belgium (Dutch) - 1997 - 234
De Maeyer, Gregie (text)
Vanmechelen, Koen (illus.)
Juul
(<Proper name>)
Averbode: Altiora, 1996. 29 p.
ISBN 90-317-1196-9
Psychoterror - Bully
This is a daring and challenging story about a boy who wants to escape bullying. He thinks he can save himself by taking away the causes. He shaves his bright red hair, cuts his flap-ears, pinches his squint eyes. Alas, to no avail. A fairy tale of the cruellest sort, with the clearest possible message. A unique project combining a story and pictures of the »unmaking« of a wooden sculpture of Juul, it is ideal for reading and talking about bullying with children in primary schools, and upwards. (6+)

Belgium (Dutch) - 1997 - 235
De Maeyer, Gregie (text/illus.)
Meersman, Karl (illus.)
Ach
(Well)
Leuven: Davidsfonds/Infodok, 1996. 67 p.
ISBN 90-6565-745-2
Bakery - Marzipan
In the bakery, the little rolls, the pies, the monkey cookies and the chocolates are quarreling. Who would be the most tasty one of them all? August, the little marzipan clown, does not join in. He just sits there, looking a little sad. After a while, Marie and Maarten enter the store. They buy a lot of goodies, including August. At home Maarten talks to August while eating him. A very snappy and original story about eating and being eaten to read aloud or to be read by children themselves. The powerful illustrations are always a colorful surprise and go hand in hand with the text. (5+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1997 - 236
Kuiper, Nannie (text)
Hopman, Philip (illus.)
Het kleuterwoordenboek
(The toddler's dictionary)
Amsterdam: Piramide, 1996. 112 p.
ISBN 90-245-2584-5
Vocabulary - Short story
In nearly one hundred short stories, each dealing with a particular word, children are taught to extend their vocabulary in a playful manner. The stories are divided into five chapters in which various subjects are dealt with in alphabetical order. Sophy and Martin, who are friends, are the main characters in each story, which means that the book can also be read as a whole. In a very clever way Nannie Kuiper is able to make ideas, emotions, words understandable to very young children. The cheerful, colorful illustrations by Philip Hopman are an excellent complement to the stories, even giving them an extra dimension by treating an idea with humor. (4+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1997 - 237
Geelen, Harrie (text/illus.)
Jan en het gras
(Jan and the grass)
Amsterdam: Van Goor, 1996. 36 p.
ISBN 90-00-03095-1
Ability - Self-confidence
Jan is good at nothing. At least, that's what he thinks. The grass philosophizes with John about what 'nothing' is. 'Nothing' can also be 'very, very much'. Jan can tread on the grass, pick flowers, play pirate games, and find a buried treasure. He even saves a worm and also 'a funny little animal which lay on its back and couldn't get up anymore'. These heroic deeds are written in the sky in big letters, so that everbody can read about them. A deceptively simple tale, the plot works very subtly. In words and pictures, Geelen places his readers right in the middle of Jan's world. He uses recognizable elements from the world of children in order to explain an abstract notion like 'nothing'. (5+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1997 - 238
Leeuwen, Joke van (text/illus.)
Iep!
(Peep!)
Amsterdam: Querido, 1996. 151 p.
ISBN 90-214-7326-7
Bird - Assimilation - Freedom
Viegeltje, a »bird-girl«, looks like a human, except for her wings, but has very birdlike habits. Her foster parents, Warre and Tinne, try to raise her as a human child, but Viegeltje keeps her distance from them. Nobody knows what is going on in her mind, but it is clear that she has an enormous longing for freedom, which in the end leads to a nonetheless surprising departure. In order to say goodbye, Warre and Tinne follow her, having some bizarre adventures along the way. The longing for freedom and independence and the fear of being deserted is movingly expressed. The illustrations form an inseparable whole with the text. (10+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1997 - 239
Lier, Bas van (text)
Braamhorst, Jan (illus.)
Het VOC-schip »De halve maan«
(The East Indian Company's ship »The half moon«)
Amsterdam: Ploegsma, 1996. 80 p.
ISBN 90-216-1199-6
The Netherlands/History 18th century - Trading ship
This story deals with the maiden voyage of »The Half Moon« (a fictitious ship which bears a great deal of resemblance to well-known 18th century ships), which served the United East Indian Company. In this successful combination of fiction and nonfiction, a glorious era in Dutch history is brought to life through the story and in the informative passages dealing not just with heroic deeds, but everyday life as well. The engrossing and historically accurate illustrations are complementary to the text and provide the reader with a great deal of pleasure. (10+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1997 - 240
Schubert, Ingrid (text/illus.)
Schubert, Dieter (text/illus.)
Abracadabra
Rotterdam: Lemniscaat, 1996. 26 p.
ISBN 90-5637-046-4
Forest - Magician - Threat - Animal - Solidarity
Although the animals in Darkwood had never had any trouble with the wizard Macrobius before, suddenly no animal was safe from him. The animals come up with a marvellous magic trick in order to settle accounts with the bad wizard. Together, appearing as one great monster, they scare the living daylights out of the wizard, who flees into the forest. But in the end, they make peace with each other again. This wonderful picture book uses a well-constructed dramatic tension, which resolves into a very satisfactory ending. The illustrations accompanying this amusing story are very detailed, which makes for a beautiful book. (4+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1997 - 241
Vijgen, Theo (text)
Nuyten, Peter (illus.)
Tipi's, totems en tomahawks. Het leven van de Noordamerikaanse Indianen
(Tipis, totem poles and tomahawks. The life of the North-American Indians)
Nijmegen: SUN, 1996. 183 p.
ISBN 90-6168-459-5
North America/Indians
The way Indians are depicted in many children's books is very remote from the truth: from good, noble folk to bloodthirsty savages. This book rectifies this prejudice by providing a clear history of the life of the North-American Indians from the very beginning, about 40,000 years ago. In words and pictures ample attention is paid to the Indians' everyday life, to the various tribes and their chiefs, and to the relationship between Indians and whites. The book concludes with a chapter on life in the reservations, and the current Indian protests with regards to territorial rights. A very full, informative and entertaining history which does full justice to the North-American Indians. (12+) ☆

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1997 - 242
Vriens, Jacques (text)
Schaap, Annet (illus.)
Meester Jaap
(Mr. Jaap)
Houten: Van Holkema en Warendorf, 1996. 45 p.
ISBN 90-269-8883-4
School - Teacher - Short story
Every day, something funny happens in Mr. Jaap's classroom. A fight with toilet paper, a Christmas dinner with green cabbage on the menu, or a dressup party which ends in complete chaos. Sometimes, less pleasant things occur as well, but in these situations Mr. Jaap usually finds an amusing solution. In these twenty stories, Vriens paints a sparkling picture of a classroom with 10- or 11-year-old pupils. All the events are very recognizable, even though it's not every child who has a teacher like this. (10+)

The Netherlands (Frisian) - 1997 - 243
Tjerkstra, Willem (text)
Klazenga, Luuk (illus.)
De reizen fan Tsjam
(The voyages of Tsjam)
Ljouwert [= Leeuwarden]: Afûk, 1996. 42 p.
(Aksjeboek foar bern; 10)
ISBN 90-6273-524-X
Friesland/History - Imaginary journey
This is the first comic book in full color to originate in Friesland. The protagonist, Tsjam, is a special child, for he was born with a helmet on his head. With his one eye, he is able to spread confusion. He wants to go to the sea and ends up in different times, in ancient folk tales which have to do with the sea. With Bruno and Sakso he travels to the north of the Netherlands, where they each try to find their own territory. Again and again, with his magical eye, Tsjam influences the course of history. On each page, the true course of events is depicted along with history as it is changed by Tsjam. After all his adventures, Tsjam finally reaches his home again, safe and sound. This is a Children's Book Week »action book«, which in a simple fashion tries to promote the Frisian language by appealing to children's predilection for comic books and historical tales. (8+) ☆

Greece (Greek) - 1997 - 244
Akalestu, Rula
Moro mu sagapo
(My baby, I love you)
Athena: Ammos, 1996. [14] p.
ISBN 960-202-150-0
Mother - Baby - Animals
This picture book for the very young deals with the theme of mother and child, both in the animal kingdom and the human world. The illustrations of the young, free-lance artist (born 1964) are both striking and full of expression that the book could even succeed without words. (2+)

Special Mention - Greece (Greek) - 1997 - 245
Balabanes, Panos
Athla, Athletes kai Epathla. Olympiakoi agones kai athletismos sten archaia Ellada
(Championships, athletes, and medals. The Olympic Games and sports in ancient Greece)
Nea Smyrne: Ereunetes, 1996. 104 p.
ISBN 960-368-023-0
Greece/Olympic games - Sports
The author, a professor of archeology, not only presents the ancient types of sports, their history and rules, but also puts them in a social context. He endeavors to show the importance of each athletic competition and help the modern reader understand the atmosphere of those times. Striking in both text and illustration, the book will satisfy the needs of a demanding reader. An appendix which includes an international bibliography and additional information on this topic encourages further reading. (10+)

Special Mention - Greece (Greek) - 1997 - 246
Grimane, Anna (adapt.)
Mia Kyriake me ton Demetre Mytara
(A sunday with Demetres Mytaras)
Athena: Ammos, 1996. [34] p. With illustrations
(Mia Kyriake me...)
ISBN 960-202-134-9
Mytaras, Demetres - Painting
In this richly illustrated book the artistic development of one of the most important contemporary Greek artists, Demetres Mytaras, is told from the first-person point of view. In a very individual tone, the artists leads the reader through his various periods of creation and explains the background of his works. Furthermore he endeavors to make his approach to art more accessible und understandable to the interested reader. In an appendix, further biographical information about Mytaras as well as other artists who he refers to in the text are given. (10+)

Special Mention - Greece (Greek) - 1997 - 247
Marra, Eirene
To adeio mpukali
(The empty bottle)
Athena: Patakes, 1996. 168 p.
(Peristeria; 52)
ISBN 960-360-930-7
Greece/World War II - Family - Everyday life - Resistance
In this vividly told story about a Greek family living in occupied Athens during the Second World War, a mother and her two sons, aged eight and sixteen, struggle day-by-day to survive after their father has become a resistance fighter in the Greek underground. Particularly the younger boy gradually comes to a greater understanding of the conditions in which they are living during the course of the story. The characters and the setting are very realistically drawn and remain believable throughout the story. (10+) ☆
(Greek IBBY Section Award 1996)

Special Mention - Greece (Greek) - 1997 - 248
Sarantite, Elene
Kapote o kynegos ...
(Once a hunter ...)
Athena: Kastaniotes, 1996. 170 p.
(Ephebike Bibliotheke)
ISBN 960-03-1542-6
Greece/Civil War - Emigration - Homecoming - Prejudice
This realistic novel about a Greek family begins at the time of the Civil War at the end of the Second World War and describes their odyssee-like journey toTashkent, where they remain for forty years. Upon returning to their homeland, their hopes of putting down roots again in modern-day Greece are met with disappointment when they are confronted with prejudice against people who had fled the country. In spite of its serious topic, this is a thoroughly enjoyable youth novel and will also appeal to adult readers. (12+) ☆

Special Mention - Greece (Greek) - 1997 - 249
Simopulos, Dionyses
E gennese ton Astron
(The birth of the stars)
Nea Smyrne: Ereunetes, 1996. 105 p.
(Ta mystika tu sympantos)
ISBN 960-368-022-2
Astronomy - Space
This first volume of a series titled »The secrets of space«, written by an internationally renown astrophysicist, describes how the universe began. Using many color photos and drawings, the complicated subject matter of astronomy, as well as the development of astronomy as a science, is made understandable in a thoroughly humorous manner. (10+)

Iran (Persian) - 1997 - 250
Huda-ğū, Furūzanda (text)
Muhammaīyān, Hūšang (illus.)
Ğūrāb-i pašmī
(The woolen socks)
Tihrān: Kānūn-i Parwariš-i Fikrī-i Kūdakān wa Nūğawānān, 1994 (= 1373 h.š.). 18 p.
Poverty - Friendship - Charity
A boy from a poor family dreams of having woolen socks. He works to earn enough money and at least is able to buy them for himself but when he visits his sick and shivering friend, he sees that his friend has greater need of the socks than he does. The main theme of this realistic firstperson story is the determination and ability of the boy to reach his goal as well as the readiness to give up something and share with others. (10+)

Iran (Persian) - 1997 - 251
Sādāt Turābīyān, Ma'sūma (text)
Hasan-pūr Muhsan (illus.)
Parwāz-i kabūtarhā
(The flight of the doves)
Tihrān: Daftar-i Našir-i Farhang-i Islāmī, 1994 (= 1373 h.š.). 60 p.
(In Arabic letters)
Family conflict - Art - Courage
This novella focusses on the family conflicts of two young high-school girls, and in particular on their strained relations with their fathers. Encouraged by their art teacher, they discover and try to develop their talents as a painter and a calligrapher, respectively, in spite of all outside pressures and obstacles. The role of their woman art teacher both as a mentor in the classroom and as a model to follow in personal life features strongly in the narrative. This realistic story places value on maintining loyalty in difficult situations, but also on having the optimism and the courage to follow one's own path. (14+) ☆

Turkey (Turkish) - 1997 - 252
Çakıroğlu, Atilâ (reteller)
Keskin, Nermin (illus.)
Keloğlan
(<Proper name>)
Ankara: Kültür Bakanlığı Millî Kütüphane Basımevi, 1996. 46 p.
ISBN 975-17-1420-6
Turkey/Folktale - Cleverness - Miracles
This volume contains four stories featuring the well-known Turkish folk hero Keloğlan. These traditional humorous tales, retold here in verse form, describe several episodes in the life of the bald, jovial boy who lives alone with his mother. Using only his own cleverness, he masters all kinds of obstacles and difficulties. In these tales he manages to marry the daughter of the Pasha, to successfully do battle with his own hunger, and to work miracles through his compassion. (10+)