White Ravens: 2001

250 books      

Japan (Japanese) - 2001 - 1
Baba, Noboru (text/illus.)
Gama-kun karo-kun
(The toad and the frog)
Tokyo : Kogumasha, 2000. [40] p.
ISBN 4-7721-0157-8
Swimming - Friendship - Assistance - Get one's way
The frog-boy pities his friend, a toad, because even though he has the same long legs as the frog, he cannot swim. The frog comes up with an idea how to teach his friend. The toad trusts him and starts practicing eagerly. Noboru Baba tells this heartwarming story of friendship and determination in his characteristic humorous and vivid style, complementing the narrative with plain, cartoonlike pictures. (3+)

Japan (Japanese) - 2001 - 2
Hashiguchi, Jōji [i.e. George] (text/photos)
Kodomotachi no jikan
(Children's time)
Tokyo : Shogakukan, 2000. (2nd ed.) 222 p.
ISBN 4-09-681271-4
Japan - School children - Individual
In his work with children, photographer George Hashiguchi observed that children around the age of 11 or 12 started developing and showing their personality very strongly. To explore this stage in development, he photographed 105 sixth grade students from all over Japan in their respective surroundings. He talked to them, asking always the same questions. Looking at the portraits and reading the interviews, one gradually enters into dialogue with these young personalities. This sense of a personal relationship makes this informative documentation an unusual and exciting read. (11+) ☆ ☼

Japan (Japanese) - 2001 - 3
Iwasaki, Kyōko (text)
Futamata, Eigorō (illus.)
Jūnishi no hajimari
(The story about twelve animals)
Tokyo : Kyōiku Gageki, 1999. (7th ed. (1st ed. 1997)) 28 p.
(Nihon no minwa ehon)
ISBN 4-7746-0409-7
China - Zodiacs - Folklore
The time of the old Chinese calendar is deeply rooted in Chinese cosmology. Time is divided into cycles. One cycle comprises 60 years, each one consisting of ten tribes, or rather five elements and twelve branches. The twelve zodiacs are matched with the twelve branches, each in turn governing one year. Tradition holds that the selection of the animals was determined by a competition. At the end of the year, a god told all the animals to gather on the first day of the new year. The first twelve to arrive were to reign, each in turn, over the upcoming years. Upon this announcement, all animals rushed towards the god's palace. Vivid and humorous illustrations witness the race progressing in sequential pictures just like on a picture scroll. (4+) ☆

Japan (Japanese) - 2001 - 4
Kanamori, Saiji (text/illus.)
Kuroi manto no ojisan
(A man with a black coat)
Tokyo : Fukuinkan Shoten, 2000. [31] p.
(Nihon kessaku ehon shirīzu)
ISBN 4-8340-1676-5
Street musician - Boy - Encounter - Adventure - Balloon
A boy lives in an old town with beautiful halftimbered houses typical of southern Germany and Alsace. One day, a stranger in a black coat comes to the market place and starts making music. He takes a balloon out of his suitcase and invites the boy to fly off with him. Their wonderful aerial escapade is interrupted by birds picking at the balloon, they manage a close landing on a church steeple and make their descent like tightrope walkers. Finally, the man leaves the town. Despite the dramatic highlights, the boy's encounter with the street musician releases the reader with a predominantly calm and dreamy impression. This peculiar atmosphere is created by the successful blend of traditional Japanese and European pictorial styles. (3+)
(Bologna Ragazzi Award [Fiction Children]; 2000)

Japan (Japanese) - 2001 - 5
Kanzawa, Toshiko (text)
Katayama, Ken (illus.)
Mori e itta sutōbu
(A heater went to the forest)
Tokyo : Biriken Shuppan, 2000. (2nd ed.) [32] p.
ISBN 4-939029-03-4
Heater - Forest animals - Friendship - Use
The heater is getting bored in summertime, so leaves the room and goes out on the street looking for a job. But his excited, loud voice disturbs the children during their nap, and the housewives prefer refrigerators to heaters. Pushed by a gruff garbage truck, he rolls down the street until he stops in the forest where he finally stays forever as a companion to the forest animals. Ordinary everyday life and the fantastic intertwine in this adventure story of the black, chubby boiler in amusing ways. The strong, dynamic images are very attractive and full of warmth. (3+)

Japan (Japanese) - 2001 - 6
Kawahara, Junko (text)
Ishimaru, Chisato (illus.)
Chōchō, tonda
(A butterfly fluttered)
Tokyo : Kodansha, 1999. 103 p.
(Wakuwaku raiburarī)
ISBN 4-06-195693-0
Life - Existence - Meaning of life - Puberty - Care for the elder - Women's emancipation - Family
12-year-old Yuki is not happy with herself. She avoids her grandfather at home because of his physical disabilities. But when she finds a comicbook (reminiscent of Kafka's »Metamorphosis«), she asks him what could happen to the enchanted caterpillar-boy who was thrown into the river by his own parents. The caterpillar shall turn into a butterfly, but it will never be able to fly. The reader suspects the affinity between the boy's fate and that of the grandfather. This challenging and engaging narrative describes different aspects of life, such as pubertal insecurity, ageing and the fundamental question of human existence, with surprising acuity. (11+)
(40th Japanese Association of Writers for Children's Prize for New Authors; 2000)

Japan (Japanese) - 2001 - 7
Kikuta, Mariko (text/illus.)
Itsudemo aeru
(I can see you any time)
Tokyo : Gakken, 2000. (23nd ed. (1st ed. 1998)) [48] p.
ISBN 4-05-201055-8
Dog - Girl - Death - Grief
Just like the children, the little dog Shirō cannot fathom the sudden death of his little mistress Mika-chan. »Dead« to him simply means »not to be there anymore«. He cannot comprehend that the loss is to be final. He keeps looking and longing for her. Remembering precious moments they spent together, he discovers that she continues to live in his heart. The author succeeds in conveying the quiet happiness and the joy, the emptiness on the deepest sorrow with simple words and surprisingly naive limned drawings – a great achievement for a little booklet. The emotions of the little dog will help readers to confront the feelings of death, grief and consolation. (5+)
(Bologna Ragazzi Award [Fiction Children, Special Prize]; 1999)

Japan (Japanese) - 2001 - 8
Kimishima, Hisako (text)
Ono, Kaoru (illus.)
Kyojin Gumiyā to taiyō to tsuki : chūgoku no mukashibanashi
(The giant Gumiyā and the Sun and the Moon)
Tokyo : Iwanami Shoten, 2000. [41] p.
ISBN 4-00-110855-0
China - Myth - World - Creation - Giant - Sun - Moon
According to the tradition of the Bland-people of southwestern China, the earth was created from chaos by the divine giant Gumiyā. The ten sun and moon brothers and sisters scorned upon this act and threatened to destroy everything with their blazing light. Upon this, the giant killed them all with the exception of one sun and one moon who had hid in a cave. With the help of the animals Sun and Moon could be won over to protect life on earth. Re-narrated in a vivid style suitable for children, this myth of creation is illustrated with ink, chalk, earthy acrylic and Japanese mineral paints reminiscent of archaic cave drawings. The reader living in our technological age, removed from Nature, will be compelled to recall the beauties of nature. (6+)

Japan (Japanese) - 2001 - 9
Kunimatsu, Toshihide (text)
Suzuki, Mamoru (illus.)
Toki yo ōzora e
(Ibises, fly to the sky!)
Tokyo : Kin no Hoshi-sha, 2000. [36] p.
ISBN 4-323-01818-5
Japanese ibis - Breeding - Bird protection - Environmental awareness
Toki, the Japanese ibis (Nipponia nippon), is almost extinct in Japan. These birds, put under international rare wild life protection in the 1960s, also play an important role in Japan's cultural history. Their feathers glisten in the sunlight in soft shades of pink. The traditional Japanese colour spectrum even knows the colour »toki-iro« (colour of the ibis). In former times, they could often be seen in the rice fields or by the lakes. The author published a non-fiction book for children »Saigo no toki« (The last ibis) in 1998, thorougly documenting a project aiming to protect these rare birds. This picture book is a version for smaller children. It relates with great care and detail how much effort and respect were put into capturing the last ibis in Japan, so that he and his siblings could live at the center for ibis together with their kin from China. (4+)

Japan (Japanese) - 2001 - 10
Mado, Michio (text)
Saitō, Yasuhisa (illus.)
Ippai yasai-san
(All kinds of vegetable)
Tokyo : Shikosha, 1999. [28] p.
ISBN 4-7834-0211-6
Children's poetry - Existence - Love of life - Vegetables
The cucumber is happy to be a cucumber. Her dress is adorned with little, prickly glass beads. The onion, too, appreciates her existence as an onion: she is fat and round, because she is all dressed up. The ten poems by the winner of the Andersen-award celebrate their god-given existence and explore nature's bounty with attractive, child-like language. Unusual about this book is the pictorial interpretation by Yasuhisa Saitō: the vegetables are depicted with the same fine lines and great precision characterististic of illustrated encyclopedias. Surprisingly enough, the illustrations harmonise well with the text. Insects crawling across the pages effectfully add interest. (3+)

Japan (Japanese) - 2001 - 11
Miyazawa, Kenji (text)
Kuroi, Ken (illus.)
Suisenzuki no yokka
(The fourth day of the month of daffodils)
Tokyo : Miki Shoko, 1999. [40] p.
ISBN 4-89588-112-1
Child - Spirit - Snow
On the »fourth day of the month of daffodils«, the bad old snow woman lets her apprentices, snowboys and -wolves, roam about in the mountains of northern Japan. A child hurries across the hills to return home. As the sky darkens, the voice of the snow woman rings through the upcoming snow storm ... The poet Kenji Miyazawa weaves this threatening natural event of early spring into a fairy tale narrative. Ken Kuroi's illustrations remain close to the text without restraining the reader's imagination. The different snow formations come alive and are transfigured into spirits of snow hovering in the icy air. Faint hues of white and grey-blue imbue this picture book with a strange, transparent beauty. (9+)

Japan (Japanese) - 2001 - 12
Murakami, Yasunari (text/illus.)
Pinku no iru yama
(The mountains where Pink lives)
Tokyo : Tokuma Shoten, 2000. [32] p.
ISBN 4-19-861217-x
Trout - Mountains - River - Nature
The award-winning trilogy of the trout-boy Pink has enjoyed lasting success in Japan ever since the 80s and has now been published in a new edition, completed by this fourth volume. We learn about Pink's life: his birth, survival during the harsh winter, his voyage up-stream to the breeding grounds, and finally the life of the new generation. The artist, himself a passionate, nature-loving angler, relates the course of life in and around the mountain river obeying the laws of nature. Nature is full of dangers but supplies food for everyone. All four volumes convey the vitality of life with refreshing subtlety, thoughtful composition and the effective use of intricate typography. (5+)

Japan (Japanese) - 2001 - 13
Nagasaki, Natsumi (text)
Sugita, Hiromi (illus.)
Tuinkuru
(Twinkle)
Tokyo : Komine Shoten, 1999. 140 p.
(Shin Komine sōsaku jidō bungaku)
ISBN 4-338-10716-2
Everyday life - Loneliness - Hope
The protagonists of the six short stories are a group of young adults who suffer from loneliness and the banality of everyday life. The 24-hour shop, the laundry, the game hall and the café are their only familiar places because they don't care about family life and domestic comfort. That's where they meet up with old pals or make new friends. School is no particular treat either. Life in general simply turns them off. They seem hopeless cases in their indifference and listlessness. But they might intuit that there are ways and opportunities to overcome their teen-angst. The author describes her young adult anti-heroes with great empathy. (13+) ☼
(40th Japanese Association of Writers for Children's Prize; 2000)

Japan (Japanese) - 2001 - 14
Niimi, Nankichi (text)
Kamiya, Shin (illus.)
Dendenmushi no kanashimi
(The snail's sorrow )
Tokyo : Dainippon Tosho, 1999. 29 p.
ISBN 4-477-01023-0
Nature - Animals - Life - Knowledge
The new born snail, deer and butterfly are awed by the first sparkling drop of morning dew, by the sky, the spring in the village and by the fireflies' and butterflies' festival. The author, one of the most renowned modern classics of Japanese children's literature (1913-1943), describes nature in a refreshingly poetic way from the perspective of unexperienced young creatures in gentle language. The fourth, symbolic story tells of a snail who becomes weary of life when she discovers that her house is filled with grief and sorrow. In desperation, she asks other snails. Finally, she overcomes her sadness realising that everyone has to bear his burden in life. (6+)

Japan (Japanese) - 2001 - 15
Ōtani, Miwako (text)
Nakamura, Etsuko (illus.)
Hikari no toki ni
(Toward the season of light)
Tokyo : Kumon Shuppan, 2000. 203 p.
(Kumon no jidō bungaku)
ISBN 4-7743-0378-x
Grandfather - Grandchild - Death - Anxiety - Transitoriness - Meaning of life
Ever since the sudden death of her beloved nephew, twelve-year-old Misaki is confronted with the transitory nature of life and the fear of death. She questions herself about the meaning of life. When her 76-year-old grandfather, key figure of this young adult novel, who was taken into the family as a burden, finds a new partner, life changes for the family members. The two elder people's philosophy of life, at first condemned by the parents, influences Misaki and gives her the hope and power she needs to go on living. The author combines the fundamental question of life and death with the issue of elder people in contemporary society. (12+)

Japan (Japanese) - 2001 - 16
Tejima, Keizaburō (text/illus.)
Kumagera no haru
(The spring of the wood-peckers)
Tokyo : Riburio Shuppan, 1999. [29] p.
(Gokkan ni ikiru ikimonotachi)
ISBN 4-89784-774-5
Wood-pecker - Winter - Spring - Procreation - Family
Living in the north of Japan, on Hokkaido, the artist continuously observes the wild life in the mountains and repeatedly creates impressive picture books. Because of the convincing and concentrated visual language of his wood cuts, he has been nominated for several international awards. This book tells of the life of a wood-pecker, his survival during the cold winter and of his renewed family life in spring. The wood-peckers stand out from the background of the grandiose and snowy mountains in forceful shapes and vibrant colours, hardly calling for words. Accordingly, the text remains short and concise, thereby amplifying the beauty and intensity of the pictures. (3+)

Special Mention - Japan (Japanese) - 2001 - 17
Yamashita, Haruo (text)
Sugiura, Hanmo (illus.)
Umi o kattobase
(Bash the sea!)
Tokyo : Kaiseisha, 2000. [36] p.
ISBN 4-03-330790-7
Boy - Baseball - Training - Will force - Wishful dream - Sea
Wataru got up very early to run down to the deserted beach, his baseball bat in hand to practice a few blows. The wind also blows hard, stirring the scattered flotsam. Wataru is afraid, but he is even more determined to play in the big match. Even without a ball, he relentlessly swings his bat against the wild waves. Exhausted, he sees a small, wondrous child trying to help him and then disappearing back into the sea. Hanmo Sugiura effectively illustrates the well told and gripping story about the enthusiastic sports-boy using the stylistic devices of television and magazines. While the pictures always remain concrete, they are surprisingly unconventional and poetic. Bold acrylics convincingly convey the determination and the fanatic dreams of the persevering protagonist. (6+)

Special Mention - Japan (Japanese) - 2001 - 18
Yokoyama, Mitsuo (text)
Fukuda, Iwao (illus.)
Hikatchoru zeyo! Bokura : shimantogawa monogatari
(We live our life – The story on Shimanto River)
Tokyo : Bunken Shuppan, 1999. 183 p.
(Bunken juben§ru)
ISBN 4-580-81251-4
Japan - School children - Childhood memories - Home - History 1964-1965
Japan experiences economic growth in the 60s. Set against this historical backdrop, the author tells the story about children's day-to-day existence in a provincial town on Shikoku. The partly autobiographical, first-person narrative is centered on an eleven-year-old boy. He sets out on adventures with his friends, exploring the beautiful nature along the Shimanto-River. Their experiences in the home town and surroundings, including encounters with social outcasts, enrich the children and are of great importance to their further lives. The author evokes his vivid childhood, which he and his friends spent each in their own way, with great realism and detail. (11+) ☆

Republic of China (Chinese) - 2001 - 19
Jin, Bo (text)
Tao, Wenjie (illus.)
Tituotituo-xiaohongxie
(The red shoes)
Hunan : Hainan-Chubanshe, 1994. [44] p.
ISBN 7-80617-111-8
Shoe - Lost/Found - Assistance - Friendship
Pudgy loses one of his red shoes without noticing it. The red shoe cries and wants to find his best friend – the other red shoe. Grandpa takes it back home and promises the red shoe to look for his friend. The next day, a whole trail of people and animals follows the red shoe down the street because they all want to help. More and more people join this parade until they come upon another group led by the other shoe in a park! The reunited shoes sing: »Good friends stay together«. The author tells this story to elaborate on the theme of everlasting friendship. The illustrator makes use of Chinese folk elements to endow the pictures with a Chinese atmosphere. (5+)

Special Mention - Republic of China (Chinese) - 2001 - 20
Sun, Youjun
Sun-Youjun-tonghua-quanji; 1
(The complete works of Sun Youjun, Vol. 1)
Hunan : Hunan-Shaonian-Ertong-Chubanshe, 1996. 29, 6, 698 p.
ISBN 7-5358-1176-0
Fantastic tales - Magic - Everydaylife - Humour
This first of four volumes is representative of the complete works of Sun Youjun, one of the most important fantasy writers in contemporary Chinese children's literature. He has won many awards and was nominated for the H.C. Andersen Award in 1990. His complete works consist of 42 short stories, among them his first work »Xiaobutou qiyuji« (»The adventure of a ragdoll «), originally published in 1961, which established his reputation in children's literature. Sun has a gift for developing magical plots in the midst of everyday-life circumstances. His narratives are full of humour, innocence and tenderness. (10+)

Special Mention - Republic of China (Chinese) - 2001 - 21
Yang, Hongying (text)
Huang, Bixia (illus.)
Liao, Wei (illus.)
Xiao-hong-chuan
(The small red boat)
Jiangsu : Jiangsu-Shaonian-Ertong-Chubanshe, 1998. [24] p.
(You'er-wenxue-xinzuo-huaku)
ISBN 7-5346-1953-x
Shoe - Forest - Bird - Wound - Rescue
A little girl loses one of her red shoes in the forest and a blue bird, wounded by a wild cat, finds shelter in it. A tortoise pushes the red shoe to the river and it starts floating down the river like a boat. The red carps escort the boat until it passes the house of Xiaoya. She takes the red »boat« and the little invalid passenger home. This simple story creates a fantastic world in warm tones, full of decorative patterns and with colourful, stylised figures. (5+) ☼

Ghana (English) - 2001 - 22
Asare, Meshack (text/illus.)
Nana's son
Legon, Accra : Sub-Saharan Publ., 2000. 47 p.
ISBN 9988-550-19-7
Creation - Body parts
Set in Africa, this story of creation has a different twist. Nana creates the various parts of the human being – the head to hear, smell, think and talk, hands, legs and stomach. Each part is sent to fend for itself in different landscapes – the plains, the fields, and the sea. One day, Nana sends a parrot to bring news of the parts. When he learns that the head shouted insults, the hands turned to fists and the legs kicked his messenger, he resolves to join the parts and makes them into a »Person«. The award-winning artist's watercolour illustrations amplify the mythical quality evoked by the formulaic, rhythmical text. (5+) ☆ ☼

Ghana (English) - 2001 - 23
Dadson, Fredericka (text)
DeGraft-Johnson, Ato (illus.)
Donkoh, Wilhelmina (text)
The just king : the story of Osei Tutu Kwane Asibe Bonsu
Accra : Woeli, 2000. 32 p.
ISBN 9964-978-67-7
Ghana - Asante Kingdom - Osei-Tut Kwamina
In this little booklet, 12-year-old Kwaku listens to his grandfather as he tells him the story of Osei Tut Kwamina, leader of the Asante kingdom – now part of Ghana, 200 years ago. A mystery starts when the royal graves are looted. The king pursues the wrong-doers, things escalate, finally involving the Asantes in war with the Fantes and the British. This true story vividly told and illustrated brings the events alive, transporting the reader into a world of intrigue, suspense and retributive justice while addressing important ethical issues. (8+) ☆

Kenya (English) - 2001 - 24
Orchardson-Mazrui, Elizabeth
The adventures of Mekatilili
Nairobi : East African Educational Publ., 1999. 130 p.
(Secondary readers ; 12)
ISBN 9966-25-004-2
Kidnapping - Christian missionaries - Anti-colonialism
This novel is based on the real story of Mekatilili Wa Menza, a girl famous for fighting against the British colonialists. Mekatilili, a headstrong girl, is kidnapped and taken to a Christian mission. But she knows of her calling, she feels that she will be a leader of a people proud of its own culture and history. So she escapes and returns home to inspire her friends and family. Fact and fiction intertwine as the plot unfolds against the rich cultural backdrop of the Mijikenda people of Kenya. (8+)

Australia (English) - 2001 - 25
Applegate, Cathy (text)
Huxley, Dee (illus.)
Rain dance
Hunters Hill, NSW : Scholastic Australia, 2000. [32] p.
ISBN 1-876289-39-2
Rain - Draught - Joy of life
One can sense the burning heat, taste the dry air, and even hear the quiet of the first double-spread which extends in heavy, glowing tones of red. »It hasn't rained for two whole years«, we learn from the young girl. The farm is for sale, and they wait. Then, her skin prickles with goosebumps, and it starts raining, pouring and gushing down in torrents as she laughs and runs and swirls around. Told (and felt and smelled) from the perspective of the girl, the sensuous text draws in the reader who will share in the shifting emotions, while the pastel and coloured pencil illustrations build up the growing tension, capture the exaltation of the highly dynamic climax and release the reader soothed. (5+)

Australia (English) - 2001 - 26
Baillie, Allan
Saving Abbie
Ringwood, Victoria : Puffin Books, 2000. 216 p.
ISBN 0-14-130740-4
Orangutan - Conservation - Borneo
After Ian Foster and Abbie, an orphaned orangutan, are nearly killed in a cyclone, Abbie is repatriated to a national park in Indonesian Borneo by Ian and his parents. Once Abbie has adjusted to the wild, the Fosters return to Australia. For the next five years both mature physically and mentally – Ian, at home and school, Abbie, in the jungle. Each, however, still thinks of the other and Ian returns to Borneo at the time of the great loggers' fires. Abbie is able to save herself and her baby from poachers just in time for her reunion with him. The authentic background assists the demonstration of the intelligence and appeal of orangutans, and highlights the threat of their extinction because of human greed. (14+)

Australia (English) - 2001 - 27
Hathorn, Libby (text)
Rogers, Gregory (illus.)
The gift
Milsons Point, NSW : Random House Australia, 2000. [36] p.
ISBN 0-091-83757-x
Hamelin - Music- Gift - Moral dilemma - Fairy tale
Inspired by a poem by Robert Browning, this deeply stirring picture book revisions the tale of the Pied Piper and tells it from the perspective of »the one who was left behind«. This boy receives a gift from an old man: a flute with which he can free all the children. The narrative derives its strong impact from its break with the conventions of the »Erlösungsmärchen«: the reader's expectations are shattered and the hope of salvation, expressed in the text, is dispelled by the uncanny illustrations. The text's enigmatic riddles, the stark, prop-like illustrations and the effective use of perspective leave enough room for reflection. (10+)

Australia (English) - 2001 - 28
Moloney, James
Touch me
St Lucia, Queensland : Univ. of Queensland Press, 2000. 243 p.
(UQP young adult fiction)
ISBN 0-7022-3151-7
Sport - Friendship - Trust - Stereotypes - Sex
Xavier's life revolves around rugby football until he meets Nuala Magee who fascinates him with her confrontational personality. While he competes on the football field, she leads a fight against both male and female stereotypes, wearing men's clothes. They start a challenging relationship constantly threatened by gossip, Xavier's obsession for rugby and Nuala's past experiences. Both have to reassess their identity with the help of their mutual friend Alex, who dies of leukemia. The problems of adolescent relationships, especially when affected by rumours and peer pressure, are emphasised in this strong novel in which sport is a metaphor for romance. (14+)

Special Mention - Australia (English) - 2001 - 29
Tan, Shaun (text/illus.)
The Lost Thing
Port Melbourne, Victoria : Lothian, 2000. [32] p.
ISBN 0-7344-0074-8
Essence - Belonging - Naming - Identity - Aesthetic pleasure
The story begins when Shaun, a passionate bottle top collector, encounters something defying classification: without a name and without an apparent purpose, the »Lost Thing« is completely out of place in the mechanical world of busy Suburbia. Shaun tries to find somewhere it belongs. Finally, they come upon a realm of free aesthetic pleasure which literally turns the book upside down: weird, incongruous shapes reminiscent of works by Dalí, Miró or Bosch populate the large double-spread. At last, the »Lost Thing« feels at home. This highly original, ingeniously designed picture book pays a homage to Art – to our capacity for noticing the special. The striking visual narrative combines a painterly style with a clever use of comic conventions. Breathtaking perspectives, humorous lines and a continually varying layout result in a complex layering of visual and verbal narratives. (8+)

Special Mention - Australia (English) - 2001 - 30
Wild, Margaret (text)
Brooks, Ron (illus.)
Fox
St Leonards : Allen & Unwin, 2000. [32] p.
ISBN 1-86448-465-9. - 1-86448-933-2
Dog - Bird - Friendship - Betrayal
Magpie's wing was burned in a bushfire, but oneeyed dog rescues her and a partnership forms: »I will be your missing eye, and you will be my wings«, Magpie exclaims, as Dog carries her on his back. But one day, lonely, envious Fox appears. He tempts Magpie to leave Dog. They »fly« across the grasslands, into the desert, where Fox abandons her, so that she and Dog »will know what it is like to be truly alone«. Thinking of her friend, Magpie starts the long, slow journey home. Wild's lyrical text complements Brook's superb mixed media and collage illustrations; imaginatively placed hand-lettering adds interest. This is a marvellous, multi-layered, thought-provoking tale of friendship, loneliness, betrayal and guilt for all ages. (6+)

India (English) - 2001 - 31
Ghose, Vijaya (ed./select.)
The carpenter's apprentice
New Delhi : Katha, 1999. 131 p.
(A Rosalind Wilson book)
ISBN 81-85586-94-2
Short stories
This delectable book offers a fine collection of short stories by some of India's foremost writers. They first appeared during the late 80s in »Target «, a well-known and much-loved Indian children's magazine. Very short, the poignant narratives do not look for the spectacular but focus mostly on the joys and pains of everyday life: growing up, dignity of work, school performances, social inequity. They throw little spotlights on different lifes and experiences of Indian children. The volume pays homage to Rosalind Wilson, long-standing editor of »Target«, who has made an immense contribution to children's literature in India with her keen sense for talent and her discerning editorial skills. (8+) ☆

India (English) - 2001 - 32
Sen Gupta, Poile (text)
Biswas, Pulak (illus.)
Water flowers
Gurgaon : Scholastic India, 2000. [16] p.
ISBN 81-7655-010-8
Monsoon - Rain
In India the coming of monsoon – or the rainy season – is an event in itself. The author uses her imagination to tell little children what monsoon puddles were regarded as in a time not so long ago. The simple text and the dynamic watercolour illustrations work closely together. This charming picture book encourages the reader to discover beauty in very simple things. (4+)

India (English) - 2001 - 33
Sen Gupta, Subhadra (text)
Guha, Tapas (illus.)
History, mystery, dal and biryani : stories of the past
New York; New Delhi: Scholastic, 2000. 131 p.
ISBN 81-7655-024-8
India/History
This set of ten historical stories that take readers of today on a delightful journey into India's past – walking the sheets with ordinary people of those times and getting a close look at the life styles of children during those times. They prove that children of the past were not really very different from the children of today when it came to adventure, mystery, food, in fact a solid sense of good values! Charming black-and-white illustrations capture the highlights of these timeless narratives. (12+)

Special Mention - India (English) - 2001 - 34
Wolf, Gita (text)
Ravishankar, Anushka (text)
Sen, Orijit (illus.)
Trash! : on ragpicker children and recycling
Chennai : Tara Publ., 1999. 112 p.
ISBN 81-86211-04-7
Ragpicker child - Child labour - Environment
Despite its title, this book is a true gem in the Indian publishing landscape: attractive book design, intelligible lay-out with information-boxes, lucid and sound definitions, startling colour-illustrations using intriguing photo-collage techniques, and humorous treatment of serious issues. It tells the story of Velu, a young ragpicker and addresses the problems of child labour and environment. »Trash!« evolved from a series of workshops conducted with ragpicker children and was produced in collaboration with »Books for Change«, an initiative in publishing aiming at raising controversial issues, informing children about social realities and sharing ideas for a better world. (8+) ☆

New Zealand (English) - 2001 - 35
Beames, Margaret (text)
Hitchcock, Sue (illus.)
Oliver in the garden
Auckland : Scholastic, 2000. [32] p.
ISBN 1-86943-452-8
Cat - Night - Light - Darkness
If you think that the new media will bring about the »death of the book«, have a look at this picture book and judge for yourself. One follows Oliver the cat through the nightly garden as he chases mice, climbs trees, and has a surprising encounter with a possum. The greatest fascination emanates from an intricate play with light, shadows and darkness: the pale moon light, the strong yellow light from the window or the warm, red glow of the fireplace to which Oliver returns in the end. Even the clearly written text seems to glow with its white letters standing out against the pitch black, glossy paper. The simple narrative and the computer generated illustrations explore a new aesthetics somewhere between the computer screen and the pages of a book. (4+)

New Zealand (English) - 2001 - 36
Taylor, William
Scarface and the angel
Dunedin : Longacre Press, 2000. 93 p.
ISBN 1-877135-44-5
Identity - Encounter - Friendship - Self-acceptance
There are two sides to Damon. You can see it in his face: a big scar runs down one side. Only when he meets Esther, an old gypsie woman, does he realise how deep it cuts. Esther possesses the gift of listening and Damon, without knowing why, starts telling her his life. The reader has to piece together the fragmental narrative, continually reassessing it, just like Damon learns to take a new look at his self, the wounds of his past healing in the act of narration. – Good Face, Bad Face – this is a well paced, edgy novel with strong language, resonating with biblical and Shakespearean allusions. Good Face, Bad Face – in the end, Damon learns to turn the other cheek and the scar has disappeared. (14+)

New Zealand (English) - 2001 - 37
Wolfe, Richard (text)
Wolfe, Pamela (illus.)
Mouse Hotel
Glenfield, Auckland : Random House New Zealand, 2000. [32] p.
ISBN 1-86941-449-7
Dressing up - Hotel - Mystery - Imagination
Following the award-winning success of »Mouse Opera«, the Mouseholes are back to stage their next adventure: On holidays with their brand new Chevrolet, they arrive at a Grand Hotel. In their room they discover that their suitcase is missing. How will they dress for dinner now? Manager O'Rodent and Chief Inspector McWhisker search the hotel – in vain. But thanks to the Mouseholes' creative use of imagination, the evening is saved. The bright and humorous illustrations express a love for drama and dressing-up and share in the storytelling: a wordless doublespread illustration holds the clue to the mystery. Told in narrative verse, this story is full of little jokes and puns that will amuse the reader. (6+)

Great Britain (English) - 2001 - 38
Andersen, Rachel
Warlands
Oxford : Oxford Univ. Press, 2000. 114 p.
ISBN 0-19-271817-7
Vietnamese orphan - Adoption - Nightmare - Memories
When Ho, a Vietnamese orphan boy, was adopted by Amy's grandparents, he had no language to articulate himself – only screams (»Ho-yells«), and no memories to share – the past only visited him at night with haunting, terrible nightmares of flames, smoke, death and mutilation. But his new family knows that »everybody needs to know the story of their life, even if it has to be invented«. So, they piece together fragments of information, constructing stories of »what might have been«. In this multiple viewpoint novel contrasting different versions of the stories (terrible night-time tales, happy endings, conflicting personal memories), Andersen reflects on our need to understand our past by telling stories – and its healing or damaging impact. (12+)

Great Britain (English) - 2001 - 39
Burgess, Melvin (text)
Brown, Ruth (illus.)
The Birdman
London : Andersen Press, 2000. [28] p.
ISBN 0-86264-976-5
Boy - Bird - Freedom - Ownership - Imprisonment
»The Birdman« is a picture book for older children. Brown's mystically subtle and beautiful illustrations perfectly complement a gothic tale of transformation. The Birdman, who sells caged birds, shifts between villain and hero as this tale interrogates the moralities of freedom and ownership. The boy who buys a caged bird intending to give freedom then becomes entrapped in the desire to own the bird. He is gradually transformed into a bird, and must then endure the knowledge of imprisonment. The Birdman emerges as a moral teacher. This is a fascinating and challenging illustrated text. (8+) ☼

Great Britain (English) - 2001 - 40
Chambers, Aidan
Postcards from No Man's Land
London : Bodley Head, 1999. 336 p.
ISBN 0-370-32376-9
Time-slip - World War II - Amsterdam - Identity
This award-winning title is a time-slip novel set in contemporary Amsterdam and Arnhem during World War II. An adolescent boy returns to the site of his grandfather's war-time experiences and in doing so discovers the key to his own identity. The ghosts of war are laid to rest as the boy learns of the loves and losses fought for in war-torn Holland. Past and present are melded together in a novel which brings human understanding to a point in history where civilian and soldier are caught in conflict which is none of their making. (14+) ☆
(Carnegie Medal; 1999)

Great Britain (English) - 2001 - 41
Henderson, Kathy (text/illus.)
The storm
London : Walker, 2000. [28] p.
ISBN 0-7445-7827-2
Storm
This remarkable picture book tells of the aweinspiring encounter between a small boy and a big storm, between man and the forces of nature. The superb mixed media illustrations set it apart from most books for the very young: Henderson experiments with watercolour, opaque white and various printing and crackling effects to capture the force of the gushing water, the splashing waves and the howling wind. A fascinating doublespread witnesses the rising tides of the sea in three dramatic phase pictures. But there are also warm and soft tones to convey the feeling of safety and comfort. (4+)
(Kate Greenaway Medal [Shortlist])

Great Britain (English) - 2001 - 42
Hughes, Shirley (text/illus.)
The Shirley Hughes collection
London : Bodley Head, 2000. 352 p.
ISBN 0-370-32682-2
Stories - Children's poetry
The Shirley Hughes' Collection brings together time-proven favourites for younger children as well as new work for older readers. Hughes' closely observed illustrations capture a view of life which is particularly English. Her famous Alfie stories depict childhood from the child's and the adult's perspective. Her realistic illustrations subtly portray the loves, trials and tears of the child's world with a deep and gentle understanding. The new Sylkie story for older readers is a mystical tale of the sea, and longing and love. Hughes' verbal and pictorial narratives enable the reader to enter the text as a maker of meaning. (4+)

Special Mention - Great Britain (English) - 2001 - 43
Pullman, Philip
The amber spyglass
London : Scholastic Children's Books, 2000. 548 p.
(His dark materials ; 3) (David Fickling Books)
ISBN 0-590-54244-3
Good - Evil - Quest for paradise
»The amber spyglass« completes the trilogy »His Dark Materials«. This postmodern science fiction novel journeys between fantastic worlds, including a version of Hades, as Lyra, (the new Eve), and her helpmates seek her dead friend, and the secret of the mystery of »dust«, the source of life. The context is the moral battle of the heavens bringing together Angels, Witches, Ghosts and Bears, in the venture. Pullman spins together moral, philosophical and environmental concerns in lyrical prose which resonates with intertextual references to Milton and Blake amongst others. The parallel narratives produce a gripping adventure story which deals with love, death, loss and a vision of a New Eden as the children venture into their future. (12+)

Special Mention - Great Britain (English) - 2001 - 44
Wilson, Jacqueline (text)
Sharratt, Nick (illus.)
Vicky Angel
London : Doubleday, 2000. 154 p.
ISBN 0-385-60040-2
Grief - Death - Feelings of guilt - Self-affirmation - Friendship
Vicky has died but returns as a ghost to haunt her best friend with feelings of guilt. Jade has to learn to cope with grief and to live her own life. This »deadly funny« and subtle book doesn't only confront the reader with the death of a bright, young girl but also with wit and (at times black) humour – which might seem oddly out of place. But Wilson has a rare gift for writing amusingly about sensitive issues: She uses the comic element and the saucy colloquial tone to explore complex emotional themes. The unusual and sometimes unsettling blend of wit and warmth makes this a remarkable read. (10+) ☼

Ireland (English) - 2001 - 45
Flegg, Aubrey
The cinnamon tree : a novel set in Africa
Dublin : O'Brien, 2000. 208 p.
ISBN 0-86278-657-6
Landmine - Arms trade - Child soldier - Friendship
The strong smell of cinnamon is the last thing Yola Abonda can remember. When she wakes up, she is in hospital. One of her legs is missing – it was blown off by a landmine. Aubrey Flegg succeeds in grounding the well-wrought and engaging story of a young girl in his extensive knowledge of African culture, compellingly raising the intricate issues of landmines, arms trade and child soldiers. His development of characters, particularly of Yola, is of great skill and psychological insight. An author's note provides additional facts about the political background of the novel as well as internet-addresses of humanitarian organisations. (12+) ☆

Ireland (English) - 2001 - 46
Wood, John
Finnegan's wind
Dublin : Wolfhound Press, 2000. 140 p.
ISBN 0-86327-831-0
Change - Growing-up - Pig - Travellers
Callum's family are travellers, pig-talkers, mousecallers and tricksters. When their reputation in one village gets too bad, they just pack up their caravan and move on. Young Callum wants to end the family's way of life forever and discovers that change is never as easy as it seems. This is not an easy novel exploring the nature of continuity and change of human existence: familiy traditions, growing up, leaving home, ageing and dying. As strong olifactory sensations mingle with the thoughts and shrill voices of pigs and mice to create a dense text rich in subtle metaphors, Callum listens for his own calling and successfully struggles to find his way. (12+)

Canada (English) - 2001 - 47
Ellis, Deborah
The breadwinner
Toronto : Douglas & McIntyre, 2000. 170 p.
ISBN 0-88899-419-2. - 0-88899-416-8
Afghanistan - Taliban - Girl - Women's emancipation - Freedom - Loyalty
This compelling and realistic novel is set in Afghanistan, a country devastated by more than 40 years of war and under the yoke of the Taliban, members of an extreme religious group, ever since 1996. When her father is arrested, elevenyear- old Pavana has to become the breadwinner of the family. Since the Taliban has banned women from public life (women cannot go to school, work outside the home or leave their homes without a man), she must transform herself into a boy. The author presents a sensitive portrayal of determined girls and women struggling for survival and fighting for their dignity and freedom. (10+) ☆

Canada (English) - 2001 - 48
Gregory, Nan (text)
Lightburn, Ron (illus.)
Wild Girl & Gran
Red Deer, Alberta : Red Deer Press, 2000. [34] p.
(Northern lights books for children)
ISBN 0-88995-221-3
Grandchild - Grandmother - Friendship - Death - Imagination
Perched on her favourite tree, Wild Girl awaits the arrival of her grandmother. For a happy spring and summer, they enjoy a deep friendship. But as the autumn leaves wither, grandmother falls ill. In winter, grandmother has died. Rhythmic, urgent and engaging, the text bears the mark of a true storyteller's craft: little snippets of playful poetry mingle with short sentences of well-paced prose. The illustrator uses layers of pencil drawings, acrylics and oil paints to project the changing moods unto the landscape of the Garry Oak Meadow, a unique ecosystem in British Columbia. Together, words and pictures pay homage to nature and the power of imagination and love which renew Wild Girl's spirits. (6+) ☼

Canada (English) - 2001 - 49
Heneghan, James
The grave
Vancouver : Douglas & McIntyre, 2000. 236 p.
ISBN 0-88899-414-1
Time-slip - Ireland <1847> - Famine - Identity - Friendship - Family
Abandoned as a baby, 13-year-old Tom has been shuffled from one foster home to another. When he hears rumours that a mass grave has been unearthed on his school grounds, he finds himself inexplicably drawn to it. The grave pulls Tom down into its terrible darkness and beyond, where he discovers that he is in Ireland in 1847, at the height of the potato famine. The Monaghans take him in, and for the first time Tom experiences what is is like to have parents and siblings who care for one another. Tom's journeys into the past provide him with some clues to his family background, and he returns to his present with a renewed sense of responsibility. A final intriguing author's note to this powerful first-person narrative explains that a mysterious mass grave actually was discovered in Liverpool in 1973. (13+)

Canada (English) - 2001 - 50
Lee, Dennis (text)
McPhail, David (illus.)
Bubblegum delicious
[Toronto] : Key Porter Books, 2000. [32] p.
ISBN 1-55263-159-1
Bug - Nonsense - Poetry
Dennis Lee, praised as the poet laureate of the Canadian children's poetry, returns in this truly delightful book. Using the rhythm of bouncing balls and schoolyard songs, he has created a whimsical world of nursery and counting rhymes, nonsense and two-pence, lyrical lullabies and quirky quatrains literally crawling across the pages. These are accompanied by a parade of psychedelic bugs, a product of the illustrator's overboarding imagination. These bugs counterpoint the verse with their own brand of visual poetry. A friendly boy and his dog take the reciting reader through the welldesigned book. But soon, one feels, the children will shout, chant, sing. (5+) ☼

Special Mention - Canada (English) - 2001 - 51
McKay, Sharon E.
Charlie Wilcox
Toronto : Stoddart Kids, 2000. XI, 221 p.
ISBN 0-7737-6093-8
World War I - Infirmity - Heroism - Growing-up - Friendship - Newfoundland
Charlie Wilcox is born into a family of captains and sealers in Newfoundland. But weak and with a club foot, he is not to go to the ice. Charlie is determined to prove himself. He tries stowing away on a sealing ship, only to find he is headed for war! Tending to the wounded at the army hospital, Charlie proves his worth in the trenches of World War I. When he returns home, he is no longer a boy, but a young who has found his way. McKay, great-niece of the »real« Charlie Wilcox, masterfully blends fact and fiction, developing an unforgettable cast of characters against a fully realised setting. Every minor character comes alive, and one can share in the lovable protagonist's excitement, fear and nascent love, admire his determination and heroism and smile at his little worries. This touching historical novel is written with a deep awareness of human emotion and a fine sense of humour. (10+)
(Governor General's Award; 2000)

Special Mention - Canada (English) - 2001 - 52
Schwartz, Roslyn (text/illus.)
The Mole Sisters and the busy bees
Toronto : Annick Press, 2000. [28] p.
ISBN 1-55037-663-2. - 1-55037-662-4
Sisters - Bee - Laziness - Business
When a busy bee buzzes by, the irresistible Mole Sisters stop doing nothing. They begin smelling flowers and get their noses covered in pollen until they look like flowers themselves. An enormous sneeze, splashing all over the page, puts everything right in the end. The short, lively text brims with imagination and resounds with onomatopoeia. The playful pastel-chalk illustrations capture wonderfully amusing situations, such as the Mole Sisters' noses sticking out of the tall grass. This is a charming new series whose humour and refreshing simplicity will not only delight preschoolers. (4+)

Special Mention - Canada (English) - 2001 - 53
Waboose, Jan Bourdeau (text)
Deines, Brian (illus.)
Skysisters
Toronto, ON : Kids Can Press, 2000. [32] p.
ISBN 1-55074-697-9
Sisters - Northern Lights
This is a quiet book, for it cherishes the wisdom of previous Ojibway generations. As the two sisters go out into the night to see the Northern Lights, they remember grandmother's words: »Wisdom comes on silent wings«. Waboose's knowledge of the northern landscape has created a gentle yet powerful story about a journey into a silent night. It is about the bonds between sisters, between generations and between humans and nature. Deines's oil on canvas illustrations capture the chill of a silent northern night, the warmth of the family circle and the radiance of a child's wonder. (6+) ☆ ☼

Special Mention - USA (English) - 2001 - 54
Aronson, Marc
Sir Walter Ralegh and the quest for El Dorado
New York, NY : Clarion Books, 2000. XVIII, 222 p.
ISBN 0-395-84827-x
Raleigh, Walter - Biography - Great Britain - Court and courtiers - El Dorado - New World - American Dream
This multifaceted biography of Sir Walter Raleigh (or: Ralegh), explorer, writer, court favourite of Queen Elizabeth I and adventurer, is a publishing landmark, questioning some of the assumptions about children's nonfiction and setting new standards. This book reads like a Shakespearean drama: The search for El Dorado is the pursuit of the dream for a better world that still nurtures the American dream. It sets the stage for a man who was both a product of his times and a creator of them. Aronson allows the reader to share in the excitement of discovery and in the pleasures of critical thinking. He doesn't just present his material but shows how he arrives at it. His careful evaluation of well-selected written and visual sources (including maps, Raleigh's poetry and historical reproductions) pays tribute to the complexity of historical issues. Well-documented endnotes and a time line complete this intelligent work of scholarship. (12+) ☆
(Boston Globe Horn Book Nonfiction Award Winner; 2000)

Special Mention - USA (English) - 2001 - 55
Falconer, Ian (text/illus.)
Olivia
New York, NY : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2000. [36] p.
(An Anne Schwartz book)
ISBN 0-689-82953-1
Pig - Art -Dancing - Singing - Imagination
Falconer illustrates for the New Yorker and designs sets and costumes for renowned opera houses. Now he sets the stage for Olivia, the ever-active porcine heroine of his first book for children. Both his love of drama and keen sense of humour make this a highly delightful book. Olivia is good at lots of things: the little pig with the big ears is constantly on the move, hopping, dancing, jetéing across the pages, singing 40 very loud songs, emulating Jackson Pollock on the bedroom walls, and trying on every single piece her wardrobe holds. Bright, splashes of red are the only touches of colour, accentuating Olivia's high energy. The understatement of the brief and funny text highlights the wonderfully amusing charcoal and gouache pictures. (4+) ☼
(Caldecott Medal [Honor Book]; 2001)

Special Mention - USA (English) - 2001 - 56
Fleischman, Paul
Mind's eye
New York, NY : Holt, 1999. 108 p.
ISBN 0-8050-6314-5
Imagination - Physically handicapped - Self-perception
»A person's mind is like a pantry. Every poem or book or painting you know is another jar on the shelf«, Elvira tells Courtney. Elvira is old and half-blind, Courtney is 16 and paralysed, but they know of the power of the mind. A Baedeker guidebook from 1910 takes them on an imaginary journey to Italy. In this outstanding multivoiced and richly intertextual novel, entirely written in dialogue, Fleischman uses the open form of drama to reflect on the healing and destructive powers of imagination. »Mind's eye« is food for thought that will sustain your mind. (14+)

Special Mention - USA (English) - 2001 - 57
Gantos, Jack
Joey Pigza loses control
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000. 195 p.
ISBN 0-374-39989-1
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder - Father - Son - Baseball - Alcoholism
This is a believable, sometimes sad story about a boy with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, who needs medication to maintain emotional equilibrium. Joey is the product of a broken home. For the summer, he goes to visit his father, who is a larger version of himself – also hyperactive. His father lives vicariously through him, and wants Joey to be the success that he is not. He cannot give the boy the kind of leadership he deserves, because of his alcoholism. At one point, he decides his son is well enough and takes him off the drugs. That's when the pandemonium breaks loose. Joey, the »wired« narrator, is a likeable character in a desperate situation. This book is a great read that will appeal to both boys and girls. (10+)
(Newbery Medal [Honor Book]; 2001)
(Sequel to »Joey Pigza swallowed the key« [1998])

Special Mention - USA (English) - 2001 - 58
Harley, Avis (text/illus.)
Fly with poetry : an ABC of poetry
Honesdale, Pa. : Wordsong, Boyds Mills Press, 2000. 48 p.
ISBN 1-56397-798-2
Alphabet - Poetry - Imagination
This clever and original ABC-book by the Canadian writer Harley invites all readers to explore the playful ways of poetry, to experiment with its forms and techniques and to ponder the potential of poetic language. Each letter of the alphabet introduces a poetic term, gives an accurate definition and exemplifies it with humorous verse: A demonstrates the abecedarian and the acrostic, B the blank verse, S the sonnet. Readers can discover and create meanings as they explore the images and ideas of each poem and as they absorb the various forms, meters, rhymes, and arrangements. Pleasant illustrations contribute to make this highly inspiring book accessible to children. (10+)

Special Mention - USA (English) - 2001 - 59
Isadora, Rachel (text/illus.)
1 2 3 pop!
New York, NY : Viking, 2000. [36] p.
ISBN 0-670-88859-1
Counting - Pop-art
Count up to 3 and you will face three monkeys on a bold Lichtenstein-inspired background of huge yellow dots covering eyes, ears, and mouth respectively. Count from 1 to 1,000,000, and this dynamic book will give you plenty to see (4 medieval gargoyles, 8 supermen and -women), to hear (Pop! Boom! Cock A Doodle Doo!) and to talk about (How many ants does it take to carry a burger?). From 1 man on the moon to 1,000 jellybeans to 1,000,000 stars, the intriguing images give vibrant visual life to numbers. Following the success of »ABC pop!«, Isadora continues the homage to pop-art. Not only children will respond to the graphic energy, surprising colour choices and striking rhythm of this book. (4+) ☼

Special Mention - USA (English) - 2001 - 60
Konigsburg, Elaine L.
Silent to the bone
New York, NY : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2000. 261 p.
(A Jean Karl book)
ISBN 0-689-83601-5
Mutism - Emotional problems - Remarriage - Friendship - Shame
SIAS – that's short for »summarise in a sentence«, a game Branwell and Connor used to play. Used to, because Branwell is struck mute when his infant half-sister falls into coma. The novel is narrated by Bran's best friend, Connor, who uses a set of handwritten flash cards to cut through the silence. As the skilfully crafted novel unfolds layer after layer, the reader has to join Connor in his effort to reconstruct what happened on the day of the accident and to understand the causes leading up to it. SIAS: This gripping psychological novel that reads like a mystery »breaks the silence« by intelligently addressing the problems of shame, jealousy and remarriage. (11+)

Special Mention - USA (English) - 2001 - 61
Marrin, Albert
Sitting Bull and his world : Tatan'ka Iyota'ke
New York, NY : Dutton Children's Books, 2000. 246 p.
ISBN 0-525-45944-8
Sitting Bull - Indians/North America
How does one understand a nation without a recorded history? How does one evaluate the life of the vanquished when the records come almost entirely from the victors? These two critical questions guide Marrin's careful and compelling reconstruction of the life and times of Sitting Bull, great leader of the Plain's Indians and witness of his nation's ethnocide. Marrin, author of a number of award-winning works of nonfiction, is well aware of the »danger of judging one society by the ideas of another«. Consequently, he gives a nuanced portrait of a »uniquely American story« – which is that of the first Americans as well as that of the later arrivals. Includes notes, suggestions for further reading, and an index. (12+)
(Boston Globe Horn Book Award [Nonfiction Honor Book]; 2000)

Special Mention - USA (English) - 2001 - 62
Rappaport, Doreen (text)
Collier, Bryan (illus.)
Freedom River
New York, NY : Hyperion Books for Children, 2000. [28] p.
(Jump at the sun)
ISBN 0-7868-0350-9. - 0-7868-1229-x. - 0-7868-2291-0
Slavery - Abolitionists - Parker, John <1827-1900>
Stylised drawings complement the text of this dynamic book chronicling the work of a conductor on the Underground Railroad. Collier uses vivid collage and watercolour to bring to life this story of a freed slave who risked his neck many times to go to Kentucky and transport slaves to freedom in Ohio. The reader feels like he is actually on the scene as Parker steals a Black baby from the slavemaster's bedroom. We know a lot about Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman: here is a less well known Black figure who became prosperous, employed Blacks and Whites, and never gave up on his enslaved brothers and sisters, helping to freedom as many as 900 slaves. A worthwhile book that dishes up a slice of life for the American Black Man, enslaved or free, during slavery times in the 1800s. (6+) ☆ ☼

Special Mention - USA (English) - 2001 - 63
Sís, Peter (text/illus.)
Madlenka
(<Proper name>)
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000. [44] p.
(Frances Foster books)
ISBN 0-374-39969-7
New York - Neigbourhood - Multiculturalism
Sís is known to take his readers on visual adventures to explore mysteries of far-away places. In this book, Madlenka, the little girl-protagonist, just goes around the block of her Manhattan-neigbourhood. And yet, she can say: »I went around the world«. She shares the news of her loose tooth with a French baker, an Indian news vendor, German Ms. Grimm or her Egyptian school friend. Sís evokes this urban microcosm with his distinctive, multi-layered style and ingenious layout. Die cuts open windows to fascinating worlds – rich, intriguing tableaus of cultural icons. The meaningful play with perspectives reflects the relations between the individual and the universal, the countries of origin and multicultural New York. (5+) ☆ ☼

Special Mention - USA (English) - 2001 - 64
Winter, Jonah (text)
Winter, Jeanette (illus.)
Once upon a time in Chicago : the story of Benny Goodman
New York, NY : Hyperion Books for Children, 2000. [32] p.
ISBN 0-7868-0462-9. - 0-7868-2404-2
Goodman, Benny - Music - Jazz - Immigrants
This truly poetic picture book is more than a homage to Benny Goodman. It is an engaging story about a quiet boy who cannot put his love for his Jewish immigrant parents into words – until he finds his very own way of expression: music. The clarinet consoles him and his family when the father suddenly dies, and it can make people all over the world want to get up and dance. The story of the legendary »King of Swing« has found its own congenial expression in the wellpaced words and naive pictures of the awardwinning mother-and-son team. Even the »swing« of the music is suggested by swinging borders, whose chromatic scales perfectly capture the emotional rhythm. (8+) ☼

Austria (German) - 2001 - 65
Dahimène, Adelheid (text)
Stöllinger, Heide (illus.)
Voller Mond und leerer Bär
(Full moon and empty bear)
Wien : Verl. Jungbrunnen, 2000. [32] p.
ISBN 3-7026-5719-3
Moon - Bear - Magic - Self-confidence - Hope
One night, the full moon shines through a window and sees a completely flat bear lying on the floor – a big, sad head sitting on top. The moon wants to help and lift his sadness. He encourages the »empty« bear to get up and wash off the dust and dirt of the past years by the fountain. This succeeds and the two have great fun together. Soon the moon has to return to the sky. But he promises the bear to reserve him a place up there: if he has enough patience, one day (or night rather!) he will be a constellation up in the sky. Meanwhile, the bear returns to his bear-skin state, but he is no longer sad. Coloured pencil illustrations perfectly render the development from the sad, empty bear skin to the hopeful dreamer. (5+)

Austria (German) - 2001 - 66
Gutenbergmuseum Mainz (ed.)
Von Gutenberg zum World Wide Web
(From Gutenberg to the world wide web)
Wien : Dachs, 2000. 117 p.
ISBN 3-85191-190-3
Gutenberg, Johannes - Book printing - Computer - Internet
In time for Gutenberg's 600th birthday, here is a helpful reference book, documenting his contribution to print media and to the world of books in an encompassing and useful way. Along with his biography, partly based on documents of the many legal trials instigated by and against Gutenberg, come detailed descriptions of his craft, book printing, and its development to the present day. The section »The colourful encyclopedia of the black art« introduces a wide range of technical terms of printing and offers annotations to the topics »book and computer« and »media «. A list of addresses and useful hints (not only) for interested adolescents complement this thorough book. It looks as though paper and electronic media should get along nicely in the future. (12+)

Austria (German) - 2001 - 67
Kaufmann, Angelika (text/illus.)
Cäcilie
(<Proper name>)
Weitra : Publ. No. 1, Bibl. Der Provinz, [2000]. [32] p.
ISBN 3-85252-175-0
Zebra - Siblings - Escape - Dream
A zebra familiy takes a rest in the grasslands around noon – stripes by stripes. Only the little foal wants to skip and jump about. When a lion appears in the distance, the herd flees, but Cäcilie falls into a deep ditch. She can only get out thanks to a pair of magic shoes. When she wakes up, it all turns out to have been a dream. But now she can tell the others about her adventure. The story is framed by the illustrator's report about her own work. A picture book inviting to be read over and over again – just the way children love it. (4+)

Special Mention - Austria (German) - 2001 - 68
Kooij, Rachel van (text)
Wechdorn, Susanne (illus.)
Jonas, die Gans
(Jonas, the gander)
Wien: Verl. Jungbrunnern, 2000. 114 p.
ISBN 3-7026-5721-5
Goose - Poultry farming - Captivity - Accident - Naiveté - Freedom
The geese at the plant may have plenty to eat and they may be clean, but their lives in the narrow coops consist of awaiting their turn at the butcher's. Only Jonas dares to ponder the why and wherefore of existence. And he of all geese is to serve as Anna's and Alois' Christmas roast! But things take an unexpected turn: the transport crashes, Jonas tries to find his destination on his own, escapes the fox and finally finds Alois. The farmer is relieved: his Christmas dinner seems secured. But Anna adopts Jonas into her family of pets. They will have carp for Christmas dinner instead – like every year. A suggestive and humorous story about a gander whose life is saved by his belief in the intrinsic goodness of the world. (8+)

Special Mention - Austria (German) - 2001 - 69
Lukas, Leo (text)
Haderer, Gerhard (illus.)
Jörgi, der Drachentöter : ein Bilderbuch für Kinder und Erwachsene
(Jörgi, the dragon fighter : a picture book for children and adults)
Wien : Ueberreuter, 2000. [40] p.
ISBN 3-8000-3792-0
Boy - Dragon - Abuse of power - Racism - Democracy
Jörgi knows precisely what he wants to be when he grows up: a dragon fighter. To make things complicated, the king himself is a dragon – and Jörgi helps to depose him. The crown prince has hardly taken up his office, when he, too, turns into a dragon. Now it is Jörgi's turn to rule the country – and once again things turn out dragonly bad. The observant subjects conclude: the crown creates the dragons – let us get rid of it! That is what happens, and now (democratic) peace and happiness return. Older readers will rejoice at the caricatures of reallife contemporary politics and appreciate the satirical undertone. Cleverly enough, however, the fairy tale pictures show – for children – scenes from the times of chivalry when killing and dismissing dragons still helped. (6+)

Special Mention - Austria (German) - 2001 - 70
Sklenitzka, Franz Sales (text/illus.)
Die Bibliothek : ein interaktives Leseabenteuer
(The library : an interactive reading-adventure)
St. Pölten : NP-Buchverl., 2000. [180] p.
ISBN 3-85326-156-6
Library - Theft - Detective - Interactive reading
Strange things happen in the local library: valuable volumes disappear, but even though the librarian might be very wise, he is also quite helpless. That's what the protagonist of these »library mysteries« discovers during his research for a German presentation. In the end, the mystery is solved and the researcher wins a trip to Ireland to have a look at the original »Book of Kells«. The term »interactive reading« probably relates to the text's affinity to the new media – it offers links which allow the reader to zap his own, unique way through the narrative. In any case, this entertaining volume states the case for a renewed discovery of books and libraries. (12+)

Special Mention - Austria (German) - 2001 - 71
Treskatis, Barbara (text/illus.)
Wenn ich eine Katze hätte
(If I had a cat)
Wien : Dachs, 2000. [28] p.
ISBN 3-85191-186-5
Girl - Love for animals - Wish - Cat - Imagination
A little girl longs to have a kitten, but her mother and father keep putting the wish off. And then – what a surprise – her wish comes true without the slightest assistance of her parents: one kitten appears to play with Lena, one to protect her during the night, another one to keep her company on the way to kindergarten. Naturally, she insists on keeping these friends when she finally gets a real pet – and they promise to stay close to her. A book for the little ones with spacious, calm pictures in saturated colours encouraging trust in the world and most especially in the power of imagination. (5+)

Germany (German) - 2001 - 72
Baginski, Antonia (text)
Röder, Annette (illus.)
Anton mit dem roten Schal
(Anton with the red scarf)
München : Prestel, 2000. [28] p.
ISBN 3-7913-2416-0
Piglet - Adventure - Elf - Departure - Return
Anton is a little, adventurous piglet. One day he goes into the forest to look for the elves he heard stories about. Of course, he gets lost! And had it not been for the help of a little boar – a piglet with stripes! (or could it possibly have been the elves who helped him?) – Anton had certainly died of cold. Back home, they all want to hear Anton's adventure over and over again. The coloured drawings of the different animals and the generous composition give this picture book a special flair. (4+)

Germany (German) - 2001 - 73
Bauer, Jutta (text/illus.)
Schreimutter
(Screaming Mom)
Weinheim : Beltz & Gelberg, 2000. [36] p.
ISBN 3-407-79264-6
Child - Mother - Upbringing - Anger - Reconciliation
One morning a penguin child experiences a terrible scene: Angry and for no apparent reason, its mother has a screaming fit. Shocked, the child feels as though all its body parts had been blasted off and spread all over the cosmos: the head in outer space, the wings in the jungle. The beak on the mountain top is silent, and the feet are dug in the desert – there is no more penguin child. But »Screaming Mom« comes to her senses: she gathers all the various parts and sews them together again. »I'm sorry«, she says at last. Despite all, the clash of maternal irritation and childlike anxiety, illustrated with soft watercolours, tells a story about the joys of reconciliation. (5+)

Germany (German) - 2001 - 74
Bolliger, Max (text)
Ensikat, Klaus (illus.)
Kleines Glück & Wilde Welt
(Small Happiness & Wild World)
Berlin : Aufbau, 2000. 38 p.
ISBN 3-351-04011-3
Home - Caution - Wanderlust - Departure - Return - Adventure - Character
Two dissimilar (fox-)brothers share a den until one of them leaves home to seek adventure in the big wide world. The other one stays at home and finds happiness in the immediate, unspectacular surroundings. The two brothers share the fate of all creatures: They have to follow their inner calling, at the same time longing for another, maybe a better life. In the end, the two are reunited. Both paths were full of adventures – wild or quiet ones. Klaus Ensikat renders the different characters and their respective worlds with graphic perfection and perceptive psychological insight. (6+)

Germany (German) - 2001 - 75
Brussig, Thomas
Am kürzeren Ende der Sonnenalle
(At the shorter end of Sonnenallee <street name>)
Berlin : Verl. Volk & Welt, 1999. 156 p.
ISBN 3-353-01168-4
Berlin <East> - Berlin wall - Adolescence - First love - Humour - Irony - History 1973
The shorter end of Sonnenallee lies in East, the longer one in West Berlin. Entrenched between these mutually exclusive societies, teenagers get crazy ideas and adults are plotting illicit traffic of more than simply smarties and coffee. The 70s in the GDR are not all grey but unexpectedly colourful. The text sets a literary monument to the notorious self-irony of Berliners. With a good amount of self confidence and a pinch of nostalgia, the author tells about a life unknown to the West: a life full of dangers and paradoxes which would surely have continued for a long time had it not been for the historical events of 1989/90. (14+) ☆

Germany (German) - 2001 - 76
Chidolue, Dagmar
Nicht alle Engel sind aus Stein
(Not all angels are made of stone)
Hamburg : Dressler, 2000. 175 p.
ISBN 3-7915-0396-0
Daughter - Mother - Depression - Responsibility - Reversal of roles
An ordinary middle-class-family: The mother is an artist but lacks a real occupation to give her a sense of fulfillment. The father fails to realise the social isolation his well-cared-for wife suffers from. It is the daughter's task to cope with the ups and downs of everyday life and to endow them with sense. Her depressive mother keeps talking about death. The unexpected prospect of establishing a little book store for her raises hopes to solve the problems. The author credibly relates the inner strife of a 12-year-old girl: a childhood filled with the desire for comfort and (supposed) responsibility for a mother who refuses to grow up. (12+)

Germany (German) - 2001 - 77
Dörrie, Doris (text)
Kaergel, Julia (illus.)
Lotte und die Monster
(Lotte and the monsters)
Ravensburg : Ravensburger Buchverl., 2000. [32] p. Includes a puzzle
ISBN 3-473-33960-1
Girl - Going to bed - Fear - Overcoming fears
Lotte is afraid of the monsters in her room, because they mess up her toys and create havock. Her mother assures her that monsters do not exist, but Lotte is not comforted until she has the courage to ask what those beasts want: Maybe they simply want to watch TV? This question is the key to all her troubles! She can lock her door behind them and go to bed without any further worries. This picture book encourages children to confront their fears – also verbally. It shows that, when cooperative adults reach the limits of their imagination, children will have to find their own ways to solve their problems. (5+)

Germany (German) - 2001 - 78
Drvenkar, Zoran
Der Winter der Kinder oder Alissas Traum
(The children's winter or Alissa's dream)
Hamburg : Oetinger, 2000. 194 p.
ISBN 3-7891-3306-X
Daughter - Father - Loss of father - Grief - Psychosomatic illness - Dream
Alissa has cold. Ever since the day her father died in a car accident, life around her kept losing touch with reality. Although Alissa's freezing is a physical symptom, it cannot be treated medically. The author cures Alissa's problem with a dream: In that dream, Alissa encounters other children who have lost loved ones. She understands that she has to decide against freezing-to-death and for life. She feels that her father has not left her for good, but that she can be with him in her thoughts and that he continues to be close to her. The author succeeds in portraying Allisa's situation with deep psychological insight and great literary skill. (10+)

Germany (German) - 2001 - 79
Engelmann, Reiner (ed.)
Plötzlich ist nichts mehr sicher : Kinder und der Krieg
(All of a sudden, nothing is safe anymore : children and war)
Berlin : Elefanten Press, 2000. 141 p.
ISBN 3-88520-765-6
Child - War- Anthology
This book tells about wars all over the world – about how children suffer from wars and are destroyed by them. Children write these texts, remembering their own experiences. Adults write texts about children during war times. The book expresses the firm conviction that words are powerful and can be of consequence, that the protest against war and suffering shall not be silenced. In collaboration with other organizations, the children's fund UNICEF, sponsor of this anthology, supports traumatised children on their road back to normality. The appendix of the book provides addresses for those interested in further information. (10+) ☆

Germany (German) - 2001 - 80
Gernhardt, Robert (text)
Waechter, Philip (illus.)
Die Reise nach Amerika
(The voyage to America)
Hamburg : Ellermann, 2000. [44] p.
ISBN 3-7707-6427-7
Dog - Boat trip - Departure - Coming home - Poetry
This is a story about spirit of enterprise and foolhardiness: Even though the voyage to America is not completed, the adventurer returns home wiser than he left it. Trulli, the most daring of the dogs, shipwrecks his inflated boat and can be happy to reach the shore sound and safe. He is awaited by the rest of the gloating dog team. Humorous, poignant verse and witty pictures in a moderate cartoon-style lead the way through this adventure. The all-encompassing perspective at the end reveals the big ocean to be a little pond; the big adventure proves to have been a nice amusement. The happy end does not conceal the dangers of a dare devil's solitary enterprise. (5+)

Germany (German) - 2001 - 81
Härtling, Peter
Reise gegen den Wind : wie Primel das Ende des Krieges erlebt
(Voyage against the wind : how Primel experienced the end of war)
Weinheim : Beltz & Gelberg, 2000. 145 p.
ISBN 3-407-79814-8
World War II - Post war time - Austria - Boy - Aunt - Refugee
Bernd, nicknamed Primel, has lost his parents during the war and has to flee his Moravian home town together with his aunt. They make halt in a small Austrian village. He befriends two village children and a little stray dog, and, for a short time, the chaotic situation seems to him full off excitement and adventure. But the machinations of the grown-up civilians and militaries remain incomprehensible and frightening to him. Because the child does not know nor understand the larger historical context, the daily experiences are of much greater impact. The earnestness in tone, possibly due to the author's autobiographical background, conveys this very clearly – despite some comical episodes and quaint protagonists. (10+) ☆ ☼

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 2001 - 82
Hohler, Franz (text)
Berner, Rotraut Susanne (illus.)
Wenn ich mir etwas wünschen könnte
(If I had three wishes)
München : Hanser, 2000. 30 p.
ISBN 3-446-19819-9
Girl - Dissatisfaction - School - Looks - Wish - Magic
Barbara feels she is ugly, bad at school and has no friends. One night, when a fairy actually grants her three wishes, this is what she comes up with: a pair of blue sneakers, a red pen and a parrot. It must have been a very clever fairy (even though she had to push a few sighs at such nonsense). For with her new shoes Barbara runs as fast as Erich – who becomes her friend. With her new pen she can write without care and mistakes – which wins her the favours of the class mates. The parrot pays her compliments which makes her more beautiful every day. What a wonderfully careless message for a picture book completely free of pedagogical pedantry: kids, get real and wish to your heart's content! Then – perhaps – secret wishes may come true all by themselves. Colourful pictures full of detail contribute to the cheerful overall impression of this book. (8+) ☼

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 2001 - 83
Joop, Florentine (text/illus.)
Bonifacio oder das Geheimnis der Faultiere
(Bonifacio or the secret of the sloth family)
Hamburg : Ed. Riesenrad, 2000. [30] p.
ISBN 3-933697-83-2
Sloth - Thinking - Work - Society - Naming
Once upon a time the busiest animals were neither the bees nor the ants but the sloths – back then called »busy bears«. Until one day a young animal discovered a cob web up in a tree. Dew drops were hanging from it, mirroring the entire jungle – in short: the whole world. This made the little animal think. It hang from the tree all day. And thought. This intensive thinking inspired other animals. Soon, the »busy bears« became known as the sloths (»lazy bears«). And since that day, they lived happily ever after. They're still hanging around. This convincing story with a deeper meaning employs metaphors and humour to reflect upon the gaping discrepancy between activist belief in progress and philosophical musing. (6+) ☼

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 2001 - 84
Klippel, Christian (text)
Riese, Anna de (illus.)
Schiff in der Wüste
(Ship in the desert)
Berlin : Altberliner Verl., 2000. 206 p.
ISBN 3-357-00874-2
Astronaut - Desert - Lake - Ecological equilibrium - Ship
A rusty ship rides at anchor in a presumed desert, or, to be more precise: in a dried up lake. The stranded astronaut Jürgen tries to find water for little Pjotr, his mother and grandfather who still live on the old boat. And – surprise: An oil-mogul pumps melted snow from the mountains instead of oil down his pipelines. In exchange, he asks for a trip into space. Ship, men and nature are miraculously saved. This story appears to the reader at once fantastic and commonplace. It is told with humour and conviction and illustrated with many, often full-spread pictures. (10+) ☼

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 2001 - 85
Lebert, Benjamin (text)
Lebert, Ursula (text)
Müller, Hildegard (illus.)
Die Geschichte vom kleinen Hund, der nicht bellen konnte
(The story of the little dog who couldn't bark)
Frankfurt am Main : Fischer Taschenbuchverl., 2000. [32] p.
(Fischer Schatzinsel)
ISBN 3-596-85077-0
Dog - Vocal defect - Identity crisis - Accident - Rescue
Despite relentless effort, a little dog cannot bark. Nobody can understand that, because all animals have their own voices: cows mooh, sheep baah, cats meow – but the little dog remains silent and sad. Until fortune arranges for the farmer to come home one night – not quite sober. He steps on the dog's tail. The little one starts barking – with pain of course. Surprised by this unexpected sound, he continues barking and does not stop. »Howling dog«, the others call him, ignoring the troubles of silence. This book tells of the existential need to express oneself and to be listended to. It presents this problem pervading all childhood in an unspectacular, humorous manner. (4+)

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 2001 - 86
Lemke, Elisabeth
Marc Chagall : Welche Farben hat das Paradies? : Bilder zur Bibel
(Marc Chagall : What colour is paradise? : Pictures for the Bible)
München : Prestel, 2000. 28 p.
(Abenteuer Kunst)
ISBN 3-7913-2418-7
The Bible - Chagall, Marc
Suprisingly, this picture book about religious art in its largest sense does not adhere to the text of the Bible. The text combines the biography of the painter Marc Chagall, historical events and biblical narratives to create a new entity. The pictures tell more than the words and with richer detail. The book invites children and parents to explore and discover but also to call into memory the ancient texts. The series »Abenteuer Kunst« (Art Adventures) always features the Éuvre of one artist and presents it in an accessible but dense, impressing and convincing way for children. (8+) ☼

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 2001 - 87
Mönter, Petra (text)
Wiemers, Sabine (illus.)
Geh mit niemandem mit, Lena!
(Don't go along with a stranger, Lena!)
Freiburg : Kerle im Verl. Herder, 2000. [28] p.
ISBN 3-451-70317-3
Girl - Threat - Cunning - Protection - Solidarity
Even though Lena is tired of her mother's continous warnings, she begins feeling uncomfortable when, on her way to school, she sees a stranger sitting in a car, scrutinising the street. At lunch-hour the girls do not dare to pass his car. They alarm their mothers. Despite the fact that the whole story turns out to be completely harmless, the children learn to appreciate their source of strength: caution, solidarity and last but not least, their loud whistles! Full-spread pictures with slightly distorted images and exaggerated perspectives suggest the controversial nature of this issue. (6+)

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 2001 - 88
Moritz, Karl Philipp (text)
Erlbruch, Wolf (illus.)
Neues ABC-Buch
(New ABC-book)
München : Kunstmann, 2000. [64] p.
ISBN 3-88897-235-3
Alphabet
What characterises this very unusual, almost bibliophile ABC book is an intensive reflection upon the nature of man and the universe. It is based on a very early representative of the genre: Karl Philipp Moritz published the original text in 1790. The carefully modernised texts accompanying each letter still pay tribute to the spirit of the Age of Enlightenment. The well-known illustrator Wolf Erlbruch skilfully displays his mastery entering into a visual dialogue with the historical text and playing with the genre of ABC books. He designs complex illustrations using various techniques and mixed media. They complement the informational value of the text. (12+)

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 2001 - 89
Pausewang, Gudrun
Du darfst nicht schreien
(You must not cry)
Ravensburg : Ravensburger Buchverl., 2000. 252 p.
(Ravensburger junge Reihe)
ISBN 3-473-35203-9
World War II - Brno <Moravia> - Occupation - German student - Friendship - Czechs - Execution - History 1942
It is the year of the assassination of German general Heydrich in Prague, 1942. Georg, a high school student in the city of Brno, lives in a room with a view on the former Kaunitz College which now serves as a prison. Soon, the boy has to discover that executions are carried out there by the German SS. Georg's unreflected German-national sentiments and thoughts are suddenly challenged. One day, the mother of a class mate, a Czech member of the anti- Nazi resistance movement, is taken to Kaunitz College and executed. The deeply stirred reader experiences the life of a young man at cruel times and witnesses his attempts to learn to cope with them. (14+)

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 2001 - 90
Procházková, Iva (text)
Tessmer, Silke (illus.)
Vinzenz fährt nach Afrika
(Vinzenz goes to Africa)
Hamburg : Ellermann, 2000. 128 p.
ISBN 3-7707-3095-X
Boy - Psychomatic illness - Shamanism - Cure
Vinzenz suffers from a mysterious tiredness. Neither traditional nor alternative medical praticioners in Germany can find out what the cause is. But Vinzenz finds advice in Mr. Yaloké's Africa shop just around the corner: One of Mr. Yaloké's relatives is a shaman and says that Vinzenz should go to Africa and bring about the cure himself. The trip turns out to be a great adventure and a big success: Vinzenz has recovered and has found new friends. Both the subject and its literary treatment make this a convincing novel with rich detail, openness toward foreign worlds, humanitarian spirit, a good portion of humour and an engaging plot. (8+)

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 2001 - 91
Richter, Jutta
Der Tag, als ich lernte, die Spinnen zu zähmen
(The day I learned to tame spiders)
München : Hanser, 2000. 87 p.
ISBN 3-446-19896-2
Girl - Boy - Outcast - Assistance - Friendship - Loyalty - Social discrepancy
Rainer, an outcast, and the heroine (and narrative I) of this story become friends when the boy helps her to overcome her phobia of spiders. But when Rainer injures a boy in a group scuffle, the girl is also marginalised. Her worries about the injured school mate and her desire to return to the group finally lead her to betray the friendship with Rainer. Rainer is alone once again. The author does not give her protagonist a name. This way, commonplace betrayal is treated in an exemplary manner, just the way it happens always and everywhere amongst children. Well plotted and not lingering on facts, this book also entices older readers. (10+) ☼

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 2001 - 92
Schnurre, Wolfdietrich (text)
Berner, Rotraut Susanne (illus.)
Die Prinzessin kommt um vier
(The princess comes at four)
Berlin : Aufbau-Verl., 2000. [32] p.
ISBN 3-351-04000-8
Boy - Hyena - Metamorphosis - Ugliness - Beauty - Lie - Love - Understanding
This bright, colourful picture book presents an imaginative interpretation of a rather bland text by Wolfdietrich Schnurre, first published in 1959. »I« is a boy who sees a ragged, bleary-eyed hyena in the zoo who pretends to be a princess. Her curse, she assures, can be lifted by a simple invitation to coffee. The boy fulfills her wish. The hyena comes at four, stuffs her face and finally has to admit that she is nothing but an ordinary hyena. Her host had nurtured doubts before and forgives her. This is a real love story, a book for younger and older children, without pedagogy, with a happy end and absolutely plausible. (4+) ☼

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 2001 - 93
Schulz, Hermann
Sonnennebel
(Sun-Fog)
Hamburg : Carlsen, 2000. 285 p.
ISBN 3-551-58064-2
Ruhrgebiet <industrial area of Germany> - Adolescent - Orphan - Growing-up - Carrier pigeon - Gross madness - First love - History 1950
This novel is set in the 1950s. Accordingly, people live a very frugal life in a small provincial town in the industrial region on the Ruhr. More or less legally, 15-year-old Freddy tries to make a little money and repeatedly comes into conflict with the police without however ever really turning criminal. When he meets his first love, all problems are overcome including the social difference between him and Cornelia and the soon following break-up. The reader retains the hope that both will find their own way. Both tone and language are refreshingly vivid, the narration full of subdued humour. This is an authentic retrospective on the problems facing German adolescents after World War II. (12+)

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 2001 - 94
Schwitters, Kurt (text)
Märtin, Carsten (illus.)
Die Geschichte vom Hasen
(The story of the hare)
Oldenburg : Lappan, 2001. [32] p.
ISBN 3-8303-1009-9
Hare - Metamorphosis - Imagination
Beware of this hare: none would think that he, »endangered animal of the year 2001« considered worthy of protection, could »actually« be quite versatile: his brown fur, the long ears and the short tail can mutate into all sorts of imaginable attributes, creating new, unexpected species. Besides the fun unleashed by these playful metamorphoses, this book gives an impression of the infinite, lively world of (animal-)life. Humans only make a marginal appearance in the form of scarecrows or children. The text is a classic of German nonsense literature; the generous illustrations are rich in detail and perfectly capture the spirit of the whimsical words. (5+) ☼

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 2001 - 95
Steinhöfel, Andreas (text)
Schulmeyer, Heribert (illus.)
Wo bist du nur?
(Where could you be?)
Hamburg : Carlsen, 2000. [32] p.
ISBN 3-551-51492-5
Child - Love - Loneliness - Quest - Reunion
A punk-child doll is desperately looking for someone who apparently has disappeared and whom it loves a lot. The telephone remains silent; the loneliness is unbearable, the letter box is empty, the sun surely is a forgery, and memories of past joys are a torment. And then: a key sounds in the door and all is well again. This book tells the story in distinct words and well arranged pictures but leaves enough room for the imagination to roam: nobody will ever know more about the missed person than that he or she has returned and is loved – no clue as to what he or she looks like, nothing. Everything is left up to the reader: everyone is allowed to cherish his or her very own love and own secrets, most of all a child. (4+)

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 2001 - 96
Stuhr, Michael
Der Ruf der Steppe
(Call of the prairies)
Stuttgart : Thienemann, 2000. 365 p.
ISBN 3-522-17374-0
Prairie - Girl - Dog - Departure - Homecoming - Danger - Magic - Love
This novel is set out of time and place. A clan leaves a city in a harsh and hostile landscape and ventures into the prairies in quest of new living space for the humans. The leader of the group is a young girl. Stories of bravery and treachery, magic, love and unforeseen dangers unfold against the background of a fantasy world in which men and women fight for survival. The atmosphere of adventure, courage and solidarity is sure to engage the reader who will follow the plot to the very last page with fascination. (12+)

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 2001 - 97
Tenberken, Sabriye (text)
Kronenberg, Paul (photos)
Mein Weg führt nach Tibet : die blinden Kinder von Lhasa
(My road leads to Tibet : the blind children of Lhasa)
Köln : Kiepenheuer und Witsch, 2000. 251 p.
ISBN 3-462-02936-3
Tibet - Blind - School for the blind
The blind German student of Tibetan studies, Sabriye Tenberken, plots the bold scheme of helping the blind children of Tibet by founding a school for them. In Tibetan culture, blindness is considered a punishment sent by the demons. Blind children were cast from society and often even thought to be mentally retarded. Tenberken travels to Tibet all on her own and tells of her attempts to realise her project against all odds – under great difficulties and personal sacrifices. This compelling autobiographic account gives insight into fascinating and unknown worlds with sets of values very different to those of most modern, industrialised societies. (12+) ☆

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 2001 - 98
Tolstoi, Lev N. (text)
Kindermann, Barbara (adapt.)
Gangwisch, Lisa (illus.)
Der Befehl des Oberteufels oder wie das Teufelchen sein Brot verdiente
(The order of the devil or how the little devil earned his bread)
Berlin : Kindermann, 2000. [24] p.
ISBN 3-934029-00-0
Peasant - Devil - Trial - Poverty - Wealth
A poor peasant shows compassion and gives his last piece of bread to a little devil. But the moment the peasant has become a wealthy man – with assistance of the devil – his heart hardens and he becomes greedy. He and his comrades behave more like animals than like humans. This folk tale by Leo Tostoi has been adapted for German readers and shows – in an idealising way – the destructive potential of riches to man. Dynamic, large-formatted watercolour drawings in rich, dark colours enhance the text. (8+) ☼

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 2001 - 99
Wohmann, Gabriele
Das Hallenbad
(The indoor swimming pool)
München : Piper, 2000. 190 p.
ISBN 3-492-04258-9
Girl - Imagination - Writing - Swimming lessons - Fear - Excuse
Mona is afraid of going to her swimming lessons. So she pretends to suffer from a water-trauma caused by an airplane crash over the Atlantic. It is of little consequence to the plot whether anyone believes her story. The narrative focusses on the capacity of this sensitive girl to cope with unpleasant realities of day-by-day existence by confronting and transforming them with the help of language and intriguing words. The reader might even be tempted to imitate Mona's way of coping. The author succeeds in describing Mona's inner life by adopting a style akin to the free floating imagination of a 13-year-old. She avoids platitudes, her tone is refreshingly young, the language never tries for jargon. This novel certainly raises sympathy for all those plagued by puberty. (12+)

Special Mention - Germany (German) - 2001 - 100
Zwerger, Lisbeth (illus.)
Die Bibel : ausgewählte Texte
(The Bible : selected texts)
Stuttgart : Dt. Bibelges. ; Stuttgart : Verl. Kath. Bibelwerk, 2000. 159 p.
ISBN 3-438-01666-4; 3-460-30670-x
The Bible
Religious texts present a delicate challenge to adapters and illustrators. Officiousness and missionary zeal tend to overpower the biblical narrative. This is an offence to children's intelligence and curiosity. This version of the Bible, however, is wonderfully free of religious fervour and pedantry. Not exclusively conceived for children, the words and pictures are plain and simple without ever verging on the simplistic. No concessions have been made to sentimentalities. The illustrator's fine hand congeniously translates the intimate message of the words and proposes interpretations which convince children and adults on the aesthetic as well as on the narrative level. (8+) ☼

Romania (German) - 2001 - 101
Hübner-Barth, Erika (text)
Negoţiu, Călin (illus.)
Knopf Knöpfchen
(Little Button Button)
Hermannstadt/Sibiu : Hora, 1999. 39 p.
ISBN 973-98681-8-5
Button - Wanderlust - Adventure - Home
This humorous story tells of the longing for faraway countries and adventures; it shares the suspicion of many children that the grass is always greener on the other side. Little Button, one of six Button-brothers on a boy's Sunday-coat, is terribly bored in the dark wardrobe and decides to discover the great big world. He explores the world with the help of a dog, a mouse, a crow and fish, travelling on and under the earth, under water or up in the sky. Back home, the mother sews him back on where he belongs. And if he has not come off, he will continue to »tell his story happily ever after«. The story would lend itself to an animated cartoon. The sparse illustrations complement the text quite well. Erika Hübner-Barth is a Rumano-German writer. (5+)

Switzerland (German) - 2001 - 102
Hartmann, Lukas (text)
Kaergel, Julia (illus.)
Leo Schmetterling
(Leo Butterfly)
Zürich : Nagel & Kimche, 2000. 62 p.
ISBN 3-312-00888-3
Boy - Awkwardness - Wish - Fulfillment - Imagination - Identity
It is Leo's greatest wish to be a butterfly. One day, his parents even have to disentagle him from an artificial cocoon fabricated from woolen strings. Fortunately, the little birthday man is wise: he sets Jonas a few trials to solve and then, finally, he fulfills his dream: Or did the other children only dream of seeing a beautiful blue butterfly? Be that as it may, Leo's life has changed: He now knows what it feels like to float, even without a butterfly's wings. With the help of this story young outsiders will understand that it is possible to solve one's problems and to accept oneself with a bit of luck and courage. (8+)

Switzerland (German) - 2001 - 103
Hegewisch, Helga
Lilly und Engelchen
(Lilly and little Angel)
Zürich : Atrium-Verl., 2000. 319 p.
ISBN 3-85535-937-7
World War II - Post war time - Young woman - Orphan - Adoption - Survival
Fleeing from the Red Army in 1945, Lilly saved an abandoned infant. Later, in Hamburg she registered the baby as her sister Angelika. Her family manages to survive in the post war period thanks to a good dose of ingenuity and good connections to the market. Neighbourhood assistance is part of everyday existence – also towards a Jewish couple – survivors of the Holocaust. But one day, the young Jewish woman claims Angelika as her own foster child. Lilly has to make a decision. The book explores the lives of men and women confronted with seemingly insoluble conflicts, (excessive) love of life and desperation at chaotic times at a high level of linguistic and literary sophistication. (14+)

Switzerland (German) - 2001 - 104
Krauß, Irma
Rabentochter
(Ungrateful daughter)
Aarau : Aare, 2000. 192 p.
ISBN 3-7941-4713-8
Adoptive child - Family conflict - Unwanted pregnancy
Corinna, now 16, was put up for adoption at the age of three and found parents and a brother who wanted to provide her with an affectionate home. But Corinna knows nothing of her mother, whom she adored as a little child and who, all of a sudden, walked out of her young life. This uncertainty gnaws at her: she commits minor thefts, runs away from home and counters her family's love with coldness. An unwanted pregnancy makes things worse – but it seems as though life was taking a turn for the better. The author draws an arresting and nuanced portrait of the inner strifes and outer living conditions of young adults, fully aware of the contrasts and the variety of conflicts they have to face. (14+)

Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2001 - 105
Limacher, Roland
Meines Vaters Haus
(My father's house)
Zürich : Diogenes, 2000. 138 p.
ISBN 3-257-06229-x
Boy - Family - Rural life - Natural disaster - Death
A small family moves into an abandoned house by the forest. The house used to be an orphanage: 40 children lived there, now there are only four people. But things soon change: the grandmother, Hanna, a geologist, Oregano, a homeless man, and finally some of the former inhabitants – by now grown up – all come to celebrate Christmas there. But the wonderful times in the house by the forest come to a sudden and terrible end: the river overflows and washes people to their death. This sad story is told from the perspective of the only survivor. However, listening to him as he relates his memories to his children, the reader will wonder at the overwhelming impression of comfort, happiness and love of life one is left with. (14+)

Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2001 - 106
Maar, Anne (text)
Mölck-Tassel, Bernd (illus.)
Pozor
(<Proper name>)
Zürich : Bajazzo-Verl., 2000. [28] p.
ISBN 3-907588-16-9
Dog - Boy - Stature - Looking for a home - Training - Friendship
Pozor, the dog, is looking for a home with friendly people. But as he is so very big, people are afraid of him. Luck turns his way when he meets tiny Lukas, who wants to join the circus one day and trains guinea pigs in the meanwhile. When he gives a performance with Pozor, the »ferocious animal«, and even puts his head between the dog's jaws, everything is won: a home for Pozor, a strong friend for Lukas and a housekeeper for Lukas's Mom. Because Pozor certainly is qualified: he can wash the dishes, do the ironing, pass the vacuum cleaner. Life can be so beautiful! The pictures and the graphic design of the book lead the way to a happy, somewhat quaint and quirky imaginary world. (5+)

Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2001 - 107
Pausewang, Gudrun
Roller und Rosenkranz
(Motor scooter and rosary)
Aarau : Sauerländer, 2000. 219 p.
ISBN 3-7941-4611-5
Granddaughter - Grandmother - Loneliness - Community - Creativity - Death - Love
Mimi has lost her parents in a car accident and goes to find her grandmother who knows nothing of her existence. The strictly religious old lady lives in a little house and owns a small, run-down shop of devotional objects. Mimi moves in, modernises the house with youthful enthusiasm and great success, falls in love and seeks comfort, love and security. When her grandmother dies after a fulfilled time spent together, Mimi has found her own way. With great empathy, Gudrun Pausewang describes an unusual, unconventional young woman who does not capitulate to difficult personal situations on her quest for her origins and her future. Maybe, this could be a way to reach across the generation gap. (16+)

Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2001 - 108
Tielmann, Christian (text)
Knappe, Joachim (illus.)
Wie Gutenberg die Welt bewegt : von der Kunst, Bücher zu machen
(How Gutenberg moves the the world : on the ar)
Aarau : kbv Luzern, 2000. 32 p.
ISBN 3-276-00218-3
Gutenberg, Johannes - Book printing - Development - Spread
This attractively illustrated and well designed reference picture book extensively and clearly informs the reader with words and pictures about the development of book printing. Even though the possibilities of modern media are mentioned, the author expressively focusses on the good, old book: it never crashes, it doesn't need electricity or access to the net. A remarkable and knowledgeable contribution to the 600th birthday of Johannes Gutenberg. (8+)

Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2001 - 109
Waechter, Friedrich Karl (text/illus.)
Die Geschichte vom albernen Hans
(The story of foolish John)
Zürich : Diogenes-Verl., 2000. 92 p.
ISBN 3-257-06232-x
Girl - Cat - Metamorphosis - Fool - Love - Trial - Rescue
A witch turns the entire court into cats. In a dream, the princess finds a way to lift the spell: Foolish John, the youngest of three brothers, can help. Classical fairy tale elements are put to use: the foolish, youngest brother who ends up marrying the princess, trials, which seem unsolvable, but are overcome with the help of loyalty and perseverance, the tower, emprisoning the princess, and, last but not least, many a great temptation along the way. The author repeatedly confronts the reader with reversals and encodings of these motifs, making this inventive story in the rare genre of a non-rhyming verse narrative an amusing and entertaining read. (16+)

Morocco (French) - 2001 - 110
Dib, Mohammed (text)
Logié, Alexis (illus.)
Salem et le sorcier
(Salem and the sorcerer)
Agdal, Rabat : Éd. Yomad, 2000. [26] p.
(Collection Hikayat)
ISBN 9954-0-0025-9
Imprisonment - Liberation - Solidarity
The chain of motives of the child that won't listen, the dog that won't bite the child, the stick that won't hit the dog, the fire that won't burn the stick etc. is known from children's songs. In this book, the master giving out commands is a sorcerer, his slave a child. Its first refusal to execute an order causes a chain reaction: all the other slaves join in the disobedience. The illustrations clearly show how the eye-contact among the disempowered helps them to keep up their solidarity in spite of the frightening appearance of the sorcerer. Because the oppressed refuse to use violence amongst themselves, the mighty loses all power over them. This moral is as valid in the sand box as in the social and political board rooms. (5+)

Tunisia (French) - 2001 - 111
Béji, Hélène (text)
Saïdane, Marie-Charlotte (illus.)
Minuit sonne à l'horloge céleste
(The heavenly clock strikes midnight)
Tunis : Éd. de l'Arbre, 1998. [16] p.
ISBN 9973-772-40-7
Night - Star - Moon
A curious little star pays the moon a visit and wants to know all about his names: those of the different lunar phases and those inspired by poetic imagery. It finds out that the moon is by far human's favourite celestial body, and that he controls the natural cycle and even time. Soft watercolours with quotes from the text add a lovely touch to this bedtime-story. (3+)

Belgium (French) - 2001 - 112
Herbauts, Anne (text/illus.)
La maison bleue
(The blue house)
[Bruxelles] : Casterman, 2000. [28] p.
ISBN 2-203-56501-2
Nomad - Home
A man with a suitcase has reached the end of the world. He wants to build his house and find happiness. But there are three literal mocking birds maliciously commenting his building activity. When he decorates the front with tiles, which have pictures of song-birds on them, the whole house starts flying off. Now he succeeds on the big scale where he had failed on the smaller one: He paints a house into the sky. The illustrator uses a minimalist approach. The house is merely a cube in space. It is big when the man works on it, and small when the mockers laugh at him. Far removed in boundless blue, he is no more than a tiny figure painting the heavenly canvas at the end, unattainable and happy in his dreams. (6+)

Special Mention - Belgium (French) - 2001 - 113
Ramos, Mario (text/illus.)
Nuno, le petit roi
(Nuno, the little king)
Paris; Bruxelles : École des Loisirs, 2000. [36] p.
(Pastel)
ISBN 2-211-05709-8
Responsibility - Decision - Advice - Adulthood
Which child wouldn't want to have its say and make decisions like the grown-ups? The little lion prince learns what that really means. A rock has killed his father – only seemingly as it fortunately turns out – and the little one has to wear the crown and carry the responsibility for all the animals, for their problems and conflicts. But the little would-be-king can hardly look out from underneath the much too large crown, let alone advice and arbitrate. He is terribly intimidated by his helplessness and all the more relieved when his father reappears. The generous, coloured gouache illustrations give the story a droll and lighthearted touch. They reflect the restricted perspective of the royal apprentice thereby deflating the discrepancy between childlike impotence and real conflicts of decision. (4+)

France (French) - 2001 - 114
Andersen, Hans-Christian (text)
Lemoine, Georges (illus.)
La Chesnais, P. G. (trad.)
La petite marchande d'allumettes
(The little match-girl)
(Danish orig. title: Den lille pige med svovlstikkerne)
Paris : Nathan, 1999. 41 p.
ISBN 2-09-210825-5
Child - Poverty - Death - War - Sarajevo
Andersen's tale of the little match girl who freezes to death on the street on New Year's Eve is timeless. The illustrator Lemoine transposes it to Sarajevo in 1999, drawing on authentic photographic material. The child errs through the sinister, devastated city, its eyes wide with fear and hunger. The traditional text and the contemporary setting are of an uncanny appropriateness. The simple pathos of Andersen's tale of misery is echoed by the captions of the illustrations which are taken from the text »Welcome to Hell« by the Bosniak poet Ozran Kebo. Child and city are equally to be lamented. The child's death is only one of many. (6+) ☆

France (French) - 2001 - 115
Battut, Éric (text/illus.)
Rouge Matou
(Red tom-cat)
Toulouse : Milan, 2000. [28] p.
ISBN 2-7459-0021-8
Friendship - Bird - Cat
Friendship is a strange phenomenon: it often comes by surprise and one cannot judge by appearances who plays the stronger part in the relationship. Originally, the red tom-cat intends to raise the little bird for the sole purpose of devouring it. But closeness and growing familiarity secretly knit a bond between these unequal partners. There is no de- vouring – the two become inseparable. When the bird migrates down south, Matou is inconsolable. The simple text is animated by a memorable rhythm. The naive, child-like pictures always show the bright red cat in full view. His mime play and body language are extremely nuanced: His sly look or feline frown tell it all: appetite and cunning, affection, joy, sad waiting and loneliness. (3+)

France (French) - 2001 - 116
Bendetti, Claire (text)
Jalibert, Maria (illus.)
Yack' à lire de A à Zèbre : petit bestiaire littéraire
(Elephantastic A to Zebra : a little literary bestiary)
[Osny] : Points de Suspension, 1999. [60] p.
ISBN 2-912138-16-7
Alphabet - Animals - Literature
Every animal has its story explaining its pecularities: how did the dromedar get its hump, the zebra its stripes, or the armadillo its coat of armour? And vice versa: Every story has its animal. There's Nils Holgerson's goose, the blue bird in the fairy tale, the elephant Babar in the picture book or the Little Prince's sheep. Both aspects come together in this colourful, attractive mixed media animal alphabet. The doublespreads present the animal on the lefthand side just like on a coloured tile. The narrative text in hand-lettering on the opposite page is interspersed with small pictures full of fun-filled discoveries. (5+)

France (French) - 2001 - 117
Binder, Jean (text/illus.)
À ce moment précis ... ou la paix des dimanches
(At that very moment ... or Sunday peace)
Paris : École des Loisirs, 2000. [28] p.
(Archimède)
ISBN 2-211-05512-5
Burglar - Imagination - Reality
It is a lovely Sunday afternoon – the whole family enjoys peace and quiet. Suddenly, the cat and the dog notice something. There is a burglar in the house! The fast paced pictures explore the sudden change in situation, they catch the tightening atmosphere and the rising tension. It seems as though a camera was following the dangerously culminating action: on- and uplooking perspectives alternate, pictures zoom in and out while parallel pictures feature simultaneous scenes. The suspense is over when the burglar gets away. The only clue is a pair of black glasses. They identify the real »culprit«: It is the father who invented the whole story at his drafting table. He dismisses the perplexed readers with a cunning look on his face, leaving it up to them to draw the line between fact and fiction. (6+)

France (French) - 2001 - 118
Bloch, Muriel (text)
Vautier, Mireille (illus.)
365 contes de la tête aux pieds
(365 stories from head to toe)
[Paris] : Gallimard Jeunesse / Giboulées, 2000. [408] p.
ISBN 2-07-054272-6
Body - Body parts - Folktale
These stories about the human body, its metamorphosis, enchantment, its mutilation and healing, come from the treasury of folktales. They can be funny or gruesome. There is a story for every organ and physical infirmity imaginable. The hand goes shopping for the ear, an eye »breast«-feeds a baby. The princess has golden breasts in the fairy tale, whereas the hero has to cope with two humps. The reader is not spared drastic descriptions of bodily functions. We learn that the different parts of our body carry responsibility for each other and that our body may hide animalistic forces. A bibliography as well as a list of the body parts and their metamorphoses can be found in an appendix. A read-aloud book for children and adults alike. (9+)

France (French) - 2001 - 119
Clément, Claude (text)
Forestier, Isabelle (illus.)
Un petit chaperon rouge
(A Little Red Riding Hood)
[Paris] : Grasset & Fasquelle, 2000. [24] p.
(Collection »Lecteurs en herbe«)
ISBN 2-246-60131-2
Child - Violence - Sexual abuse - Silence - Speaking
Because of its focus on tabus, the classic fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood lends itself to a psychoanalytical interpretation, especially to an unequivocal treatment of the themes of violence and child abuse. Clément introduces a new problem: In this version of the familiar tale, the child responds to the violation of its integrity with traumatised silence. Little Red Riding Hood escapes the wolf, but she falls into a numb, deadly silence. The illustrations hold the balance between symbolism, dream and reality with subdued colours. The lighthearted tone of the rhymes reduces the horror of the drama. Everything is well again when Red Riding Hood can talk about what happened to her. (5+)

France (French) - 2001 - 120
Daudet, Alphonse (text)
Battut, Éric (illus.)
La chèvre de M. Seguin
(Mr Seguin's goat)
Paris : Didier Jeunesse, 1999. [32] p.
ISBN 2-278-30077-6
Dependence - Security - Freedom - Danger
Daudet's story of the goat, which runs away from its master and is eaten by the wolf, explores the alternative of a life of dependence and protection or one of freedom and risk (see cat. no. 124). Battut's illustrations clearly demonstrate the mutual exclusion of security and freedom. Vast landscapes open up to the inquiring and adventurous goat, a little white spot, candidly storming across the open space. The beholder will sense her love of life in the fresh wind of freedom as well as the growing danger in the darkening twilight. A blood-red sky and black shadows looking like wolf's teeth provide the setting for the deadly struggle. The layout of the text has been carefully tuned to the narrative with coloured lettering. ' (5+) ☼

France (French) - 2001 - 121
Maury, Marianne (illus.)
Estellon, Pascale (illus.)
Weiss, Anne (illus.)
Les petits bonheurs du pré : un imagier très nature
(The little pleasures of the meadow : a very natural picture book)
[Paris] : Mila Éd., 2000. [98] p.
ISBN 2-84006-242-9
Nature - Garden
Delicately painted pictures show flowers and vegetables, birds, insects and forest animals, but also the sun, the moon and wind in fresh, nuanced colours. The loose sequence of images leads the way through nature in alphabetical order: spinach and snail, peacock and apple, radish and fox etc.. The result is a varied, attractive presentation of nature's riches. The graphic design is well conceived. Despite all the different typesets, the alternating white and coloured pages, the occasional verse, nursery rhyme or poem, however, this handy volume still preserves the character of an amateur's scrap book. (4+)

France (French) - 2001 - 122
Fort, Paul (text)
Letuffe, Anne (illus.)
Le bonheur est dans le pré
(Happiness is in the meadows)
[Paris] : Père Castor Flammarion, 2000. [20] p.
ISBN 2-08161-018-3
Summer - Childhood - Joy of life
Paul Fort's (1872-1960) famous poem will lure any couch potatoes out into the fresh air, inspiring them to jump »over the hedge«. The photo-collage illustrations, extending over the entire doublespread, reflect the effervescence and the lightheartedness of the poetic verse. Small vignettes featuring scenes from a happy boy's everyday life are placed on the monochrome green background of the meadow, just like bright, torn images from popular broad sheets. The illustrator supports the poem's exhortation to daring by slanting and tilting the framed space of the meadow more and more with every page, until, in the end, the child can hop out of the frame and into life. (5+)

France (French) - 2001 - 123
Hausfater-Douieb, Rachel
La danse interdite
(The forbidden dance)
[Paris] : Magnier, 2000. 118 p.
(Collection roman : Niveau de lecture 3. et plus)
ISBN 2-84420-069-9
World War II - Jewish woman - Polish man - Persecution of the Jews - Love
Of Jewish origin, Perla is not allowed to marry her Polish love even though she expects a child from him, and is forced to emigrate. Back on visit in 1939, she is seized by the German invadors and sent to the ghetto of Lublin where she closely es- capes death. But Perla never loses her love of life. Quick of mind and full of vitality, she has a talent to appreciate the few and precious happy moments of day-to-day existence. This happy disposition keeps her heart from hardening and even helps other people to bear the desolate existence of ghetto life. She is no heroine, but lives her life with courageous passion. (13+) ☼
(Prix enfantaisies; 2000)

France (French) - 2001 - 124
Heitz, Bruno (illus.)
Histoire connue
(Well-known story)
[Orange] : Grandir, 1999. [34] p.
ISBN 2-84166-099-0
Man - Goat - Wolf - Devouring
A classic tale is told with the means of classic woodcut- technique. The illustrator's mastery shows in the economy of all devices: no text, only chapter headings, strictly framed, monochrome pictures. The respective colours (pale blue, brown, green and red) reflect the thrust of Daudet's morality tale »The goat of Monsieur Seguin« (see cat. no. 120). Strong, expressive lines bring to life the white goat, who intrigues the man permanently dressed in black. One cannot miss the mutual but ambivalent attraction, and hence will understand that the relationship is at the very centre of this story. Children will be more prone to respond to Monsieur's grief at the loss of the goat than to listen to the warning of the dangers of freedom. (5+)

France (French) - 2001 - 125
Heitz, Bruno (text/illus.)
Une histoire pas terrible, terrible
(Not a terribly bad story)
Rodez : Éd. du Rouergue, 2000. [44] p.
ISBN 2-84156-215-8
Car accident - Cow - Goat
A car accident is a car accident. That's the principle of this story which features quite a number of accidents. But never-fading optimism and creative craft ensure the pursuit of the trip. The collision of a cow and a truck results in a half-cow-halftruck- vehicle. Just too bad that it gives gas-milk! The next accident-repair can only improve things. The inventive spirit is challenged once more until the perfect solution is found: a cowgoat is mounted. These dramatic scenes are rendered by expressive graphics. Painted wooden figures move on bright, colourful backgrounds. Strong shadows heigthen the theatrical effect. (4+)

France (French) - 2001 - 126
Hoestlandt, Jo (text)
Kang, Johanna (illus.)
Mon petit papa de rien du tout
(My little Daddy from nothing at all)
[Arles] : Actes Sud Junior, 2000. 31 p.
(Les histoires sages)
ISBN 2-7427-2784-1
Father - Lack of father - Image of father
Mother and grandmother evade all questions about the father: »He was a good-for-nothing!« But Lulu keeps thinking of him. One night, his wish grows so strong that his father suddenly appears – a little man, the size of a doll. He is barefoot like a tramp, trembling with the cold, but he is smiling. Lulu warms and cuddles him. He doesn't want to let go off his little Dad. The next morning, he looks in the mirror and discovers a dimple on his cheek. Daddy left it there – it was his kiss, proving that Lulu is his child. The poetic text and the muted, soft hues of the illustrations assuage the harshness of the child's loneliness. (7+) ☼

France (French) - 2001 - 127
Kerloc'h, Jean-Pierre (select.)
Brouillard, Anne (illus.)
Paroles de la mer
(Words from the sea)
Paris : Albin Michel Jeunesse, 2000. [64] p.
(Paroles)
ISBN 2-226-11218-9
Sea - Anthology
To poets and philosophers the sea is a synonym for life. To the people from the country it is a vast canvas on which they project all their dreams and desires. Sea-faring men speak of risk, they say they're at the mercy of the awe-inspiring elements. All these impressions of the sea find expression in a selection of quotes. The illustrations capture the text's various points of view with broad brush strokes and subdued colours. They rely on the power of association. The human figure remains but a shadowy outline. It seems as though the restricted format of the page forced the illustration to focus on one detailed aspect. What better way is there to show that the sea itself cannot be framed? (12+)

France (French) - 2001 - 128
Leblanc, Catherine (text)
Gilard, Florence (illus.)
Des étoiles sur les genoux
(Stars on the knees)
Chaillé-sous-les-Ormeaux : Dé Bleu, 2000. 47 p.
(Le farfadet bleu)
ISBN 2-84031-098-8
Child - Everyday life - Children's poetry
The short poems of this anthology are delicate creations, which enhance and enrich sublimely captured details of everyday life with the help of succint metaphors. The child is invited directly to perceive its surroundings with great sensitivity and awareness and to use all five senses: listen, look, taste, touch! The synaesthetic verses favour an associative approach, allowing the child to intuitively understand the poetic imagery. It can be easy to write poems: feeling, perception and trust in the transformative powers of poetry is all you need: »You are lonely – write a poem about that!« The illustrations in bright yellow and earthybrown tones capture the atmosphere of the poetic imagery. The careful use of lettering as a graphic element plays on the nature of literacy: writing fixes impressions only to renew their experience with every read. (5+)
(Prix Poésie Jeunesse; 1999)

France (French) - 2001 - 129
Le Bourhis, Michel
Libre sur paroles
(Out on parole)
Paris : Rageot, 2000. 148 p.
(Collection cascade : Pluriel)
ISBN 2-7002-2650-x
Father - Unemployment - Prison - Son - Conflict management
Father was imprisoned for a failed attempt at bank robbery. In two weeks he will be released. The son uses this period to restore the somewhat shattered relationship to his father. While he refuses to be helped by his mother, he finds support from a friend. Timidly, he seizes the opportunity to confide in him, to admit his shame and disappointment. Gradually, this brings about a change of heart. The attachment to his father, fostered during many happy years in the small family, grows stronger again. In keeping and sharing a secret they regain their complicity. The novel resolves psychologically convincing with the joy over a renewed relationship. (13+) ☼

France (French) - 2001 - 130
Mazeau, Jacques
Jusqu'à la mer
(All the way to the sea)
Paris : Seuil, 2000. 150 p.
(sj)
ISBN 2-02-026218-5
Grandmother - Grandchild - Illness - Death
Paul's grandmother has cancer. There is not much time left before she will leave her eleven-year-old grandchild behind – all by himself. The narrative, meticulously describing their last two months together, adopts the emotional, internal point of view of the protagonists. Anna has to let go off her role as the life-affirming guardian. In turn, Paul, in his great love for her, has developed a strong sense of responsibility and caring. The existential anxiety, which they try to hide from one another, endows the last, precious shared moments with great value. The Parisean setting of the 60s adds an authentic note to the story. The careful tone, rather untypical for teenage fiction, leaves enough room for the unexpressable. (13+)

France (French) - 2001 - 131
Mourlevat, Jean-Claude
La rivière à l'envers
(The river flowing backwards)
Paris : Pocket Jeunesse, 2000. 190 p.
([Pocket / Junior] ; 616: Roman)
ISBN 2-266-10433-0
Adventure trip - Meaning of life - Courage - Love
The little spice boy has to master many adventures until the princess of his heart comes to join him. The various stages of his world trip are accumulated with oriental love of lore: the forest of ob- livion, the island which does not exist, the black rainbow of nothingness, and even the river of life which flows backwards. Thank goodness for a team of generous helpers like chubby Mary, whose many layers of clothes stand for her resistence to all adversities of life, or the little folk of perfume-creators which wakes the hero from deadly sleep with a reading marathon lasting several months. But the most difficult challenge of all can only be overcome by will-power. (11+)

Special Mention - France (French) - 2001 - 132
Murail, Marie-Aude
Oh, boy!
Paris : École des Loisirs, 2000. 207 p.
(Médium)
ISBN 2-211-05642-3
Orphan - Social discrepancy - Illness - Brotherhood - Humanitarian spirit
The children (14, 8, and 5 years old) are in bad luck: their father disappeared, their alcoholic mother committed suicide and social welfare put them in a home. Not enough: the oldest is taken ill with leukemia. But somehow they cope with this accumulation of misery, because they stick together like glue. Their homosexual half-brother and his established sister offer to foster them but only make things worse. The contrary milieus in which the children move show life in all its different facets – and always on the narrow dividing line between happiness and despair. Social pretence crumbles under the attacks of the subversive humour, while the reader is relentlessly confronted with extreme situations in turn heartbreaking, irritating or simply hilarious. The reader will understand that everyone possesses his or her own truth and humanity. (12+)

Special Mention - France (French) - 2001 - 133
Serres, Alain (text)
Zaü (illus.)
Une cuisine grande comme le monde: 60 recettes pour voyager tout autour de la terre
(A kitchen the size of the world : 60 recipes to travel around the world)
[Paris] : Rue du Monde, 2000. 58 p.
ISBN 2-912084-36-9
International cooking
This large formatted travel-guide cookbook invites you to taste and smell your way around the world. There are 25 traditional dishes to choose from. Full-page pictures in pastel colours convey impressions of distant landscapes, cities and markets and celebrate the diversity of the peoples and menues. Some of the recipes can be prepared by children on their own. Brief information about exotic products and their preparation, about spices, fruits and their role in colonial history widen the horizon. They also remind us that – despite our different customs and traditions – we are all guests at the one table of our world. (8+) ☆

Special Mention - France (French) - 2001 - 134
Stolz, Joëlle
Les ombres de Ghadamès
(The shadows of Ghadamès)
Paris : Bayard Jeunesse, 2000. 174 p.
ISBN 2-227-73908-8
Libya - Muslims - Women - 19th century
This novel tells of the life of Muslim women on the threshold to modernity from the perspective of an adolescent girl with great empathy and respect for the cultural and social conditions of late 19th century Libya. The first wife is bound by tradition and a prisoner in her own house. The second wife is open-minded, intense and prepared to take risky decisions. As for the girl, she ardently wishes to learn to read and to be allowed to travel. She successfully takes her first steps towards emancipation. Three male characters, the smaller brother, the father and a religious zealot complement the image of the secret female world from a male point of view. (12+) ☆

Italy (Italian) - 2001 - 135
Bordiglioni, Stefano (text)
Badocco, Manuela (text)
Nidasio, Grazia (illus.)
Dal diario di una bambina troppo occupata
(A too busy girl's diary)
Trieste : Einaudi Ragazzi, 2000. [144] p.
(Einaudi Ragazzi : Storie e rime ; 127)
ISBN 88-7926-329-3
Child - Stress - Allergy - Family
A ten-year-old girl writes down in her diary what she does in her very busy daily life: back home from school there are lots of homework and she has to cope with swimming, piano and English lessons. She does everything to meet her parents' expectations, but there is no time left to play with dolls, to go out with friends or to throw stones into a river just for fun. One day, she is discovered to suffer from an allergy which proves to be a psychosomatic reaction caused by stress. Her understanding parents change their attitude towards their daughter and help her to overcome stressful times. This is a brilliantly told tale about family relationships, full of witty, real-life dialogues and inner monologues. The authors convincingly evoke the child's world while the attractive illustrations capture the narrative highlights. (10+)

Italy (Italian) - 2001 - 136
Calvino, Italo (text)
Ceccoli, Nicoletta (illus.)
La foresta-radice-labirinto
(The forest-root-labyrinth)
Mondadori : Milano, 2000. 50 p.
(Piccola contemporanea ; 3)
ISBN 88-04-47923-x
Nature - Rural life - City life - Knight - Fairy tale
This fairy tale by Calvino had been out-of-print for a long time. Now, it has been rediscovered for this new, well-designed series. Back from war, King Clovis finds his town surrounded by an inextricable forest. He begins to wander through a labyrinth of roots that look like branches, while the branches mingle with roots. In this overwhelming nature, characters are torn between feeling and reason in their quest for harmony. The black-and-white illustrations with shades of grey and green attractively capture the main events of this magic story. The illustrator's characteristic style of judicious and fascinating drawings in this book reaches a strong poetic potential. (7+)

Italy (Italian) - 2001 - 137
DeSimone, Roberto (text)
Altan (illus.)
Fiabe campane
(Fairy tales from Campania)
Trieste : Ed. EL, 2000. [148] p.
(Il Tesoro)
ISBN 88-477-0535-5
Campania - Fairy tale
This is a selection of 21 stories, legends and fairy tales rewritten by the well-known artistic director, composer, and writer Roberto De Simone. He uses folktale motifs, mainly taken from the Campania region, to create literary fairy tales. The volume begins with the famous »Cinderella-cat tale« and features religious figures, country people and the Neapolitan character of Punch. The warm colours of the illustrations exude a sense of gaiety. (8+)

Italy (Italian) - 2001 - 138
Giaume, Giovanna (text)
Marabotto, Paolo (illus.)
Il Futurismo : tutto corre rapido
(Futurism : everything runs fast)
Roma : Lapis [et al.], 2000. 8 p.
(L'arte tra le mani ; 4)
ISBN 88-87546-20-7
Art - Futurism - Painting
This is the third volume of a new series in which the author introduces children to the works of the most important artists of Futurism. It presents an interesting way of leading children to become acquainted with modern art in an active way: in addition to reading the text and appreciating the iconographic material, the young readers are asked to cut and assemble card forms. This will help children to grasp the essence of the Futurist message: the movement and dynamism of the modern world are expressed by the beauty of speed. (8+)

Italy (Italian) - 2001 - 139
Lobe, Mira (text)
Rapaccini, Chiara (illus.)
Giorgi, Fiammetta (transl.)
Creiamo il mondo!
(Let's make the world!)
(German orig. title: Wir machen die Welt!)
Casale Monferrato (AL) : Piemme Junior, 2000. [40] p.
(Il battello a vapore / I pirati ; 29)
ISBN 88-384-8029-x
World - Creation - Creativity - Spare Time
This Italian edition of a story by the renowned Austrian author features new illustrations which were nominated for the »Premio d'Illustrazione Il Battello a Vapore« in 1999. Marco and Lena, brother and sister, decide to switch off television and spend their afternoon playing »Let's pretend we are ...«. They are quite ambitious because they want »to recreate« the world; starting from dark chaos they pretend to create the sun with a ceiling lamp and the moon with a bedside-lamp; a blue carpet and a checked blanket represent the sea and the earth. Their fantasy goes on with the creation of animals, plants and also human beings. The stunning coloured pencil drawings enhance the appeal of this unusual endeavour. The illustrator captures the shifting emotions with her original visual language of naive flat shapes. (4+)

Italy (Italian) - 2001 - 140
Masini, Beatrice (text)
Monaco, Octavia (illus.)
Ciro in cerca d'amore
(Ciro in mood for love)
Milano : Ed. Arka, 2000. [32] p.
(Collana di perle)
ISBN 88-8072-094-5
Venice - Cat - Love - Diversity
When the full moon shines on Venice, the city of love unfolds all its charms and arouses the desire for love – not only in romantically inclined humans but in cats too. Ciro, a Venetian cat, is looking for »love«, and after many adventures he finds it in a child, who takes care of him and respects his feline character. The text is accompanied by beautiful illustrations, which render the magic atmosphere of Venice with gentle colours and fine contours. (7+)

Italy (Italian) - 2001 - 141
Melis, Alberto
Il segreto dello scrigno
(The casket's secret)
Casale Monferrato (AL) : Piemme Junior, 2000. [186] p.
([Il battello a vapore / Serie rossa / Serie oro] ; 7)
ISBN 88-384-7707-8
Adventure - Judaean History - Adolescence - Love - Friendship
Joachim is the hero of this adventurous and gripping novel set back 2000 years ago in the Judaean Kingdom. He falls in love with Sarah, a young slave girl, and tries to free her from the greedy merchant. The strong willed boy finds his only helper in Joshua, a special friend. Together, they overcome all difficulties and rescue Sarah. This book is an excellent starting point for young adults to discuss and to reflect upon the values of love and friendship. The author succeeds in giving a convincing portrait of an adolescent boy at a decisive time of life, conveying his feelings facing the first major difficulties of life. (12+)
(Premio Il Battello a Vapore [Narrativa]; 1999)

Italy (Italian) - 2001 - 142
Merenda, Adriana (text)
Ferraro, Alessandro (illus.)
Il borgomastro di Francoforte
(The mayor of Frankfurt)
Roma : Nuove Edizioni Romane, 2000. [168] p.
(Nuova biblioteca dei ragazzi ; 35 : Narrativa)
ISBN 88-85990-73-8
Detective - Football - Humour - Adult - Child
This gripping novel contains all elements of a detective story: Tom Branco, a though, self-absorbed detective, supported in his work by a bungling assistant and a charming secretary. But the narration soon reveals that the author parodies this kind of mystery tale: Matteo, a little boy, contrasts ironically with the only apparently mature adult world. The play on narrative conventions makes this a thoroughly entertaining book with humour that children will certainly appreciate. The text has an attractive layout with blackand- white sketches which capture the dynamic quality of the narrative. (9+)

Special Mention - Italy (Italian) - 2001 - 143
Pitzorno, Bianca (text)
Blake, Quentin (illus.)
Tornatrás
(The return)
Milano : Mondadori, 2000. [304] p.
(Contemporanea)
ISBN 88-04-47611-7
Television - Orphan - Growing-up - Friendship - Racism
Colomba, an eleven-year old girl, experiences a life full of difficulties after her father's death and her mother's depression. Television programmes have bewitched Colomba's mother, who spends the family's money on TV-sales but forgets to pay bills and buy food. Colomba would like to switch back time. But when she feels that she has »reached the limits«, her life changes through a series of interesting encounters. The red-haired protagonist regains a positive view of life thanks to her friendship with people from different nationalities and backgrounds. Together, the friends fight a racist politician and his followers who want »to clean« their neighbourhood from poor and foreign people. This book advocates a fierce criticism of aggressive television policies that try to spy and manipulate people's emotions. This engaging novel is very strong on characterisation: it gives excellent insight into the psychological development of the strong-willed girl-protagonist; the minor characters never remain flat. (10+) ☆

Special Mention - Italy (Italian) - 2001 - 144
Roncaglia, Silvia (text)
Cerretti, Cristiana (illus.)
Ma che razza di razza è?
(What people is this?)
Roma : Città Nuova, 2000. [45] p.
(I colori del mondo) (I riquadri)
ISBN 88-311-8062-2
Diversity - Equality - Race - Multicultural education
The teacher in school talks about the many different habitats in the world. For homework, the children have to do a project on the different human races. »Ah, always those damn projects!«, exclaims the young protagonist. But at home his little brother Pino arouses in him great interest for the subject. Turning over the pages of a book on the peoples of the world, Pino always points at the pictures of a »Mommy with Child« even if they wear different dresses, hairstyles and have different skin colours. Attractively illustrated with bright pastel line-and-wash drawings, this easy-toread story will enrich multicultural library collections. (7+) ☆
(Premio per l'Ambiente; 1999)

Special Mention - Italy (Italian) - 2001 - 145
Vicic, Ugo (text)
Natalini, Sandro (illus.)
La vendetta delle bestiazze
(The beasts' revenge)
Firenze : Fatatrac, 2000. [62] p.
(I nuovi ottagoni ; 25)
ISBN 88-8222-056-7
Animals - Man
This is a delightful collection of 14 short stories in which the author takes sides with the animals in a light-hearted tone. The beasts appear as grotesque, their descriptions and characterisations are full of queer and highly original ideas over-throwing stereotypes. The book presents an up-sidedown world in which giraffes eat dancers, monk seals attack nuns, koalas are carnivorous and so on. Some tales' endings have catchy nonsense rhymes that capture the child's spirit of play. The comic graphical interpretations of these animal fantasy tales are filled with ironic details. (8+)

Special Mention - Italy (Italian) - 2001 - 146
Visconti, Guido (text)
Landmann, Bimba (illus.)
Quel genio di Leonardo
(Leonardo, a real genius)
Milano : Ed. Arka, 2000. [36] p.
(Collana di perle d'arte)
ISBN 88-8072-093-7
Leonardo <da Vinci> - Art - Painting
This accomplished picture book celebrates Leonardo da Vinci, the most famous Renaissance artist. The story of his life is retold with refined skill and set against the carefully reconstructed historical background. The narrative is enriched by quotations from Leonardo's writings, appropriately simplified for young readers. Like all great masters, Leonardo was accompanied by a student, Giacomo, whom he treated like his own son. The author skilfully suggests the complexity and extensiveness of Leonard's interests, his artistic and scientific activities, which are attractively illustrated with colourful, full page drawings. With her sensitive and painterly style, the illustrator adds an extra dimension to the story, expanding the children's imagination. (7+)

Portugal (Portuguese) - 2001 - 147
Lourenço, Ana Filipe (ed./adapt.)
Modesto, António (illus.)
Histórias tradicionais portuguesas
(Traditional Portuguese stories)
Porto : Ambar, 2000. 55 p.
ISBN 972-43-0393-4
Portugal - Fairy tale - Fables - Anthology
This anthology presents eleven fairy tales and fables by famous Portuguese storytellers, among them animal fables in the classic style (e.g. »The fox and the wolf«) or grotesque fairy tales like »O chourico« (»The sausage«), in which a hot chilli pepper sausage grows unto a nose. The book – printed on high-quality paper and in landscape format – is well designed and makes a generous impression, because there is plenty of ample space for the text and illustrations to unfold. The colourful illustrations are characterised by soft, flowing lines and bleeding shapes, animating the pictures with movement and lightness. (5+)

Portugal (Portuguese) - 2001 - 148
Saldanha, Ana
Para o meio da rua
(To the middle of the road)
Lisboa : Caminho, 2000. 157 p.
(Livros do dia e da noite)
ISBN 972-21-1338-0
Childhood - Memory
Somewhere in his or her childhood every human has a »cave, maybe in the basement, or in the garden, or in the back of one's mind just before falling asleep«. Ana Saldanha explores this cave, these images, events and feelings and weaves them together with other people's memories to create rich textures of poetic prose. This fine, timeless narrative about a child's everyday experiences and emotions is characterised by a sometimes wistful yet never sentimental tone. The story of the two girls Isabel and Joana has an exemplary status, and – as the author assures – all similarities with other childhoods are an »intended coincidence «. (12+)

Portugal (Portuguese) - 2001 - 149
Soares, Maria Isabel de Mendonça (ed.)
Leitão, Pedro (illus.)
O mar na cultura popular portuguesa
(The sea in Portuguese popular culture)
Lisboa : Terramar, 1998. 88 p.
ISBN 972-710-201-8
Portugal/Folk literature - Sea
Because of its geographic location on the margins of Europe, Portugal has always been strongly oriented towards the sea. Known as the country of seafarers, explorers, conquerors and fishermen for centuries, this historical legacy is alive in people's conscience and everday life, in Portuguese culture, economy or the cuisine up to the present day. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the sea plays an important role in literature, both of oral and written tradition. This inspiring book, accompanied by many colour-illustrations, unites many of those texts: rhymes, riddles, sayings, folksongs, fairy tales and sagas give an impression of the diversity of the sea. (4+)

Romania (Romanian) - 2001 - 150
Opriş, Tudor (text)
Gruder, Burschi (illus.)
Ciudăƫenii zoologice
(Zoological curiosities)
Bucureşti : Ed. Ion Cristoiu, 2000. 109 p.
(Enciclopedia liliput a naturii : animale, plante, pietre ; Vol. 1)
ISBN 973-99544-3-x
Animals - Animal observation
Tudor Opriş is a well-known and popular writer of non-fiction nature books for children and adolescents. This little volume is the first of a 20-part encyclopedic series. It describes the peculiarities and notes the »records« of the animal world. From the biggest to the smallest, the most peaceful to the most terrifying, all animals are presented in their habitat, while their behaviour is characterised in entertaining, short and texts. (7+)

Spain (Spanish) - 2001 - 151
Álvarez, Blanca (text)
Salmerón, Rafael (illus.)
Milú, un perro en desgracia
(Milú, an unlucky dog)
Madrid : Espasa, 2000. 139 p.
(Espasa juvenil ; 143)
ISBN 84-239-5897-3
City life - Dog - Misfortune
The narrative I, Milú, a manifest mongrel, lives happily with his human family, who has picked him off the street. But ever since the day the cleaning-lady told him that he would soon be thrown back out into the streets, Milú is completely nerve-wrecked. From the point of view of the worried »underdog«, the reader learns a lot about stuck-up, high-strung pure-breds, about humans and about life in general. The funny observations of and commentaries on everyday life derive their humorous potential from the apparently naive perspective of the protagonist, who nevertheless is endowed with shrewdness and a good dose of sarcasm. (10+)

Spain (Spanish) - 2001 - 152
Cano, Carles (text)
Calatayud, Miguel (illus.)
Columbeta, la isla libro
(Columbeta, the book island)
(Catalan orig. title: Capgirell, l'illa llibre)
Madrid : Anaya, 1999. 116 p.
ISBN 84-207-9264-0
Bestiary - Alphabet - Island
The origins of the island Columbeta's animal world go back to the day when letters, who had fled a maths book, hid in the entries of an encyclopedia on animals. Columbeta is an island, and the island is a book: a bestiary of strange species, like the fancy »elefgante« (»elephgant«), the tasty »tartaga« (»tartle«) or the mean-smelling »cacadrilo« (»cacadile«). These absurd animal portraits display much imagination and linguistic wit. Lavish, decorative illustrations, in which colours and geometric shapes combine to form artistic patterns, capture the fairy-tale-like fantastic nature of this quaint animal world. (8+) ☼

Spain (Spanish) - 2001 - 153
Mallorquí, César
La catedral
(The cathedral)
Madrid : Ed. SM, 2000. 203 p.
(Gran angular ; 202)
ISBN 84-348-7239-0
Brittany <13th century> - Cathedral - Construction - Satanism
Navarra during the 13th century: 14-year-old stone carver Telmo is sent to Brittany in order to assist in the construction of a gigantic cathedral, financed by some obscure chivalric order. Telmo is also on a secret mission: He is to find out about the underlying reason of this strange construction. When it turns out that the monstrous temple is to enable the return of Lucifer, whom the commissioners want to be their leader in the battle of Armageddon, the race against time begins. Mallorquí combines elements of historical, adventure and fantasy novels, displaying once again the mastery of his craft. The narrative flows easily, while the suspense is sustained until the very end. (12+)
(Premio Gran Angular; 1999)

Special Mention - Spain (Spanish) - 2001 - 154
Martín, Andreu (text)
Martín Farrero, Inés (transl.)
Mentiras de verdad
(True lies)
(Catalan orig. title: Veritats a mitges)
Madrid : Ed. Siruela, 2000. 190 p.
(Las tres edades ; 73)
ISBN 84-7844-514-5
Father - Son - Truth - Lie - First love - Spain <1967>
Barcelona 1967: The strained relationship between 18-year-old Pep and his conservative, taciturn father threatens to fall apart completely when Pep suspects his father to have a mistress. His enquiries lead to an unexpected discovery and hold the mirror to the indignant but also selfrighteous Pep: Just like his father, he entagles himself in lies when he attempts to impress his fellow student Julia. This multi-layered, gripping novel, crafted like a detective story, explores the question of the motivations for lying. The wellknown Catalan author succeeds in describing the moods, feelings, fears, desires and anxieties of the characters with a keen sense of observation, while evoking an engaging portrait of the era. The speechlessness, the contorsions and tabus in Pepe's family reflect the restrictive, petty-bourgeois and decrepit nature of the Franco-regime, that penetrated all walks of life. (14+)

Special Mention - Spain (Spanish) - 2001 - 155
Moure, Gonzalo
El bostezo del puma
(The yawn of the puma)
Madrid : Alfaguara, 1999. 231 p.
(Serie roja)
ISBN 84-204-4940-7
Suicide - Guilt - St. Jacob's trail - Quest for identity
Abram is tortured with feelings of guilt, because he thinks he may be partly responsible for the suicide of Lisa, his friend. To find answers to his questions, he goes on the St. Jacob's pilgrims' trail. He is pursued by Lisa's flat mate, Tim, who considers him Lisa's murderer, and he is shadowed by the police. But along the way, he also comes upon people like French Marion or the German Jewish young woman Alma, who fascinates him and whom he falls in love with. Through the different, psychologically convincing characters, this suspenseful and touching novel explores the fundamental question of the meaning of human existence. (14+)
(Premio Jaén de Narrativa Infantil y Juvenil; 1999)

Special Mention - Spain (Spanish) - 2001 - 156
Prats, Joan de Déu (text)
Filella, Luis (illus.)
Noche de Reyes
(Epiphany)
(Catalan orig. title: Nit de Reis)
Barcelona : Edebé, 2000. [28] p.
(Biblioteca religiosa Edebé)
ISBN 84-236-5802-3
Three Wise Men - Balthasar - Immigration/Europe - Xenophobia - Racism
»Do you have a working permit, and is your camel vaccinated at all?«, King Balthasar is confused. He only wanted to deliver a present in time for Epiphany in Spain, but at the borders of Europe he finds himself (black) face to (white) face with rough border police officers, who refuse him the entry permit. How he finally does reach his destination, how his camel is deported from the noparking space on the way, and how he is confronted with racist attacks – all this is related in this intelligent picture book for children and adults. Witty parodies and simple devices unmask racism and xenophobia. (6+) ☆

Special Mention - Spain (Spanish) - 2001 - 157
Prats, Joan de Déu (text)
Jiménez, Daniel (illus.)
Un safari en el salón
(A safari in the living-room)
Madrid : Bruño, 2000. 57 p.
(Alta mar ; 127 : Humor)
ISBN 84-216-3435-6
Hunter - Mouse - Big game hunt/Parody
The passionate big game hunter Lord Haselmer plans a trip to Africa to add an elephant's head to his collection of trophees. But instead, he suddenly engages in battle with a mouse who creates havock in his house. With the assistance of fellow- hunters flown in from Africa, he succeeds in cornering the animal, but the struggle against the unequal opponent turns him into an animal lover. The entertaining, fast-paced story is told with slap-stick humour. The comedy is equally evident in the crazy, cartoon-like illustrations that parody familiar stereotypes with grotesque exaggeration. (5+) ☼

Special Mention - Spain (Spanish) - 2001 - 158
Sánchez Alcón, Chema
El radiofonista pirado que desenterraba filósofos para explicarse el mundo
(The presenter of the pirates' radio station who dug out philosophers to explain the world)
Madrid : Anaya, 1999. 215 p.
ISBN 84-207-9278-0
Pirates' radio station - Philosophy
This entertaining story is all about »philosophy for everyone«. A radio presenter questions the sense of his work, and, to overcome this crisis, he secretely starts a nocturnal feature on philosophical themes, inviting listeners to participate. When a concerned husband and father complains to the station, because he doesn't want his family spending the nights philosophising around the radio, it all comes out and the presenter is sent to prison. He suspects that he was really imprisoned for inspiring people to think for themselves. The book takes the reader into the world of philosophy with wit, humour and lightness. (12+)

Spain (Catalan) - 2001 - 159
Carbó, Joaquim (text)
Gans, Francesc Luis (illus.)
Juma i el diamant
(Juma and the diamond)
Barcelona : Ed. Cruïlla, 2000. 186 p.
([El vaixell de vapor / Sèrie vermella] ; 94)
ISBN 84-8286-853-5
Africa - War - Violence - Solidarity - Refugee
13-year-old Juma works like a slave in a diamond mine. Following his escape, he meets other children, and one after another they join him in his quest for freedom. Finally, they are a group of six, and together, they struggle for survival, always hoping to see their families and homes again. Told from the perspective of children and their experiences, the misery and violence (e.g. the refugee trails) of the war-stricken African countries becomes cruelly evident. The story is realistic and never sensational. On the contrary, it gives a differentiated account of the social situation and develops a strong cast of individual characters. (11+)

Spain (Catalan) - 2001 - 160
Gisbert, Montse (text/illus.)
El bebé més dolç del món
(The sweetest baby of the world)
Valencia : Tandem Ed., [1999]. [36] p.
ISBN 84-8131-237-x
(Spanish ed.: El bebé más dulce del mundo)
Bee
Told from the perspective of a young bee, this book describes the life in a bee-colony: raising, »construction«, nectar collection, production of honey etc. A short appendix provides further information. Despite these informations, this book is first and foremost an imaginative picture book, heedlessly anthropomorphising the world of the bees. This is most evident in the brightly coloured, cheerful and wild illustrations. They show, for example, a bee swinging a broom or transporting construction material on a truck. This book is an unusual cross-over between the picture story- and reference book. (4+)

Spain (Catalan) - 2001 - 161
Rius, Lluís (text)
Ginesta, Montse (illus.)
Adormits!
(Sleepy-heads!)
Barcelona : LaGalera [et al.], 2000. 30 p.
ISBN 84-246-3410-1. - 84-226-8484-5
Parents - Falling asleep - Waking up
To wake up her parents, who once again have dosed off in front of the TV, their daughter assembles a team of very special helpers, who come from the other appartments of the house. Finally, a swaying pyramid makes its way through the stairway: the »downstairs-bringer«, the »upstairsbringer «, the »light-on-turner« and – of course – the »sleeper-waker«. The imaginative story is complemented by lively and dynamic cartoonstyle colour-illustrations. Some very original double-page illustrations with flabs folding upwards (!) catch the entire stairway of the fantastic house in its full height. (4+)
(Premi Hospital Sant Joan de Déu; 2000)

Spain (Galician) - 2001 - 162
Fernández Paz, Agustín
Aire negro
(Black air)
Vigo : Xerais, 2000. 183 p.
(Fóra de xogo ; 42)
ISBN 84-8302-502-7
Psychiatry - Autism - Anxiety - Hallucinations
Dr. Moldes, an ambitious psychiatrist, treats autistic Laura, who suffers from memory gaps and fits of fear. The reader learns from Moldes' report, interspersed with written notes by Laura, how Laura's memories are retrieved piece by piece. Because of that, both patient and doctor are confronted with a terrifying reality. The award-winning author's gripping, yet rather unpretentious narrative shows elements of the psychological thriller. It poses the question about the whence of human anxieties: are they generated by our own psyche or do they have real, external causes? (13+)

Switzerland (French) - 2001 - 163
Chignac, François
Eau de vie, eau de feu
(Water of life, water of fire)
Genève : La Joie de Lire, 2000. 43 p.
ISBN 2-88258-174-2
Father - Alcoholism
Father is different from all other fathers. He is full of crazy ideas. He is absolutely great at playing Indians and dancing. He always knows just the right thing to do. But his high spirits have a drawback. He is an alcoholic – and that destroys his family. Told from the perspective of a 12-year-old boy, this delicate subject matter loses all infamy. To him, just like to the father, the real and the unreal are equally accessible. The comforting images convey the power of the son's admiration and love which transform the ills with a child's imagination. At the same time, they express a profound and mature psychological insight into the dangers that are begetting his father desperately craving for adventure. (12+) ☼

Argentina (Spanish) - 2001 - 164
Pescetti, Luis María (text)
O'Kif (illus.)
Frin
(<Proper name>)
Buenos Aires : Alfaguara, 2000. 203 p.
(Infantil)
ISBN 950-511-596-2
Boy - Everyday life - School - First love - Self-confidence
Frin, whose strong dislike for his sports teacher is the only special thing about him, is not happy with his low profile existence. He struggles with a minority complex and suffers from jealousy, because he has fallen in love with his school-mate Alma, who seems to like another boy better. Only some positive experiences, entirely new to him – a good friend, the first kiss, a successful appearance on television – gradually provide Frin with the self-confidence he lacked for so long. The realistic, humorous and thoughtful story relates the life of an unspectacular hero with a good deal of sympathy. (10+)

Brazil (Portuguese) - 2001 - 165
Barbosa, Rogério Andrade (reteller)
Lima, Graça (illus.)
Duula a mulher canibal : um conto africano
(Duula, the cannibal-woman : an African fairy-tale)
São Paulo : Difusão Cultural do Livro, 1999. [40] p.
ISBN 85-7338-324-0
Cannibalism - Fear - Africa/Fairy-tale
Duula, who had turned into a man-eating monster during a draught in her childhood, has captivated twins, a girl and a boy, who can escape the deadly danger. One will recognise well-known motifs in this retelling of a Somalian fairy-tale: like Hansel and Gretel, the children are fattened; like Little Read Riding Hood, they ask the monster about its terrifying appearance; and like the people of Israel, they get away through the parting sea. The impressive illustrations, inspired by the shapes and colours of Africa's desert landscapes and everyday culture, poignantly mirror the children's fear. (6+)

Brazil (Portuguese) - 2001 - 166
Boas, Marion Villas (text)
Vilas, Ricardo (music)
Pimentel, Marcelo (illus./design)
Mistérios da Pindorama
(Pindorama's secrects)
Rio de Janeiro : Ampersand, 2000. 63 p. Includes 1 CD
ISBN 85-87914-01-4
Brazil - Folk literature/Character - Environmental destruction - Environmental protection
Well-known characters of Brazilian folklore play an important role in this book of adventure stories. There is Boitatá (a fire-snake), or Curupira (an Indian with inverted feet). In every story, one of these characters solves an environmental problem (deforestation, water pollution etc.) and fights for the protection of nature. Songs of protest against the destruction of the environment, equally operating with elements of Brazilian folklore, complement the texts. The book design (recycled paper and black-and-white illustration remeniscent of African and Amerindian art) contributes to the integrative concept of this attractive environmental book. (5+)

Brazil (Portuguese) - 2001 - 167
Cruz, Nelson (text/illus.)
Chica e João
(<Proper names>)
Belo Horizonte - MG : Formato, 2000. 39 p.
(Coleção histórias para contar história)
ISBN 85-7208-282-4
Brazil <18th century> - Portuguese man - Slave - Social prejudice - Love
Based on historical facts, this story tells of the love between a Black slave and a Portuguese diamond trader, a love that was an absolute scandal in the eyes of the 18th century colonial Brazilian society. The story has its origins in the province of Diamantina; today, it is well known all over the country. The memories of the slave Chica and the images – of architecture or fashion, for example – transport the reader back into those times. The characters move through the large-formatted colour- illustrations as if on stage, while extreme perspectives and optical distorsions add visual momentum to the dynamics and drama of the story. (8+)

Brazil (Portuguese) - 2001 - 168
José, Elias (text)
Landucci, César (illus.)
A vida em pequenas doses
(Life in small doses)
São Paulo : Global Ed., 2000. 77 p.
(Coleção jovens inteligentes)
ISBN 85-260-0594-4
Everyday life - Family conflict
The title of this slender volume is programmatic: Elias José, known for his short stories, writes in »small doses«, that is in 70 very short stories, about little everyday things, about love and life. In his bare prose, he focusses on one single situation of conflict or crisis (divorce, separation, unwanted pregnancy, etc) and concentrates on the inner life of the characters, on their psyche and memories. The book is a collection of suggestive frozen moments, and it is up to the reader, to reconstruct or even constitute the story from this extracted narrative material, reduced to its very essence. (14+)

Brazil (Portuguese) - 2001 - 169
Nunes, Lygia Bojunga
A cama
(The bed)
Rio de Janeiro : Agir, 1999. 170 p.
ISBN 85-220-0521-4
Bed
In the works of the Andersen Award-winning author objects often play a prominent role, they might even become agents. In this story, the protagonist is a 100-year-old bed, that had already been put aside but then found another purpose. In a true odyssee, it moves from one place to the next – to a favela, an antique shop, for example, or on an old photograph – and to humans of diverse social background and living conditions. They all face crises and they all are on the quest for their identity. In her characteristic narrative style full of poetic imagery, the author creates a series of touching and original episodes. (11+)

Brazil (Portuguese) - 2001 - 170
Sandroni, Luciana (text)
Fukue, Roberto (illus.)
O sítio no descobrimento : a turma do Picapau Amarelo na expedição de Pedro Álvares Cabral
(The people of the »Sítio« discover Brazil : Picapau Amarelo and his friends on Pedro Álvares Cabral's expedition)
São Paulo : Ed. Globo, 2000. 132 p.
ISBN 85-250-3244-1
Lobato, José Bento Monteiro/Literary character - Cabral, Pedro Álvarez - Brazil - Discovery <1500>
Some of the characters that Monteiro Lobato, the »father« of Brazilian children's literature, created more than 70 years ago, and who still enjoy immense popularity in Brazil, make their reappearance in this book. A rag-doll, a corncob, a cook, two children and their grandmother travel back in time and take part in the »discovery« of Brazil by the Portuguese Pedro Álvarez Cabral in 1500. They see and witness everything on this great voyage of discovery, but they don't interfere with the course of history. The narrative, written in humorous, playful prose, will stimulate the reader's imagination with plenty of fun-filled scenes and original ideas. (8+)

Chile (Spanish) - 2001 - 171
Carvajal, Victor (text)
Urquiza, Carlos (illus.)
Sakanusoyin, cazador de Tierra del Fuego
(Sakanusoyin, hunter from Tierra del Fuego)
Santiago de Chile : Aguilar Chilena de Ed., 2000. 119 p.
(Alfaguara juvenil)
ISBN 956-239-115-9
Tierra del Fuego - Ona <people> (=Selknam) - Hunt - Love of nature
There is a growing awareness of the indigenous cultural heritage in Latin America. This book taking up old myths is set in Tierra del Fuego. The boy Sakanusoyin, excellent hunter, is the hope of his people which suffers from the depletion of Guanacos, their main source of nutrition. But because he regards the animals as his kin, he is faced with a dilemma. The wanderings through the forests together with Salisuyosin (a boy his age), are also a process of initiation. The calm tone of the story and the figurative language advocate the love of nature and introduce the reader to the traditions and myths of the no longer existing Selknam people. (11+) ☆
(Premio Consejo Nacional del Libro y de la Lectura)

Colombia (Spanish) - 2001 - 172
Rosero, Evelio José (text)
Castellanos, Diana (illus.)
Cuchilla
(Knife <proper name>)
Bogotá ; Barcelona [et al.] : Grupo Ed. Norma, 2000. 154 p.
(Colección torre de papel : Torre azul)
ISBN 958-04-5643-7
Teacher - Hatred - Prejudice
The first-person-narrator and his brother are not too thrilled when their notorious history teacher, nicknamed »Cuchilla« (»The Knife«) by the schoolchildren, moves into the house next-door. They secretely observe him and have to come to the somber conclusion that he leads a perfectly normal life: he sometimes comes home drunk, he has friends, makes music and so on. Slowly, the human qualities of the despised teacher become apparent. The story is told with humour and convinces with its concise language. With economic means, the author succeeds in developing memorable characters. (10+)
(Premio Norma-Fundalectura; 2000)

Uruguay (Spanish) - 2001 - 173
Bavosi, Ana María (adapt.)
Cassinelli, Horacio (illus.)
Pedro Catorce
(Pedro Fourteen <proper name>)
[Montevideo] : Bicho Feo Ed., 1996. 23 p.
ISBN 9974-625-01-7
Giant - Strength - Devil - Fairy tale
Pedro Fourteen is a hell of guy: he is as big and strong as fourteen men, he works like fourteen men – but unfortunately he also eats like fourteen men. That's why the villagers want to get rid of him and literally send the candid voracious eater to hell. How Pedro fights a whole pack of nasty little devils, and why the devil is first put in a sack and finally ends up in a cool grave on top of a high mountain, that's what this peculiar fairy tale will tell you. The caricaturesque style of the energetic line-drawings, partially washed with watercolours, perfectly suits the humorous text. (5+)

Venezuela (Spanish) - 2001 - 174
Cottin, Menena (text/illus.)
Al revés
(Upside-down)
Caracas : Camelia Ed., 1999. [32] p.
ISBN 980-6450-01-9
House - Upside-down-world <motif>
What would happen if everything suddenly stood on its head? A girl walks about day-dreaming through the upside-down-world of her familiar home. The chandelier looks like a tree, the shower rains upwards, and the stairs go up, down, or up-down? A strikingly simple idea inspired the illustrator to create a charming story, taking the onlookers on a little discovery tour and inviting them to keep on raving in this topsy-turvy world. »Upside-down«, originally an animated cartoon, now is published as a book with realistic, soft-coloured pencil drawings. (3+)

Special Mention - Venezuela (Spanish) - 2001 - 175
Skármeta, Antonio (text)
Ruano, Alfonso (illus.)
La composición
(The composition)
Caracas : Ed. Ekaré, 2000. 36 p.
ISBN 980-257-215-2
Dictatorship - Suppression - Police state - Betrayal
The text by the famous Chilean author, originally written as a radio play, is published for the first time as a book. The story, which surely incorporates autobiographical elements of the author who lived in exile for many years, is set in a not further specified military dictatorship. Schoolboy Pedro knows that his parents oppose the regime and secretly listen to forbidden radio stations in the evening. Danger looms when an officer comes to the school and commands the children to write a composition on the evening pass-times of their family. The dramatic tension of Skármeta's story very gradually rises with the build-up of the atmosphere, suddenly to be released at the very end, when one understands that Pedro has instinctively decided against the truth, and thereby against betraying his parents. The realistic illustrations seem like frozen moments. Their static and serious nature captures the inner state of a society paralysed with fear, violence and denunciation. (9+) ☼

Canada (French) - 2001 - 176
Croteau, Marie-Danielle (text)
St-Aubin, Bruno (illus.)
Ma nuit dans les glaces
(My night on the ice)
Montréal (Québec) : Courte Échelle, 2000. 63 p.
(Premier roman ;101)
ISBN 2-89021-431-1
Child - Threat of death - Loneliness
Fred goes ice-fishing with his father. His vivid imagination transforms the excursion into an Inuit adventure. But then, reality catches up with imagination. Suddenly, the ice float with the fishing hut drifts off with Fred. He spends a lonely night until he is finally rescued; this event brings about a decisive turn in his childhood. This story for beginning readers relates how a child confronts the fear of death and how it finds the strength to struggle for survival. Identification with the young hero will help children to win confidence and to lose the anxiety of growing up. Growing up will always bring about situations of distress – even if they are not as extreme as the one experienced by Fred – which youngsters have to master on their own. (7+)

Special Mention - Canada (French) - 2001 - 177
Gravel, François (text)
Burcev, Anatoli (illus.)
L'été de la moustache
(Moustache-Summer)
Ville Saint-Laurent (Québec) : Les 400 Coups, 2000. 48 p.
(Les grands albums)
ISBN 2-921620-46-4
Hat - Moustache - Fashion - Friendship
All the male world indulges in the capricious caprioles of moustache fashion. Monsieur Antoine with his »moustaches à la mode« caters for all their needs. His barber shop thrives. However, the spirit of the times disdains the hat shop of his friend Monsieur Vincent. Hats are »out«. A miracle is brought about by one of those rare living moustaches which Antoine sells only to very special customers: Gently, it smoothes down on Vincent's upper lip, caresses him like a cat and makes him happy. From now on, customers come streaming in and business booms. At the end of the summer, all living moustaches fly down south – just like migratory birds. Business resumes to normal. Author and illustrator evoke the charm of ancestral coquetteries with refined skill. The watercolour drawings stage the fashion fancies in the style of the Belle Epoque and follow the lighthearted slogans and puns of the text. One might smile upon these men with their modish musings – but because they are true gentlemen they never lack dignity. (9+)
(Governor's General's Literary Award; 2000)

Canada (French) - 2001 - 178
Noël, Michel
Le cÉur sur la braise
(Heart on the ashes)
Montréal (Québec) : Hurtubise HMH, 2000. 164 p.
(Collection Atout ; 39 : Récit)
ISBN 2-89428-409-8
Canada - Indians - Reserve - Environmental destruction - Passive resistance
It is hardly known that the living space and freedom of the native Indians were restricted just as cruelly in the 1950s as during the time of the settlers. With this novel the author, coordinator of the Native Affairs Department, raises the issue. He denounces the scandalous conditions in the reserves while expressing deep reverence for the traditional ways of the Natives. Nature shares in the suffering of its people – a poetic device common to native story telling. Noël implies, however, that our modern times call for more inventive ways, initiatives and new forms of solidarity. (12+) ☆

Canada (French) - 2001 - 179
Pelletier, Francine
Les eaux de Jade
(The Waters of Jade)
Montréal, QC : Médiaspaul, 2000. 161 p.
(Jeunesse-pop ;134 : Science-fiction)
ISBN 2-89420-404-3
Deep sea diving - Adventure - Maturing
This psycholocially convincing young adult novel combines various elements of the nature novel, agent thriller, science fiction and adventure story. 12-year-old heroine Jade lives on an extraterrestial planet. Her name discloses her innate affinity to the mysterious world of the deep sea which she discovers to be her element during a diving expedition with her parents. The dangers of the voyage commissioned by a secret service help her to mature. She learns to master her fears and to calculate risks. She also establishes a new relationship with her over-protective parents, showing them that she is worthy of a trusting partnership. (15+)

Denmark (Danish) - 2001 - 180
Andersen, Knud Erik (text)
Bergström, Lucy (illus.)
På sporet af vikingerne : nye fund, ny viden
(On the trails of the Vikings : new discoveries, new insights)
Copenhagen Valby : Borgen, 2000. 109 p.
ISBN 87-21-01002-1
Vikings - Discovery
This book not only informs young readers in a comprehensible and interesting way, but it also follows the progress of the latest archeological discoveries. The focus is on excavations and discoveries made in Denmark giving new insights into the Danish Vikings' style of living. Nonetheless, these observations readily apply to other Viking societies. The many monochrome photographs and drawings are carefully selected for their informative qualities. Moreover, the book gives good insight into archeological research. (12+)

Denmark (Danish) - 2001 - 181
Blay, Charlotte (text)
Bech, Bente (illus.)
Prins Purk og troldene
(Prince Purk and the trolls)
København : Alinea, 2000. [32] p.
(Dragebøger)
ISBN 87-23-00787-7
Troll - Child - Abduction
This publishing house has produced quite a number of booklets featuring little stories in large print for beginning readers. The pictures play a very prominent role – and if at times they may lack in taste, they certainly don't miss their purpose of arousing attention. The renowned Danish illustrator Bente Bech has collaborated in this booklet. Her trolls are sure to delight all children: they are rebukingly ugly, making no concessions to picture book standards of beauty. (7+)

Denmark (Danish) - 2001 - 182
Hohle Hansen, Henrik (text)
Pardi, Charlotte (illus.)
Pigen der ikke ville på potten
(The girl who didn't want to go on the pot)
[København] : Forum, 2000. [32] p.
ISBN 87-553-2949-7
Constipation
Scandinavian authors of children's literature seem to have a sense for selecting rather less delicate topics: following titles on worms, poop, etc., here we go with constipation. According to the subject, the protagonist (unless one would like to consider the vividly anthropomorphised folk functioning as bulkhead as the true protagonists) is not a sweet baby-doll, but one of those childlike »monsters« populating an increasing number of Scandinavian children's books. The whole book is refreshingly funny, showing generous pencil drawings in a style reminiscent of Ralph Steadman. As for the colours – what else can you expect? – lively, but mainly brown. (4+)

Special Mention - Denmark (Danish) - 2001 - 183
Karrebæk, Dorte (text/illus.)
Mesterjaegeren : en bog om arv og miljø; dedikeret til jer der hele tiden overtager verden
(The master-hunter : a book about inheritance and the environment, dedicated to you, who continually take over the world)
København : Forum, 1999. [32] p.
ISBN 87-553-2762-1
Environment - Education
A hunter – a primordial character of great authority – takes away the son from his wife as soon as he is born and brings him up in the wilderness. They come upon a cat-mother whose milk-producing organs have a striking similarity with wellformed human female features, nurturing sweeter dreams in the little boy than the miserable teats of previous foster animal mothers. Happiness reigns for some time, but Tannhäuser-like, the hunter is drawn home from his feline Venus mountain. In place of his son, he takes a kitten along, which is brought up by his resigned wife. Unfortunately, puberty hits the kitten in the first school year, manifest to all with eight rapidly growing breasts, which have to be squeezed into a specially designed bra. The exchange is reversed, the further development subject to parental arbitrariness: while the cat-girl terrorises her mates with human mating-calls, the matured boy finds a wife, happily sinking into her generous bosom. The excellent quality of Danish picture books is largely due to Dorte Karrebæk's important contributions. In this book, she renders her characters once more with absurd and grotesque elements, thus opening up new and highly original dimensions of children‘s book illustration. (10+)

Special Mention - Denmark (Danish) - 2001 - 184
Rasmussen, Bent
En godt bryst hænger ikke på træerne
(A decent breast doesn't grow on trees)
København : Høst & Søn, 2000. 207 p.
ISBN 87-14-19778-2
Puberty - Character development
Niko got a camera for his birthday – the perfect medium to focus on an »outstanding« part of the female body which attracts all his attention – in fact, it seems to have a life of its own. The author, a well experienced writer of young adult fiction, may lead some equally obsessed readers to understand that the individual personality counts more than all physical facts in a relationship. Author and publishing house seem well aware of the young adults' reluctance to pick up a book – this slender volume and the accordingly reduced amount of text might help to overcome these reservations. (14+)

Special Mention - Denmark (Danish) - 2001 - 185
Rasmussen, Søren (text)
Tom-Petersen, Jesper (illus.)
Manden som gravede ned til kineserne
(The man who dug himself all the way to the Chinese)
København : Carlsen, 2000. [28] p.
ISBN 87-562-8708-9
Cultural exchange - Friendship
This unbelievable tall tale comes along in the guise of rather conventional illustrations: A curious and witty man begins to dig a hole through the earth in his backyard. Almost half way, he meets a Chinese (naturally standing on his head) with a drill, who had come up with the same idea. They decide to let their fellow countrymen jump through the hole to the other side for a small fee. This is their – truly profitable – contribution to international understanding. Because mainly the Chinese seize this opportunity (Danes seem to be less curious), the Chinese problem of overpopulation is relieved. (6+) ☆

Special Mention - Denmark (Danish) - 2001 - 186
Schnack, Asger (text)
Karrebæk, Dorte (illus.)
Bløde punkter
(Sensitive points)
København : Høst, 2000. [40] p.
ISBN 87-14-19794-4
Everyday life - Expression
This book is for those who read little but think a lot. 28 expressions frequently used by adults and the seven days of the week are explored for their philosophical content and explained from an unexpected point of view accessible to children. The choice is unusual for a children's book: alarm clock, funeral, divorce, insomnia, summer-nights in August, democracy, cleaning and more. The book design with its convenient format, halfglossy cover featuring a well placed, intriguing illustration, the discrete but original vignettes in the main text on grounds of soft hues and framed by a white border, certainly meets bibliophile standards. (10+)

Special Mention - Denmark (Danish) - 2001 - 187
Winding, Thomas (text)
Brøgger, Lilian (illus.)
Nattekjolen
(The nightdress)
[Frederiksberg] : ABC, 1999. [28] p.
ISBN 87-7916-012-3
Feverish dreams - Imagination - Chicken pocks
The little girl cannot put on her beloved blue dress, because she has fallen ill with fever. In her dreams, she flys across a fantastic world wearing her dress. Lilian Brøgger evokes this world with muted colours, avoiding any oppressing visions. The chicken pocks covering the girl's body the next morning seem starry remains of this fantastic dream. (5+)

Finland (Finnish) - 2001 - 188
Hjelt, Marjut (text)
Aalto, Jaana (illus.)
Taikametsä : tarinoita ja taikoja suomalaisesta metsästä
(The magic forest : tales and magic from the Finnish forest)
Helsinki : Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, 2000. 95 p.
(Totta ja tarua)
ISBN 951-746-143-7
Finland/Folktale - Folklore
This informative book introduces old and new stories, folktales as well as facts about the Finnish mythology of the forest. The book tells of the origin of the forest and trees, how the medical plants and flora can be helpful, and how to have luck in hunting. It also contains Christfrid Ganander's facts on the guardian spirits and the mythic gods from the 18th century. Even the old Tapiola kingdom is introduced with mythic figures which belong to the Scandinavian tradition. The book pays homage to the wisdom and knowledge of older generations without forgetting the newest tales. The watercolour illustrations capture the magical and fantastic spirit of the Finnish forests. (7+)

Finland (Finnish) - 2001 - 189
Itkonen, Jukka (text)
Keränen, Anssi (illus.)
Myydään mummo : tähdellinen kertomus
(Grandmother for sale)
Helsingissä : Otava, 2000. 80 p.
ISBN 951-1-16890-8
Christmas - Grandmother - Friendship - Tolerance
In this absurd story, a boy has bought himself a grandma at a public sale. On a frosty Christmas Eve, he hides Grandma, a wandering carpenter and a dog in his family's garage because nobody wants to give them a shelter for the night. Holy Night, the Grandma gives birth to a baby. The similarities with the Christmas story are obvious. The writer uses absurd and comic elements, making the story both humorous and sad. The illustrator's comical and emotional touch in cartoon-style skilfully captures the writer's visions. (9+)

Finland (Finnish) - 2001 - 190
Jaatinen, Eila (ed.)
Parikka, Salli (illus.)
Suomalaisten satujen helmiä
(The pearls of the Finnish fairy tales)
Helsinki : Kirjapaja, 2000. 303 p.
ISBN 951-625-667-8
Literary fairy tale
This magnificent collection of Finnish literary fairy tales assembles both classical and less known stories. The first fairy tale storyteller for children in Finland was Zacharias Topelius (1818-98), who wrote in Swedish and published his first book in 1847. His tales are didactic, often religious and patriotic. His influence can still be noticed even in today's fairy tales. This collection presents mostly writers from around the turn of the century, such as Anni Swan (1875-1958). She broke with the patriotic tradition by fashioning the modern and active girl who masters all difficulties. Symbolist themes and the motif of the protection of nature characterise her wondertales. The book includes further tales by classical writers who are more famous for adult fiction. The illustrations are colourful and pleasing. (7+)

Finland (Finnish) - 2001 - 191
Kivilaakso, Sirpa (ed.)
Korhonen, Leena (ed.)
Runohattaroita Ruskeasuon taivaalla
(Cloudlets of poems in the sky of Ruskeasuo)
Helsinki : Ruskeasuon Koulu, 2000. 106 p.
ISBN 952-91-2698-0
Search for identity - Tolerance
To celebrate its 110 anniversary, the Ruskeasuo school for handicapped children published an anthology with 95 poems and eight illustrations by the children. These poems tell of the real life of young people and their place in it. The subjects are varied: writing a poem, friendship and love, Batman and Pippi Longstocking, Tarzan and Jane, the sun and the wonders of nature. Some poems are skilful and imaginative: »It's raining cats and dogs / so nobody is fishing / how the fishes are laughing.« The book is especially valuable because it gives a voice to children. The illustrations are colourful and some figures, like the snow leopard, are very imaginative and almost abstract. (10+)

Finland (Finnish) - 2001 - 192
Kontio, Tomi
Keväällä isä sai siivet
(The father got wings in the spring)
Helsinki : Tammi, 2000. 261 p.
ISBN 951-31-1947-5
Father - Disappearance - Penal colony - Magic - Good - Evil
This fantasy novel by the young writer Tomi Kontio was praised as a Finnish counterpart to »Harry Potter«. In the beginning, an earthquake shatters the quiet family life, and the twin-boys Tomi and Timo lose their father. He escapes through their well to another world. Soon, their mother and sister also disappear. The two orphaned boys manage to escape but are taken to a penal colony. The writer explores the questions of freedom, desire and individuality. The plot unfolds against the struggle of Good and Evil. Kontio's metaphoric language is visual and fresh, holding the reader in suspense. (12+)
(Finlandia Junior Award; 2000)

Finland (Finnish) - 2001 - 193
Kunnas, Kirsi (text)
Louhi, Kristiina (illus.)
Tiitiäisen tuluskukkaro
(The purse of Tiitiäinen)
Helsinki : Söderström, 2000. 105 p.
ISBN 951-0-24980-7
Alphabet - Nature - Travelling
Kirsi Kunnas has started the children's nursery ryhme tradition in Finland. She is a popular poet ever since her first title »Tiitiäisen satupuu« (The fairy tale tree of Tiitiäinen), which started the series of children lyrics, published in 1956. Kunnas has received several prizes for her life's work. First and foremost, she is a virtuoso of children's lyrics, but she has also written for adults. In this title, the poems go hand in hand with the alphabet. In the fantastic world of the poems, life and nature are present as well as joy and sadness. Motifs ranging from the fable tradition, the circus, travelling to surfing on the internet make the book both traditional and fresh. The illustrator, inspired by the poems, has added her own humorous touch. (7+)

Special Mention - Finland (Finnish) - 2001 - 194
Levanto, Marjatta
Hugo Simbergs värld : 1873 Fredrikshamn - 1917 Etseri
(Hugo Simberg's world)
[Helsinki] : Statens Konstmuseum, 2000. 39 p.
(Valtion Taidemuseo <Helsinki>: Museopedagogisen yksikön julkaisuja ; 16)
ISBN 951-53-2196-4
Simberg, Hugo - Finland - Visual Arts
This volume was conceived as a companion to the big retrospective exhibition of Hugo Simberg's work (1873-1917) in spring 2000 at the Atheneum in Helsinki. It features some of his naive, grotesque miniatures. The selection will certainly raise the interest of children: »The Sleeping King of Dwarfs«, »The Old Woman and the She-Devil with Twins«, »Devil with Cauldron« and others, amongst them the most famous and mysterious painting: »The Wounded Angel«. Each painting comes along with short, explanatory annotations. Children are at leisure to contemplate the paintings in the book. They will be drawn in by their peculiar atmosphere so excitingly different from today's common everyday surroundings. This little book familiarises children with Simberg's œuvre in an especially welcoming way. Furthermore, it will give the opportunity to get acquainted with one of the most remarkable artists from the productive period of Finnish painting between 1850-1920. (8+)

Special Mention - Finland (Finnish) - 2001 - 195
Majaluoma, Markus (text/illus.)
Sairaan siisti kipsi
(The sick and tidy plaster cast)
Helsinki : Lasten Keskus, 2000. [32] p.
ISBN 951-627-313-0
Hospital - Fear - Adventure
This picture book is based on children's experiences in hospital. The aim of the story is to familiarise children with the strange and often frightening atmosphere of hospitals by letting them follow a cat's first visit to hospital. The poor cat had broken his foot in a bike accident. He has to cope with the fears and pains all by himself. Finally, he overcomes his fears by going on adventures in his dreams. Markus Majaluoma has told and illustrated this story about the powers of the imagination with skill and humour. The illustrations feature a light and harmonious palette of colours. His grotesque caricatures of cats and of the hopital staff are graphically fascinating – not only in comparison with Finnish children's book. (7+)

Special Mention - Finland (Finnish) - 2001 - 196
Surojegin, Pirkko-Liisa (ed./illus.)
Suomen lasten hölmöläissadut
(Finnish children's folktales of foolish people)
Helsingissä : Otava, 2000. 138 p.
ISBN 951-1-16302-7
Finland/Folktales Finland/Folklore - Foolish people
This collection of Finnish folktales offers a new perspective on the tradition of folklore. Pirkko- Liisa Surojegin's caricaturesque illustrations succeed in rendering the life of the peasantry. The poor are represented as a somewhat stupid, but happy, warm-hearted and hardworking lot. The humorous tales come from the tradition of oral storytelling. They stage the peasants' attempts to improve their working skills. Of course, they fail most of the time, but the peasants are endowed with an innate ability to make the best of things – even unfortunate events are turned into positive experiences. The illustrator has created characters of old Finnish peasants, animals and rural life with great skill. (12+)

Greenland (Danish/Inuit) - 2001 - 197
Kløvedal Helweg, Pernille (text/illus.)
Dahl Petrussen, Aminnguaq (transl.)
Sofie & Pullaq
(<Proper names>)
[Nuuk] : Atuakkiorfik, 2000. 27 p.
(Text Danish and Inuit)
ISBN 87-558-1571-5
Greenland - Sealing - Eating habits
Little Danish Sofie experiences how different the customs are in Greenland. Pullaq shoots a seal, which he and his brother Rasmus gut. Sophie disdains the raw liver while the other children are happily pushing it into their blood-stained mouths. Watching Rasmus screwing out one of the seal's eyes, slicing it and sucking its liquid, she has definitely had enough. When the children chase away the sweet puppies, so that they won't steal their meal, Sophie finally runs away. Pullaq finds her with a wounded knee, takes her home and explains to her that these dogs are not for cuddling but working animals. The story and the drastically realistic watercolours will make children understand that the concepts of »normality« differ greatly on our globe. (8+) ☆

Norway (Norwegian) - 2001 - 198
Nyhus, Svein
Verden har ingen hjørner
(The world has no corners)
[Oslo] : Gyldendal Tiden, 1999. [ca. 100] p.
ISBN 82-478-0520-0
Child - Philosophy - Ontological awareness
A child sitting in a cardboard box takes a look at its world and starts pondering: on its own existence, on growing up, on its surroundings, parents, grandparents, death, emotions. This book could be a picture-book version of Gaarder's »Sophie's world«. The illustrations are characterised by subdued colours, economy of the forms and backgrounds with bleeding surfaces. The pensive boy remains unpersonal, almost like a puppet – everything is reduced to its essence, to its core. Hence, even the illustrations are philosophically motivated. Nevertheless, one is curious to know what kind of thoughts they will inspire. (8+)

Special Mention - Norway (Norwegian) - 2001 - 199
Renberg, Tore (text)
Hiorthøy, Kim (illus.)
Hando Kjendo søndag
(Hando and Kjendo on Sunday)
[Oslo] : Gyldendal Tiden, 1999. [42] p.
ISBN 82-478-0406-9
Friendship - Walk
This book is an insult – because of its painterly style, its obstinate choice of colours, the raw forms, one usually attempts to avoid in museums, and its »plot«: a peaceful, eventless void of a sunday afternoon. An insult, however, only to adults. Children may have experienced this void, they recognise the atmosphere and turn the pages with great curiosity. After all – something does happen: a biblically burning bush (which means that it does not burn down) brings forth two flowers, a real event for the two befriended protagonists – abstract forms, one long, one short. But the really unusual event of this book are the pictures, inspired by the unspoiled, nearly raw art of the KOBRA-group. Rather than an insult, then, this book is an indirect contribution to the aesthetic education of children. (8+)

Special Mention - Norway (Norwegian) - 2001 - 200
Vatle, Sylvelin
Ville liljer
(Wild lilies)
[Oslo] : Cappelen, 2000. 215 p.
ISBN 82-02-18869-5
Bulemia - Love
What should not happen in reality, is what makes a novel really interesting. Young bulemic Rebekka falls in love with her psychiatrist – and her love is returned. Far from feeling any scruples, they run off to an island. It is common (literary) knowledge that the normal state of affairs may be temporarily suspended on islands. A lover, a product of Rebekka's childish fantasies, makes his appearance, and the scene verges on the mystical. In the end, there is a welcome return to sobriety which does not threaten their love, however. Scandinavian young adult fiction gives the readers what they ask for; but more importantly, it refrains from constraining educational ambitions, taking the audience more serious than many others. (16+)

Sweden (Swedish) - 2001 - 201
Åberg, Berit (text)
Jönsson, Maria (illus.)
Svårt och sånt
(Difficult stuff and the like)
Stockholm : Rabén & Sjögren, 2000. 123 p.
ISBN 91-29-64753-3
Ethics - Everyday life
Children think, are afraid, have fears. Modern-day children may think more and may be afraid more often than those of former times, because they have wide access to information of what happens or could happen to them. That is why books articulating those fears and exploring ethical issues can be of great value. This book addresses various problems relevant to a child's perspective in the form of a ten-year-old girl's fictional diary: unfriendly play-mates, older brothers and sisters, illness in the family, the mother's abortion, war (on TV). The tone skilfully alternates between seriousness and tom-boyish lightheartedness, sustaining the reader's interest while preventing the text from becoming too ponderous. (10+)

Special Mention - Sweden (Swedish) - 2001 - 202
Bodecker, N. M. (text)
Blegvad, Erik (illus.)
Hellsing, Lennart (transl.)
Skynda, skynda, Nilla lilla!
(Hurry, Little Nilla, hurry!)
Stockholm : Eriksson & Lindgren, 2000. [32] p.
ISBN 91-87805-77-4
Winter - Preparation - Wife - Couple - Roles
This unusually original picture book, a delightful blend of idyll and striking caricature, could be considered a multi-cultural product: written and illustrated by two Danish immigrants in the USA it has been ingeniously translated by Lennart Hellsing, the renowned poet for children's literature – his text reads like an original poem. The still current topic of women's emancipation is transported back to the 1900s: The ever serving wife dutifully pursues her housework while her husband, relaxing in a rocking chair, commands her about. The historical setting serves the authors' ironic purpose: firstly, manual labour is more apt to demonstrate a housewife's diligence than the handling of electrical kitchen appliances. Secondly, the traditional backdrop of the 19th century allows for a more convincing portrayal of a husband's patriarchal claims than modern day life with its rather subdued forms of male dominance. (8+)

Special Mention - Sweden (Swedish) - 2001 - 203
Erberth, Stig (text)
Alvner, Christina (illus.)
Barnens djurbok A - Ö
(The child's Animal ABC)
Stockhom : BonnierCarlsen, 2000. 120 p.
ISBN 91-638-3681-5
Animals - Alphabet
The expectations raised by the old-fashioned title, reminiscent of non-fiction books of the 19th century, are countered by a very modern concept. Modern, not in the sense of a scientifically meticulous and naturalistic representation of the animals, but rather in the choice of unusual postures. While the characteristic anatomy of the individual animal is never neglected, it is the mimicries and little jokes the animals perform which will intrigue children much more than sober, zoological depictions. One can see a lion cub romping about on its father's head, the behind of a sleeping elephant, a swan gliding in for a landing, a wallowing horse and many other enjoyable scenes. (6+)

Special Mention - Sweden (Swedish) - 2001 - 204
Stark, Ulf (text)
Nordström, Jockum (illus.)
Ensam med min bror
(Alone with my brother)
Stockholm : BonnierCarlsen, 2000. 44 p.
ISBN 91-638-1684-9
Siblings - Childhood memories
The well-known author has been transposing his childhood memories into literature for quite some time already. In this text, he relates how he and his older brother spent their holidays away from their parents with friends. Gifted with a fine intuition for a child's way of seeing the world, he allies the humour of simple situations with a deep sense of humanity and high literary craft. For example: The children send off a half-starved firefly on a bark raft, while innocently calling after it: »Have fun!« The artist, inspired by contemporary art movements, assembles rough, large pieces of different material to a collage, breaking the edges with drawn lines. Even though the illustrations are strong of character, they complement the text without ever imposing themselves. (8+)

Special Mention - Sweden (Swedish) - 2001 - 205
Widerberg, Siv
Walter-Lax, Lena
Wennerstrand, Carl
Vända livet
(Turn life around)
Stockholm : Rabén & Sjögren, 2000. 171 p.
ISBN 91-29-6582-0
Drug abuse - Radical right - Violence
The well-known author Siv Widerberg adopts the role of a mediator for two authentic young adults' voices who relate how they succeeded in giving up their previous lifestyle and to take steps in a more positive direction. Lena, who grew up in a proletarian environment with an alcoholic father, hoped to find recognition and self-affirmation in drugs; Carl sought support amongst gangs of young adults who attempted to fight life's crises with racist slogans. These authentic accounts are free of literary stylisation and of greatest impact if read as sober non-fiction texts. (12+)

Belorussia (Russian) - 2001 - 206
Molodova, L.P. (ed.)
Karpovič, E.A. (illus.)
Ekologičeskie skazki : dlja detej, roditelej i pedagogov
(Ecological fairy tales : for children, parents and educators)
Minsk : Asar, 1998. 159 p.
(Text in Russian)
ISBN 985-6070-44-9
Russia - Environmental protection - Ecology - Fairy tale
This volume compiled by the biologist Lidija Petrovna Molodova contains literary fairy tales and fairy tale narratives by Russian writers of the 19th and 20th centuries. They all demonstrate that nature is irreplaceable and unique to mankind, they all warn us about interfering with natural cycles. Among the authors are some big names such as Samuil Maršak (1897-1964), Dmitrij Mamin- Sibirjak (1852-1912), Nikolaj Sladkov (*1920), Vitalij Bianki (1894-1959), Boris Zachoder (*1918) and ǵ duard Uspenskij (*1937). The texts are illustrated in a traditional style. (7+)

Czech Republic (Czech) - 2001 - 207
Fischl, Viktor (text)
Poš, Petr (illus.)
Modrý kolotoč
(The blue merry-go-round)
Praha : Olympia, 2000. 119 p.
Caroussel-horse - Magic - Metamorphosis - Freedom
Viktor Fischl, a lawyer of Bohemian-Jewish origin living in Israel under his civilian name Avigdor Dagan, was a journalist, councellor of the Czech president in exile and an Israeli diplomat. Since 1933, Fischl is also a writer. This first edition of the fairy tale »The blue merry-go-round« – is not his first book for children. One night, the animals of the caroussel break away under the leadership of Prince, the blue-white horse with the golden mane, to explore the world and experience free- dom. But at times, they return to their caroussel at night and turn round and round in circles. This cheerful literary fairy tale is about the love of freedom, courage and solidarity. The droll illustrations spark off the same ironic complicity that twinkle between the lines of the text. (8+)

Czech Republic (Czech) - 2001 - 208
Kahoun, Jiří (text)
Kovařík, Jindřich (illus.)
Moucha roku
(The fly of the year)
Praha : Albatros, 2000. 99 p.
(Klub mladých čtenářů)
ISBN 80-00-00803-3
Child - Everyday life - School - Fly - Pet
Julča, Renda Makovec's best friend, is a truly strange creature. She never leaves him – she gets up in the morning with him, eats with him, accompanies him to school and together they play tricks. Father Makovec is not too enthused about his son's girl-friend, but when she saves his life, he tolerates her. Julča only becomes a serious problem once Renda's attention and affection are gradually attracted by the blonde Maruska. Jiří Kahoun, one of the most ressourceful and original Czech authors of children's literature, assures the reader that all the characters in this book – including the fly Julča – really exist and that all is true. (10+)

Czech Republic (Czech) - 2001 - 209
Kamil, J.B. (text)
Čermák, Marko (illus.)
Modrá pǵtka na stezce dobrodružství
(The »Blue Five« on the path for adventure)
Praha : Amulet, 2000. 48 p.
ISBN 80-86299-35-x
Scouts - River-tour
The »Blue Five«, that's cautious Martin, clever Vlád'a, scatterbrained but enterprising »professor« Čajiček and the twins Hanka and Eva. In this cartoon- style story, they refurnish an old boat and go on a river tour. They experience many adventures, the shipwreck being one of the more harmless ones. The style of the naturalistic illustrations is inspired by Czech cartoons of the 30s and 40s. (8+)

Czech Republic (Czech) - 2001 - 210
Kovaříková, Zuzana (ed.)
Ban-Jiránková, Viktoria (illus.)
O vodnících a mořských bytostech
(Of water spirits and other water-creatures)
Praha : Albatros, 2000. 91 p.
(Klub mladých ctenárů)
ISBN 80-00-00815-7
Sea - Water - Spirits of the water - Fairy tale
This anthology of fairy tales presents eight folktales about water spirits, mermaids and other water-creatures from Czech, Polish, German, Russian and Irish sources, adapted by renowned Czech writers; of course, Andersen's »Den lille havfrue« (The little mermaid) features amongst these tales. The illustrations shine in bright colours, bridging the gap between realism and mysticism. (6+)

Czech Republic (Czech) - 2001 - 211
Steklač, Vojtǵch (text)
Bornová, Erika (illus.)
Dáda & spol
(Dáda & Co.)
Praha : Amulet, 2000. 118 p.
ISBN 80-86299-24-4
Teenage girls - Clique - Ice hockey - Love
Dáda & Co. is not a company, but the clique of 13-year-old Dáda. When they have the opportunity to receive training at the ice stadium, the five enterprising girls found an ice-hockey club with the telling name »Ďablice« (The She-devils). But they have to overcome many obstacles before they can celebrate a victory. The popular author Vojtǵch Steklač has conceived yet another witty and promising series – this time for young girls. The second volume of Dáda & Co. has appeared under the title of »Holky z první pǵtky« (The girls from the first team), the third one will come out shortly under the title »Nejen milostné dopisy« (Not only love letters). (11+)

Lithuania (Lithuanian) - 2001 - 212
Skučaitǵ, Ramutǵ (text)
Račinskaitǵ, Jūratǵ (illus.)
Karatajūtǵ, Elena (illus.)
Karatajūtǵ, Magdalena (illus.)
Laiškas sekmadieniui
(Sunday letter)
Vilnius : Vaga, 1998. 95 p.
ISBN 5-415-01309-1
Child - Everyday life - Children's poetry
In these 55 epistolary poems the popular poet Ramutǵ Skučaitǵ addresses younger children. She muses about all sorts of things populating our everyday existence, nature and even magic worlds with imagination and refinement. Jūratǵ Račinskaitǵ integrated drawings by two young girls into her innovative and creative illustrations which capture the atmosphere of the poems. (5+)

Special Mention - Mongolia (Mongolian) - 2001 - 213
Dašdondog, Žambyn (text)
Ovdogmid, D. (illus.)
Solongo, M. (illus.)
Örgöö
(The yurt)
[Ulaanbaatar] : Hüühdijn Nomyn »Altan Ülg'er« Nöhörlel, 2000. [14] p.
ISBN 99929-5-118-4
Mongolia - Everyday life - Children's poetry
This picture book featuring rhythmic and visual poems by the highly popular Mongolian author of children's literature, Žambyn Dašdondog, comes in the shape of a yurt – a Mongolian tenthouse. The first pages show the set-up of a yurt and the life within. The concrete poems (poems, whose graphic form imitates the concrete form of their subject) are about objects of Mongolian everyday life: haystacks, sleigh hills and New Year's Eve. (5+)

Poland (Polish) - 2001 - 214
Leżeński, Cezary (text)
Karczewski, Lech T. (illus.)
Bartek, Zuzanna i Kopernik
(Bartek, Zuzanna and Copernicus)
Toruń : Graffiti BC, 1999. 192 p.
ISBN 83-900-7847-3
Poland - Time-slip <1473-1543> - Copernicus, Nicolaus
15-year-old Bartek has the supranatural ability to travel through time. Because his friend Zuzanna is interested in the astronomer and mathematician Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543), he decides to visit Copernicus and his times. The first station is Toruń, where Copernicus spent his childhood, the second Cracow, where he studied, then Lidzbarg Warmiński, where he worked as a priest and doctor; the final station is Frombork, where Bartek meets the great man awaiting death. On his travels (Zuzanna accompanies him on the last one), Bartek learns to understand the extent of Copernicus' contribution to the sciences as well as his human weaknesses. He witnesses the boy Copernicus breaking the neighbours' windows, the student accumulating debts, and the priest having an affair with Anna, his beautiful housekeeper. The design of this paperback book is simple but attractive. The cheerful illustrations convey a vivid impression of the historical setting. (12+)

Russia (Russian) - 2001 - 215
Senkevič, Jurij (text/photos)
Pute šestvie dlinoju v žizn'
(A journey across life)
Moskva : Vagrius, 1999. 379 p., [32] p.
(Moj 20 vek)
ISBN 5-7027-0806-7
Senkevič, Jurij - Travel - Expedition - Autobiography
In this entertaining but equally informative and instructive book Jurij Senkevič, world traveller, Thor Heyerdahl's companion on several expeditions and presentor of travel accounts on Russian television, gives a report of his journeys across the former Soviet Union and of his adventures over land and sea all around the world. Having completed his studies of medicine at the military academy, Senkevič took part in an arctic expedition as a member of the medical staff. This was the start to a life of continuous travelling. His very amusing accounts and anecdotes from his childhood and adolescence will also be of special interest to young readers. (13+)

Russia (Russian) - 2001 - 216
Uspenskij, ǵ duard (text)
Grigor'ev, Sergej (illus.)
Grigor'eva, Evgenija (illus.)
Djadja Fëdor idet v školu ili Nǵnsi iz Interneta v Prostokvašino
(Uncle Fedor goes to school, or: Nancy out of the internet into Curdlemilkee)
Sankt-Peterburg : Mir Rebënka, 1999. 93 p.
ISBN 5-7869-0045-2
Rural life - Everyday life - School - Internet
In this moody fantasy set in a Russian village, the popular Russian author of children's literature, ǵduard Uspenskij, gives children an impression of what the internet really is and what one can do with it. Uspenskij plays on the fact that children are much more competent in the use of computers and the internet than most adults. Of course, this leads to a reversal of roles: it is no longer the children who learn from the grown-ups. Instead, Uncle Fedor takes »lessons« with the children. The text is richly illustrated with fun-filled pictures. (9+)

Slovenia (Slovenian) - 2001 - 217
Bitenc, Janez (text)
Reščič, Lucijan (illus.)
Zmaj Lakotaj z Ljubljanskega grada
(The ever-hungry dragon from Ljubljana castle)
Ljubljana : Založba Mladika, 1998. 25 p.
(Zbirka planika)
ISBN 961-205-077-5
Ljubljana/History - Dragon - Shepherd-boy - Legend
This picture books recounts a legend about the history of the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana. A fearless shepherd boy succeeds in taming the dragon who lives in a cave near Ljubljana castle. As a result, the dragon children abandon the cave, shortly followed by their father. A remarkable feature of this legend is its peaceful and reconciliatory tone: no heroic feats are celebrated and the traditional, bloody extinction of the dragon is avoided. Instead, the legend advocates non-violent coexistence and underlines that even the dragon, as our fellow creature, has a right to life and respect. The coloured pen-and-wash illustrations unfold the setting in a skilful, historicising style. One picture will often show a whole sequence of events. An appendix includes the folksong about the ever-hungry dragon. (5+)

Slovenia (Slovenian) - 2001 - 218
Dremelj-Resnik, Anton (storyteller)
Matičetov, Milko (record)
Štefan, Anja (ed.)
Manček, Marjan (illus.)
O Pustu in zakletem gradu : slovenska ljudska pravljica
(Carnival and the enchanted castle : a Slovenian folktale)
Ljubljana : Slovenska Knjiga, 1999. [26] p.
(Slovenske ljudske)
ISBN 961-210-147-7
Slovenia - Roman legionist - Good deed - Castle - Magic - Devil - Exorcism - Fairy tale
This fairy tale picture book is about a Roman veteran with the name of Carnival who received magic objects from people he had helped in times of need. One evening, while on the look-out for a place to spend the night, he comes upon an enchanted castle which is deserted by all its inhabitants at nightfall for fear of the devils who wreak havok there all night. In spite of many warnings, the dauntless soldier stays in the castle overnight and chases the devils away. The next morning, he is richly rewarded. This fairy tale was told by Anton Dremelj-Resnik (*1910), one of the last Slovenian storytellers, written down by the literary scholar and collector of folklore, Milko Matičetov, and adapted to modern standard Slovenian by Anja Štefan. The caricaturesque illustrations are a contribution from the popular Slovenian artist and cartoonist Marjan Manček. (7+)

Special Mention - Slovenia (Slovenian) - 2001 - 219
Prap, Lila [i.e. Liljana Praprotnik-Zupančič] (text/illus.)
Male živali
(Little animals)
Ljubljana : Mladinska Knjiga, 1999. [32] p.
ISBN 86-11-15689-7
Insects - Spider-family - Nursery rhyme
This picture book for beginning readers presents little animals in witty verses. The ladybug and the firefly will be among the happy few to arouse affection. They are followed by less likable fellows like the daddy-long-legs, the moth, the maggot, the book-worm, the spider, the flea, the potatoe beetle, the tick, the drone, the woodworm and the louse. The amusing rhymes and the simple, anthropomorphised animal-illustrations will join in the effort to relieve children of their fear or digust at these fine little creatures. (3+)

Ukrania (Ukrainian) - 2001 - 220
Holozubiv, Volodymyr (illus.)
Rukavyčka : ukraïns'ka narodna kazka
(The glove : an Ukranian fairy tale)
Kyïv : A-ba-ba-ha-la-ma-ha, 1997. 31 p.
ISBN 966-7047-06-7
Winter - Animals - Glove - Shelter - Fairy tale
This picture book edition of the classical folktale, in which a mouse, a fox, a boar and a bear find shelter in a lost glove to protect themselves from the great cold, is particularly beautifully illustrated. Volodymyr Holozubiv has a talent for creating brilliantly bright, modern pictorial landscapes inspired by Ukranian folkart. (3+)

Belgium (Dutch) - 2001 - 221
Franck, Ed (text)
Schamp, Tom (illus.)
Mijn zus draagt een heuvel op haar rug
(My sister carries a hill on her back)
Averbode : Uitg. Altiora, 2000. [75] p.
ISBN 90-317-1550-6
Disabled person - Suicide
The first-person narrator, a boy between the age of 8 to 10, thinks a lot about his little sister: Why does she suddenly start crying? And why she is so often so desperately furious that she has to disappear for a while? His sister is humpbacked. Even though he doesn't consider the hump an infirmity, he fantasises about it. With boundless naiveté he protects his sister against angry words and against herself. One day, his sister has disappeared – to the only place where she can be happy. The intimate colour illustrations and a sophisticated composition complement the story. This is not an easy, but a very honest book; no attempt is made to simplify the young narrator's very mature thoughts. (10+)

Special Mention - Belgium (Dutch) - 2001 - 222
Sollie, André (text)
Cotteleer, Erika (illus.)
En alles is echt waar
(And everything is real)
Wielsbeke : Uitg. de Eenhoorn, 2000. [32] p.
ISBN 90-5838-022-x
Loneliness - Fear - Life - Children's poetry
What is life like when you are a child? You simply say »I am the gardener« and then you really are one. Sollie's poems in this poetry-picture book are of a moving simplicity. At once comprehensible to everyone and playfully incomprehensible, they pay tribute to the imagination of young children and their associative ways of thinking. The illustrations present little miniatures, in which no brushstroke is too much or too little. The colours are chosen very carefully. Text and illustrations collaborate in a poetic, imaginary play: A teddy bear turns into a man and a doll into his wife. The bed is a dune, the gate a door, the sky a roof. Imagination and reality mingle, but seen through the eyes of a child, everything is real. A very special picture book about loneliness, longing, work, fear, reconciliation, and love. (5+)

Special Mention - Belgium (Dutch) - 2001 - 223
Vandewijer, Ina
Witte pijn
(White pain)
Leuven : Davidsfonds/Infodok, 2000. [106] p.
(Davidsfonds/Infodok jeugdboek)
ISBN 90-6565-971-4
Inuit - Family - Grandfather
Together with his grandfather, Tim is travelling through the land of the Inuit, the Indians from the high North of Canada. Tim has grown up in Montreal, far away from the desolate snowfields. Tim admires his grandfather's talent for survival in the snowstorms and the cold. This novel is an impressive debut, in which the life, the culture, and the habits of the Inuit, like hunting seals, nose rubbing, building igloos, slurping fat and always telling stories, are very well represented. The relationship between Tim and his grandfather is described in a very subtle and carefully sensitive tone. A warm story about the solidarity with family and nature. (13+) ☆
(Knokke-Heist Prize [Youth Book]; 2000)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2001 - 224
Bos, Chris
Kleine leugens
(Little lies)
Amsterdam : Leopold, 2000. [116] p.
ISBN 90-258-3405-1
Friendship - Grandparents - Sexuality - Love
Solange, a trendy teenager who wants to explore her own sexual feelings, meets Ruben, a selfwilled boy who can very well take care of himself. He considers being in love as a sick phenomenon, totally disconnected from reality. Accordingly, he does not react to Solange's advances). Solange's story is interwoven with that of her grandmother. Sick with grief about the husband she never had, she commits suicide. The characters and their relationships are well elaborated. In the end, the two story lines come together, and Solange begins to understand many things about herself and about life. (10+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2001 - 225
Busser, Marianne (text)
Schröder, Ron (text)
Steen, Wilbert van der (illus.)
De griezeltjes
(The little ogres)
Houten : Van Holkema & Warendorf, 2000. 48 p.
ISBN 90-269-9340-4
Teasing - Ogres - Aunt
Mees and Moontje are allowed to stay with aunt Tivoli for a year, because their parents are abroad. But Madame Pin, the principal of the orphanage, demands the children to come directly with her. Madame Pin is the personification of evil and all their ingenuity is required to chase this terrible creature away. The readers will enjoy all the quirky tricks the three play on her. In the end, they triumph: Madame Pin is dismissed and aunt Tivoli is appointed principal of the orphanage. The colourful illustrations are simple, but particularly funny and cheerful. (5+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2001 - 226
Dematons, Charlotte (text/illus.)
Ga je mee?
(Are you coming with me?)
Rotterdam : Lemniscaat, 2000. [28] p.
ISBN 90-5637-288-2
Adventure
The boy-narrator of this picture book lives in a particularly child-friendly neighbourhood, in a house with an immense garden. The reader is taken in tow by the young narrator in an original, highly imaginative way as a travelling companion on an adventurous trip and gets a number of assignments. The reader has to indicate to the boy the way between the freakish rocks to the open sea, distract the robbers with some firm abuses, or turn the pages really quietly, so that the snoring giant, hiding in the bushes, will not wake up. The fully explored, double-spread illustrations catch the eye immediately. Details and unexpected surprises call for accurate observation. The story keeps reminding the reader how important his contribution to the story is. (5+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2001 - 227
Hagen, Hans (text)
Hagen, Monique (text)
Törnqvist, Marit (illus.)
Jij bent de liefste
(You are the sweetest)
Amsterdam : Querido, 2000. [52] p.
ISBN 90-214-6478-0
Pre-schooler - Everyday life - Children's poetry
This anthology features poems on subjects preschoolers are very fond of sweet-hearts, dreams, the longing for a dog, or staying over at a friend's. The rhymes are characterised by boundless imagination akin to the pre-schoolers' way of thinking. The expression excells in simplicity, while the rhythm never declines to a boring drone. The exuberant and festive illustrations create loving characters and tell mostly their own story, incorporating the subject of the poems in a creative way. (4+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2001 - 228
Kolk, Anton van der (text)
Straaten, Harmen van (illus.)
De dag dat er niets bijzonders gebeurde
(The day that nothing special happened)
Tilburg : Zwijsen, 1999. 37 p.
(Spetter : 7+)
ISBN 90-276-4300-8
Friendship
In the reflection of a window Bas sees that the light is different today. This must be a sign giving promise of exciting events on a day on which nothing special was going to happen! And truly, Bas goes on an adventure with a friend. It's a voyage of discoveries that leads to new insights and a solid friendship. A simple, well set up story that explores the different meanings and understandings of the word »special«. The linguistic level has been adapted to beginning readership. The principal characters really come to life and will be very recognisable to the young reader. The illustrations complement the story, giving it an extra dimension. (7+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2001 - 229
Schaap, Peter
Beeldhouwer voor de farao
(Sculptor for the pharaoh)
Amsterdam : Uitg. Piramide, 2000. 239 p.
ISBN 90-245-3608-1
Egypt/History - Pharaoh - Sculpture
By coincidence, the young water carrier Joeti meets sculptors who work for pharaoh Echnaton and his wife Nefertiti. It is a turbulent time, and fairly quickly Joeti gets involved in a complot against the ruling authority. Espionage, changes of power, but also the love for a beautiful girl add to the confusion of the protagonist. This novel incorporates a wealth of information about the life of the Egyptians; sometimes, the excess of information disturbs the flow of the story. Overall, however, this is an exciting story unfolding against a rich historical backdrop. (11+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2001 - 230
Verschoor, Diet
Emma's noorderlicht
(Emma's northern lights)
Haarlem : Uitg. Holland, 2000. 191 p.
(Life)
ISBN 90-251-0840-7
Holidays - Grandmother - Love
Fifteen-year old Emma is at a turning point in her life: Her mother suffers from depression and goes to a Frisian island and Emma is left with her father, a minister, with whom she cannot really talk. Against her will, she accompanies her grandmother to the family home on Texel. This is where she learns about her mother's big secret from the letters of her great-grandmother and where she lives her first passionate love. Emma's confused feelings are described with understanding and psychological insight. Convincing parallels are drawn between her experiences and those of her mother. Fragments of poetry complement this romantic story very well. (14+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2001 - 231
Westera, Bette (text)
Straaten, Harmen van (illus.)
Een opa om nooit te vergeten
(A grandfather to never forget)
Amsterdam : Hillen ; Leuven : Davidsfonds/Infodok, 2000. [28] p.
ISBN 90-76766-05-3. - 90-6565-942-0
Grandfather - Death - Funeral - Grief
While he waits for his grandfather's funeral, Joost thinks about all the nice things they did together. To be honest, he does not want to go, and, to soothe him, his mother plays peekaboo with grandfather's red handkerchief. Her question »Do you remember?« brings vivid memories back to life: how Joost and grandfather played cowboy or pirate together, how grandfather taught Joost to ride his bike and how every stay with him was like a party. At the churchyard he notices how slowly the grown-ups walk and his mind is full of questions. The realistic illustrations are provocative and original and fit the story about taking leave and the power of memories perfectly. They are characterised by a plain, impressive use of colours and very strong composition. (4+)

Greece (Greek) - 2001 - 232
Ampatielu, Anna (text)
Stamatiu-Kōtsakē, Nina (illus.)
Peiraias, taxidiōtes sto chrono
(Pireus, a travel in time)
[Athēna] : Entos, 2000. 95 p.
ISBN 960-8472-65-2
Pireus - 19th and 20th centuries - Everyday life
This book traces the development of Pireus from a medieval village to a prospering portuary city, after Athens had been declared the new capital of the young, independent state in 1832. Drawing on various primary sources, such as accounts by foreign travellers of the 19th century, statistics and newspaper clippings, the author succeeds in giving a differentiated, socially critical overview and a lively impression of the locals' everyday life. This is a real book for browsing in which the reader will always discover some new aspects in the texts and in the accurate but expressive illustrations which capture the atmosphere of this city marvelously. (9+)

Greece (Greek) - 2001 - 233
Chatzē, Giolanta
Domēnikos Theotokopulos, ho Hellēnas
(Domēnikos Theotokopulos, the Greek)
Athēna : Ammos, 1999. [44] p.
ISBN 960-202-208-6
Domēnikos Theotokopulos <El Greco>
The publishing house presents yet another well edited art-book for children. It shows the development of art in the context of contemporary society and ways of thinking, focusing on one of the most enticing periods of European art history. The biography of El Greco (1541-1614), who worked with great masters on Creta, in Venice and Rome before settling in Toledo in Spain, unfolds against this intense cultural backdrop which brings forth works of art. The book succeeds in evoking this time of change with great vividness and careful differentiation. A table of illustrations and a description of some of El Greco's works complete this book and prepare the way for those who want to know more about his work. (10+)

Greece (Greek) - 2001 - 234
Gynaikeia Logotechnikē Syntrophia (ed.)
Tsitsikas, Thanasēs (illus.)
Stēn palia mu geitonia
(In my old neighbourhood)
Athēna : Kastaniōtēs, 2000. 221 p.
(Neanikē bibliothēkē ; 215 : Zōē kai koinōnia)
ISBN 960-03-2618-5
Greece/20th century - Child - Everyday life
Some of the best known contemporary women writers for children's literature in Greece (all members of the GLS, the first union of women writers active in the realm of literature for children and young adults) present various short stories exploring the topic »Our old neighbourhood«. Because the authors are from different generations and come from many regions of the country, the anthology gives a vivid impression of life in 20th century Greece. The childhood memories are free of retrospect embellishment or nostalgia. The subjects are as colourful as life itself, including seri- ous ones such as the fate of refugee children, poverty, or the time under German occupation during World War II, which are all documented without pretence or accusation. (10+) ☆

Greece (Greek) - 2001 - 235
Karkabitsas, Andreas (text)
Pulos, Kōstas (adapt.)
Andrikopulos, Nikolas (illus.)
Hē gorgona
(The mermaid)
Athēna : Papadopulos, 1999. [28] p.
ISBN 960-261-918-x
Sea - Mermaid - Alexander the Great
This is one of the first picture books of a promising new series proposing adaptations of classical, modern Greek literature for children accompanied by new illustrations. A. Karkabitsas (1865-1922) tells the well-known myth of the mermaid who is desperately looking for her brother, Alexander the Great. She enquires seamen for his whereabouts. Upon the news of Alexander's presumed death, the mermaid is so upset that she sinks the boat with mariners and all. Knowing this, a mariner assures her that her brother is still alive. N. Andrikopulos, one of the foremost contemporary Greek illustrators, once again pays tribute to his talent: His vivid and colourful pictures capture the dramatic highlights of the scenes and sustain the suspense, revealing yet another facet of his artistic mastery. (5+)

Greece (Greek) - 2001 - 236
Kliapha, Marula (text)
Malisiobas, Giōrgos (illus.)
Tromaktika paramythia gia atromēta paidia
(Gruesome tales from dauntless children)
Athēna : Kedros, 1999. 148 p.
ISBN 960-04-1564-1
Thessalia - Gruesome tale
The well-known author Maroula Kliapha presents yet another anthology of gruesome tales which she has collected from storytellers in her native region Thessalia during the 70s. This background of oral tradition endows the tales with a special narrative quality. Reading them, one can easily picture the storytellers who knew their craft and fascinated their listeners. These tales are characterised by lively characters and a strong sense of humour. An appendix names the storytellers with their approximated date of birth. (6+)

Greece (Greek) - 2001 - 237
Kynēgu-Phlampura, Maria (text)
Anasiadēs, Makēs (illus.)
2028
Athēna : Labyrinthos, 1999. 51 p.
ISBN 960-7663-29-2
Future <2028> - Short-stories
In four rather conventional short stories, the popular writer for children's literature envisions a future scenario set in 2028: Young adult protagonists master all the trials confronting them on their expeditions into the depths of the earth, to the bottom of the sea, high up into the air and even out into space. The fine images created by the young graphic artist M. Anasiades are of great impact; they impressively stand out amongst the common illustrations of contemporary children's books. They prove that graphic artists from the commercial sector in Greece have long been successfully active in book illustration. This is a promising work, letting us await further productions by this illustrator with great anticipation. (8+)

Greece (Greek) - 2001 - 238
Perpatōntas stēn Athēna : enas hodēgos tēs polēs gia paidia
(A stroll through Athens : a city guide for children)
Athēna : Kaleidoskopio, 1999. 109 p.
ISBN 960-7846-11-7
Athens - Everyday life - City guide
By children and for children, this first city guide of Athens is a truly successful outcome of a school project by school children from middle school. The main focus is on the historical city centre and the surroundings of the children's school, encompassing ancient and contemporary history of everyday life. Since the hints come from children, they will certainly appeal to other children. This is more than a simple city guide. It is a book with plenty of stimulating suggestions to accompany you throughout the city's seasons. The handy format and the attractive design pay tribute to the publisher's awareness of children's needs and interests. (7+)

Greece (Greek) - 2001 - 239
Psarautē, Litsa
Hē ekdikēsē tōn manitariōn
(The mushrooms' revenge)
Athēna : Ankyra, 1999. 86 p.
(Synchronē logotechnia gia neus ; 13 : Hellēnes syngrapheis)
ISBN 960-234-616-7
Short stories
The renowned writer of young adult fiction, Litsa Psaraute, nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2000, once again displays her mastery of the narrative craft in this collection of short stories. She adopts a sober, sparse yet gripping tone to relate these original true-to-life stories, making this book a real page-turner. (11+)

Special Mention - Greece (Greek) - 2001 - 240
Remundos, Giannēs (text)
Kapatsulia, Natalia (illus.)
Pōs ta perases sto Bolo, Kōstak‘?
(How did it go in Volos, Kōstak‘?)
Athēna : Psychogios, 2000. 188 p.
(Xinomēlo ; 2)
ISBN 960-274-494-4
Boy - Summer - School holidays - Rural life
Giann‘s Remundos (born 1950) tells the humorous and entertaining story of a boy's adventures during the summer holidays which he spends with relatives in the country. He develops the characters with all their little shortcomings and weaknesses; the fine illustrations by Natalia Kapatsulia have their share in giving an ironic touch. This witty text offers unrelenting reading-pleasure to children and adults alike – the smile will not leave the reader's lips. (9+)
(Gynaikeia Logotechnike Syntrophia Award; 1999)

Hungary (Hungarian) - 2001 - 241
Anga, Mária (text)
Rényi, Krisztina (illus.)
Ki vasalja ki a katicabogárkák szárnyait?
(Who irons ladybug's wings?)
Budapest : Magyar Könyvklub, 2000. 53 p.
ISBN 963-547-168-8
Animals - Plants - Fairy tale
In this literary fairy tale, Mária Anga thematises problems, dreams and fears of concern to kindergarten children. Her fictional world, plants and animals take on a fairy tale-like character, and, just like in fairy tales, there is a way out of every difficult situation, safely bringing the story to a happy end. Colourful frames and vignettes enhance the text with appealing illustrations. (3+)

Hungary (Hungarian) - 2001 - 242
Mihály, Antal (text)
Buzay, István (illus.)
Egbert egér utazása : [sose add fel, ne légy csacska, egérből is lehet macska]
(Mouse Egbert's trip)
Budapest : Ciceró Könyvkiadó, 2000. 68 p.
ISBN 963-539-284-2
Tom-cat - Mouse - Friendship - Loss of weight - Adventure
In this funny and delightful story, Egbert, the little, cheeky mouse, and Csucsu, the fat tom-cat, go out into the world and experience many amusing adventures. Together they catch robbers, unmask tricksters, always ready to help where they may. Csucsu, who has to lose weight, turns into a sportsman while Egbert is nominated honorary member of the cats' choir, because he helped the musicians to win the first prize at a choral competition. In the end the (by now) slim and trim tomcat and the faithful mouse can return back home. (6+)

Hungary (Hungarian) - 2001 - 243
Sivók, Irén (text)
Rényi, Krisztina (illus.)
Barátfülek
(Ears of a friend)
Budapest : Móra, 2000. 61 p.
ISBN 963-11-7551-0
Friendship - Loyalty
This book tells of love, friendship and loyalty. These timeless values are exemplified by the lifelong friendship between two boys. Their friendship is paralleled by that between a toy-kobold and a toy-marten. The two complementary plots demonstrate the strength and depth of these feelings. The traditional, realistic black-and-white illustrations loosen up the text, making it very readable. (7+)

Iran (Persian) - 2001 - 244
Hasanbaigī, Ibrāhīm (text)
Mahalātī, Parwīz (illus.)
’Gunca bar qālī
(Knotting a blossom into the pond)
Tihrān : Kānūn-i Parwaris-i Fikrī-i Kūdakān wa Naugawānān, 2000 (= 1379 h.š.). [32] p.
ISBN 964-432-715-2
Village - Rural life - Knitting carpets - Father - Daughter
This story is set in the Turkmanian grasslands and vividly describes the reality of rural life in this remote region of Iran. The delicate beauty of a rose her father brought her arouses Safura's admiration. To please her father, the young girl wants to immortalise the rose: she decides to knot him a carpet with the image of the rose. A race against time begins between the waning rose and the determined girl, inspired by her vision. The text is complemented by many mixed-media illustrations, using line drawings and watercolours. (8+)

Iran (Persian) - 2001 - 245
Kaimarām, Manūcihr (text)
Qizilbāš, Šīrīn (illus.)
Gurba-i sif īd-i pašmālū
(The white, wooly cat)
Tihrān : Šabāwīz, 2000 (= 1379 h.š.). 30 p.
ISBN 964-5555-13-2
Cat - Bird - Friendship - Rejection
A young cat yearns for friendship with the birds in the garden. She wants to fly like them – and with the help of an angel she really does! But still, the birds will not accept her as their friend. Told in a suitable form for children, this fable-like story exemplifies two contrary forces: the desire to break down boundaries and the restrictions resulting from these boundaries. (6+)

Iran (Persian) - 2001 - 246
Mīr Kīyānī, Muhammad (text)
Saliwātīyān, Muhammad Husain (illus.)
Kūzih-i ‘asal
(The pot of honey)
Tihrān : Mu‘assas-i Farhangī wa Intišārāt-i Mihrāb-i, 1999 (= 1378 h.š.). 71 p.
(Rūzī būd, rūzī nabūd ; 1)
ISBN 964-323-900-0
Iran - Folktale
In this anthology, like in in two following volumes of the series, the author has assembled a number of stories that can give an impression of the diversity of his country's orally transmitted folk literature. This anthology is about the everyday life of the simple folk, their dreams and disappointments, their joys and griefs. The didactic stories, taken from collections of well-known Iranian narrators, have been adapted for children. (8+)

Iran (Persian) - 2001 - 247
Muhammadī, Muhammad Hādī
Gāwhā-i ārizū
(The dreamed cows)
Tihrān : Intišārāt-i Hāna-i Adabīyāt, 1999 (= 1376 h.š.). 224 p.
Village - Emigration to the cities - City life - Child labour - Poverty - Dream - Imagination
Struck by poverty, 10-year-old Duna's family leaves the village. They are off to the metropolis of Teheran to find a better future. Reality is harsh in the immigrants' quarters, surrounding the city like a hungry belt, continually expanding further into the outskirts. To survive, Duna and the rest of his family have to work in a brick-factory. Duna's imagination and dreams, that supported his spirits during all hardships, are slowly sapped by the brutality of their merciless everday life. This compelling novel witnesses the gradual destruction of a childhood. It is gloomy and heavy; however, the language is poetic, especially in the boy's dream sequences. (13+)

Iran (Persian) - 2001 - 248
Rāziqpanāh, Wīyūlit
Istgāh-i Mīr : (bar mīgardīm wa gul-i sitārah mīčīnīm)
(Space station Mir)
Tihrān : Našr-i Āyīna-i Ātār, 1999 (= 1376 h.š.). 104 p.
ISBN 964-5555-13_2
Space-travel - Mir <space station> - Peace - International understanding
Together with other young adults from different nations, Abtin, a young man from Iran is invited to Moscow to receive training as a visiting cosmonaut. They all travel to the space station Mir. Looking down upon the earth, they understand the uniqueness of their planet, but also the threat posed by environmental pollution. They also realise that they can no longer make out any national boundaries – the world is one and undivided from up here. This experience arouses the desire for peace and international understanding in these young people. The author combines the message of her story with a well-researched portrayal of life on board of the space station Mir. (10+) ☆
(Unesco Prize for Children's Literature in the Service of Tolerance; 2001)

Turkey (Turkish) - 2001 - 249
Bassa, Zeynep (text/illus.)
Emir Yaman
(<Proper name>)
Ankara : Kültür Bakanlıǧ, 1999. 46 p.
(Türkiye / Kültür Bakanliği : Kültür Bakanlığı Yayınları ; 2204 - Türkiye / Kültür Bakanlığı: [Kültür Bakanlığı Yayınları / Çocuk kitapları dizisi] ; 214)
ISBN 975-17-2125-3
Witch - Stepmother - Fairy tale
Emir Yaman, a clever and good-hearted boy, meets a sad girl, who is harassed by her evil stepmother, a real witch. With the support of his friends, animals and plants, Emir succeeds in rescuing the poor girl. The popular Turkish fairy tale is recounted in this book. Quoting a characteristic elements of Islamic art, the text and colour-illustrations are framed by original, colourful ornaments, depicting selected details of the tale. (6+)

Turkey (Turkish) - 2001 - 250
Kaya, İsmail (text/illus.)
Küçük karga‘nın bir günü
(A day in the life of the little raven)
Kızılay/Ankara : Kök Yayıncılık, 1997. [32] p.
ISBN 975-499-112-x
Raven - Flying - Patience
A young raven squirms about in his nest. He is terribly impatient to fly like the big ravens, and, if possible, with his eyes closed. But he is still afraid. So he consults a clever book and asks the other birds of the neighbourhood for advice. All in vain. He simply isn't ready yet. This picture book chooses the form of the fable to tell of the patience and the time required for every development. The black of the birds, the bright green and yellow of the trees, and the blue of the sky dominate the illustrations. The strong brush-strokes and the dynamics of the pictures perfectly capture the young raven's energy and impetuous impatience. (4+)