White Ravens: Czech
Czech Republic (Czech) - 1994 - 27
Kožík, František (text)
Marešová, Milada (illus.)
Pohádky vánočního zvonku
(Tale of the Christmas Bell)
Praha: Nakl. Winston Smith, 1991. 160 p.
Modern Fairy Tale/Czech - Christmas
These twelve fairy tales, which fall back upon the folktale motifs, all deal directly or indirectly with Christmas. Their narrative style, their themes and above all their understanding of Christmas document once again the close affinity of Bohemia to the middle European cultural and social sphere. The book from the Prague science fiction and adventure story publishing house Winston Smith (named after the hero of Orwell's "1984", is attractively illustrated with pen-and-ink drawings, some in color. (6+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 1995 - 20
Hádjek, Štépán (text)
Vagnerová, Jitka (illus.)
Jak Vosolbrčko cestoval
(Travels of a water sprite)
Praha: Kalich, 1992. 30 p.
This tale with a quite unspectacular fable deals with the journey of a water sprite (the protagonist of many Czech fairy tales) to his brother's birthday party. After having problems on a train, he gives a try at hitchhiking and is picked up by a car in which three other watermen are riding, all going to the very same birthday party. Ordinary experiences are reported in an original and witty style of speech and with dry humor. Though this is an book for the native speaker, the idiomatic vernacular might present some problems for others. The volume is richly illustrated with eccentric, expressive pictures. (5+) ☼
Czech Republic (Czech) - 1995 - 21
Kopta, Josef (text)
Kačírek, Miloš (illus.)
Chytrý Honza z Čech
(The clever Honza from Bohemia)
Ostrava: Blesk, 1992. 102 p.
The Honza, a dim-witted fool, is a very popular figure in Czech folklore. As with all fools, he is not really dumb, he merely has a very naive manner of dealing with problems and for all his dauntlessness gets the better of many "cleverer" people. This very attractively designed volume with colored pen-and-ink drawings contains two stories about Honza. The first tells how he had to set out in the world and withstand all sorts of temptations in order to win his beloved Kačenka. The second story is an original tale by the author. (6+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 1995 - 22
Richter, Vratislav Asad (text)
Krasný, P. Jan (illus.)
Sedm kupců: Přiběhy z orientu
(The seven merchants: adventure stories from the Orient)
Praha: Chvojkovo nakladatelství, 1994. 78 p.
Fairy tales/Near East
Vratislav Asad Richter, a Czech captain and admirer of the Orient who lives in Canada, has gathered together a particularly fine collection of tales from the Maghreb and the Near East, which he has compiled as stories within a story. Seven merchants traveling with their caravans through the Sahara Desert meet one night at the Oase Ouargla in a local caravansary and exchange tales about love and suffering, psychic experiences and battles. (10+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 1995 - 23
Šiktanc, Karel (text)
Skála, František (illus.)
(The tales of kings)
Praha: Albatro, 1994. 181 p.
Modem fairy tales/Czech - Justice
Though the tales of Karel Šiktanc are not derived directly from the traditional folklore, they employ the same atmosphere and consciously use its style of plot. And another element these literary fairy tales have in common with the folk tales is the eternal human longing for a just world, where there is no place for lies, meanness and jealousy. From 1961 until 1971, when he was forced out, Šiktanc was editor-in- chief of the publishing house for young adult literature, "Mladá fronta". Scheduled for publication in 1970, these fairy tales of kings were repressed for political reasons. From 1971 until the political transformation of 1989 in Czechoslovakia no book by Karel Šiktanc was permitted to be published. The avant-garde illustrations intensively reflect the mood of the tales. (10+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 1996 - 214
Daněk, Adolf (text)
Bornová, Erika (illus.)
Baje Českého Pošumaví
(Tales from the Bohemian Forest)
Praha: Kentaur/Polygrafia, 1994. 225 p.
This tales from the Bohemian Forest appeared first 1948. The Czech folklorist Adolf Daněk took the collection and added a story around them, describing the occasion and cirumstances of an oral tradition. Hence in the age of written literature this is an important contribution to the understanding and re-discovery of storytelling. Alongside of the eternal motif of watermen, sprites and water nymphs, these tales deal with every other possible kind of supernatural appearances. The avant-garde, naive illustration style of Erika Bornová, the daughter of the celebrated Czech artist Adolf Born, appear to be images from the psyche of the characters whose experiences are related in these stories. (10+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 1996 - 215
Zelený, Mnislav (text)
Smrčinová, Eva (illus.)
Fibiger, Milan (illus.)
Urban, Petr (illus.)
(Encyclopedia of Indians)
Praha: Albatros, 1994. 255 p.
This information book from the formerly state-own children's book publisher Albatros is an excellent source about North American Indians for both general reading and reference.The articles by the ethnologist Mnislav Zelený give scientifically sound information not only on the history, customs, life-style, art and crafts of the Indians of South, Middle and North America, but also of the Aleuts and the Inuit (Eskimos). The illustrations are not merely informative, but also meet high artistic standards. (12+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 1996 - 216
Klučina, Petr (text)
Petráček, Jiří (illus.)
České země v době husitské
(The Bohemian Countries in the Days of the Hussites)
Praha: Albatros, 1994. 64 p.
(Dějiny v obrazech)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 1996 - 217
Lněničková, Jitka (text)
Maget, Jan (illus.)
České země v době baroka
(The Bohemian Countries during the Barock Era)
Praha: Albatros, 1994. 63 p.
(Dějiny v obrazech)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 1996 - 218
Mandelová, Helena (text)
Anlauf, Lubomír (illus.)
Na úsvítu Českých dějín
(At the Dawn of Czech History)
Praha: Albatros, 1995. 63 p.
(Dějiny v obrazech)
These three volumes belong to the series »History in Pictures«, in which the history of Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia and Slovakia from the prehistoric ages (the immigration of the Slavs) to the present are described. In precise pictures, tables and a narrative text the reader is given a lively introduction to historical events as well as the economy, life circumstances and social life in each historical period. (10+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 1997 - 217
Praha: Albatros, 1995. 205 p.
Czechoslovakia/World War II - National Socialism - Everyday life - Friendship
This novel is set in a Czech town in the year 1940. Returning from school holidays, Janka misses his school friend, Dina. As a Jew, Dina is no longer allowed to attend the public high school. Without sentimentality or didacticism, the author depicts everyday life in the protectorate Bohemia and Moravia of Nazi Germany. In a lively narrative using many dialogues, she shows the consequences of the racial discrimination laws from the perspective of a fourteen-year-old girl. The author portrays people who were able to retain their honor, humor and imagination in difficult times. (14+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 1997 - 218
Černík, Michal (reteller)
Duda, Stanislav (illus.)
Pohádky o kohoutkovi a slepičce
(The tale of the rooster and the hen)
Praha: Sedistra, 1996. 82 p.
Rooster - Hen - Animal tale
This classic animal tale of the rooster and the hen (building a house, selling eggs, composing a song, etc.) is retold here in a very humorous manner by a Czech author who was already popular in the socialist era. The text is superbly extended by the colorful, impudent illustrations of Stanislav Duda. (6+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 1997 - 219
Krůta, Jan (text)
Striegl, Aleš (illus.)
Praha: Sedistra, 1996. 53 p.
High-rise building - Everyday life/Child - Dwarf
Little Pet'a moves with his mother from their own house into an apartment in a high-rise building. The tall complex with its many apartments appears unfriendly and cheerless. While exploring the basement area one day he meets the dwarf Čurumbum and with this friend from the world of fantasy he soon finds life in this big house much more fun. This story will appeal especially to chil-dren who live in anonymous pre-fabricated housing areas. Even though it may cannot solve the problems of children (and adults) in such houses, it offers them some form of identi-fication. (6+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 1997 - 220
Šaloun, Emil (text)
Skopal, Rostislav (illus.)
Kak Kašpárek učil čerty zpívat
(How Punch taught the devils to sing)
Boskovice: albert, 1995. 94 p.
Punch - Devil - Singing
This classic-style, suspenseful Punch story is published by a small publisher located close to Brno. It forms a bridge between contemporary reality and imagination which takes the reader back to the days of rural life in the 19th century. In fairy-tale like episodes the author draws upon the problems and behavioral patterns that we know today in our current society. In an old mill, Punch battles against the devils and of course wins in the end. (6+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 1997 - 221
Sís, Petr (text/illus.)
Hvězdný posel. Kniha o životě slavného vědce, matematika, astronoma, filozofa a fyzika Galilea Galileiho
(U.S. ed.: Starry messenger. a book depicting the life of a famous scientist, mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, physicist Galileo Galilei)
Praha: Albatros, 1996.  p.
This latest work by the Czech-American artist Petr Sís about the life and discoveries of Galileo is striking for the vast number of images which the author-illustrator has developed here: the oriental silhouette of an Italian city, reproductions of old maps of Italy and Europe, presentations of the Ptolemiac and Copernican systems with their Zodiac signs, a painting of children playing modelled after Breughel, representations of Galileo's experiments, etc. On all these pictures, which derive from historical sources, Petr Sís sets his own unmistakeable stamp. In every picture one can continually discover new details, sometimes quite evident, sometimes somewhat hidden contextual clues or statements. alongside the illustrations, particular mention should be given to the successful book design, with its ornamentation, pictures within pictures, and the hand-written portions of text. (8+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 1997 - 222
Stránský, Jiří (text)
Forman, Matěj (illus.)
Povídačky pro Kláru
(Cozy chats for Clara)
Praha: Sedistra, 1996. 100 p.
Everyday life/Child - Family - Animals
Clara's father is a captain and away for very long stretches of time. But when he comes home, he has lots of time to spend with Mama, Clara and Martin. His merry little stories for Clara, mostly about animals, will entertain both children and adults in their simplicity of style and composition as well as the direct tone of speech. The imaginative illustrations by the puppet player, Matěj Forman, son of the film director Miloš Forman, underline the charm of the story. (6+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 1998 - 213
Branald, Adolf (text)
Lhoták, Kamil (illus.)
Praha: Albatros, 1996. 31 p.
Automobile - Motocycle - Motoring/History 1897-1915
Adolf Branald relates in an absorbing and vivid manner the history of the Czech automobile and motocycle manufacturer Laurent & Klement and life stories of Václav Laurent and Václav Klement in the period between the turn of the century and the outbreak of World War One. At the same time he depicts the beginnings of motor sport in other places, especially in Austria and France, within the context of historical and social factors. The book includes illustrations by the famous Czech sketch artist Kamil Lhoták, which reflect the spirit of the early 20th century. (10+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 1998 - 214
Psůtková, Zdeňka (text)
Vychodlilová, Olga (illus.)
Praha: Albatros, 1997. 191 p.
(Klub mladých čtenářů)
Czechoslovakia/World War II - Everyday life/Youth
This sequel to the novel »Holidays with Bára« (Prázdniny s Bárou), which was published in 1985, is set in the years of German occupation of Czechoslovakia (1938-1945). The protatagonist Bára, whose experiences reflect those of the author, is ten years old as the story begins. From Bára's perspective, the author gives an believable portrayal of the absurdity of circumstances during the so-called »Protectorate« era and a sensitive glimpse into the daily joys and pains of an adolescent girl in this well-written novel. (12+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 1999 - 219
Šťatstný, Karel (text)
Bejček, Vladimír (text)
Hudec, Karel (text)
Hloušek, Petr [et al.] (illus.)
Svǵt zvířat IV. Ptáci 1
(The world of animals IV. Birds 1)
Praha: Albatros, 1998. 143 p.
This is one volume in an excellent new project »The world of animals« by the publishing house Albatros. Each entry (arranged by classes, orders, genuses and species) is short, concise and easy to understand while give detailed information about physical constitution and the way of life of animals. The illustrations (by Petr Hloušek, Jan Hošek, Jan Maget, Pavel Procházka and Viera Postníková) are scientifically precise, while at the same time aesthetically appealing. The wellstructured interaction of text and illustration will appeal to readers of any age and is most suitable for translation in other countries. (8+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 2000 - 209
Doskočilová, Hana (text)
Filcík, Gabriel (illus.)
Když velcí byli kluci
(When the great were boys)
Praha: Amulet, 1999. 93 p.
Childhood/Biography - Famous persons
Much has been written about the life and achievements of famous persons. Children, of course, find it especially interesting to learn how these individuals spent their childhoods, and that is to be found in this work. Hana Doskočilová tells amusing tales from the childhood of famous men - from Christopher Columbus to Louis Armstrong. Richly illustrated with brightly, naïve-style pictures, the book contains entries on such wellknown figures as Edison, Cervantes, Bach, Darwin, the Czech educator Comenius, Chagall, Mozart, Pushkin, H.C. Andersen, Rembrandt, Einstein, Michelangelo, Schweitzer, the Bohemianborn French pantomime Jean-Baptiste-Gaspard Debureau, Jules Verne, Charlie Chaplin, Henry Ford, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Picasso. (9+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 2000 - 210
Foglar, Jaroslav (text)
Čermák, Bohumír [et al.] (illus.)
Svorní gambusíni a jiné příběhy
(The concordant Gambusians)
Praha: Olympia, 1999. 320 p.
Boy scout troop
This compendium gathers together comic strip versions of tales of boy scout adventures written by the Czech author and Boy Scout Jaroslav Foglar between 1943 and 1999. About one-third were adapted and illustrated by Foglar himself and tell about the adventures that one Boy Scout troop experienced in Bohemia and abroad. Of particular interest are episodes by Foglar, as well as those done in the 1940s by Bohumír Čermák, Radomír Pleiner, Jan Fischer, Saša Dobrila and Václav Junek. (10+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 2000 - 211
Kostkovaný ideály aneb breviář pro teenagery
Praha: Amulet, 1999. 82 p.
Poetry/Czech - Growing up
This anthology of Czech poetry - with an attractive graphic design reminiscent of the avant-garde of the 1960s - contains poems for young adults written by the children's writers Milena Lukešová (*1922), Jan Kašpar (*1950), Zdeněk Svěrák (*1936), Jiří Žáček (*1945), Jan Vodňanský (*1941), Jiří Dědeček (*1953), Jiří Suchý (*1931), und Václav Hrabě (1940-1965). The poems are written especially for adolescents and deal with their despair over the state of the adult world, over love and other problems that teenagers have with their lives and the world around them. (12+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 2000 - 212
Stiborová, Věra (text)
Kabát, Václav (illus.)
My nic, my muzikanti
(We are musicians, we know nothing)
Praha: Albatros, 1999. 212 p.
Prague - Friendship - Prank - Music
This tales about three music-obsessed boys from the Moldavian harborside of Prague's city quarter Holešovice depict quite vividly everyday boyhood experiences, even though nothing special seems to happen. The trio get themselves into situations in which they must decide how to make the best of things. Both boys of today and their elders will be able to identify with their innocent pranks. The book is illustrated with witty, at times atmospheric black-and-white pencil drawings. (9+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 2001 - 207
Fischl, Viktor (text)
Poš, Petr (illus.)
(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.)
(The fly of the year)
Praha : Albatros, 2000. 99 p.
(Klub mladých čtenářů)
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.
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)
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.
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+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 2002 - 206
Doskočilová, Hana (text)
Filcík, Gabriel (illus.)
O Mamě Romě a romském Pámbíčkovi : dvanáct romských přikázání, jak je svým dětem vypravují romské maminky
(About the Roma mother and the Roma God : twelve stories as Romany mothers tell them to their children)
Praha : Amulet, 2001. 70 p.
Folktales/Romany – Biblical stories
In her retellings of Romany folktales, Hana Doskoèilová vividly describes the lifestyle and way of thinking of the Roma people, their idea of God and the world. Many stories refer back to the Bible and illustrate the particularly human image of God created by this people. It is easy to see that the tales were collected from a culture in which the tradition of oral story-telling is still alive. Various motifs from tales of different nations as well as from classic mythology are borrowed, some elements are added, some removed, and thus, with a kind of ingenious disrespectfulness, something new is created. (6+) ☆
Czech Republic (Czech) - 2002 - 207
Hevier, Daniel (text)
Brukner, Josef (transl.)
(The land of GURD)
(Slovakian orig. title: Krajina AGORD)
Praha : Amulet, 2001. 56 p.
Drugs – Other World – Drug abuse
With this literary fairy tale, Daniel Hevier has created a book that introduces younger children to the problematic topic of drug abuse. Lucia wants to escape her boring life and longs for adventures. When the talking tree invites her to a journey through the land of Gurd (i.e. »drug« spelled backwards), she accepts and strolls through time and space without actually moving from her place. The land with its talking plants and singing stones enchants her, the scent of the magic flower makes her fly, and she leaves all her worries behind. Soon enough, however, she discovers the other side of the coin: She meets a desperate boy who has become the flower's slave, hunting for its scent in vain. In the end, Lucia leaves the land of Gurd, and thus defeats the Evil. The surrealistic collages aptly illustrate this book. (8+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 2002 - 208
Šiktanc, Karel (text)
Skála, František (illus.)
O dobré a o zlé moci
(Of the good and the bad powers)
Praha : Albatros, 2000. 183 p.
(Klub mladých čtenářů)
Myths – Fairytales
In this book, Karel Šiktanc resorts to Slavic mythology. In a clear and rich language he narrates seven fairytales, leading us into a fantastic world full of adventures. Within these stories, the heroes have to fight against evil men, evil powers, and an unfavourable fate for their love, justice, and honour. Mysterious powers, such as the Master of the Forest, the Master of the Fire, and the Queen of the Storm, intervene in the course of events. The romantic watercolour paintings by František Skála seem like windows opening into the fantasy worlds of these fairytales. (6+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 2003 - 199
Kincl, Jaromír (text)
Kudrnová, Milada (illus.)
Heřmánek a Mařinka : o bylinkové apatyce v pohádkovém světě
(Hermann and Marina : the plant pharmacy in the land of fairytales)
Praha : Albatros, 2000. 48 p.
Medicinal herbs – Fairytale
Crossing nine balks and nine brooks, you will reach the plant pharmacy in the land of fairytales. Every day, another fairytale hero comes to Hermann and Marina to ask for their help. The giant’s wounds are treated with ribwort, the princess is given peppermint tea to bring back her appetite, the water sprite receives an ointment of sweet clover against his rheumatism, will-o’-the-wisp Julia’s swollen feet are bathed in a mustardseed decoction, and the witch’s contusions are treated with a compress of comfrey. These fairytales show smaller children that many illnesses can also be cured with natural remedies. The traditional pictures clearly illustrate what the medicinal plants look like. (5+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 2003 - 200
Stoličný, Peter (text)
Raudenský, Martin (illus.)
Hloupý Honza v síti
(The silly billy in the net)
Praha : Amulet, 2002. 126 p.
Since the separation of Czechoslovakia, the Slovakian writer and director Peter Stoli?ný lives and works in Brno (Czech Republic) where he occupies himself with media culture in the art process. According to his opinion, it is necessary to bring modern information technology and the tradtional world of fairytales together to support reading promotion from a different side. Starting from there, it only took a small step to create this book where characters from traditional fairytales encounter computers and other electronic devices in a humorous way. In this story, the silly billy, who usually saves princesses, kills dragons, and outwits evil powers, manages to use a computer. It was Peter Stoli?ný’s particular intention, to address even those children who have had little contact with electronics so far. (8+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 2004 - 200
Anka Béčko a nepodstatné detaily
(Anka Bé?ko and some other insignificant details)
Praha : Olympia, 2002. 145 p.
Girl – Holidays – Village – Boy – Hiding place – Puberty – Adolescence
Anka spends the rainy holidays with her mother in a cottage in a small village. Her best friend is ill and the teenage girl is convinced that she is the most unlucky person in the world and that the sun only shines somewhere else and for other people. But suddenly, there is this boy in the deserted house. Without having any idea about who he is and what he is afraid of, she helps him to hide and brings him food and medicine. This gripping teenage novel explores how young people deal with fear and grief and search for their inner self. With a great deal of sensitivity, the author makes her readers empathise with Anka. She enables them to identify with the young heroine and to find their own identity. (12+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 2004 - 201
Pohanková, Jana (text)
Neborová, Anna (illus.)
Červený panáček : 366 pohádek na dobrou noc
(The little red man: 366 bedtime stories)
Praha : Brio, 2002. 206 p.
This year, the Czech publisher Brio offers two new collections to its readers, each with 366 imaginative and sensitive tales. In one of these books, ?erveny paná?ek, a little red man accompanies the child through the year with a variety of rhymed texts. The volume contains realistic as well as fictional stories from children’s everyday lives, tales about practical jokes, about children’s joys and fears, and about different animals and plants. The large-format collection is cheerfully illustrated with coloured drawings that stand out because of their originality, simplicity, and immense expressiveness. (5+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 2004 - 202
Radovan, Pavel (text)
Gavlasová, Zuzana (illus.)
Pohádky z říše Kiwi
(Fairy tales from the realm of the Kiwi)
Brno : Dopln?k, 2002. 66 p.
Maori – Folk tale
In the Czech republic, folk tales still make up a large part of the children’s book production. In his second book, Pavel Radovan presents a successful retelling of folk tales from the Maori people of New Zealand. The exciting tales, which talk about how human beings encounter demons, fairies, or personified natural forces, often give mythical explanations of names for natural phenomena, focus on the fight between good and evil, and on love and courage. The coloured pencil drawings and vignettes are inspired by traditional Maori art. (6+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 2004 - 203
Skala, Martina (text/illus.)
Strado & Varius aneb setkání s Mozartem
(Strado & Varius or Meeting Mozart)
Praha : Brio, 2002. 56 p.
Prague – Music – Concert – Violin – Violinist – Adventure
The first book about Strado & Varius, which won the Librarians’ Award from the Czech Book Club of Children’s Libraries, was published in 2002. In the second volume, violinist Strado and his violin Varius travel to Prague on a concert tour, where they are plunged into various adventures: They meet Papageno, in the form of an ancient owl, and, eventually, even encounter Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart himself. The versatile Czech artist Martina Skala (who creates stage designs, film sets, and illustrations) leads the readers through Prague with partly romantic, partly cartoon-like illustrations. (8+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 2005 - 201
Drijverová, Martina (text)
Sopko, Eugen (illus.)
Pohádky z hor
(Fairy tales from the mountains)
Praha : Brio, 2003. 148 p.
Mountain – Fairy tale
This anthology is lovingly illustrated with large, romantic landscapes and portraits drawn in a slightly naïve style by the renowned artist Eugen Sopko. It comprises a collection of fairy tales about mountains and their myths. The reader is introduced to motifs characteristic of a particular region or country, but also to universal ones that can be found all around the world in similar form. Gathered in this volume are fairy tales from Sweden, Germany, the Czech Republic, Moravia, Slovakia, Serbia, the Ukraine, Romania, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Karachay region, Mongolia, the Arabic countries, Sudan, and Mexico. (4+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 2005 - 202
Wagnerová, Magdalena (text)
Skala, Martina (illus.)
Jablečňák : 366 příběhů na dobrou noc
(The apple gnome : 366 bedtime stories)
Praha : Brio, 2003. 204 p.
Apple – Fairy tale character – Child – Everyday life – Prank – Short story
One night, 5-year-old Matěj throws an apple core under his bed. The next morning, he is utterly surprised when this core comes alive. The nosy, restless new friend, who doesn’t miss a chance for a practical joke, causes Matěj a lot of trouble, yet they also have loads of fun and adventures together: They climb mountains, travel to the sea, and spend their summer with Grandma and Granddad in the countryside. The apple gnome is never short of ideas – even if some things go horribly wrong. The funny tales of this large-format read-aloud-book are accompanied by original, cartoon-like colour drawings. (4+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 2007 - 199
Ježková, Alena (retell.)
Fučíková, Renáta (illus.)
Staré pověsti české a moravské
(Old legends from Bohemia and Moravia)
Praha : Albatros, 2005. 140 p.
(Klub mladých čtenářů)
Bohemia – Moravia – Legend
This anthology gathers mainly legends about the settlement of the Bohemian countries by Bohemians and Moravians. The tales feature important leaders ranging from Čech, the original ancestor of the Czechs, and Libuše, who is said to have founded Prague, to the Moravian Duke Svatopluk, who played an important role in the Christianisation of the Slavic peoples. Comments and meta-texts put the legends into their historical context and thus provide readers with interesting facts about the origin of the Slavs, their mythology and religion, and about historical sites connected to the Slavic world of myths and legends. The water-colour-and-ink drawings rendered in earthy tones offer an additional glimpse into the material culture from the dawn of the Slavic peoples. (10+) ☆
Czech Republic (Czech) - 2007 - 200
Marková, Jiřina (text)
Novotná, Anna (text)
Votruba, Jiří (illus.)
Opera nás baví : [první kniha o opeře pro děti i rodiče]
(Opera is fun : [the first book about opera for children and parents])
Praha : Práh, 2005. 155 p. + CD
This attractive opera guide for children stands out for its innovative layout and design. On clearly structured pages with ornaments decorating the margin, readers will find pictures of each composer and of certain scenes that visualise the plot of his opera. Thanks to the book’s varied and interesting structure, readers will naturally be tempted to look up one opera after the other. For every example included, the text provides information about the respective composer, the libretto and its source, the main characters and their part, as well as the plot. In addition, it features anecdotes from the opera world, explanations of technical terms, and many other things. (7+)
Czech Republic (Czech) - 2007 - 201
Žáček, Jiří (text)
Brychtová, Lída (illus.)
Kočkování : knížka pro malé i velké přátele koček
(Catbantering <pun> : a book for little and big friends of cats)
Praha : Knižní Klub, 2005. 65 p.
Cat – Poetry
This amusing picture book – a cooperation between London-based painter and illustrator Lída Brychtová and Jiří Žáček, the popular Czech poet and author of modern classics for children – contains poems about real and imaginary, realistic and anthropomorphic cats. The imaginative texts deal with dreams, picking fruit, flying kites, and a grand ball for cats; they feature the moon, a dancer, a piano player as well as Russian, French, Venetian cats, and many more. The illustrations depicting the respective environments in strong colours and clear outlines reveal a strong influence of Brychtová’s adopted country. (4+)