White Ravens: Galician
Spain (Galician) - 1994 - 164
Villar Janeiro, Helena (text)
López Domínguez, Xan (illus.)
A canción do rei
(The Song of the King)
[Vigo]: Galaxia, 1991. 89 p.
(Arbore (Serie Verde))
Poetry - School - Friendship - Sea - Good King Dagobert (Song)
Cosme himself doesn't know why he so often makes claims that are not at all true. For instance, to claim at school that he knows a real king. And in the music lesson to suggest that a song must be composed for this king. He would supply the details on the following day. That afternoon by the sea, while he struggles to find a way out of his lies, a miracle suddenly occurs. Over the waves comes first the chords of a fanfare, then an army with King Dagobert at its head. He only realizes that it is King Dagobert when his mother sings him the popular French children's song about good King Dagobert that very evening. The author accompanies her protagonists consistently and sympathetically letting the reader share, along with Cosme's school friends, in the ordinary and extraordinary. (9+)
Spain (Galician) - 1997 - 168
Docampo, Xabier P. (text)
Jaraba, Fran (illus.)
Cando petan na porta pola noite
(Knocks on the door at night)
Vigo: Ed. Xerais de Galicia, 1994. 91 p.
(Spanish ed.: Madrid: Anaya, 1996)
Fear - Horror
This collection of four spooky stories do not work their effect with bloodthirstiness or extreme phantasy, but rather by creating an atmosphere of uneasiness. In each one the main protagonists gets tangled up in a situation which he doesn't understand and cannot escape: a man who encounters his doppelganger or another man who is given notice of his departure from this life in the form of an obituary notice. Xabier Docampo weaves the traditional literary elements of his native Galicia into his idiosyncratic stories. He was awarded the Spanish natonal literary prize for ths work. (9+)
Spain (Galician) - 1998 - 158
Casalderrey, Fina (text)
Rivera Ferner, Marta (illus.)
¡Prohibido casar, papá!
(Marriage forbidden, Papa!)
Vigo: Galaxia, 1996. 157 p.
(Arbore/Serie azul; 88)
Motherless child - Father/Daughter - Parent/ Romance - Jealousy
Fourteen-year old half-orphan Elia has a good and intensive relationship with her father. So she is most unhappy that he has found a new girlfriend, Berta. Lying in hospital for an appendectomy, she has much time to think about her life up to now, the new situation, and her total antipathy for Berta. Alternating between Elia's first-person perspective and the occasional, more neutral third-person observations, Fina Casalderrey develops a realistic, convincing picture of the emotional world of her young protagonist. (12+)
Spain (Galician) - 2000 - 156
González, M. Lourenzo (text)
Animais de compañía
Pontevedra: Kalandraka, 1998.  p.
Listening - Misunderstanding - Imagination - Animal - Transformation
Using the idea of the children's game of »Telephone, « this picture book plays with the inexhaustible possibilities of wordplay by twisting syllables and words. In a village there is a rumor going around about some supposedly freaky animals that Señora Maria has brought back from a hike in the mountains. Everyone who hears about them imagines something different and pictures in his mind the most amazing creatures, though in reality the beasts are simple, harmless commonor- garden animals. The idea of cutting up and putting syllables back together again is matched in the typography of the lively color pictures: the illustrator uses the collage technique to visually interpret this rhymed text. (4+)
Spain (Galician) - 2000 - 157
Sánchez, Gloria (text)
López Domínguez, Xan (text/illus.)
O Grande Tronante
(The Great Thunderer)
Vigo: Ed. Xerais, 1998.  p.
Cloud - Wind - Ruler <political> - Treasure of Gold - Search - Pirate
Legendary stories are told about the Great Thunderer, a feared buccaneer who lives on a cloud in the sky hoarding a treasure of gold. Captain Ro and Tomcat Bo try to trick him out of the treasure but land instead in the scoundrel's stomach. There they would be stuck forever after if the Great Thunderer did not suddenly feel terrible stomach pains and unbearable flatulence.... This humorous tale is illustrated with unusual and very lively pictures. The figures, with their grotesque features and gestures, are portrayed against nearly monochromic, empty backgrounds; spindly, extenuated arms and legs stick out of baggy, puffed-out clothes. (4+)
Spain (Galician) - 2001 - 162
Fernández Paz, Agustín
Vigo : Xerais, 2000. 183 p.
(Fóra de xogo ; 42)
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+)
Spain (Galician) - 2002 - 156
Aleixandre, Marilar (text)
Enríquez, Lázaro (illus.)
Paxaros de papel
Vigo : Xerais, 2001.  p.
Birds – Dream – Imagination – Diversity – Difference
A fantastic world awaits Rodrigo when, one night (in a dream?), he flies to Caibarién. The island, a happy counter-world, is populated by an infinite variety of birds glistening in all colours imaginable. The birds, however, are not happy in their paradise. They, too, want to go out into the world to see and experience something new and different, such as grey things, black things, or cities. The boy takes the birds on a journey through his reality, which in turn seems fascinating to them. The special charm of this book about the appeal of the exotic and the desire for diversity lies in the partly surreal and symbolic pictures. They glow with suggestive colours and invite readers to dream and to invent their own stories. (6+)
Spain (Galician) - 2002 - 157
Moreno, María Victoria
Guedellas de seda e liño
(Curls of silk)
Vigo : Galaxia, 1999. 172 p.
(Costa oeste ; 26)
Family – Family conflict – Class society
This novel in the style of a family saga unfolds in fictive, yet typical and well observed settings along the Galician coast. The narrative is centred on an old and respected aristocratic family; for generations, they have played a priviledged role in the region while living practically cut off from the rest of society. Despite all the pomp and ceremony, they cannot longer maintain the pretence; the family witnesses its own irredeemable decline. With beautiful, plain words, the author draws the portrait of a hermetic society still under the spell of days gone by and cruelly confronted with the realities of a changing world. (15+)
Spain (Galician) - 2002 - 158
Sánchez, Gloria (text)
Fra, Irene (illus.)
Chinto e Tom
(Chinto and Tom <proper names>)
Madrid : SM, 2001. 78 p.
(O barco de vapor : Serie azul ; 15)
Friendship – Imagination – Creativity
Chinto and Tom – brothers, friends, or possibly even a couple – have inherited a bed and a piece of land in an idyllic area. With great enthusiasm, they start building a cosy home, in which they plan to live together in peace and harmony. Once the new home is built, they realise the bed doesn't fit through the door. Because the bed is indispensable – but, unfortunately, cannot be taken apart – inventiveness is called for ... The story, told with a great deal of sympathy for the protagonists, is full of imaginative, absurd, and surreal ideas, lending the book vitality and lightheartedness. The simple, humorous, and, at the same time, poetic language adds another wonderful touch. (8+) ☼
(Premio Lazarillo ; 2000)
Spain (Galician) - 2003 - 155
Alonso, Fran (text)
Vicente, Manuel G. (photogr.)
A casa da duna
(The house in the dunes)
Vigo : Ed. Xerais de Galicia, 2002. 48 p.
Sea – Protection of the environment – Friendship – Dream
Little Alba lives in a small house by the vast sea. Every day, she goes outside to meet the ever changing nature which always has new surprises in store for her and her friend, the tom-cat Bicos. The author, well known for his poetry, has transposed the experiences of the child into a lyrical text, which perfectly harmonises with the expressive, dreamy photographs. A world full of fantastical references is reflected in the depicted things of the real world. The book, published shortly before the accident of the oil-tanker near the Galician coast, is also a call for the protection of the fragile nature, so that the sea will not suddenly, one day, be »the colour of bats«. (6+)
Spain (Galician) - 2003 - 156
Fernández, Ana María (text)
Cobas, Xosé (illus.)
Amar e outros verbos
(To love and other verbs)
A Coruña : Ed. Everest, 2002. 59 p.
(Punto de Encontro)
Love – Justice – Memory
This anthology presents 24 poems in free verse. Taking their lead from different verbs, they explore fundamental themes of human existance: to love, grow up, grow old, die, travel etc. From the first page onwards, the texts are characterised by a restrained, reflective tone. The author often uses the pronoun »we« to suggest the universality of all human experiences; with the direct address (»you«), she seeks a dialogue and exchange with the reader. The book is an ode to life as well as a reflection of themes like sadness, injustice, or social responsibility. The accompanying illustrations resonate with the tender tone of the poems. (12+)
(Premio Lazarillo; 2001)
Spain (Galician) - 2003 - 157
Sánchez, Miriam (text)
Fernández, Federico (illus.)
¿Onde perdeu Lúa a risa?
(Where has Lúa lost her laughter?)
Pontevedra : Kalandraka, 2001.  p.
Animals – Laughter – Quest
One day, Lúa’s laughter disappears. Her brother Daniel sets out to search for it and asks various animals along the way for advice. In vain, until he finally finds the key to the lost laughter in form of a feather belonging to a wise owl, who sees the world from above and knows the secrets of the night. The sparse, rhythmic text, perfectly suited for reading-out-loud, is beautifully illustrated. The expressive full-spread pictures interpret the story with great imagination and fascinate with their radiant, nuanced colour spectrum. Equally remarkable is the use of pasty colours, which add a variety of different textures to the pictures. (5+)
(Premio Nacional de Ilustración; 2002)
Spain (Galician) - 2004 - 150
Fernández Paz, Agustín (text)
Alonso, Juan Ramón (illus.)
O meu nome é Skywalker
(My name is Skywalker)
Madrid : Ed. SM, 2003. 89 p.
(O barco de vapor ; 27)
Poverty – Beggar – Indifference – Exclusion – Friendship
One day, Raquel looks out the window and sees a poorly dressed man with a tin and a cardboard sign sitting in front of the department store opposite her house. People simply walk by, and except for a few children no one seems to notice him. This leads the girl to conclude that the man must be invisible and decides to find out his secret. In his characteristic calm and simple voice, the well-known Galician author tells a gripping novel of people who live on the margins of our often indifferent and consumerist society. (9+)
(Premio O Barco de Vapor; 2003)
Spain (Galician) - 2004 - 151
Mejuto, Eva (adapt.)
Manero, Elia (illus.)
O zapateiro e os trasnos
(The shoemaker and the elves)
Pontevedra : Kalandraka, 2003.  p.
(Os contos do trasno)
Elf – Shoemaker – Helpfulness – Magic – Curiosity – Betrayal
One morning, a shoemaker and his wife make a surprising discovery: The shoes the craftsman hadn’t finished the day before are now standing all prim and proper in the workshop. From this day on, this curious event keeps repeating itself without fail – until the two people are overcome by curiosity and surprise their little helpers. They are elves, and because they don’t like publicity, they quickly disappear, never to return. Eva Mejuto recounts this popular folk tale with a great sense of humour. Elia Manero’s illustrations, imaginative collages made from various material, offer a fresh and original interpretation of the classic tale. (5+)
Spain (Galician) - 2004 - 152
Nunca máis! : a ollada da infancia
(Never again! : the wave of children)
Pontevedra : Kalandraka, 2003.  p.
Galicia/2002 – Sea – Coast – Shipwreck – Oil catastrophe – Environmental protection
This outstanding book was created after the terrible oil spill caused by the shipwreck of the tanker Prestige off the coast of Galicia in November 2002. Using texts, paintings, and drawings, local children express their emotions and thoughts, fear, sadness, and indignation concerning this »black flood« and the adults’ irresponsibility. This volume is an »appeal for more civil action and a stronger sense of community voiced by those who are usually condemned to be silent bystanders: the children.« The book is remarkable both for the urgency of the young people’s message and for the quality and creativity of their texts and pictures. (5+)
Spain (Galician) - 2005 - 146
Docampo, Xabier P. (text)
Cobas, Xosé (illus.)
A Coruña : Everest Galicia, 2004.  p.
First love – Friendship
The 12-year-old protagonist of this book has a peculiar habit: He catches butterflies and carefully puts them in his mouth to feel the fluttering and tickling of their wings in his blown-up cheeks before he finally releases them again. One day, when he tells a girl with whom he is secretly in love about his ›hobby‹, she is eager to share this experience with him. When they ›hand over‹ the butterfly, this turns into their first kiss. Xabier Docampo recounts this weightless story in a condensed, highly poetical language. The text is accompanied by equally lyrical pictures in warm colours and delicate shapes. (10+)
Spain (Galician) - 2005 - 147
Marcos, Xesús Manuel
O Brindo de ouro : a chamada do Brindo
(The golden Brindo)
Vigo : Xerais, 2004. 233 p.
(O Brindo de ouro ; 1; Fóra de xogo ; 80)
Adventure – Secret – Imagination
The peaceful life of young Selmo, a member of the Arxinas tribe, ends abruptly when his village is attacked and burned down by the Broncedos people. Accompanied by the albino wolf Combán, which protects him from any danger, Selmo flees. Along the way, he meets two warriors, Toimil and Oulego, who help him solve the mystery of the »Brindo de Ouro« – a magic horn that provides them with the courage and strength they need to become invincible. This gripping adventure novel combines epic and fantastic elements and leads the readers into a distant mystical past when magic was of vital importance for people. (13+)
(Premio Merlín; 2004)
Spain (Galician) - 2005 - 148
Silva, Kiko da (text/illus.)
¿Que contan as ovellas para durmir?
(What do sheep count to fall asleep?)
Vigo : Galaxia, 2004. 24 p.
Animals – Sheep – Sleeplessness – Search
Bee, a quick-witted sheep, wonders what her fellow sheep count at night if they can’t get to sleep. Sheep? Not likely! Since no one in her flock comes up with a satisfying answer, Bee sets out to ask some other animals; yet, their comments are not particularly helpful either. However, the very moment that Bee is far too tired and exhausted to go on enquiring further about this big question, the secret is suddenly unravelled. Told in the form of a chain fairy tale, this humorous story for young readers keeps building up tension until the very end. The imaginative illustrations were created in a very original montage technique. (5+)
Spain (Galician) - 2006 - 150
Casalderrey, Fina (text)
Quesada, María Fe (illus.)
¿Quen me quere adoptar?
(Who wants to adopt me?)
Vigo : Ed. Xerais de Galicia, 2005.  p.
Old age Loneliness – Adoption – Family
After a life full of love and of books, the retired teacher Manuel feels lonely. His wife has died and his daughter works as a doctor in Africa. What can he do against his loneliness? Could it be true that nobody wants to share his life? Manuel puts up a sign: »Who wants to adopt me? I’m looking for a family with children.« Fina Casalderry has already written some other books about the coexistence of generations, in which she linked the worlds of children and elderly people. With a lot of humour but also some melancholy, she describes the feeling of loneliness that many old people are faced with. In addition, the sensitive narration also tackles the topic of new family models in the changing Spanish society. (8+)
Spain (Galician) - 2006 - 151
Gracián, Ánxela (text)
Trigo, Ramón (illus.)
Nun lugar chamado Labirinto
(At a place called Labyrinth)
Vigo : Tambre-Edelvives, 2005. 99 p.
(Ala delta : Serie azul; 13)
Love Death – Grief – Journey of initiation – Adventure
Seven-year-old Maru, a few animals a dog, a cat, a cow, a tortoise, a cuckoo – and the wizard Axóuxere (formerly a scarecrow) live on an island in a lake. When the wizard persuades the moon to let a seven-pointed star fall from the sky to give Maru more self-confidence and enable her to make her wishes and dreams come true, the happiness ends abruptly. The following morning, a terrifying woman with a scythe turns up and takes Axóuxere with her. The central topics of this touching story are the death of a loved one and the question of how to overcome the grief about such a loss. The tale is embedded in a frame story: Reading it helps a boy, who has lost his father, understand his own feelings and find answers to some of his most urgent questions. (8+)
Spain (Galician) - 2006 - 152
Meixide, Andrés (illus.)
Conto para non comer
(A story for not eating)
Vigo : Galaxia, 2005.  p.
Going to bed Eating – Mother – Child
It’s a typical family situation: At night, Antón is sitting at the table with a huge cup of steaming hot milk in front of him, which he absolutely doesn’t feel like drinking. To escape his mother, who insists he empties the cup, he first asks for his father to come, then his dog, his grandmother, his godmother, ... until he falls asleep with the now cold milk still untouched. This simple, humorous tale is told in the form of traditional chain stories: Central elements of the story are repeated again and again while the scene fills with more and more characters. The clear, simple illustrations are created in a mixed technique full of variation. With their bright colours and thick black outlines they particularly address a younger readership. (5+)
Spain (Galician) - 2007 - 152
A sombra descalza
(The bare-footed shadow)
Vigo : Xerais, 2006. 133 p.
(Fóra de xogo; 92)
Spain/Civil War – Family – Secret
This novel deals with the dark sides of a family that suffers from one thing in particular: insurmountable speechlessness. Elsa, the 16-year-old protagonist, wants to know the reason for this secrecy and starts her own investigations leading her back to the Spanish Civil War and her great-aunt Sagrario’s distressing misfortune. She finds out that her grandfather actually is a despot and the women in the family his patient victims. The recognition that her own family is far from perfect is a bitter pill for Elsa, yet it also serves as an important step in the process of growing up and finding her own identity. An Alfaya has cleverly constructed this novel told in a quiet voice. New questions and secrets that appear at strategically important points in the plot create an interesting tension right up to the end. (14+)
(Premio Lazarillo; 2005)
Spain (Galician) - 2007 - 153
Carballeira, Paula (text)
Hénaff, Carole (illus.)
Pontevedra : Kalandraka, 2006. 59 p.
Sahara – Tradition – Storytelling
The setting for this book is the city of Smara (aka Semara), which is situated in Western Sahara and formerly served as an oasis for caravans travelling through the desert. There, a Spanish boy who accompanies his father on a journey meets Avoa Ugaga (Grandmother Ugaga). The wise old woman tells him entrancing stories about ancient times. Thus Smara is not only a foreign and fascinating place for the boy; it is also a symbol for an endangered traditional culture that is rich in myths, tales, and images. The book resonates with a quiet, almost melancholic atmosphere that is also captured in the illustrations inspired by the desert landscape and the colours and shapes of local ceramics, fabrics, and spices. (9+) ☆
Spain (Galician) - 2007 - 154
Solchaga, Javier (illus.)
A Princesa do Caurel
(The princess from the Caurel mountains)
Pontevedra : OQO Ed., 2006.  p.
Chain tale – Ring – Theft
The type of fairy tale in which an object travels from one person to the next and eventually returns to its starting point exists in numerous different versions. The story, often written in verse, grows longer and longer with each new change of owner because all of the previous stations are repeated. In this original photo-picture-book, the object is a ring that comes into the possession of a princess, then a bird, a cat, a dog, a stick, and so on. The figures are crafted with a lot of imagination from finds such as boards, roots, screws, tiles, etc. At the start of each new episode, only a small part of the next protagonist is shown at first. Thus, these pictures arouse the readers’ interest, invite them to guess, and also allow them to closely inspect the material used. (4+)