White Ravens: In ICDL

20 books      

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

Slovakia (Russian/English) - 1995 - 33
Sef, Roman (text)
Požidaev, Leonid (illus.)
Lewis, Paul (Engl. transl.)
Kataev, I. (music)
Minkov, M. (music)
(The carnival)
Moskva: ADP, 1994. 57 p.
ISBN 5-87523-012-6
Poetry/Nonsense - Multilingual book
In this bilingual picture book in verse Roman Sef proves once again his craftsmanship as the best contemporary Russian poet. The witty poems, which are striking in their simplicity, belong to the tradition of English nonsense verse and occasionally remind one of the works of the German children's poets Josef Guggenmos and Hans Manz from Switzerland. Sef’s style is also successfully captured in the English translation by Paul Lewis. (4+)

Iran (Persian) - 1995 - 170
Mohammadi, Mohammed (text)
Iravani, Sara (illus.)
Afsaneye Derakht-e-Khorma va Bozi
(The tale of the date palm and the goat)
Mashad: Astane Ghods, 1994. 16 p.
Folktale/lran - Date palm - Goat - Rivalry
This tale is one of the most ancient stories found in Persia's ancient Pahlavi language. A datepalm and a goat each compete verbally with the other to prove the superiority of his own abilities and usefulness. In the end the goat is considered the winner because he is able to move about, while the datepalm is bound to one place. The writer has taken the tale from an ancient manuscript which also appears in the background of each illustration of the book. He retells the Farsi version of the manuscript in a finely-tuned poetic prose. The illustrator enriched the text by incorporating significant elements of the story, key traditional colors and ancient motifs such as the symbol of the goat's horns in the illustrations, allowing the rea- der to become acquainted with ancient Iranian culture. (4-8) ☆
(Special Prize and Third Prize, Tehran International Biennale of Illustrators (TIBI), 1993.)

Special Mention - USA (English) - 1998 - 65
Myers, Walter Dean (text)
Myers, Christopher (illus.)
New York: Scholastic, 1997. [32] p.
ISBN 0-590-54340-7
Harlem - African-Americans
This stunning picture book is a visual and lyrical hymn to the persistent hopes and dreams of African-Americans living in Harlem, that famous section of New York City. Harlem was an important gathering point where jazz and Black culture began to blossom in the early part of the 20th century. Its pulsating vitality is given bold expression in the assembled multi-media collages by the artist son of Walter Dean Myers, the wellknown young adult writer who grew up in Harlem. (6+) ☆
(Caldecott Honor Book 1998)

New Zealand (English) - 1999 - 36
Clarke, Mere (text)
Smith, Manu (illus.)
Whirikoki and his seal
Wellington: Huia, 1997. [31] p.
ISBN 0-908975-22-8
New Zealand/Legend - Seal - Man/Animal - Friendship - Death - Oil
When surveyors recently drilled for oil on the Manga-tai-Kapua hills, they found only shallow pools. In the legend told in this picture book it is explained that the oil seeped into the hills after a seal, who had accidentally fallen asleep too long under the sun with his human friend, injured himself on the rocks and died. The few Maori words used in the text to give the story an authentic atmosphere are explained within the story. The double- spread illustrations use varying perspectives and strong, luminous colors to capture the beautiful New Zealand landscape. (4+)
(Te Kura Pounamu Award, 1998)

Iran (Persian) - 2000 - 246
Yūsufī, Nāsir (adapt.)
Zamānī, Mihrān (illus.)
(The girl with the half-moon on her forehead)
Tihrān: Našr-i Ufuq, 1997 (= 1376 h.š.). 23 p.
(In Arabic letters)
ISBN 964-6003-56-7
Beauty - Envy
This is a re-telling of an old and still very popular Persian folk tale whose origins can no longer be traced completely. A young girl with glowing beauty is treated poorly by her step-mother and half-sisters. As a reward for her good deeds an old sorceress places a shining half-moon on her forehead that emphasizes her beauty even more. The stylized illustrations make use of a richly ornamental, decorative style in subtle, pastel tones. Both the background and the predominant tones are warm brown. (4+)

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+)

New Zealand (English) - 2002 - 33
Tipene, Tim (text)
Campbell, Henry (illus.)
Taming the taniwha
Wellington : Huia, 2001. [34] p.
ISBN 1-877266-52-3
School – Bullying – Friendship – Maori
If it wasn't for James, the class bully, Tama would love going to school. His mother, aunt, and uncle come up with various suggestions how to »tame« this monster. Yet, neither telling the teacher nor trying to fight the bully seems a good idea. So when his grandfather suggests being friendly and inviting James to Tama's home, he considers this a crazy idea. To his great surprise, however, the frightening green monster slowly turns into an amiable boy – literally and visually. In Campbell's bright acrylic pictures many harmless objects assume the shape or colour of the terrifying taniwha and thus clearly mirror Tama's fear. Accordingly, as soon as Tama and James have become friends, the frightening shapes disappear. (5+) ☆

Mongolia (English) - 2002 - 210
Dašdondog, Žambyn (text/photos)
Oyunbayar, Namsrain (transl.)
Stone Legends
Ulaanbaatar : Golden Tale Partnership of Children's Books, 2001. 32 p.
(Transl. from Mongolian)
ISBN 99929-5-176-1
Mongolia – Animals – Sculpture – Legends
Inspired by the animal stone sculptures of Terelj, created through erosion, the well-known Mongolian children's book author Žambyn Dašdondog wrote several legends. They are based on Mongolian folktales and have rat, lizard, snake, jumping mouse, hedgehog, badger, marmot, fox, and wolf as their protagonists. All the legends deal with the contact between animals and humans. In many cases, the characteristics of these animals differ considerably from the ones attributed to them in European fables and fairytales. (8+)

Iran (Persian) - 2002 - 246
Raḥmāndūst, Muṣṭafā (text)
Hudayi, ‘Alī (illus.)
Tawallud-i Nuhūdī
(Nuhudi is born)
Tihrān : Šabāwīz, 2001 (= 1380 h.š.). [16] p.
ISBN 964-5555-32-9
Fairytale – Wish for a child
This popular Persian fairytale has some similarities with the Grimm Brothers' »Der Däumling« (»Tom Thumb«). A childless couple has long been wishing for a child but without success so far. One day, while cooking chick pea soup, the woman once again utters her dearest wish: She pleads for a child and be it as small as a chick pea – and all of a sudden her wish is granted. A small boy, the size of a chick pea, shouts at her: »Here I am. I am your son!« Humorous full-page colour illustrations, which make each of the fairy tale's steps easily understandable to small children, accompany the text. (4+)

Iran (Persian) - 2003 - 242
Daryānīyān, Sulmāz (text/illus.)
šāyad ism-i man ...
(Maybe, my name ...)
Tihrān : Haud-i Nuqra, 2001 (= 1380 h.š.). [32] p.
ISBN 964-93054-4-0
Children’s poetry – Child – Everyday life
This book’s simple poems for children deal with questions concerning the life of Iranian children. Expressed and answered from a young girl’s first person point-of-view, they address social and moral issues which children come across in their everyday life. Poverty, for example, is presented through the encounter with a girl sitting on the street with her empty bowl. Very unusual and original – not only for the literary production in Iran – is the graphic design of the book: Fine line-drawings on brownish paper, evoking the impression of quick sketches in a notebook, accompany the text in an admirable manner. (8+)

Croatia (Croatian) - 2004 - 198
Petrlik Huseinović, Andrea
Ciconia Ciconia : bijela roda
(Ciconia Ciconia : the white stork)
Zagreb : Kašmir Promet, 2003. [36] p.
(Biblioteka oblak)
ISBN 953-6613-60-3
Croatia – Stork – War – Home country
In the second picture book that she has both written and illustrated, Andrea Petrlik-Huseinovi? tells the story of a stork who is forced to leave his home during the war in Croatia and look for a new place to stay. After a true odyssey, the bird ends up in an Internet café where he spots his home village Cigo? on a screen and is thus able to find his way back. In the appendix, the readers learn something about the first European ‘storkvillage’ (more storks than people!) and the sanctuary Lonjsko Polje, a marshland east of the Croatian capital of Zagreb. The cheerful tempera illustrations of this picture book, of which Kašmir Slavic and Baltic Languages Promet has also published a parallel English language edition, show the world from a stork’s perspective in various shades of blue. (4+)

Iran (Persian) - 2004 - 247
Kišāwarzī Āzād, Marǧān (text)
Šafī ‘ī, Faršīd (illus.)
Gīr az hūd hī? kas nabūd
(No one has been alone except for God)
Tihrān : Šabāwīz, 2003 (= 1382 h.š.). [16] p.
ISBN 964-505-024-3
Man – Woman – Love – God
Once upon a time, there was a lonely man. Once upon a time, there was a lonely woman. The woman was sadly gazing at the flowing river. The man was gazing equally sadly at the sky. That’s the beginning of the story of Man and Woman and Love – and of God. Marğān Kišāwarzī Āzsmall-a- macrond recounts this old tale in a language full of simplicity, poetry, and great literary merit. The hand-written text is harmoniously integrated into the expressive illustrations dominated by radiant tones of red. The illustrations both reflect the tale’s archaic character and interpret them from a modern perspective. (6+)

Iran (Persian) - 2004 - 249
Murādī Kirmānī, Hūšang (text)
Rustamī, Ardišīr (illus.)
Na tar wa na hušk
(Neither damp nor dry)
Tihrān : Mu ‘īn, 2003 (= 1382 h.š.). 107 p.
ISBN 964-7603-20-7
Literary fairy tale – Princess – Hummingbird – Love – Faithfulness
Princess Golpar and a hummingbird have fallen in love with each other. When the bird asks for Golpar’s hand in marriage, however, the king tries to prevent this by demanding that he complete a task first: He is to bring the king a piece of wood that is neither damp nor dry, neither straight nor bent. Thus begins an adventurous story at the end of which the bird has passed the test but lost his beloved to someone else. With a great deal of skill and creativity, the author combines fantasy world and real world and employs modern language – a fact that is rather untypical for a fairy tale. Despite the bitter and pitiable fate of the bird, a sometimes humorous sometimes sober tone resonates in the text. (10+)

Iran (Persian) - 2005 - 249
Rahmāndūst, Mustafā (text)
Nāmwar, ‘Alī (illus.)
Tarānahā-i ‘āšiqāna
(Love melodies)
Tihrān : Šabāwīz, 2004 (= 1383 h.š.). [32] p.
ISBN 964-505-090-1
Teenager – Everyday life – Love – Poetry
These seven poems focus on the life of modern teenagers. The tension between the ordinary everyday issues depicted and the condensed, highly lyrical language employed by the well-known author holds a special attraction. Imagination and poetry win over reality and take the reader into another world. Thus, common objects, such as a computer or a teacup, are given additional meanings. The contemporary illustrations – delicate, sketchy line drawings that are coloured in with warm shades – perfectly complement the poems. (10+)

Special Mention - Slovenia (Slovenian) - 2006 - 213
Peklar, Andreja (text/illus.)
Fant z rdečo kapico
(The boy with the red hat)
Ljubljana : Inšt. za Likovno Umetnost, 2005. [12] p.
ISBN 961-91581-0-5
Human being Animal – Environmental protection – Fairy tale
Inspired by some images on a golden vase from the Hallstatt culture (ca. 1,200-500 B.C), the author tells an ecological tale about a stag with golden antlers who destroys the fields and gardens in a wealthy kingdom to take revenge for the human exploitation of nature. The protagonist, a boy with a red hat, manages to mediate between the human beings and the animals by convincing the people that they should live in peace with their animal neighbours. This literary fairy tale, presented as a concertina book with a series of pictures, is completed by illustrations in shades of red, yellow, and gold. (4+)

Mongolia (Mongolian/English) - 2006 - 241
Dašdondog, Žambyn (text)
Hüd rculuun, N. (illus.)
Janzyn žaal = Boy who sees things in a different way
Ulaanbaatar: Öngöt h vl l, 2005. 31 p.
(Alham alhmaar)
(Mongolian and English text)
ISBN 99929-10-48-8
Kindergarten Boy – Critical thinking – Tolerance
In this bilingual book by the well-known Mongolian author Žambyn Dašdondog, a new boy arrives at kindergarten. He doesn’t simply answer questions or complete tasks, but rather wonders what may be behind a question or what the meaning of a task may be. In the beginning, the other children laugh at him, but eventually, they all realise that the new boy cannot be called strange simply because he behaves differently. Such a book is particularly valuable for Mongolia, a country which is on its way to democracy. The youngest inhabitants are the ones who most urgently need to learn about tolerance and understanding for people who are different and think differently. (4+)

Rwanda (Kinyarwanda) - 2006 - 242
Kilaka, John (text/illus.)
Gyr-Ukunda, Anyesi (transl.)
Ubucuti bw’imbeba n’inzovu
(The friendship between mouse and elephant)
Kigali : Ed. Bakame, 2004. [28] p.
(German edition: Gute Freunde [Good friends]. Zürich : Atlantis [Baobab], 2004)
Rat Friendship – Elephant – Trust – Disappointment – Deceit – Forgiveness
Ratsi, the mouse, is the only animal who knows how to light a fire. While he is busy collecting supplies, his best friend Elephant enjoys doing nothing. When the idle pachyderm offers his solidly built house as a storage room for the food, Ratsi gladly accepts. Yet then, as a severe draught causes food shortage, Elephant doesn’t hand over the stored supplies and so, utterly disappointed, the mouse leaves. Will he be plotting his revenge? Elephant feels guilty and decides to look for his friend. This book, full of luminous, colourful illustrations by the Tanzanian illustrator John Kilaka, tells a common (human) story about friendship, betrayal, and reconciliation. Still, by portraying the houses, clothes, animals, and games in detail, it also offers a glimpse of the daily life in Africa. (4+)
(Bologna Ragazzi Award New Horizons; 2005)

Iran (Persian) - 2006 - 249
Yūsufī, Muhammad Ridā (text)
Nāmwar, ‘Alī (illus.)
Afsāna-i Afsāna
(Afsahne’s fairy tale)
Tihrān : Šabāwīz, 2004 (= 1383 h.š.). 84 p.
ISBN 964-505-043-x
Child Book – Fairy tale – Storytelling – Reading
Inspired by a key that was left to her by her late uncle, Afsahne remembers the tales he used to tell her. One day at a family party, when she is sitting alone in her grandfather’s library, the girl sinks into a deep sleep. The room turns into a castle built entirely from books and all the fairy tale characters familiar to her step out of the building asking her to join them in their search for an old storyteller. Very cleverly, the author weaves elements of old Oriental tales into the narrative about Afsahne. The book is an imaginative plea to arouse children’s interest in reading and storytelling. The brown line drawings present ancient fairy tale motifs in a lively contemporary form. (10+)

Iran (Persian) - 2007 - 248
Kākāwand, Kāmbīz (text/illus.)
Tihrān : Šabāwīz, 2006 (= 1385 h.š.). 30 p.
ISBN 978-964-505-210-0
Fox – Tail – Loss – Trust – Love
A fox who plans to feed his stomach in the chicken coop loses his tail in a fight with the guard dog. Completely devastated, the animal withdraws from the world until, one day, a beautiful vixen persuades him to accompany her on another chicken hunt. The vixen’s presence comforts him and rekindles his interest in life. Readers should allow for some extra time to study the double-page illustrations of this fable-like animal tale. The illustrator has composed two-dimensional pictures teeming with tiny figures and lots of details on backgrounds in mostly green shades. From above and from a great distance, readers will admire a world of almost abstract animals, plants, buildings, and landscape and discover a truly original play with shapes and colours. (6+)