White Ravens: Slovakia
Slovakia (Slovak) - 1993 - 44
Ormandík, Marek (illus.)
Amnesty International rozprsáva o všeobecnej deklarácii ľudských práv
(Amnesty International on the General Declaration of Human Rights)
(Original title: La déclaration des droits de l'homme)
Bratislava: Archa - Amnesty International v ČSFR, 1992.  p.
human rights - Amnesty International
A very worthy book explaining human rights to children, conveying in this way the middle and long-term requirements for the manifestation of democracy - essential not only in the former socialist countries. - The book has also been published by the same publishing house in the Czech language. (6+)
Slovakia (Slovak) - 1993 - 45
Hevier, Daniel (text)
Bajusová, Oľga (illus.)
(The Speaking Book)
Bratislava: Mladé letá, 1992.  p.
poem - language games - language acquisition
Daniel Hevier, one the most popular and wittiest Slovakian poets for children, has created ingenious children's verse in this effective book for children of about three years of age. Without having the character of a textbook, it is a resource for phonetic, phonologic, morphologic and semantic language acquisition. In language, word and vowel games, he considers characteristics and objects from nature, the child's everyday world and the world of fairy tales. (3+)
Special Mention - Slovakia (Slovak) - 1993 - 46
Klimáček, Villam (text)
Votava, Aleš (illus.)
Bratislava: Slovenský spisovateľ, 1992.  p.
poem - youth culture
Poems for young people which precisely capture young people's "feeling" and their interests. A rhapsody of love and music. Hidden behind banalities and a certain flippancy, partly packaged in nonsense, the author transports deep emotions and critical thoughts here. (12+)
Slovakia (Slovak) - 1993 - 47
Lacková, Elena (text)
Weiss, Eduard (illus.)
Rómske rozprávky. Ramane paramisa
(Gypsy Fairy Tales)
Košice: Východoslovenské vydavateľstvo, 1992. 95 p.
fairy tale - gypsy - bilingual book
A quite nicely illustrated bilingual book by the East Slovakian Publishing House in Košice for the cultural community of Romi nationals in Prešov (Slovakian/Romi). - Bilingual editions are rare, but a bilingual edition with a text in Romi is an absolute rarity. Perhaps publishing houses in other countries will also be moved to bring out books in the respective Romi variant. (8+)
Slovakia (Slovak) - 1995 - 30
Beňo, Ján (text)
Ondreička, Karol (illus.)
Staý husár a nočný; Čert
(The old husar and the night devil)
Bratislava: Stovenský spisovatel’, 1994. 123 p.
The popular Slovakian children's book author retells especially interesting unpublished folktales which he heard from Michal Pavlovič, a farmer from Prievaly. (6+)
Slovakia (Slovak) - 1995 - 31
Havier, Daniel, et. al (text)
Bajusová, Ol’ga (illus.)
Pät’ prštekov na ruke: Obrázková kniha a posunková reč pre najmenšie nepočujúce deti (Five Fingers on the Hand: A Picture Book with Sign-language for Very Young Deaf Children)
Bratislava: BUVIK, 1994. 63 p.
Deafness - Sign language
The first third of this picture book for deaf children and their parents contains a short story from everyday life on one side of each spread while the opposite page the words and concepts of the text are elucidated with photos of sign language. This is followed by an ABC and set of numbers presented in photos. The final eight pages include a further 100 concepts in sign language with written explanations. (3+)
Slovakia (Slovak) - 1995 - 32
Kuniak, Juraj (text)
Čech, Juraj (photos)
(My private open-air museum)
Ružomberk: Matica slovenská, 1994. 94 p.
This volume contains impressions of the country life in the region of Ružomberok (German: Rosenberg) on the southern side of the Tatra Mountains in Slovakia written in a free-flowing rhythm and lyrical prose by a 40-year-old electrical engineer. The narrative is based on ethnic situations and includes a variety of persons but a specific plot is not evident. The text can be taken either seriously or ironically, and some elements in it tend toward the grotesque. The excellent black-and-white photographs by the lawyer Juraj Čech follow suit with the text. On the one hand, they portray nostalgic and melancholy objects and scenery of central Slovakia, while on the other hand they have a touch of irony and social criticism. The book will appeal especially to young adult readers who are seeking a path for themselves between progress and a tradition-bound life-style. (12+)
Slovakia (Russian/English) - 1995 - 33
Sef, Roman (text)
Požidaev, Leonid (illus.)
Lewis, Paul (Engl. transl.)
Kataev, I. (music)
Minkov, M. (music)
Moskva: ADP, 1994. 57 p.
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+)
Slovakia (Slovak) - 1996 - 229
Hudec, Ivan (text)
Ondrejčka, Karol (illus.)
Báje a mýty starých Slovan
(Legends and Myths of the Old Slavs)
Bratislava: Slovart, 1995. 133 p.
Just as the Germanic myths hardly play a part in the traditions of the Germanic peoples, so it is that the Slavic peoples only know their own myths and tales of gods in pieces, often as a turn of phrase or oath. In this exquisitely illustrated book with color graphics, the reader is introduced to the Slavic story of creation and the world of the gods, and shown how mythology developed from its origins up to the beginning of historical times. (10+)
Slovakia (Slovak) - 1996 - 230
Dušek, Dušan (text)
Machaj, Vladimír (illus.)
Daidalos a Ikaros
(Daedalus and Icarus)
Bratislava: Mladé letá, 1995. 27 p.
The text of this richly illustrated volume of classic legends was adapted from a modern classic of Slovakian children's literature by Dušan Dušek.
Slovakia (Slovak) - 1997 - 228
Činčurová, Emília (text)
Čáp, Vladimír (illus.)
Ahoj, praveké jaštery
(Hello, prehistoric lizards)
Bratislava: Q111, 1995.  p.
This is a particularly original work from the new Slovakian publishing house, Q111. Beginning with the myths and tales of dragons in various countries of the earth, Emilia Činčurová reports about the discoveries of four types of dinosaurs by the English physician and natural scientist, Gideon Mantell. In comic strip style, garnished with funny dialogs between school children while visiting a paleontological museum, information about the size, characteristics, habits and living space of different dinosaur types. There is also use made of the now classic illustrations of the Czech artist Zdeňek Burian. (8+)
Slovakia (Slovak) - 1998 - 222
Hevier, Daniel (text/illus.)
Bratislava: Hevi, 1996.  p.
Daniel Hevier gives proof once again of his allaround talents. He has contributed both text and illustrations of this highly effective picture book of verses and published it in his own publishing house. The letters represent animals or objects which are of interest to children today. The texts, composed in a catchy rhythm, are witty and sassy. (5+)
Slovakia (Slovak) - 1998 - 223
Klimáček, Viliam (text)
Tóth, Dezider (illus.)
Noha k nohe
(Foot by foot)
Bratislava: Hevi, 1996. [128 ] p.
Foot - Tracks
In this intelligent book for children the author considers a wide range of situations children and adults may encounter in their lives. Starting point for him are the feet or, rather, the footprints and tracks which are usually - but not always - left by feet. Written in witty verses or in prose, the stories deal, for instance, with the first steps one takes, with a man with an adult foot and a child's foot, with a man who collects places to stand, with tracks on paper, with art in various forms, and other ideas. The illustrations range from humorous drawings to photos and collages. (6+)
Special Mention - Slovakia (Slovak) - 1998 - 224
Plická, Karol (text)
Valíček, Karol (storytelling)
Ševellová, Katarína (illus.)
Zámok na horúcom mori. Slovenské ropzprávky z Rumunska
(The castle at the hot sea. Slovakian tales from Romania)
Martin: Osveta, 1996. 182 p.
After the Second World War a small Slovakian minority in the Transylvanian Alps returned to the land of their forefathers, where they were discovered by Karol Plická in 1953 during a photography tour of northern Moravia. The tales of this ethnic group that he recorded then remained unpublished until now. Because these Slovakian storytellers had been isolated for nearly 150 years from the rest of their people and the influences of modern civilization, the language and narrative structures that were passed along retained their authenticity. The tales about witches, wizards, fairies, werewolves, talking animals and trees, dragons and golden castles are depicted in especially beautiful illustrations. The watercolors, both full-paged and vignettes, are full of atmosphere and the figures portrayed in a style reminiscent of Amedeo Modigliani. (8+)
Special Mention - Slovakia (Slovak) - 1998 - 225
Sliacky, Ondrej (adapt.)
Končeková-Veselá, L'uba (illus.)
Biblia pre deti a mládež. Čitanie zo Starého zákona
(The Bible for children and young people. Stories from the Old Testament)
Bratislava: D&D Studio, NONA, 1996. 248 p.
This very attractive children's Bible is notable for its excellent text version by Ondrej Sliacky, who has kept close to the traditional Slovakian translation. Modern phrasing has been used cautiously, without endangering the biblical style of expression. Remarkable is also that the editor addresses both Christian and atheist families in his foreword, stressing not only the religious but also the literary, philosophical and cultural significance of the biblical texts, thus orienting them around modern social reality. This volume is beautifully designed with an imitation vellum binding and antique-style gilt edge. Some of the illustrations by the popular Slovak painter L'uba Končeková-Veselá may well be considered masterpieces of art. (8+)
Slovakia (Slovak) - 1999 - 222
Pavlovič, Jozef (text)
Kellenberger, Martin (illus.)
(Hunting for letters <wordplay>)
Martin: Vydavateľstvo Matice slovenskej, 1997. 86 p.
In this richly illustrated volume the author tells witty stories based on words and letters. In particular the reader is encouraged to discover words which are contained, in one way or another, in other words. Corresponding examples (in translation) would be: bounce/ ounce - teacher/tea - testament/amen - pleasure/sure. Often it is a case of wordplay and double-entendre. Martin Kellenberger's amusing illustrations not only give a graphic reflection of these word games, but also take them a step further. (6+)
Slovakia (Slovak) - 2002 - 212
Lenčová, Božena (text)
Piačka, Igor (illus.)
Jaskyňa dávnych predkov
(Our ancestors' cave)
Martin : Matica Slovenská, 1999. 89 p.
Fairytales – Cave
This volume contains a selection of seven literary fairytales in which caves play a special role. In the story »Jaskyňa dávnych predkov« (»The small people's cave«), raiding nomadic gangs attack a small village. Despite their fear of subterranean places and their inhabitants, the village people seek refuge in a cave. Supported by dwarfs, who live in their own world below the earth's surface, they manage to survive the winter. Because of the surrealistic style and the mixed-media collages, Igor Piačka's illustrations perfectly mirror the stories' mystical atmosphere. (6+)
Slovakia (Slovak) - 2002 - 213
Marec, Anton (text)
Uchnár, Peter (illus.)
Hnali sa veky nad hradbami
(Centuries passed by the old walls)
Martin : Matica Slovenská, 2000. 191 p.
Hungary – Slovakia – Free city – Legends
In this book, Anton Marec, a popular Slovakian author of legends and folktales, deals with the phenomenon of cities which were self-governing in the Middle Ages (today situated within the borders of Slovakia). Within the context of exciting tales and legends, accompanied by information about the history of each of these cities, the author also offers an introduction to Slovakian history in general. Moreover, the volume contains reproductions of historic engravings for each of the cities. Peter Uchnár's imaginative graphics add to the book's beautiful overall design. (10+)
Slovakia (Slovak) - 2002 - 214
Mokoš, Jozef (text)
Èisárik, Peter (illus.)
Vkladná knižka rozprávok a básničiek : rozprávkovanie o tebe, pre teba, s tebou
(Treasure of fairytales and poems : tales about you, for you, and with you)
[Bratislava] : Vydavatelśtvo Spolku Slovenských Spisovatelóv, 2000. 60 p.
Child – Environment – Everyday life
In his funny poems, free verse tales, and sensitive stories, Jozef Mokoš covers topics that are particularly interesting and relevant for children. He deals with a child's fear, a baby's birth, tells stories about the sea, about flying, analyses why a cock doesn't lay eggs, speaks about a circus, an umbrella, and a latchkey child. The poems and texts are perfectly complemented by Peter Èisárik's surrealistic pictures. (4+)
Slovakia (Slovak) - 2002 - 215
Bratislava : Vyd. Spolku Slovenských Spisovatelóv, 2000. 102 p.
Slovakia – Socialism – Religion – Duplicity – Coming of age – Mother – Illness – Death
In this novel for teenagers, Vincent Šikula (born 1936) ventures to reappraise the socialist past of Slovakia. Gabriela's father teaches Marxist- Leninist aesthetics and presents himself as a convinced atheist, in public and to his family. Yet, once Gabriela overhears him praying to God. The father's duplicity and the psychological pressure he puts on her, as well as her mother's illness, are a heavy burden for Gabriela. On the other hand, these events also lead her to seek confrontation and make her grow mentally. In small episodes, written from various perspectives, the author convincingly describes the fears and problems of a young person growing up and her analysis of the hypocritical adult world. The fact that this novel is set in an undemocratic society makes matters even more complicated for the teenage protagonist. (12+)
Slovakia (Slovak) - 2003 - 210
Zemaníková, Zuzana (text)
Moravčíková, Dana (illus.)
Ponitrianske povesti a povrávky
(Legends and tall tales from the Nitra region)
Martin : Matica Slovenská, 2001. 181 p.
Slovakia / Nitra – Legend
This beautifully designed volume, impressively and atmospherically illustrated with blue-greencoloured graphics, features a variety of fairly different works from folklore tradition. They are all set in the Nitra region (Western Slovakia) – the region near the river Nitra and the capital of Greater Moravia (9century) of the same name. The first part focuses on the conversion to Christianity under Prince Svätopluk and the resistance against it. The legends of the second part tell of fights against the Tartars, of disputes with the Czech and Hungarian rulers, and of the wars against the Turks. The following parts include local legends about water sprites and other mythological creatures, folktales, and cheerful tall tales. (10+)
Slovakia (Slovak/German) - 2004 - 207
Bodnárová, Jana (text)
Bartusz, Juraj (illus.)
SakoHoess, Renata (transl.)
Čo som videla pri jazere : básničky, ktorým sa nechce rýmovať = Was ich am See zu sehen bekam : kleine Verse, die sich nicht reimen wollen
(What I got to see at the lake : small verses that do not rhyme)
Prešov : Baum, 2003.  p.
ISBN 80-88987-66-9 b
Lake – Animals – Plants – Humans
This bilingual book written in lyrical prose aptly reflects the changing atmospheres of lake Starnberg (Southern Germany). The imaginative descriptions of author and illustrator revolve around natural phenomena, objects they have found on the shore, animals that live in or around the lake, people they met there or who have a special relationship to the lake. Readers will discover fish and shells, ducks swimming on the lake, fireflies, a bug in a calyx, music, a boat house, rain, fog hovering over the lake, or an angel who appears above the water on Christmas Eve. The dynamic, monochrome blue watercolour drawings underline the lake’s atmosphere evoked in the stories. (5+)
Slovakia (Slovak) - 2004 - 208
Droppa, Boris (text)
Štrelingerová, Petra (illus.)
Rak Ohnivák a straka bez zobáka
(Fire-crab and the beakless magpie)
Bratislava : Perfekt, 2002.  p.
Nonsense verse – Nature – Country life
This book gathers a humorous array of witty poems for children: poems about stubborn dachshunds, fish in Slovak rivers, moonlight, the peacock with two hundred eyes on its feathers, the magpie who loses its beak when it attempts to eat the fire-crab, the dance of the purple heron, the turkey’s ‘song’, other animals, and nature in general. They all are a funny mirror of country life in Slovakia. In his nonsense verses, which often have multiple rhymes, the author plays with words, their sounds, and their meanings, and gives them a philosophical touch. The illustrator’s energetic, bold chalk-drawings formidably express the dynamism and vibrancy of the nature poems. (5+)
Slovakia (Slovak) - 2004 - 209
Groch, Erik (text)
Paľo, Ľuboslav (illus.)
Tuláčik a Klára
(Stray and Klara)
Košice : Tichá Voda, . 77 p.
(Knižná diel?a Timotej)
Dog – Girl – Friendship
Little Klara, who lives alone in her house, stumbles across a small dog who has lost his way in the forest. She takes him home with her and Stray decides to stay. Since dogs and girls have different needs, they have to reach a few compromises. Stray realises that a dog is not able to do everything a human being does, that not all the things people do are necessarily fun, that dogs can do a lot that humans can’t, and that they find different things funny. The readers, too, might be inclined to question whether all the things people usually consider so important do really mean so much – except for love, of course. The lovingly designed book is accompanied by atmospheric watercolour illustrations in shades of brown and green. (6+)
Slovakia (Slovak) - 2005 - 211
Blažková, Jaroslava (text)
Votavová, Blanka (illus.)
Traja nebosjsovia a duch Miguel
(The Fearless Three and the ghost Miguel)
Bratislava : Q111, 2003. 95 p.
Moravia/1920-1935 – Childhood – Family prank – Ghost – Guardian angel
The author, who emigrated to Canada in 1968, tells her granddaughter tales from her own father’s childhood. He and his two brothers were known in the neighbourhood as »The Fearless Three« and were accompanied by the family ghost Miguel who took on the role of the guardian angel. In the 13 tales about typical boys’ pranks, the author paints a vivid picture of the past and of the atmosphere in a poor family: She describes old customs, food, and children’s games and thus offers the readers an insight into life in the countryside during the 1920s and 1930s. The warm-hearted book combines sensitive tales with authentic information of a historical non-fiction book. (6+)
Slovakia (Slovak) - 2005 - 212
Glocko, Peter (text)
Glocková, Barbora (illus.)
Tri vety pre ospedalské siroty : tanec v okovách
(Three movements for the orphans of the Ospedale : dance in chains)
Bratislava : Cornea, 2003. 108 p.
Growing up – Poverty – Music – Search for identity – Vivaldi, Antonio – Orphanage
Peter Glocko is one of the few Slovakian authors of teenage novels who writes in an authentic teenage voice and whose books tackle the present time and its specific problems. This novel relates the life of 15-year-old Tomáš. His whole family suffers because his father is unemployed and an alcoholic. When the gypsy musician Anton Kotlár discovers the boy’s musical talent, he helps him cope with his problems through music. The author uses Anton’s great love for Antonio Vivaldi’s music to spin a parallel story about the crippled children in an orphanage in Venice. Vivaldi, who strongly believed in the healing power of music, composed pieces for them, taught them how to sing and play an instrument, made them perform in public, and thus managed to ›mend‹ their souls. (12+)
Slovakia (Slovak) - 2006 - 210
Juraj Jánošík : rozprávanie o zbojníckom kapitánovi
(Juraj Jánošík : stories about the captain of the robbers)
Bratislava : Perfekt, 2004. 110 p.
(Nevšedné životné príbehy)
Jánošík, Juraj Slovakia/1688-1713 – Folk tale
There are a lot of tall tales about the legendary outlaw Juraj Jánošík (1688-1713), who embodied the Slovakian people’s dream of freedom and justice for centuries. In collaboration with the historian Margareta Horváthová, Zuzana Križková has adapted Jánošik’s spectacular life-story to create a more or less fictitious adventure tale, set against the backdrop of the anti-Habsburg rebellion under Ferenc II Rákóczi (1703-1711). After the rebellion was crushed, Jánošík continued fighting for social justice until he was captured by the Austrian authorities and executed in March 1713. The thoroughly researched and well-told book is illustrated with reproductions of artworks from the 18th to the 20th century and with photographs of original sites. (12+)
Special Mention - Slovakia (Slovak) - 2006 - 211
Vadas, Marek (adapt.)
Rozprávky z čiernej Afriky
(Folk tales from Black Africa)
Levice : Koloman Kertész Bagala L.C.A Publ. Group, . 148 p.
Africa Folk tale
The Slovakian author Marek Vadas travelled to Africa four times and brought back more than 50 folk tales from tribes in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Angola, the Congo, the Central African Republic, Nigeria, and Ghana, which he retells in this collection. The book is divided into three parts: animal tales, tales about animals and humans, and tales about humans and ghosts. The stories differ very much from European folk tales, so that, for example, the fight between the Good and the Bad doesn’t necessarily lead to a happy end, and the worlds of anthropomorphic animals, ghosts, and humans are closely intertwined. The straightforward tales are based exclusively on the worldview of people who have close bonds with nature. The black-and-white book is beautifully designed and illustrated with authentic ornaments and drawings from various ethnic groups in Africa. (6+) ☆
Special Mention - Slovakia (Slovak) - 2006 - 212
Válek, Miroslav (text)
Mydlo, Svetozár (illus.)
Bratislava : Buvik, 2004. 50 p.
Journey Nonsense – Poetry
In this picture book, author and illustrator have created a direct connection between text and graphic design. Miroslav Válek’s texts revolve around vehicles, riding animals, and the topic of travelling in general. On the one hand, Svetozár Mydlo captures the playful nature of Válek’s nonsense- verses in his pictures; on the other hand, he often uses graphical and typographical means reminiscent of structuralistic methods to express the words’ meanings by completing and re-shaping them into concrete poetry. The letter »M«, for example, is designed in such a way that readers will recognise the face of a mouse, while the letters for the word »lietadlo« (aircraft) actually form a plane. (4+)
Slovakia (Slovak) - 2007 - 209
Hevier, Daniel (text/illus.)
Pät’ka z nudy
(Grade A in boredom)
Bratislava : Mladé Letá, 2005. 167 p.
Child – Everyday life
With this book, highly popular Slovakian author Daniel Hevier once again offers a dazzling display of wit and imagination. The short stories, poems, verse narrations, and fairy tales of this collection tackle issues that interest children, both from the real world around us and from the imaginary world. Hevier covers topics as diverse as computers, bacteria and viruses, animals in the city and in the wild, boxing gloves, ghosts and dragons, Bart Simpson, the German television Detective Chief Inspector Derrick, or black sheep. He warns his readers about horoscopes and violence, and even includes a list of swear words. The simple, yet witty and felicitous illustrations are also created by the author. (8+)
Slovakia (Slovak) - 2007 - 210
Regitko, Miroslav (illus.)
Poletíme za dúhou : poviedky pre deti a mládež ; 1. roèník
(Let us fly along the rainbow : stories for children and young adults ; 1st year)
Bratislava : Perfekt, 2005. 130 p.
(Fifikova knižnica; 3)
Story – Anthology
This anthology is the result of a project initiated by the publishing house Perfekt. Pupils from primary schools in Bratislava and Prešov selected 26 of the submitted tales for this book, some of them written by well-known authors, others by first timers. The thematic frame for the competition was established by an anti-drug-campaign, which also enabled the printing of this volume. The tales, whether they are amusing or serious, mainly deal with common problems of children such as mobbing, loneliness, the ability to spend one’s spare time in a useful way, or the grief about a pet’s death, but also with more specific issues such as the relationship between Slovakians and the minority group of Roma people. (7+)
Slovakia (Slovak) - 2007 - 211
Sliacky, Ondrej (text)
Kellenberger, Martin (illus.)
Slovenské obrázkové povesti
(Slovakian legends in pictures)
Martin : Vyd. Matice Slovenskej, 2005. 79 p.
Slovakia – Legend
This volume includes both traditional legends and legends connected to actual historical events. It features a wide range of protagonists and events such as evil landlords, knights, fairies, water sprites, and the devil; the Slovaks’ fights against Eurasian Avars, Tatars, and Turks; and the Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus, who is highly popular and often praised. Each legend is told as a picture story on two pages with just a few words of text. Although the overall layout of the tales resembles that of a comic strip, the illustrations are coloured drawings of a more traditional style created by the renowned Slovakian painter and illustrator Martin Kellenberger. (8+)