The International Youth Library (IYL), the world's largest library of international books for children and young adults, compiles an annual list of best children's books from around the world called the White Ravens list.The 2011 list includes 250 titles in 30 languages from 40 countries. Of these, I found 14 poetry titles-- from 12 different countries. I took pictures of each of the books and found volunteers to read selections from 7 of them for a short video. Here are two poetry books from Russia on the 2011 White Ravens list.
Djadina, Galina (text)
Bichter, Aleksandr (illus.)
Knižka v tel'njaške. Morskaja azbuka
(Little book in a sailor’s shirt. A marine alphabet)
Sankt-Peterburg: Grif [et al.], 2010. – 61 p.
Sea – Water – Poetry
In 2010, the children’s book publisher Detgiz organised its second festival for young children’s book authors. In cooperation with the publishing house Grif, they have now published the first book written exclusively by Galina Djadina, who belongs to this new generation of authors. Her poetic kaleidoscope about life in and at the sea is brimming with ideas. From albatross to life belt, from Neptune to tsunami, from sea cucumber to tiger shark – this volume gathers everything connected with the marine world. Djadina turned the content into wonderful verses and arranged them cleverly. For example, she separates the word “iceberg” into two parts and puts the shorter “ice” on top of the longer “berg”. Thus she linguistically imitates a phenomenon observed in nature: Often the ice above the water is only the tip of the iceberg. (Age: 5+)
DUE TO TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES, I HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO LOAD THIS VIDEO CLIP AFTER MULTIPLE ATTEMPTS. Heck!
Here is my IBBY colleague and Russian children's book illustrator, Anastasia Arkhipova, reading a poem from the book above.
And here is another Russian work of children's poetry on the White Ravens list this year.
Usačev, Andrej (text)
Olejnikov, Igor' (illus.)
Kolybel'naja kniga (The lullaby book)
Moskva: Ripol-Klassik, 2009. –  p.
Night – Sleep – Lullaby – Good night story – Poetry
When you read Russian children’s poetry, you are bound to encounter Andrej Usačev – not only because he likes putting his poems to music and performing them, but also because his poetry is truly harmonious and varied in terms of metre, rhythm, and topic. In his “Lullaby Book”, the poetic universe touches upon everything connected with sleeping and the night: pillows, dream worlds, hibernation, not-wanting-to-go-to-sleep, darkness, quietness, the moon, and fireflies. What Usačev manages to achieve in his onomatopoeic rustling poems, his counting-out-rhymes, and his wordplays, Igor’ Olejnikov accomplishes just as well in his illustrations: He depicts the ocean’s stillness in serene blue within a static maritime landscape, places the wakeful little dragon with its bright red head into a swinging scene, and employs colours and composition flexibly to trace the literary motifs. (Age: 3+)
Image credit: SV;IYL
Posting (not poem) by Sylvia M. Vardell © 2011. All rights reserved.