children's literature

Two Ukrainian books were included in a prestigious children’s and young adult literature catalogue White Ravens 2022


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Two Ukrainian books have been included in a prestigious international annual catalogue of book recommendations in children’s and young adult literature White Ravens 2022. The catalogue was published on the website of the International Youth Library in Munich.

The books that got to the catalogue are:


My Name Is Barbara by Dzvinka Matiyash, Old Lion Publishing House, 2021

“If on Saint Barbara’s Day one cuts a sweet cherry twig and puts it in water, on Christmas a miracle will happen — Barbarazweig will bloom. This turns into a real life miracle for the main character of Dzvinka Matiyash’s novel My Name Is Barbara. Because the story of her birth is connected with sweet cherry twig, as her father then tells her. Before Christmas Varvara waits for her Barbarazweig and writes down in her diary everything she finds out about her birth and her rare name: about the Vienna holiday trip of her parents, about a mysterious biography of Saint Barbara and an incredible life story of her namesake, Kyiv philanthropist Varvara Khanenko. And together with the first flowers on her cherry twig, new and new miracles and surprises come to Barbara’s life…” goes in the annotation to the book.


Ukraine. From Ancient Times to the Present by Mariia Takhtaulova and Serhiy Zhukov, illustrated by Zhenya Myroniuk, Ranok Publishing House, 2021


“Ukraine. From Ancient Times to the Present will send curious Ukrainians on a journey to the past of their country. The book will tell about the first people on Ukrainian land, about the settlements of ancient Slavs, about Princes, kossacks… and up till the presidents. On this journey the readers will learn about symbolic places, cultural heritage and achievements of Ukrainians in various fields. Each fact is backed with illustrations that liven up the events and make perception of information easier,” tells the annotation of the book.


This year the list includes 200 books from 53 countries in 37 languages. The International Youth Library in Munich selected them based on literary style, design, universal topics, innovative nature, etc. 


“Our library staff have long relied on various means to acquire a well-grounded overview of the topics, trends, and people involved in current international children’s and young adult literature: they read new publications in the original languages, visit important international book fairs, scout and gather information, maintain contact with publishing houses, institutions, organisations, and other experts,” they point in the preface to the catalogue.


The full catalogue is available at the link. It’s been released the day before the Frankfurt Book Fair.


The first Ukrainian book to ever get to The White Ravens catalogue was Rukavychka from A-ba-ba-ha-la-ma-ha Publishing House in 2001. It was illustrated by Volodymyr Holozubiv.


It shall be reminded that in 2021 Reactors Do Not Explode. A Short History of the Chornobyl Disaster by Stanislav Dvornytskyi and Kateryna Mikhalitsyna, Portal Publishing, 2020; and Where to and Where from by Art Studio Agrafka, Old Lion Publishing, 2020 were included in The White Ravens catalogue. And in 2020 Sapiens by Volodymyr Arenev, illustrated by Lina Kvitka, Ranok Publishing House, 2019; and The Pirate Tour by Halyna Malyk, illustrated by Hrasya Oliyko, Old Lion Publishing, 2019 were featured in the catalogue.


Title image: The White Ravens 2022 catalogue’s cover, authors Mayur Vayeda & Tushar Vayeda

Pictures: Old Lion Publishing House, Ranok Publishing House