Ukrainian publisher launches children’s book publishing house in France


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The Ukrainian publisher Natalia Mospan established a children’s book publishing house in France called Le Petit Canard (The Little Duck). The publishing house plans to release works by Ukrainian authors and illustrators.


Ukrainian professionals created the French website, identity, and the first published children’s books, already available in French bookstores. The publisher sells books through the bookstores, its website, and on Amazon.


“I try to do what I love where I am. We are currently negotiating to join the Local Association of Publishers of Occitania to share our experience and receive support,” the publisher said. Natalia Mospan told Chytomo that the team is preparing the publishing house’s promotional activities, including participating in exhibitions, festivals, and events where authors interact with bookstore guests.


“You – our friends, guests, and readers – inspire us to develop and create new brands, products, and books. Le Petit Canard is our way of supporting and developing Ukrainian books in Europe,” reads a post on the Facebook page of “My Bookshelf”, Mospan’s bookstore business in Ukraine.



Natalia Mospan inaugurated the publishing house in July 2023. Information about the publishing house is now beginning to spread as it has published its first books, completed administrative procedures, and commenced sales. “We have started cooperating with French bookstores. We are gradually moving forward: we have completed all registrations, set up distribution processes, and are now signing a contract,” the publisher told Chytomo.


Mospan noted that the name of her well-known Ukrainian brand, “My Bookshelf”, needs to be translated better into French. Hence, the French publishing house is “Le Petit Canard” (“The Little Duck”).


“I have been researching the French children’s literature market for a long time; it is much more extensive than the Ukrainian one. The goal of creating “Le Petit Canard” is to provide maximum support for book publishing in Ukraine, so we actively collaborate with Ukrainian authors and illustrators. I believe in Ukrainians’ creative potential. We know how to invent and create, and our illustrators have a unique style. We can contribute much to Europe,” says Natalia Mospan, the founder of the publishing house.


Recently, Ukrainian and French publishing houses released the book “Mamselville” by the French author Christophe Jamard, illustrated by the Ukrainian artist Sofia Tomilenko. Natalia Mospan authored a French-language book “Une Baguette”, a humorous story about baguettes illustrated by Natalia Kudliak. Two more books are planned for publication shortly.



“The stories we tell in our books are, on the one hand, light and funny, and on the other hand, full of kindness and meaning. I believe that a children’s book is a safe space for a child, a kind of a ‘protective bubble’ that can safeguard our children’s childhood and carefree spirit, both in France and Ukraine,” the publisher said.


Mospan says the French book market is highly developed and saturated, making it “reluctant to accept new players.”



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“The segment we decided to work in is very crowded. But this is what we like the most, so we are not giving up,” the publisher said. “I believe that our ‘little duckling’ created by the inimitable Natalia Kudliak will certainly grow big wings! Books by ‘Le Petit Canard’ have already appeared on the shelves of French bookstores, and we plan to enter the country’s largest bookstore chains,” she added.


Due to the full-scale Russian invasion, Natalia Mospan was compelled to leave the country. Her publishing house, “Le Petit Canard”, focuses on creating unique children’s books with a “Ukrainian flavour” in France and promotes international cultural cooperation between Ukraine and France.


As reported earlier, “My Bookshelf” bookstores founded by Mospan operate in Kyiv and Chernihiv.



Translation: Ilona Babkina

Copy editing: Tanya Mykhaylychenko

Photos: Natalia Mospan