A collectible series of six mini picturebooks curated by Rūta Briede, each featuring a delightful story accompanied by colourful illustrations. The titles included in this set are:
Bicki Bucki, written by Janis Baltvilks and illustrated by Reinis Petersons
The story of a friendship between a small boy and a dinosaur who gets its tail stuck under a stone. Petersons’s simple, block colour illustrations make this tale of perseverance and helping others pop off the page. And just like the hero, the reader who powers on to the end will find a real surprise at the end of their quest!
Publication date: 17 Jan 2019 | Paperback ISBN 9781910139912
Calm Beasts, written by Herberts Dobre and illustrated by Gita Treice
A curious world where wolves fall silent and lions lie down to be stroked. The warm, muted palette of Gita Treice’s painterly illustrations bring these beasts to life.
Publication date: 17 Jan 2019 | Paperback ISBN: 9781910139936
Topsy-Turvy Tasks, written by Maija Laukmane and illustrated by Sabine Moore
Maija Laukmane presents us with a world where everything is out of place. Once one thing changes, daily routines and chores get all mixed up for a child and her pets: soon, Lucy is being chased by mice and her dog has taken her place at school. But some things never change. As soon as Tom the cat gets at a bowl of milk, no amount of havoc can prise him away… Sabine Moore’s bold illustrations are a mix of cartoon and cut-out styles, bringing their own bright and manic energy to this topsy-turvy world.
Publication date: 17 Jan 2019 | Paperback ISBN: 9781910139950
The Door Wizard, written by Pēters Brūveris and illustrated by Paulis Liepa
What happens when a wizard makes a door impossible to close? The outside comes in and the inside goes out. But what’s a kid to do, caught in the middle of it all? The story is brought to life with colourful geometric illustrations of home life and the natural world by Paulis Liepa.
Paperback ISBN 9781910139981 | Publication date: 17 Jan 2019
Ice Cream, written by Arnolds Auziņš and illustrated by Līva Piterā
A cautionary tale about the perils of eating too many sweet treats – depending on whether you think turning into a snowman is a good thing or a bad thing! Watercolour pictures by Līva Piterāne create a playful, dream-like snowscape, and add a comic touch to the poem’s portrait of family life.
Publication date: 17 Jan 2019 | Paperback ISBN: 9781910139974
Naughty Gnat, written by Valdis Grenkovs and illustrated by Zane Zlemeša
Naughty Gnat is a mini picturebook about a drawing session that doesn’t go to plan. Zane Zlemeša illustrates the story with a vivid collage of scribbles and platters as the would-be artist becomes overwhelmed by a fly in the ointment.
Publication date: 17 Jan 2019 | Paperback ISBN: 9781910139981
About the authors
Jānis Baltvilks wrote over 30 books for children, spanning poetry, prose and non-fiction. Drawing on his experience as a natural scientist, he is credited with bringing a reflective understanding of nature into Latvian literature. He was also one of the most active members of the Latvian section of IBBY.
Herberts Dorbe was a Latvian writer, poet, translator, playwright and primary school teacher. He lived in Russia as a refugee before returning to his hometown of Ventspils, a Baltic port city. Marking his dedicated engagement to education, the Herberts Memorial Museum presents the ‘Teacher of the Year Award’ in his honour.
Maija Laukmane is a poet, writer and qualified children’s librarian. She is a graduate of the Riga Technical School of Culture and Education and is the author of several poetry collections for adults and children.
Pēters Brūveris was a prominent Latvian writer, translator of poetry, and laureate of the Baltic Assembly Prize for Literature. He was a prolific author and translator (from Azebaijan, Tukish, Lithuanian, Russian, German and other languages!). Brūveris also wrote children’s literature and lyrics for popular musicals and songs. His most notable honours and awards include the Klāvs Elsbergs Prize in 1987, the Poetry Days Award (2001, 2005), the Baltic Assembly Prize in 2004, and the Annual Latvian Literary Award (2006).
Arnolds Auziņš is poet, writer and playwright. He studied philology at the University of Latvia before working in the editing department of Pionieris newspaper and serving on the editorial board of the magazine Draugs. His first collection of poems Smaids [Smile] was published in 1967. His wife Laimdota is a retired teacher. They have two sons and daughters, and are proud of their five grandchildren.
Valdis Grenkovs worked as a marine engineer before writing for a series of Latvian children’s magazines. Often drawing on his interest in the sea and the everyday life of fishermen, his poetry collections for adults and children reveal the humour in the mundane from a child’s perspective.
About the illustrators
Reinis Pētersons is one of Latvia’s most prominent illustrators and new generation animation film artists. His auteur animation film Ursus (2012) was shown in more than 90 film festivals across the globe and received widespread critical acclaim. Pētersons has been nominated twice for The Hans Christian Andersen Award (Switzerland), the highest international recognition given to a book illustrator, and also for The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (Sweden).
Gita Treice is a graduate of the Latvian Academy of Art. Her illustration projects range from mathematics textbooks to the children’s magazine Zīlīte. Subsequent to being recognised as the Latvian Artist of the Year (2001), she has received the Annual Prize for Book Publishing (2003), the Riga Award for Outstanding Achievement in Book Design (2007), and the Janis Baltvilks Prize for her contribution to the field of children’s illustration (2018).
Sabine Moore is an illustrator and multidisciplinary artist whose work spans the media of film, animation, performance and, under the alias ‘Waterflower’, music. In 2021 her album ‘Balta Gaisma’ was nominated for the Annual Latvian Music Recording Award for Best Album Design.
Paulis Liepa studied graphic art at the Art Academy of Latvia. His work spans book design, illustration and animation and has received numerous accolades, including the International Graphic Art Biennial of the Baltic Sea Countries Grand Prix in Kaliningrad, Russia (2008), the International Graphic Art Triennial Grand Prix in Krakow, Poland (2012) and the Diena Award of the Year (2013).
Līva Piterāne studied visual communication at the Art Academy of Latvia. She has produced several charming silent picture stories for Kuš! comics, and makes her debut in children’s book illustration with her characteristic delicate watercolour palette in Arnolds Auziņš’s Ice Cream.
Zane Zlemeša is a visual artist whose work has been featured in magazines such as Kuš!, Popper, Stripburger. Layered, textured, detailed, her illustrations are individually characteristic, whether they are depicting an interior, a landscape or an individual.
About the translators
Uldis Balodis is linguist, literary translator and editor whose translation experience spans mysteries, children’s stories, and scientific articles, and children’s poetry. He holds a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of California, Santa Barbara and has studied over 30 languages including Navajo, Sanskrit, and Livonian. He grew up in Arizona, a descendant of the World War II Latvian refugee community in the United States, and is passionate about photography.
Žanete Vēvere Pasqualini works as a literary agent for the Latvian Literature platform and translates in her spare time. Her translation of Kristine Ulberga’s “The Green Crow” was published by Peter Owen Publishers, and she translated the stories “The Birds of Ķīpsala Island” by Dace Rukšāne and “The Shakes” by Svens Kuzmins for The Book of Riga, published by Comma Press in 2018, as well as “The Quarry” by Jana Egle (for Words Without Borders). Her other translations in English include: The Noisy Classroom by Ieva Flamingo (children’s poetry, published by the Emma Press), Dog Town by Luīze Pastore (a children’s book, published by Firefly).
Kate Wakeling is a poet and musicologist. Her debut poetry collection for children, Moon Juice, won the CLiPPA in 2017 and was nominated for the Carnegie Medal. A pamphlet of her poetry for adults, The Rainbow Faults, is published by The Rialto. Kate studied music at Cambridge University and holds a PhD in Balinese gamelan music from SOAS. She is writer-in-residence with Aurora Orchestra.
Biographical information courtesy of LU LFMI.