When I started looking into picture books by Polish creators, I was blown away by the beauty of the illustrations. Aleksandra Mizielińska and Daniel Mizieliński are undoubtedly the best-known illustrators from Poland on the international scene. The pair were awarded the French Prix Sorcières and the Italian Primo Andersen in 2013 for their giant world atlas Maps and have published a number of other successful titles – in Polish and in translation – since then.
In this fascinating interview, Antonia Lloyd-Jones, award-winning Polish to English literary translator, notes that Polish children’s illustrated books have undergone something of a renaissance in recent years and remarks that ‘Polish illustrated children’s books represent an unexploited gold mine, represented by artists such as Katarzyna Bogucka, Agata Dudek, Paweł Pawlak, and many others.’ Let’s hope this means we will have the opportunity to explore many more Polish children’s books in translation before too long!
In the meantime, you can feast your eyes on artwork by 12 Polish children’s book designers and illustrators in this glorious post on Culture.pl The same online magazine also features a very interesting piece on Polish children’s books in translation – both classics and contemporary titles – that have won the hearts of readers around the world. If you are interested in vintage Polish children’s titles, have a browse through this wonderful series of posts that draws on Aleksandra Mizielińska and Daniel Mizieliński’s collection of books from the 1950s, 60s and 70s.
I have selected three titles to feature on the blog for this leg of my picture book journey. Each one, I believe, showcases the incredible talent of Polish children’s book creators – both authors and illustrators – today.
The Secret Life of a Tiger by Przemystaw Wechterowicz, illustrated by Emilia Dziubak, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones (words and pictures, Quarto Group, 2018)
Welcome to Mamoko by Aleksandra Mizielińska and Daniel Mizieliński, translator unknown (Big Picture Press, 2013)
The Book of Bees illustrated by Piotr Socha, with text by Wojciech Grajkowski, translated by Agnes Monod-Gayraud (Thames and Hudson, 2016)[Image: Warszawa – Biblioteka Uniwersytecka by Jaime Silva made available under a creative commons licence. Source: flickr.com I do like abstract architectural photos.]