5 Russian nominees for the 2017 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

Lullaby for brother

Lullaby for brother

press-photo
A total of 226 candidates from 60 countries are in the running for the world’s largest children’s literature prize. RBTH introduces the Russian contingent.

1. Nina Dashevskaya

"The Seven Short Dwarfs" and other books of Nina Dashevskaya. Source: press photo"The Seven Short Dwarfs" and other books of Nina Dashevskaya. Source: press photo

Nina Dashevskaya is a young author from Moscow who writes books for children and teenagers; she has a parallel career as a musician and plays in an orchestra.

Born in Tver, she made her debut as a children’s author in 2009 in the Kukumber magazine, and her first book, The Seven Short Dwarfs, was published in 2011.

Three years later, Dashevskaya was recognized with two literary awards: her collection of short stories for teenagers, About Music, won the New Children's Literature contest and took first place in Kniguru, Russia’s largest children's literature contest.

In 2015, she won Kniguru for a second time with her book I Am Not a Slowpoke, the inner monologue of 13-year-old Ignat, who finds himself out of synch with the surrounding world, particularly the adults. 

2. Arthur Givargizov

"Notes of outstanding losers." Source: press photo"Notes of outstanding losers." Source: press photo

Arthur Givargizov has been nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for the second consecutive year. He works as a teacher at a Moscow music school, teaches classical guitar and writes funny and unusual stories.

Givargizov is often called an “uneducational” writer for his “frivolous” view of school, teachers and parents, which perhaps accounts for his stories’ popularity amongst children.

His first book, a collection of poems called My Poor Sharik, came out in 2002. His second book – Notes from an Outstanding Flunker – is probably the most famous in Russia: the collection includes more than 70 comic sketches about children and parents. To date, he has published about 20 books, including a book of plays and eight collections of poetry.

3. Vladislav Krapivin

Children's writer Vladislav Krapivin, the creator and head of the the Karavella young seamen squad club, during a seamanship class. Source: Rudolf Alfimov / RIA NovostiChildren's writer Vladislav Krapivin, the creator and head of the the Karavella young seamen squad club, during a seamanship class. Source: Rudolf Alfimov / RIA Novosti

Vladislav Krapivin is one of the most famous contemporary Russian writers. He chairs the jury for the International Children's Literary Prize, which has been awarded in Russia since 2006 and is named after him. In total, more than 200 editions of his books have been published in different languages.

Krapivin’s heroes are children of different ages, but they share similar views on life and the world around them. In almost all his works, older children are friends with their younger counterparts and keep an eye out for them (Valka's Friends and Sails, Lullaby for Brother).

"Lullaby for Brother." Source: press photo"Lullaby for Brother." Source: press photo

The worlds Krapivin creates are almost entirely without adults: their presence in his books and involvement in the action is extremely limited and often negative towards children. The teenage protagonists, on the other hand, guide their younger counterparts through the pain and difficulty of growing up. In 2010, Krapivin was awarded an honorary diploma of the Hans Christian Andersen Award for his contribution to children’s literature.

4. Sergei Lyubayev

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Source: press photoThe Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Source: press photo

Outstanding Russian illustrator Lyubayev has been nominated for the Lindgren Awards for the third time in a row, making the shortlist in 2014 and 2015. He has illustrated many Russian editions of foreign authors: from Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer to The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. The distinguishing feature of his illustrations is the delicacy of their details.

He captures the nuances of everyday life in the eras and settings where the works he illustrates take place, capturing clothing, architecture and landscapes in meticulous detail. His portfolio also includes works for adults; for example, he has illustrated War and Peace, as well as novels by Gogol and Dostoevsky. He has received several Russian book awards for his work.

5. Alexander Traugot

Reproduction of the cover by artist Alexander and Valery Traugot for Hans Christian Andersen's book "The King's New Clothes." Source: A. Sverdlov / RIA NovostiReproduction of the cover by artist Alexander and Valery Traugot for Hans Christian Andersen's book "The King's New Clothes." Source: A. Sverdlov / RIA Novosti

Alexander Traugot is the only surviving member of the renowned trio of Soviet illustrators whose signature, “G.A.V. Traugot”, graces illustrations to fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen, Charles Perrault, Hoffmann and many other famous writers.

The trio was founded by Alexander’s father, Georgy Traugot, in 1956, and also featured the artist’s younger brother, Valery. After the death of Traugot Sr. in 1961, his sons continued to work together in the style their father developed, keeping the collective signature. Alexander has lived in Paris since 1992 and continues to draw.

The signature “G.A.V. Traugot” appears on illustrations to more than 200 works, totaling more than 3 million copies.

Read more: 5 leading Russian children’s book illustrators

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