Jeanette Winter «The changeling»

Rooted in Scandinavian and Celtic folklore, the theme of an innocent baby being replaced with a homely, ill-tempered troll or fairy child has intrigued writers for generations. Nobel-laureate Lagerlof drew upon the literature of her native Sweden to create this original story of a woman whose maternal instinct is so strong that she treats the changeling just as she would her own beloved child. Her concern for the troll’s safety finally results in the release of her son. Told in the style of a European folktale, this translation is very readable. However, the length of the text and its sophisticated language make it suitable for middle graders. Bright illustrations in muted tones range in size from one-third page to full-page paintings, each framed on two sides by harmoniously tinted borders. Although the paintings are quite detailed, Winter’s flat, folk-art style featuring plain-faced peasants gives them a look of simplicity. From cover to endpapers to handsomely illustrated text, the overall effect is most pleasing.

Helen Ahpornsiri «Год в лесу»

Каких только книг о природе читатели уже не видели в этом году, а издатели всё равно сумели отыскать для нас нечто новое и особенное: книгу-гербарий, иллюстрации которой полностью сделаны из настоящих растений, выпускают в детской редакции «Манн, Иванов и Фербер». «Год в лесу» — это тот самый случай, когда объединяются экологичность как мировоззрение и декоративное искусство высокой пробы.

Gerald McDermott «Anansi the Spider»

Anansi the Spider is one of the great folk heroes of the world. He is a rogue, a mischief maker, and a wise, lovable creature who triumphs over larger foes.

In this traditional Ashanti tale, Anansi sets out on a long, difficult journey. Threatened by Fish and Falcon, he is saved from terrible fates by his sons. But which of his sons should Anansi reward? Calling upon Nyame, the God of All Things, Anansi solves his predicament in a touching and highly resourceful fashion.

In adapting this popular folktale, Gerald McDermott merges the old with the new, combining bold, rich color with traditional African design motifs and authentic Ashanti language rhythms.

Anansi the Spider is a 1973 Caldecott Honor Book.