Launch of a new Ukrainian children's book in the national library

Printer-friendly versionPDF version


On 11 April 2022, we launched a children’s book in Ukrainian based on Hungarian folk tales, published in collaboration with our library.

A Ukrainian children’s book based on Hungarian folk tales was published jointly by Móra Publishing House, Nova Hvylja Association and NSZL, with the support of Petőfi Cultural Agency (PKÜ) and the Alföldi Printing House.

In 2021 Nova Hvylja, the association of Ukrainian youths and families in Hungary started its series entitled Népek meséi [Folk Tales]. In its first part, the five tales of Virág Csenge Zalka’s folk tale collection called Ribizli a világ végén [Ribizli (here stands for a given name, literally meaning ‘redcurrant’) at the End of the World] were published in Ukrainian. The volume intended for elementary school children won the Children’s Book of Year Award of HUBBY – Hungarian Children’s Book Forum, a national association representing the professional interests of children’s book and children’s literature. The collection covers the entire area where the Hungarian language is spoken and used, from Szigetköz to Székely Land, from Vojvodina to Transcarpathia, representing the fascinating beauty and richness of the Hungarian fairy tale tradition. Another special feature of the volume is that the heroes are women who act, not as sufferers, but as shapers of their destiny. The HUBBY praised the book for its outstanding, clear, yet lively tales, which speak and appeal to readers of all ages in a language that is relevant to today’s readers. The first Ukrainian edition of the book was supported by the Ukrainian National Minority Municipality of Erzsébetváros District in Budapest, the Ukrainian National Minority Municipality of Békéscsaba and the Hungarian government.

With the aim of supporting families fleeing the war in Ukraine, our library has proposed a cooperation between the Nova Hvylja Association and the book’s publisher Móra Publishing House. Together, we published eight stories from Csenge Zalka Virág’s award-winning storybook to provide them to 1,500 Ukrainian refugee families. The collection of folk tales in Ukrainian entitled Ribizli a világ végén [Ribizli at the End of the World], was published in a new Ukrainian edition, with expanded content and renewed illustrations more in line with Ukrainian traditions.

Ukrainian children and their companions took part in the extraordinary book launch upon the courtesy of the association, and the organisers entertained them with fairy tale reading, folk songs and circus performances. Among others, Hungarian actress Nelli Szűcs, Jászai Mari Prize winner, a worthy and distinguished artist of the National Theatre in Budapest, read a story from the book in Ukrainian to the audience.

At the event, Dávid Rózsa, Director General of the NSZL, Liliana Grexa, President of the Association, and Zoltán Fürjes, State Secretariat for Church, Civil Society and Nationality Affairs of the Prime Minister’s Office welcomed the guests. Dávid Rózsa emphasized that the cooperation and support for the good cause came quickly from the participants of the edition. Zoltán Fürjes’ speech focused on fairy tales, ‘the ancient shared tradition that must be rediscovered over and over again’ and ‘which can enchant us and take us out of reality’. The president of the association expressed the hope that the book will remain a lasting memory of Hungary for Ukrainian children.

The event in photos