The book "Stars and Poppy Seeds", the authors and illustrators of which are Art Studio “Agrafka” (Romana Romanyshyn and Andriy Lesiv) and which was published by “The Old Lion Publishing House”, was among the winners in the nomination Opera Prima of the competition Bologna Ragazzi Award 2014. This was the first time that a Ukrainian book was awarded at such a high level.
Opera Prima is a prize which is adjudged for significant achievements, studies
and realization of innovative publishing production. Mandatory condition: it should be a debut either for the author or the illustrator. Romana and Andriy, creating "Stars and Poppy Seeds", have for the first time tried on the roles of writers.
The award ceremony will take place on March 24 during the 51st Bologna Fair, which will traditionally feature over one thousand exhibitors from more than 70 countries. Hundreds of books from all over the world compete for the title of the best one. Ukraine will be represented in Bologna for the second time. Last year, “The Old Lion Publishing House” and Grani-T showed Ukrainian books to the world for the first time there; this year, "Old Lion" will bring a remarkable award together with Agrafka.
The jury members – Martin Sailsberry (head, UK), Manuel Estrada (Spain), Lorence Tuitello (France) – have motivated their choice and the victory of "Stars and Poppy Seeds" as follows: “The topic of mathematics is becoming cross-cutting, thanks to the girl`s desire to count everything in the world. Every page of the book is a pattern of numbers and formulas, dots and symbols, which create a collage and visualize scientific knowledge. The main character constantly and easily interacts with objects, which she endeavours to count. Authors use digital collage confidently, successfully combining basic graphic material and handwritten signs.
“Personally for us, the award BolognaRagazzi Award is of great importance. This award is adjudged to the world`s best editions; this is a symbol of the highest mark in the field of children`s book and is extremely highly regarded among professionals, - the authors of the book, Romana Romanyshyn and Andriy Lesiv, say. – We worked on this project practically for the whole last year, and we are very happy that as a result of collaboration with “The Old Lion Publishing House” we now have a Ukrainian book which have been dignifiedly recognized on international level. This news is especially pleasant in view of the revolutionary events in Ukraine”.
“How to surprise the world? I couldn’t stop thinking of it, when last year at an exhibition in Bologna I visited the exposition of children's publishers from everywhere, – Mariana Savka, a writer, the editor in chief of “The Old Lion Publishing House”, says. – Thousands, hundreds of thousands of interesting, unique, special books in different languages. Bologna is a real Mecca of children`s literature. But still, we managed to amaze them. I say “we” meaning a great team, which was formed at “The Old Lion Publishing House” with the Art Studio “Agrafka”. Romana Romanyshyn and Andriy Lesiv are not only talented and highly skilled but the two artists also feel very accurately, how to say it better … the world`s mood. Maybe that is why their book "Stars and Poppy Seeds" swept the highly honoured jury of the competition for the best book of the Bologna Book Exhibition off their feet. I’m sure that this universal aesthetic and meaningful reading of their book about the girl Dora, who wanted to count everything in the world, is close to people of different countries and cultures, and opens the wide world to the beautiful and wonderful book. "
Paul Thurlby, a British illustrator, and his “Alphabet” have received Opera Prima Bologna Ragazzi Award 2013.