In 2021, based on the project “Translation and Publishing of the Yiddish Children’s Books”, a publishing house “Slinktys” together with the Lithuanian Jewish (Litvak) community published 5 books for children: Leib Kvitko “In the Forest” (illustrations by Issachar Ryback), Bentsiyen Raskin “The Chicken Who Wanted the Comb” (illustrations by El Lissitzky), Perec Markiš “Rooster the Read Head” (illustrations by Y. Tchaikovsky), Mani Leib “Tongue the Great” (illustrations by El Lissitzky), and Leib Kvitko “Kitten” (illustrations by Josif Daic). All the books are sound recorded by actor Eimantas Bareikis. The music tracks for them were created by Simon Gimelstein. You can listen by scanning the QR code, which is printed on the book flaps. The books were translated from Yiddish by Roza Bieliauskienė and Dominykas Norkūnas, and edited by Aistis Žekevičius and Rasa Milerytė.
All five books are the beginning of the YIVO library. The first editions of books in Yiddish appeared about 100 years ago. The originals are archived in the e-library of the YIVO Institute, and the Institute itself is a partner in this project. Original illustrations are published in the books. Below are the links to the original books and inside illustrations on the YIVO institute e-library.
Der galaganer hon, Peretz Markish, 1922
Yingl, tsingl, khvat, Mani Leib, 1918
In vald, Leib Kvitko, 1921
Dos ketsele, Leib Kvitko, 1935
Di hun vos hot gevolt hobn a kam, Bentsiyen Raskin, 1919
Project was partially financed by the Good Will Foundation
You can buy the book set on GWF e-shop: https://gvf.lt/en/e-shop/
Set price 18 euro.
|Mani Leib. “Liežuviukas Šaunuoliukas” (Lithuanian)
Can there be anything worse than winter without snowflakes and frosts? Exactly such a dreary winter hits the world. People drown in mud, in the dark, there is only gray rain instead of snow. Why did this happen and what to do? Is there a man who will save everyone? There is! It’s a boy Liežuviukas (Tongue), Liežuviukas Šaunuoliukas (Tongue the Great), a really brave boy. This poetic tale is about a boy who, after passing all the challenges and is not afraid to get dirty, receives a miraculous gift. When it snows on the ground, do know that it is Liežuviukas Šaunuoliukas flying in the sky and scattering snowflakes.
|Perec Markiš. “Gaidys raudonskiauterys” (Lithuanian)
Once upon a time there lived a proud and arrogant peahen and no less a proud redhead rooster. The peahen wore a necklace and dreamed of marrying a king, and the rooster tousled his beautiful comb and longed to marry the peahen and reign the world. But the tale would not be so interesting if all the wishes of the characters came true at once. It would not be so interesting even if the wishes were not disturbed by a witch – a one-eyed old woman with a leprous face.
|Leib Kvitko. “Katytė (Kitten)” (Lithuanian)
A naughty kitten lives in the house. Soft, black as a tar, she purrs, runs around the house, and plays. Even a mother angry that a kitten is making friends with mice can’t resist the charm. But the best friend of a kitten is not a mouse, but a boy. For him, the kitten would do anything. If only she loses sight of the boy, she is looking for him in a stove, a pot, a jug, and when she finds him, the fun continues. When the kitten disappears one day, sadness strikes the house: the boy will not calm down until his sweetest friend will come back.
|Leib Kvitko. “Miške” (In a Forest) (Lithuanian)
Sometimes we dream that we are sitting on the edge of the moon and eating ice cream – oh, how do you not want to wake up then … And sometimes such crazy dreams appear that they are too scary to tell someone. This has happened to the little cute kitten: in a dream he saw a forest, a deceitful fox, a tiger showing its shiny fangs, a strong hairy lion, a wolf with sharp teeth, and many other predators. And the worst that could happen, Ikas Picherikas was lost among these predators in the forest. The farther away, the darker the forest and the scarier the kitten’s dream and … the more curious it is to turn the next page.
|Bentsiyen Raskin. “Višta, kuri norėjo šukų” (Lithuanian)
The tale of the rooster and the hen is known to many. But has anyone heard the tale of a rooster and a hen who wanted to buy a comb? If you need a comb, then you will have to go to the fair. If you go to the fair, you’ll probably meet someone along the way. If you meet someone, how can you not invite them to sit in a wagon? And what can happen to a wagon with a rooster, a chicken, a lion, a tiger and an elephant inside?