20 September 2017 Conrad Festival for the youngest readers

The Conrad Festival has long been known to be a feast for grown-up readers, but the youngest book fanciers will also get their treat. We are preparing a series of events full of literary surprises, meetings with authors and imagination-stimulating workshops.

For one week Krakow will again play host to the best and most popular authors of children’s books. They will include Martin Widmark, adored by masses of young book fiends. During the Conrad Festival, the author of the cycle about Jerry and Maya will meet not only his readers but also the patients of the University Children’s Hospital. In turn, Andrzej Maleszka will talk about the latest part of the Magiczne drzewo (The Magic Tree)cycle entitled Berło (The Sceptre) while Adam Wajrak and Tomasz Samojlik will speak of the Undead forest, i.e. Białowieża Forest. Moreover, Anna Dziewit-Meller will make her debut as children’s literature author at a meeting devoted to her book Damy, dziewczyny, dziewuchy, an account of history-making Polish women and girls, at which boys will also be welcome.

Serge Bloch, the author of cheeky illustrations for the comic Bible by Frédéric Boyer and the man who dared to draw God as a funny little man, and no thunderbolt struck him for that, will try to answer the question whether there are things that cannot be drawn. After the workshop, you are invited to a vernissage of the exhibition that will transform the Wyspiański Pavilion into the Tower of Babel, with Old Testament stories coming to life on the walls. Come and see for yourself. The exhibition of Serge Bloch’s illustrations will stay open till 12 November.

However, this will not be the only exhibition. The Conrad Festival children’s series will also include a viewing of the best Ryms quarterly covers, marking the magazine’s tenth birthday. Fans of illustrative work should be satisfied because top-class artists have worked for the journal, such as Anna Chmielnik, Joanna Gębal, Tomasz Kaczkowski, Agata Królak, Katarzyna Olbrycht and Józef Wilkoń.

The programme of workshops for children promises to be just as interesting. The cycle will open with a graphics and drawing workshop named after Joseph Conrad himself – a fearless traveller. Anna Kaszuba-Dębska will conduct it. We also have something in store for comic-book enthusiasts. Sharpen your pencils, crayons and appetites for the comic workshop held by no other than Karol KaeReL Kalinowski, winner of the Ferdinand the Magnificent Award for the Best Children’s Book for his Kościsko. We will draw Leshy and other Yotvingian mythic creatures at the workshop. There is more. A practical lesson of drawing craters, explosions and ruins will be taught to participants of the workshop with Marcin Podolec, author of Bajka na końcu świata. Justyna Styszyńska, in turn, will invite to her non-comic workshop about Frida Kahlo.

Who are the deaf and how do they communicate? How to say your name with your fingers? Participants of an integration workshop on the language and culture of the deaf, DeafRespect, will learn the answers to these and other questions. At an art workshop with the Spanish author Aina Bestard, on the other hand, children will discover the secrets of the forest while preparing three-dimensional illustrations.

Still more workshops to come at the Conrad Festival children’s series. The one devoted to the book by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo – Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls – conducted by the illustrator Zofia Dzierżawska, will let us explore the biographies of extraordinary ladies who had the courage to change the world. Finally, something for the fans of the not-so-bright but extremely funny character called Prosiaczek. The workshop focused on this adorable pink fellow will be held by his creator, Aleksandra Woldańska-Płocińska.

The Conrad Festival children’s series is conducted in cooperation with the Children’s Literature Festival. Admittance to all events is free of charge, but prior registration at fldd.pl/2017 is required. The number of participants is limited.