Mother and the Ginns [“A muter meg a dzsinnek”] by Dóra Elekes (illustrated by Fruzsina Kun), published by Csimota, has been selected to be part of the prestigious White Ravens annual catalogue of book recommendations of international children’s and youth literature.
Csimota's book Mother and the Ginns [“A muter meg a dzsinnek”] by Dóra Elekes (illustrated by Fruzsina Kun) has been selected to be part of the prestigious White Ravens annual catalogue of book recommendations of international children’s and youth literature. This year’s White Ravens catalogue contains 200 titles in 42 languages from 60 countries.
The printed catalogue was launched at the Frankfurt Book Fair, and all the 200 White Ravens books will be on display at the Bologna Children’s Fair in 2017.
Short reviews of all the works are available in the new »White Ravens« database at www.ijb.de, and we are very pleased to be able to bring you an extract from the work, which deals with life with an alcoholic mother as seen through the eyes of a young girl (translated by Mark Baczoni).
"I don’t know what Ginn’s up next, it’s pretty hard to tell. The Time Ginn’s already been today, so he won’t come again, but it could be for example the Space Ginn.
The Space Ginn’s fun, too, actually; what he does is he lures Mother to all sorts of unusual places and then leaves here there, and we have to go and find her.
The last time the Space Ginn dragged Mother off somewhere, Jani and Heni were round. They’re friends of Mother’s, and they’re very nice and cheerful. Heni, for instance, doesn’t have a lot of teeth, wears this funny, tasselled hat, and always smells faintly of UHU. Jani, her boyfriend, knows a lot of jokes about policemen and can burp very loud, but we’re not supposed to know he’s Heni’s boyfriend because his wife – he calls her ‘my mate the missus’ - wouldn’t like them being friends.
So they were round at ours, in the living room to be precise, and they were watching some film on the telly, curled up together and giggling. But then it got late and the film was over, and Mother was still nowhere to be found, and there was nothing in the house to eat, so then Heni said, ‘come on, let’s go find your mother,’ and I said, ‘all right, let’s’.
Then we started rambling around the neighbourhood, and we went in all the restaurants, with all the happy diners, and they all looked at me curiously because there were no other, more exciting kids around. And everywhere they said, ‘oh, no, Ilike hasn’t been in for days, we haven’t seen her, really.’
And then we went on and the best bit was that more and more people came and joined us from each restaurant, and we went round all the restaurants with all these diners, more and more of us, and in every restaurant they said, ‘oh no, Ilike’s not here, no, I wonder where she could be, let’s go find her.’
[WHERE COULD ILIKE BE?]
And we went on down the street, and there were lots of us by then, and everyone was talking very loud and laughing and singing and they took turns holding my hand; when I got tired, they put me on their shoulders, and I said ‘giddyup!’ and looked to see from on high if Mother wasn’t somewhere about, sitting in a ditch, for example, or behind a window, or in the middle of the road somewhere.
So they carried me on their shoulders and held on to my legs so I wouldn’t fall off, and they kept saying that a girl my age ought to be in bed by now, and the men were all laughing and then the women told them to “calm down or I’ll cuff you one,” and I was happy and dead proud of Mother that she had so many friends who cared for her.
We went round all the restaurants but couldn’t find Mother anywhere, so in the end we went home, the lot of us, and by then Mother was home and wondering where I could be. When we arrived, she started screaming and shouting, but then Heni told her we’d been out looking for her, so Mother told everyone to come in, and they did, and I went to bed. I couldn’t sleep much, though, because I hadn’t had any dinner and the guests stayed all night long, so I had to step over them when I went off to school in the morning".
A Muter meg a Dzsinnek
Dóra Elekes, Fruzsina Kun (illustrator)
Csimota Könyvkiadó, 2015
Translated by: Mark Baczoni