The fourth issue of RUBINAITIS begins with a message by Danish author Bjarne Reuter, entitled „Books are a Passport to the Inner World“. In the first caption, „Overviews“, Danguolė Sakavičiūtė analyzes new prose books for children by Lithuanian authors published in 1995. In her opinion, the year was not marked by great discoveries of a large number talented books. Rather, some of the works are of low standart. Only The Night of White Cheese by Jurgis Kunčinas and a few books of historical prose in the „Skomantas“ series are worthy of attention. The prose of today fails to reflect the world of modern children. Gražina Skabeikytė reviews the latest Lithuanian poetry for the children. Though some of the new books hardly qualify as poetry at all, remaining just amateurish rhyming attempts by grandmothers, aunts and mothers, Grandma from Paris by the young author Juozas Erlickas is, by the opinion oi the reviewer, a real joy to readers.

Two articles are devoted to the 220th birth anniversary of E. T. A. Hoffmann. Kęstutis Urba in his article Ernst Teodor Amadeus Hoffman and Childernʼs Literature claims that the significance of Hoffmannʼs contribution to the development of Childrenʼs Literature has been underestimated and altempts to explain the reasons of this. The article analizes two fantasies specialy meant for children – The Nutcracker and the Mouse-King and The Strange Child and also deals with works by Hoffmann that are most often published for young adults: The Golden Pot, Little Zaches, Called Zinnober; Master Martin the Cooper, The Kingʼs Betroihed and others. K. Urba ends his article by attempting to answer the question of why and in what sense the acquaintance with the works by Hoffmann might be importanl for teenagers. Under the same caption, Dalia Striogaitė presents an analysis of The Nutcracker and the Mouse-King and quotes a few of childrenʼs opinions on the tale. The article is subtitled The Beauty and Value of the Fairy-Tale.

The third caption, „A r t i c 1 e s“, also deals with German-language literature for young readers. Who was Jella Lepman? is the title of an article by Irena Grinienė. Although the name of Jella Lepman had appeared in RUBINAITIS more than once in the past, Lithuanian readersʼ knowledge of her life, activities and merits still remained limited. Jochen Weber, a Lektor from the IYL in Munich has contributed to the present issue of RUBINAITIS his study entitled Island in the Literature for Young Readers. In it, on the basis of his analysis he distinguishes 6 models in which the image of an island is employed in works of world literature: island as a prison; island as a model of utopic society; island as a space for dreams and self-expression; island as a strange world; island as an adventure land.

Rūta Jonynaitė, a German-Lithuanian translator, took part at a seminar hosted by the International Institute for Childrenʼs Literature in Vienna in November, 1995. As a result of her visit she has contributed an article on the tendencies in modern Austrian childrenʼs Literature in which she touches upon poetry, real-life prose, social themes, literature dealing with love and sex issues, historical literature, fantasy, etc. As an illustration, the translalor presents in Lithuanian the story Lili Verlierli by the young Austrian author Martin Auer. The story appears under a new caption „1 e tʼ s  r e a d  t o g e t  h e r,  m a m a“.

In the traditional caption „B o o k s  o f  m y  C h i 1 d h o o d“ Elona Varnauskienė interviews a well-known linguist, teacher and professor of Baltic studies Jonas Balkevičius (b. 1923). In the interview Jonas Balkevičius not only tells about the books that were once his or his pupilʼs favourites, but also reflects on the more general topies of family relations and pedagogical principles in the 20s and 30s as well as expressing his views on modern childrenʼs literature.

Two institutions mentioned in the previous articles – The International Youth Library in Munich and the International Institute for Childrenʼs Literature and Reading Research in Vienna – are extensively introduced to the reader in the traditional caption „I n t r o d u c t i o n s“ by Vytautas Vilimas and Genovaitė Raguotienė.

The Section on B i b 1 i o g r a f y has been prepared by Roma Kišūnaitė who has compiled lists of Childrenʼs literature that appeared in Lithuania in 1995 as well as list of publications about childrenʼs literature.

Translated Into English by Rimantas Remeika

Žurnalas „Rubinaitis“, 1996 Nr. 1 (4)


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