The Czech section of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) awarded its Honour Lists on 24th January 2017. Illustrator Andrea Tachezy won for the concertina book Ferdinand! (Ferdinande!) and author Daniela Fischerová won for Deformatory (Pohoršovna).
Deformatory draws on the current popularity of magic-school narratives, but transforms imported fantasy models through comically turning the tables. In the land of the despotic ruler Cruelhead there is a reformatory institution for maladjusted spooks who, rather than harming people, suffer from various embarrassing forms of niceness and perverse kind-heartedness. Unless the whip of Malefica Grudgeberth is quick enough to intervene, these beings could easily turn into doctors without borders or guide dogs. Recruiting from gabbling “dorcs”, “lampires”, who spend nights reading books, and the little-promising “imp in development”, will they eventually conform to the deformatory’s code of conduct? Only the Fairy Godson, an inconspicuous little boy, sees what is going on due to his soothsaying gift. Daniela Fischerová’s masterful use of language, supported by situation humour, a pleasant helping of disorderliness and Jitka Petrová’s dynamic illustrations, leads junior-school children to the conclusion that both people and fairy-tale creatures should strive for the reconciliation of our two worlds.
The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) is a Swiss non-profit organization based in Zurich committed to bringing books and children together. The Czech section was established in 1964.