This year, Tereza Ščerbová, a young illustrator trained by UMPRUM (and known in the literary world for her illustrations for the magazine Host), made a splash with her book Kooki. She put text to illustrations in her characteristic style – and her endeavour was immediately crowned with a Golden Ribbon award for the artwork in the category of books for older children and young people. Kooki is a philosophical parable about identity and ties and the desire to please those we care about, as well as the risks this entails. Kooki, a mysterious creature from the mountains, lives contentedly in the present time and place until he meets a bear from the town, who tells him of the wonders of the colourful and exciting world elsewhere. But then the bear stops visiting his friend, who is prepared to do anything to go and see him in the town – even at the cost of losing himself. In this allegorical tale, which suggests more than it explains, readers of all ages will find their own level, so the book can grow with them, as timeless storytelling like The Little Prince is able to do.
“As a graduate in illustration and graphics from the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design, Ščerbová illustrated the book herself – superbly. The text and pictures complement each other, creating a sometimes grim but exciting story. […] Kooki is simply a story which can grow with the reader without losing any of its significance – quite the reverse. And that is something you don’t see very often.”
— Monika Zavřelová, MF Dnes
“You’ll fall for Tereza Ščerbová’s Kooki and develop a soft spot for him. He is a being who deserves it. He is the better part of us ourselves, which should never be allowed to perish. Kooki is really hope and joy, openness and carefreeness and at the same time the courage to remain oneself.”
— Zdeněk A. Eminger, iLiteratura