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Lice, fleas, mites, bumblebees, pigeons, pharaoh ants, voracious caterpillars, parasites, and various other revolting critters – no one likes them, yet here they are. And each has its own story. Some of them have found their purpose in life, while others may eventually prove admirable... Why is it that there are no children’ stories about them? Addressing this gap in children's literature, which tends to favor encyclopedias, as well as catering to parents who enjoy bedtime reading, biology teachers seeking more than just chalkboard lessons, and readers who never lose their curiosity, Jiří Dvořák has once again taken it upon himself to fill this void in his own unique way. From the lives of pests and vermin, he has crafted a poetic and entertaining world brimming with incredible adventures that is guaranteed to amuse, delight, and fill in a hole or two in one's knowledge. Verminariumi s a continuation of Dvořák's original literary genre – the storybook encyclopedia. In addition to colorful fables, tales, and stories about the intriguing lives of pests and their ilk, he has enriched his writing with various provocative questions (scientific and philosophical), and, true to form, short poems, some of which approach the perfection of haiku. Verminarium educates and delights all, from the young to the old, from the more technically inclined to the incurable dreamers; everyone will find some literary form to suit them within its pages.

Illustrator and co-author, Daniela Olejníková, one of the most talented emerging illustrators of her generation, shares her experience. "Illustrating Verminarium was pure joy. Since childhood, I've been mesmerized by insects and other critters, so I was thrilled at the opportunity of spending a few months among them. It also felt like the right moment to return to my favorite linocut technique, which had been on the back burner for a while. Jiří Dvořák's text is perfect material for illustration, and I had already become captivated by it in his book Rostlinopis (Strange Truths and Fables of the Green World). I worked on the compositions with the generous assistance of graphic designer Pal Bálik, and in the end, we indulged in a bit of color, which gave a different, contemporary dimension to the otherwise 'old-school' linocut."


JIŘÍ DVOŘÁK: "Each of us has a small but rather populous zoo at home, full of flies, spiders, woodlice... and, yes, sometimes even fleas or lice. However, there are no labels there to tell you what is what. Which is a shame because each of these little creatures has its own story. That’s when it occurred to me to write them down – and thus was born an illustrated guide through the kingdom of critters. I hope it will entertain both children and their parents. And that they won't scratch too much while reading it. We often swat, shoo, and exterminate vermin – mainly because we don't understand them. But anyone who takes a closer look will discover that vermin can also be beautiful – just (if they allow you) take a look at a hornet! Not only that, but some of them are actually quite likable, like woodlice, fireflies... or my favorite – wasps. Perhaps they will also realize that the most vermin-like vermin on Earth are actually Homo Sapiens – knowing man – though this book does not include a separate chapter about them."

Graphic Design
Date of publication
picture books
baobab original
Contents of the book
illustrated text books
Number of pages
235 x 214 mm
3 — 6
9 — 13
for all the family