A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

Czech / Czech Republic

Pohoršovna
(Deformatory school)

Fischerová, Daniela (text)
Petrová, Jitka (illus.)
Praha: Mladá fronta, 2014. – 117 p.
ISBN 978-80-204-3270-4

Ghost – Topsy-turvy world – Value

Hyperactive dwarfs, a witch baby, the twins of King Worrywart, the strange will-o’-the-wisp girl, and so on – because they are too nice, all these characters fail at being good monsters and spirits. Their parents send them to a correction house for getting better at being bad. It is run by Malevola Ravage and her soft-willed husband Hard. There the little ones must learn to be nasty and mean and to create the greatest amount of trouble for others. But this all goes terribly wrong when the devil suddenly enters the picture… Daniela Fischerová (b. 1948) succeeds in creating a very funny children’s book with “Pohoršovna”, which leads one to believe in a completely upside down world, until everything is unveiled as false in the end. Through rich word play and wit, the author lets her quirky characters whirl through the book. Jitka Petrova (b. 1975) has captured them brilliantly in pictures. Such a “deformatory school” seems prize-worthy and in fact received the coveted Czech award “Zlata Stuha” in 2015. (Age: 9+)