A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

Polish / Poland

Lokomotywa / IDEOLO
(The locomotive / IDEOLO)

Tuwim, Julian (text)
Ruszczyk, Joanna (ed.)
Gurowska, Małgorzata (illus.)
Warszawa: Wytwórnia [et al.], 2013. – 178 p.
ISBN 978-83-64011-04-7

Society – Globalisation – Discrimination – Poetry – Picture book – Leporello 

It seems obvious to construct a children’s verse classic about a locomotive – as in Julian Tuwim’s story – as an accordion book. If this decision is coupled with an entirely new interpretation of the text in both imagery and commentary, as illustrator Małgorzata Gurowska and journalist Joanna Ruszczyk have done here, the whole project becomes extraordinary. This locomotive bears special freight: rigid, uniform computer graphics and strong black-and-white contrasts reveal that it is transporting stacked animals, weapons, military personnel, tanks, furniture, men, women and children. On the reverse side of the wagon illustrations, one finds quotations from Tuwim’s poem as well as from his other works, and also snippets of contemporary reports, dispatches and statistics on globalisation, anti-semitism, homophobia, animal abuse, malnutrition, and many other topics. These quotations represent the kind of social critique and rejection of ideological thinking that Tuwim alluded to with the “IDEOLO” word-fragment in his 1936 poem “Opera ball”. (Age: 14+)