A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

Polish / Poland

Kosmonautka
(Spacewoman)

Wawrzeniuk, Piotr (text)
Wojciechowska, Dorota (illus.)
Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Poławiacze Pereł, 2014. – 27 p.
(Series: Pilotka; 1)
ISBN 978-83-937988-1-0

Gender role – Behavioral role – Profession – Language use – Picture book

The very young publishing house Poławiacze Pereł (Pearl diver) has been garnering notice with books about interculturality (the “½ + ½ = ∞” series) and gender (the “Pilotka” series). The book “Kosmonautka” presents twelve mothers from a child’s perspective, in terms of both their professional and home life. One narrator says, for instance: “My mama is a bank manager. She works in the highest building in the city and papa calls her “Shark”. My favorite thing is to go with mama to the dolphinarium”. Author Piotr Wawrzeniuk (b. 1971) focuses on women in leadership positions (president, general) or technical-scientific professions (astronaut, chemist), to shuffle male and female role clichés and to promote awareness that these careers, supposedly unusual for women to pursue, are also held by plenty of women and mothers. “Kosmonautka” also leaves its mark in terms of linguistic ingenuity: many of the job descriptions talked about in the book had no feminine form in Polish – until now! (Age: 3+)