OVERRIDE

Gabi Swiatkowska

Gabi Swiatkowska Gabi Swiatkowska

If you’re born on this planet, you’re set for a colorful life, whether you want it or not.  I found myself in Eastern Europe, in southern Poland, in a little village with a weird name.

I don’t remember making that decision.

The first thing I remember are the crows.  Crows are to Poland what ravens are to London.  The crows would hold daily conferences right in front of my house, spreading their black selves like a carpet over the grassy field.  I’d run up to them and watch them rise like a shimmering giant, watch the sky swallow them up.

I wrote stories until it was decided that there was too much kissing going on—in the stories, of course, not in real life. I was forbidden to write any more.  I drew pictures, of princesses mostly.  As there were no objections, I kept at it all through elementary school, gymnasium, college, and right into my professional life.

While at elementary school, I really did believe I was a princess.  Not the Disney kind, but one more along the lines of a Russian folktale, the princess lost and never found, waiting patiently for the day it was officially announced.

I entered the Lyceum of Art at fourteen and discovered it was full of princesses, as well as knights.  Sometime around the third year of school it dawned on me that if I was the “lost and never found” kind of princess, there was no use waiting for the official announcement.

BOOKS BY THE AUTHOR

It is Yoon’s birthday and all she wants is a jump rope so she can play with the other girls in the school yard. Instead, Yoon’s mother gives her a Korean storybook about a silly...

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The first picture book from National Book Award winner Kimberly Willis HoltWhen exactly is cousin Gregory going to be born? asks little Iris. Each family member has a different...

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Queen on Wednesday

Gabi Swiatkowska

On Wednesday, Thelma is bored—so she decides to become a queen. She makes the royal announcement on Thursday and chooses the royal pets on Friday. But she needs a castle to...

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Alice was making a farm in the middle of her bedroom. She asked Mama for a pig and chickens for her farm, but when Mama didn’t have a horse, Alice turned to her papa.“Please,...

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