August 14, 2020

The adventurous gnome Romtomtomyk


“Pryhody Gnomyka Romtomtomyka (The Adventures of Romtomtomyk the Gnome) by Roman Zavadovych, in Ukrainian, with illustrations by Edward Kozak. Lviv: Rodovid, 2019, 40 pp. $8.


The cover of “Pryhody Gnomyka Romtomtomyka” by Roman Zavadovych.

Thanks to the efforts of the Plast sorority Pershi Stezhi, a beloved children’s character has become available to new generations.

Originally published in 1940 in Krakow, the Ukrainian-language book “Pryhody Gnomyka Romtomtomyka” (The Adventures of Romtomtomyk the Gnome) by Roman Zavadovych has been re-released in Ukraine by the award-winning publisher Rodovid.

Zavadovych (1903-1985), a poet and writer, was perhaps the best-known Ukrainian children’s author; he wrote more than 45 children’s books that have been enjoyed by three generations.

One of the pages from the book illustrated by Edward Kozak.

His work was featured on the pages of the children’s magazine Veselka, which was published by the Ukrainian National Association in the years 1954-1995, and it appeared in other children’s publications, included Mali Druzi and Svit Dytyny.

In “Pryhody Gnomyka Romtomtomyka,” Zavadovych tells tales of a gnome and his friends, and their encounters with animals and insects in the forest. The adventures are beautifully illustrated by the renowned artist and caricaturist Edward Kozak, known as Eko (1902-1992).

Included in this edition of the book are capsule biographies of both the author and the artist.

The book may be purchased in the U.S. for $8 per copy ($5 plus $3 postage) by mail from: Oresta Fedyniak, 2626 W. Walton St., Chicago IL 60622.