ABCZ  (790 )


Illustrated ABC Book of Czechia with 257 entries in Czech with English translation.
Easy-to-use interactive guide to Czech culture and life. Covering topics ranging from history to art and design, gastronomy, geography and technical innovations. For curious minds of all ages.
The Most Beautiful Czech Book of the Year 2018 in the area of the pedagogic books

Author: Denisa Šedivá
Illustrations, graphic design and typesetting: Adam Macháček and Sébastien Bohner, 20YY Designers
Translation: Robert Russell and Ivan Gutierrez
Printing: Quatro Print (Plc)
Publisher: 2018, Denisa Šedivá –
ISBN: 978-80-270-5240-0

This illustrated alphabet of the Czech Republic ABCZ or All You Need to Know about Czechia and the Czechs takes a broad view of Czech culture, covering topics ranging from gastronomy, geography and history to technology, art and design. Each letter of the alphabet is represented by keywords that are simply explained in an interactive form and accompanied by appealing illustrations. The opening text for each letter provides a light-hearted link between all the following entries, and usually contains a hidden fairy-tale character and a proverb. At the end of each letter you will find a task and song. There are 28 letters and 257 keywords in the book, which may be used in different ways. You can start with the pictures then find and read the corresponding entry, or search for words or a proverb in the lead-in text for each letter then read the full entry below. The English booklet lists keywords in the same Czech alphabetical order, with direct (or descriptive) translations in brackets.

This cleanly designed book outperforms other books in this category. At first glance, you are fascinated by the playful vector illustrations that correspond with the limited use of typography. Printed on uncoated paper, the book’s black and white design leaves room for children’s imaginations. Fold-out pages hide deeper levels of information and stories.

Palo Bálik, Hansjakob Fehr, Torsten Köchlin, Boris Meluš, members of the comission, The Most Beautiful Czech Book 2018.

The idea to write and draw an alphabet book focused on Czechia came together with a long stay and upbringing of children abroad. In my case, while longing for Czechia. In the case of my friend, graphic designer Adam Machacek, it was the joy of memories he wanted to share. For our and all Czech children in a similar situation, growing up anywhere in the world. To let them know how rich and varied the culture of their parents (or one of them) is.
Denisa Šedivá, Author.

Targeted to grasp and understand the Czech identity. That is why ABCZ is also for foreigners living in the Czechia (and not only for them, but for all foreigners interested in our culture). And even more: as Robert Russell, British translator, living for 25 years in Czechia, says: … Above all, I have learnt things that foreigners usually miss when they come to a country as an adult – the culture of childhood…

It’s a beautiful book that triggers the imagination. In today’s fast-paced and complex world, anything that triggers imagination, reflection, thought, is worth its weight in gold.

Erik Tabery, Editor in Chief, Respekt

A man in a top hat (cylindr) bicycles along a winding track. Maybe it’s the genius Jára Cimrman on his way to Liptákov…or to → Moravia in search of Cyril and Methodius. That’s them, writing him a message with a Centropen blowpen: he’s to learn to play the cimbalom (cimbál)! He’d better, or they’ll give him a thrashing with a flail (cep)…
Introduction to Letter C, ABCZ.

In the pages of a peculiar textbook called ABCZ … even the most circular situation is believable. The boundaries of generations, professions, centuries, reality and fiction lose their significance here, and so in the pub U Zlatého tygra (At the Golden Tiger) one can discuss, for example, Jan Hus with Hurvínek, Jaroslav Hašek with Milada Horáková or Václav Havel with Karel Hašler. How is this possible? They are together on a page, or rather on a fold-out double page, which is dedicated to the letter H in this encyclopaedia about the Czechia…

Irena Jirků, Hospodářské noviny Ego

For me, Václav Havel is a symbol of values that are not really worn today – or only after a cold calculation. The basic values of man’s behaviour towards man and democratic values in society. That is why it is named after him.

Denisa Šedivá, author

It’s about how we live here, how everything works, and what our values are. The values that emerge from Denisa’s book are obvious: liberal, democratic, ecologically responsible, pro-European… in a word, Havlovian. That is what our children need.

Robert Russell, translator


Jana Zielinski, founder and director of Designblok. D like domov (home).

Rony Plesl, glass artist and designer. S like sklo (glass)

Erik Tabery, Editor in Chief, Respekt. P like prezident.

Jaroslav Šedivý, historian and scout. S like scout.

Lisa Versbow, jewellery designer

Tereza Maxová, model, founder of a Tereza Maxová Foudation

Martha Issova, actress

Nora Grundová, editor in chief Harpers Bazar

Donald Warhola, Andy Warhola’s nephew, curator

Lucie Drdová, galerist and founder of Luc Art Fund

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