Vita Nova Publishing House specializes in editions of world classics illustrated by the best modern Russian artists and also creations of old masters.
Publisher Alexey Zakharenkov believes that creating books for children requires even more effort than those for adults, because the illustrations should make reading a book into a feast. “A book should be a unique art-object where every detail is important: author and illustrator in harmony, the highest quality of layout and paper surface, fonts that are sometimes specially designed for this particular book. Books like these can be compared to a house that is great to live in. You open the door (which is the binding), move about the rooms (the pages), and look through the windows (the illustrations)”, says the publisher.
Vita Nova Publishing House brings in the most prominent experts in literature and art. The illustrations, essays and commentaries in the books are specially commissioned for Vita Nova’s editions. The books are intended not only for children, these are books readable at any age. Therefore, the publisher’s principal series is entitled ‘Family Library’. Moreover, sewn leather bindings, stiff covers, and coated paper make them a treasure to collect and to inherit.
Russian Folk Tales, illustrated by Boris Zabirokhin, was awarded a BIB Golden Apple at the International Biennial of Illustration Bratislava (BIB). Zabirokhin’s lithographs were included in an exhibition of BIB award winners that toured Japan. Another BIB award-winner, Vera Pavlova, has created illustrations for The Children’s Album (with music by Tchaikovsky and texts by Viktor Lunin), and for a complete collection of Osip Mandelstam’s poems for children. Yuriy Vashenko’s grotesqueries for “Alice in Wonderland” have been recognised as among the best illustrations for Carroll’s work by the Lewis Carroll Society. He has also executed a series of drawings for “Victorian Tales”. Among the world-renowned animators featured in Vita Nova publications are Yuriy Norshtein, Sergey Alimov, and Vladimir Zuykov. The mystical world of E.T.A.Hoffmann comes out true and live in romantic and theatrical drawings created by Mikhail Gavrichkov; Krylov’s fables have been illustrated by Mikhail Maiofis, a modern classic of graphic design for the book; and illustrations to Pushkin’s fairy tales have been created by the famous Palekh folk artist Vladimir Smirnov.
Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” adapted for children by Viktor Lunin and illustrated by Pavlova will soon appear. As well as “The Wonderful Adventures of Nils” by Selma Lagerlof with illustrations of Boris Diodorov.
Books published by Vita Nova are represented in museum collections including the Russian Academy of Arts, the State Museum of Fine Arts, the Hermitage, and the Russian Museum.