The Book of Goodnight Stories, 1983 US edition, by Vratislav Stovicek, illustrated by Karel Franta.


Written by Vratislav Stovicek. Translated from Czechoslovakian to English by Stephen Finn. First published in London, 1982; first American edition, 1983. Exeter Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

1 January
The Owl King

"Long, long ago, the birds were far wiser than men. They needed no king to rule over them, or ministers to tell them what to do. Nor did the council of the birds lay down foolish laws, but when they met there the birds would tell each other one tale after another, and speak about who had been born, who had died, what young bird had been orphaned, and altogether concerned themselves with much more important matters than orders and prohibitions, rules and regulations. The birds lived by the one wise law of love and friendship. They knew neither hatred nor anger. But one day a wicked man wandered into their realm. He looked around him and was envious of the birds' happiness. "Why do you not raise yourself up about the rest?" he asked the peacock. "You are far more beautiful than the other birds." The peacock was flattered by these words... And so, slowly but surely, the evil man went about sowing seeds of contention among the birds."

This collection of 50 bedtime stories, some familiar, most of them new, is inspired by legends and myths from different cultures and regions around the world. Each story is told over a number of days to make 365 bedtime readings, each with a lesson learned and a beautiful, colorful illustration.

Vratislav Stovicek (1936 - 2006) was a Czech writer whose collections of fairy tales and folk stories also include Around The World Fairy Tales (illustrated by Vera Gissing, a favorite of The Charmed Bookshop), Fairy Tales From the Garden, Contes d'Indonesie, and other books available in Czech and French.

Karel Franta (1928-2017) was a Czech painter and illustrator who specialized in children's books and magazines. He studied graphic design in Prague and collaborated with renowned artists such as Jiří Trnka and Helena Zmatlíková. He received several awards for his work, including the Grand Prix UNICEF and the International Children's Book Association honor list.
Visit for other fine books for young readers and collectors.

Condition*: Near Fine/Very Good. Dust jacket: Light shelf wear; two pinpoint indents on the front, near the spine. Illustrated cover boards. Pages are clean, complete, and undamaged.

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