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Storyteller and true friend of children

Storyteller and true friend of children
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May 16 marks the 110th anniversary of the birth of Vasil Vitka (1911–1996), poet, writer, critic, honored cultural worker, laureate of the State Prize of Belarus.

Vasil Vitka (present Timofey Vasilievich Krysko) was born in the village of Evlichi, Slutsk District, Minsk Region, into a peasant family. After seven years, he entered the Slutsk vocational school, where he received the specialty of a locksmith (1928). He worked at the Bobruisk woodworking plant. Collaborated in the factory large circulation, the editorial offices of the regional, then republican newspapers "Chyrvona Zmena" (1935-1937), "Literature and Art" (1937-1938), the magazine "Polymya revalyutsy" (1938-1939). In 1940-1941. was the secretary of the Bialystok branch of the Writers' Union of the BSSR. During the Great Patriotic War, he was the editor of mass publications for the occupied regions of Belarus, worked in the editorial offices of the newspaper "Savetskaya Belarus", the satirical leaflet "Partyzanskaya Dubinka", the newspaper-poster "Razdavim Fashystskaya Gadzina". In 1944 he became the executive secretary of the Belarus magazine. From 1948 he was deputy editor, from 1951 chief editor of the newspaper “Literature and art”. In 1957 he became the head of the Belarusian children's magazine Vyaselka. Il. 1, 2 As editor-in-chief, he worked fruitfully for 17 years. In 1974-1987. was a member of the screenwriting and editorial board of the Belarusfilm studio.

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Vasil Vitka impresses with his many-sided literary activities. He wrote poems, stories, plays, parodies, epigrams, literary-critical and journalistic articles on moral, ethical and educational topics. He began to publish in 1928.

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The main motives of V. Vitka's poetry are the glorification of the heroic deed of man during the Great Patriotic War, the beauty of his native land, reflection on life, the purpose of poetry. He is the author of the plays Pramen Buduchyni (1948) and Shchasce Paeta (1951). The last of them, dedicated to Yanka Kupala, was embodied in 1952 on the stage of the theater of the same name.

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Vasil Vitka is best known as a children's poet. His poems, fairy tales, riddles, coming out of print, immediately passed into the category of textbooks. They are still included in school textbooks. Thanks to the fascination and humor that are inherent in this work, the fairy tale has become one of the most beloved among children. There is both fabulous and real, the language is full of folk and created by the author himself proverbs, catchphrases, aphorisms. 

His collections of primers, lullaby songs, fables, jokes, riddles, counting rhymes are filled with vivid images, unexpected contrasting words, paradoxical analogies. The traditions of Belarusian folklore, to which he treated with great enthusiasm, are talentedly used in children's works.

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Vasil Vitka published the publicistic books "Dzeci i we" (1977), "Lessons" (1982), "The ABC of the Soul" (1988). On the pages of these publications, the writer touched upon many problems of school life and education. He is one of the authors of the anthologies "Rodnaye slova" for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades. His last book was the collection "House, dze zhyvuts' words" (1995) - a kind of poetic dictionary. Vasil Vitka also translated into Belarusian a number of works by Russian, Ukrainian, Latvian, Bulgarian and Polish writers.

The work of the writer has received recognition not only in Belarus, but also far beyond its borders. In 1972 he was awarded the State Prize of the BSSR for books for children. In 1978 he was awarded the international Honorary Diploma named after H. K. Andersen and was included in the Honorary List of the Danish storyteller.

In honor of the outstanding master of words, in 2009 the Vyaselka magazine established the Vasil Vitka Prize. An interesting fact is that the brand of the magazine is the boy Vasya Veselkin, a literary character created by V. Vitka. On May 16, 2011, on the 100th anniversary of the Belarusian classic, the children's library No. 6 in Minsk was named after him and the museum was solemnly opened.

Information about Vasil Vitka, his life and literary activity is contained in the electronic catalogue of the National Library of Belarus, the online encyclopedia “Belarus in persons and events”, the National Database of Authoritative/Regulatory Records.

Bibliogrphy Research and Scientific Department

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