LEVIN KIPNIS (
Hebrew : לֶוִין קִיפְּנִיס; 1 August
1894 – 20 June 1990) was an Israeli children\'s author and poet who
wrote mainly in
Yiddish . He won the
Israel prize in 1978.
* 1 Biography
* 2 Awards and honors
* 3 Bibliography
* 3.1 Books Published in
* 3.1.1 Children
* 3.2 Books in Translation
* 4 See also
* 5 References
Kipnis was born in Ushomir in
Volhynian Governorate which was part of
Pale of Settlement of the
Russian Empire (now in
Ukraine ), into a
family of 12. His father, Pessach, who was a shaliach tzibbur , sent
him to study in a
Cheder , which he didn't like because of the strict
discipline. He showed a passion for the arts from a young age,
painting and woodcarving. His father, who saw his potential,
encouraged him to become a sofer stam . He wrote mezuzot to provide
additional income for the family.
He decided to become a writer at the age of 13, after seeing the
Hebrew children's magazine "Haprachim" ("the flowers"). In his attic,
he wrote, illustrated and produced his own magazine, later submitting
one of his stories, "the sick child" to the children's magazine. The
story was published in 1910. Kipnis completed his education in Jitomir
Warsaw , then went back to his hometown, where he founded an
"improved Cheder," established a
Hebrew library and wrote and directed
plays. In 1913, he emigrated to Ottoman Palestine and continued his
arts education at the
Bezalel Academy of Art and Design . The lack of
content for children of kindergarten age convinced him to write songs
suited for preschoolers.
With the outbreak of
World War I
World War I , Kipnis established the "Little
Library for Children" publisher in
Jaffa , while concurrently doing
agricultural forced labor for the Ottoman military. After the war he
Jerusalem at the invitation of Bezalel to write and edit
content for preschoolers and published story and song collections for
children as well as the first magazine for preschool teachers "Ganenu"
("our garden" or "our kindergarten").
In 1921, he managed an orphanage in
Safed . In 1922, he traveled to
Berlin, Germany for advanced studies in art and craftsmanship. There
he published three books in German . He returned in 1923 and began
teaching at the Levinsky Teacher\'s College in
Tel Aviv .
In 1928, Kipnis wrote plays and participated actively in the
foundation of a children's theater, later known as "Teatron Hagananot"
("the preschool-teacher theater"), where some well known Hebrew
performers such as Bracha Zfira and
Sara Levi-Tanai participated.
In 1956, he retired from his job as an educator and dedicated his
time to writing.
Kipnis's writing is characterized by a light and happy style, devoid
of pathos, yet rich and aesthetic. His collections in
about 800 stories and 600 poems. Kipnis also wrote songs in Hebrew,
including Shanah Tova . He also wrote children's books in Yiddish,
publishing a collection in 1961. His work was translated into English
, French , German , Russian ,
Arabic and Yiddish. He was active as a
writer for 80 years, from 1910 to 1990.
Kipnis died in 1990 in Tel Aviv.
The archive of his work is at the
Levin Kipnis Center for Children's
Literature, Levinsky Teachers' College. The center awards a bi-annual
prize named after Kipnis for a research project about children's
AWARDS AND HONORS
Memorial plaque to
Levin Kipnis in
* In 1962, Kipnis was awarded the Yatsiv Prize for Children's
* In 1976, he received the
Lamdan Prize for Children's Literature.
* In 1978, he was awarded the
Israel Prize , for children's
A street is named after him in Be\'er Sheva
BOOKS PUBLISHED IN HEBREW
* By the Ancestor's Grave, Berlin-Hasefer, 1923
* Aleph-Beit, Berlin-Hasefer, 1923
* A String, Omanut, 1923
* The Story of the Chick Who Wanted a New Mother, Omanut, 1923
* Shele-Pele, Dvir, 1925
* Shulamita, Dvir, 1925
* Velvet and Her Puppies, Dvir, 1925
* Listen and I Will Tell You, Dvir, 1925
* Hasty Goat, Dvir, 1926
* The Com