Eugene Trivizas

Writer

Greek children’s writer. Although educated in law and a specialist in criminal law and comparative criminology, Trivizas has published more than 120 children’s books and is one of the most popular Greek authors.

He has written short stories, fairy tales, picture books, novels, poems, television series, songs,plays, and even opera librettos for children. Humor, subversiveness, a multilevel complexity and the unexpected transformations of classic stories and images are the key elements of Trivizas’ work.

He always maintains control and gives advice on the illustrations for his picture books— bright fantastic colors(or simple black and white), comic-style animal and human characters, and bizarre yet realistic landscapes coexist harmoniously with his narratives.

An additional important element of note is the ingenious wordplay and nonsense humor prevalent in his books. This inventive word play, although one of the driving forces behind his success in Greece, has hindered the translation of his books into other languages.

His international appeal, however, is clearly evident in his best-known work, The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig (1993), illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. Trivizas’ clever twist on the classic fairy tale of the three little pigs took the world by storm through numerous translations, and sales reached a million copies in the United States alone, earning it second place on a list of best sellers for children.

Trivizas’ work has received awards not only in Greece but also abroad, including honorary distinctions by the U.S. Library of Congress and the Polish Centre for Youth.

Creator of strange creatures and imaginary lands (including the highly publicized Fruitopia, for which he won a court battle against the Coca-Cola Company with regard to their infringement of his copyright), Trivizas’ mastery of imagination, transformation, satire, and wordplay has secured him major status in both contemporary Greek and international children’s literature.

Jack Zipes (editor-in-chief )

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature,

Oxford University Press, 2006

Links: books, theatrical plays for children

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