Prap, Lila 1955-

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Prap, Lila 1955-

(Lilijana Praprotnik Zupancic)


Born September 28, 1955, in Celje, Slovenia; married; husband's name Bori (an art therapist); children: Izidor (son). Education: University of Ljubljana, graduate (architecture). Hobbies and other interests: Reading, tennis, gardening, films, skiing.


Home and office—Smarjeta, Slovenia.


Author and illustrator. Also worked as an architect, teacher, and graphic designer.

Awards, Honors

International Board on Books for Young People Certificate of Honor for illustration, 2002; Hans Christian Andersen Award nominee, 2006.



Male Zivali (title means "Little Creatures"), Mladinska Knijiga (Ljubljana, Slovania), 1999.

Zivalske uspavanke, Mladinska Knijiga (Ljubljana, Slovania), 2000, translation published as Animal Lullabies, North-South Books (New York, NY), 2006.

Zivalska abeceda (title means "Animal ABC"), Mladinska Knijiga (Ljubljana, Slovania), 2002.

Zakaj?, Mladinska Knijiga (Ljubljana, Slovania), 2003, translation published as Why?, Kane/Miller (La Jolla, CA), 2005.

Animals Speak, Mladinska Knijiga (Ljubljana, Slovania), 2004, North-South Books (New York, NY), 2006.

1001 Stories, Kane/Miller (La Jolla, CA), 2006.


Barbara Jean Hicks, I Like Black and White, Hutchinson (London, England), 2005, Tiger Tales (Wilton, CT), 2006.

Barbara Jean Hicks, I Like Colours, Hutchinson (London, England), 2005, published as I Like Colors, Tiger Tales (Wilton, CT), 2006.


Slovenian children's book author and illustrator Lila Prap has illustrated numerous books for distribution in both the United States and in her Eastern European homeland. Trained as an architect, Prap's graphic style—she favors the look of brightly colored chalk on dark paper—is shown to good effect in many of her book project, among them Animal Lullabies and Animals Speak. In the latter book, first published in Slovakian, Prap pairs each animal image with the respective animal's sound as it is interpreted in over forty languages, from English to German to Chinese. While an English sheep may say "baaah," for example, as Prap shows, the same creature would be heard to say "mäh" by a German child. In Booklist Carolyn Phelan deemed the book "an accessible introduction to world languages," while Alexa Sandmann called Prap's illustrations "colorful and charming" in her review of Animals Speak for School Library Journal.

In 1001 Stories Prap again creates images featuring her signature graphic art, this time pairing it with an "ingenious amalgamation of fairy tales [that] will have readers opening [the book] … over and over," according to a Kirkus Reviews critic. The work allows readers the opportunity to mix and match their wildest fairy-tale dreams; on each illustrated page there is a choice to be made that will directly alter the story's outcome. Elements of well-known fairy tales are featured throughout 1001 Stories, as well as characters such as Little Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and the savvy siblings Hansel and Gretel. Every reading elicits a unique version of the tale, encouraging re-reading. Prap also provides large, colorful illustrations that in- corporate strong lines, creating "lively pictures" in the opinion of a reviewer for Publishers Weekly.

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, March 1, 2006, Carolyn Phelan, review of Animals Speak, p. 101; May 15, 2006, Carolyn Phelan, review of I Like Black and White, p. 50.

Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2006, review of 1001 Stories, p. 238; September 1, 2006, review of Animal Lullabies, p. 911.

Publishers Weekly, August 22, 2005, review of Why?, p. 64; January 23, 2006, review of 1001 Stories, p. 207; May 29, 2006, review of I Like Black and White, p. 61.

School Library Journal, May, 2006, Alexa Sandmann, review of Animals Speak, p. 116; November, 2006, Kara Schaff Dean, review of Animal Lullabies, p. 108.


Barbara Jean Hicks Web site, (March 4, 2007), "Lila Prap."