Dwie Siostry

The Publishing House for Children’s Literature

Literature for Children and Young Adults in Poland knows a list of established authors, creating a variety of genres - fairy tales, poems, humorous action novels, travel stories and much more. Since the 18th century, translated literature has also been of great importance in this field (see Popular genres). Initially, French, German and English books predominated, but over time a greater variety was introduced. In recent decades, books from smaller language areas - for example, Scandinavian and Dutch literature - have become increasingly popular.

Dwie Siostry

Dwie Siostry (literally: Two Sisters) is a Polish publishing house founded in 2005 by three women who wanted to create textually and graphically interesting children's books: Joanna Rzyska, Jadwiga Jędryas, and Ewa Stiasny. The publishing house mainly publishes books for children and for the youth. The range of books they publish covers two main areas – the classic (Polish) literature from the time of childhood of the founders (especially in the series “Masters of Illustration”) and contemporary international books. 

Ewa Stiasny, one of the founders, is a graphic designer by profession. The other two, Joanna Rzyska and Jadwiga Jędryas, have philological backgroun. Rzyska has a degree in romanic languages and Jędryas - applied linguistics and postgraduate degree in Dutch. Their preference for foreign languages often contributes to their choices of which books to bring to market. The books published by Dwie Siostry are often classics of world literature, but they also offer more alternative positions. Many of them are translations of Dutch literature. We owe this to the experience of Jadwiga Jędryas as a translator of literature. Among her greatest achievements are translations of famous Dutch books such as Dier, bovendier by Frank Westerman, Het diner by Herman Koch and Het boek van alle dingen by Guus Kuijer, the later published by Dwie Siostry. Besides Dutch, she also translates from English and French.  

Audiobooks of Toon Tellegen

The publisher has an extensive range of audiobooks, up to 50% of which are items translated from Dutch. This demonstrates the great popularity of books by Dutch authors. The audiobooks include two books by Toon Tellegen, translated by Jadwiga Jędryas and interpreted by Krzysztof Gosztyła. Gosztyła is not only a film and theatre actor, but (importantly for children's books) also a dubbing actor. He has appeared in numerous films and radio plays. Children know his voice from many animations, but also from dubbing the voice of Hagrid in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

The publishing house was also involved in screenings of My Extraordinary Summer with Tess, directed by Steven Wouterlood, by organising meetings and promotions of Anna Woltz's book, on which the film was based. The books published by Dwie Siostry are often the basis for stage adaptations (see Polish theatre productions on Dutch-language literature).

Due to the outbreak of war in Ukraine in February 2022, the publishing house has expanded its range of educational materials in Ukrainian and is preparing its first publications for Ukrainian refugee children. 

Award-winning publisher

Dwie Siostry is a publishing house which is known not only in Poland. Among the many awards won by Dwie Siostry are honorable mention on Bologna Ragazzi Award in 2015 and nominations for The London Book Fair International Excellence Award in 2016 and for Bologna Ragazzi Award for Art Books in 2017. These international awards confirm the recognition the publishing house received in Poland. By combining beautiful and interesting graphics with valuable texts, Dwie Siostry has become one of the most important children's book publishers. This also helps in spreading Dutch culture. In the publisher's catalogue you can find many translations of Dutch books. There are true classics like Jip and Janneke by Annie M.G. Schmidt (read more about the two translations of this masterpiece here), works of Anna Woltz but also lesser known Rivers by Peter Goes and many others. A note on their site gives away their own policy:

We publish beautiful, clever and imaginative books for children and youth. We bring back the classics and promote innovation. We select exceptional books from the world and conquer it with works by Polish authors. We are the only company in Poland to have won the title of Best European Children's Publisher of the Year.


Dwie Siostry publishes books (Polish and translated) in Polish, but also in English, intended for an international group of readers. 

Knowledge of the world

"Nou zeg!" - a book in Polish on the Netherlands and Dutch Culture




Among the publishers many series is also Świat dla Dociekliwych (World for the curious), unusual guides for demanding young readers. Books in this series require vigilant engagement, reading non-schematic maps, illustrations and graphics, delving into stories and curiosities, and preparing recommended recipes. The series includes books on Iran, Vietnam, China, Italy, Spain, the UK and Japan. In August 2022 The Netherlands shall be presented in the book entitled Nou zeg! (a Dutch expression meaning 'honestly' and expressing disapproval). The blurb of the book promises a book full of interesting facts about the Netherlands and Dutch culture, such as the amount of canals and bridges in Amsterdam, the typical sport disciplines (pole vaulting and cycling), and cuisine specialities. The author of that book is Martyna Chomiuk, teacher at the Polish School in The Hague, translator and traveller. Since 2008, she has been living with her family in the Netherlands.


The people running the publishing house are open-minded, committed to the community and undeterred by the needs of minorities. This is in line with their publishing policy, which often deals with difficult topics (see Polish reception of Het boek van alle dingen by Guus Kuijer) and in which they do not shy away from presenting diversity. 

On 11 November 2020, during the Independence March in Warsaw, a participant threw a flare at the window, aiming at the premises of the publishing house Dwie Siostry, whose balcony bore the symbol of the Women's Strike and a rainbow flag. Marching nationalists held a targeting competition against the balcony and one of the flares hit the window of the flat below and led to a fire. "We are very sorry that an innocent balcony, of which we were very proud, has provoked such hateful emotions." said Jadwiga Jędryas in an interview for Gazeta Wyborcza. "We have already taken down the banners so as not to unnecessarily endanger others. We are very agitated and emotional. We feel sorry for our neighbours." The banners were neither offensive nor were they related to the Independence March, they had been hanging there for a long time. To read more about the problems of LGBT+ community in Poland in relation to Dutch literature, see LGBT+ cluster.

(Małgorzata Dowlaszewicz)