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Apr 23, 2012, Anton Shulha for the “Democratic Ukraine” newspaper
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A-BA-BA-HA-LA-MA-HA Publishers celebrated its 20th anniversary in the chimney hall of the Writers’ Union of Ukraine.

The format of the holiday anticipated that every participant and guest should climb on a chair (and the more bold ones – on a stool) and read a children’s verse aloud standing on it. Everyone gladly responded to such an offer. Plenty of verses were read aloud, many songs were sang, hundreds of laughters sounded and, most importantly, nobody fell down from the stool.

The opening speech was proclaimed by the Supreme “Ababahalamagician” Ivan Malkovych from the Supreme Painted Chair

The Ababahalamagic circle (left to right): Taras Antypovych, a writer; artists Ivan Sulyma, Inokentiy Korshunov, Victor Garkusha; a poet Hryhoriy Falkovych; writers Sashko Dermansky, Ivan Malkovych; artists Vladyslav Yerko, Kost’ Lavro, Volodymyr Kharchenko

The translator Victor Morozov and the President’s wife Kateryna Yushchenko discuss the nearest creative activities

Hryhoriy Falkovych with her daughter was as pleased as a child when he heard his own poems read from the chair or the stool

Mykola Kniazhytsky and Oles’ Doniy

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The speech of a poetess, a professor and the head of a Department of the Rome University, Oxana Pakhlyovs’ka was full of warmth and friendship (photo of Oxana Pakhlyovs’ka with her daughter Jaroslava-Francheska Barbieri)

Ivan Malkovych with Victor Morozov, a legendary musician and translator, an honorable chevalier of the A-BA-BA-HA-LA-MA-HA Order, who came from Washington D.C. specially for “A-BA-BA-HA-LA-MA-HA’s” birthday

The Yerko family

Taras Chubay splendidly performed “With an Angel on My Shoulder” – the song, written to a poem of Ivan Malkovych

The chimney hall accommodated a lot of favorite artists, authors, translators, designers, employees of A-BA-BA-HA-LA-MA-HA Publishers and even some of its fans

Natalya Zabolotna, the always charming and elegant director-general of the “Art Arsenal” gallery, also came to congratulate her favorite publishers on its first 20th anniversary

The UGCC Bishop Yosyp (Milyan) read aloud the blessing of the Major Archbishop Sviatoslav of Kyiv-Halych on the occasion of “A-BA-BA-HA-LA-MA-HA Publishers’” 20th anniversary

Kateryna Shtanko, a prominent Ukrainian illustrator, also read a poem aloud from the chair

The archpriest Oleksandr Trofymlyuk passed greetings to the Publishers from Philaret, the Patriarch of UOC KP and from Bishop Yevstratiy

An honest and lyrical speech from Nadiya Kvitka, the head of “The New Print” polygraphic Enterprise

Olexiy Ananov, a radio journalist, also climbed the highest pinnacle of the party to convey his excited speech

Jaroslava-Fracheska Barbieri was one of a few girls to climb on the stool and recite inspiringly a poem by Lina Kostenko, her prominent grandmother

At the request of the audience, Taras Malkovych made his best to recite a poem “Snow Falling on the Threshold” the way he did it long ago, finely voicing the “Favorite Poems” audiocassette at the age of five

Volodymyr Kharchenko, the first illustrator of “The ABC” by A-BA-BA-HA-LA-MA-HA. The musician Taras Chubay and his charming wife Olya seem to like the recital of Taras Malkovych

A journalist Iryna Slavinska reciting harshly

Kost’ Lavro, the main illustrator of the publishers, a laureate of Taras Shevchenko Prize, amazed everybody with his artistic competition

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[[Image:Ababa-20_6.jpg|thumb|left|430px|The excellent musician Taras Kompanichenko found among the ancient archives of sheet music the wittiest and the most original prototype of the “canonic” “A-BA-BA-HA-LA-MA-HA Song”

He sang the Song with his wonderful wife Nina

Unfortunately, his disease hindered Vsevolod Nestayko, the Patriarch of the Ukrainian children’s literature, from coming to the feast and he sent a greeting telegram to the Publishers. Everybody showed him their love and respect by their great applause. The virtual greetings to the Publishers’ staff were sent in by Volodymyr Rutkivsky, this year’s laureate of the Taras Shevchenko Prize, who celebrated his 75th Jubilee the day before; Sofia Uss, the leading illustrator of the Publishers (from Chisinau) and many other A-BA-BA-HA-LA-MA-HA fans.
The feast lasted until late night and finished with the sparkling batiar songs performed by Victor Morozov, Taras Kompanichenko and Ivan Malkovych. All who remained there sang after them.

Malkovych signaled with his magic rustling cane and the final performance sounded

It all began from a favorite song of Vladyslav Yerko...

And then Malkovych and Morozov put on their magic hats and real miracles began… The Spanish toreadors

And then the hat that turned out to be the Sorting Hat from “Harry Potter” began doing all sorts of nonsense to Victor Morozov. For a start, it caused a small guitar embarrassment...

Then, there came an embarrassment with the hat itself - as though it's been blown with the wind... Malkovych is desperately desperate, Morozov is in horrific horror...

Taras Kompanichenko, a powerful sorcerer, catches the hat and returns it to its owner

Malkovych's lyrical oblivion hindered him to see that Morozov's hat started a confusing transformation of a famous musician and translator into a Heffalump. Malkovych is shocked, "Victor, what's happening to you? Your hat turns you into a Heffalump!.."

"Victor, where are you?!! That is... that... is... a Heffalump!.." Malkovych catches a dramatic spasm...

Meanwhile, Victor Morozov was sitting aside and laughing loudly to himself - he was amazed with those tricks of Harry Potter's Sorting Hat

Ivan Malkovych and Oleh Petrenko-Zanevsky

Kateryna Shtanko, Halyna Petrenko-Zanevska, Taras Kompanichenko, Vladyslav Yerko, Victor Morozov

The Malkovych family portrait: Hordiy, Julia (I. Malkovych’s mother), Iaryna, Ivan and Taras Malkovych

Ivan Malkovych and Vladyslav Yerko at the end of the event

Kost’ Lavro, the main artist of A-BA-BA-HA-LA-MA-HA Publishers; Ivan Malkovych, the head and the editor-in-chief of A-BA-BA-HA-LA-MA-HA Publishers; Vladyslav Yerko, the art-director of A-BA-BA-HA-LA-MA-HA Publishers thank to everyone who took part in the holiday

Well, maybe it all was just a dream?..