Book Links


I’m lucky to have the Polish Art Center in my area; they carry odd and unusual books, usually Polish ones, but also a lot of English language books about pysanky.  There’s just something about perusing a book, flipping through its pages and looking it over carefully that just can’t be matched by shopping on line.  But, sadly, on line is where you find the best selection of books nowadaysї

Amazon, while it is generally great for tracking down just about any in or out of print English language book, does NOT seem to be a very good source for pysanka books (except for the UGS titles).  They only carry books which have an ISBN number. Most imported Ukrainian books don’t have one, and many privately printed small books may not have one either. Newer books from Ukraine being published by major publishing houses now carry the number, but few of them are printed in English.

Among the better sites for pysanka books:

  1. The Ukrainian Gift Shop carries all of their own titles, and several others.

    All Things Ukrainian stocks a number of books about pysanky, and often have odd titles that no one else carries.  They carry many good Ukrainian titles, which they import from Ukraine, and their prices seem reasonable.

    The Polish Art Center has an extensive collection of Ukrainian pysanka books, and Polish books on many subjects, including pisanki. Several of their titles are not available anywhere else.

    Yevshan in Canada and the US also does mail order of pysanka books, and have a very good selection, particularly of books from Ukraine, often in Ukrainian.  Although they don’t always have the best prices, they’re generally fairly reasonable.  They carry many titles that you won’t find anywhere else outside of Ukraine.

    Baba’s Beeswax (also Canada) have several of their own publications for teachers and beginners, and a newsletter.  

Googling the title of a book can sometimes help you find a copy.  Alibris, Amazon (via its associates) and other sellers of used books have a lot to choose from, and the prices can range from really reasonable to absolutely outrageous. When searching for a particular title, shop around. This is especially true for older and out-of-print titles (like the books by Elyjiw and Onyshchuk)1.  Factor shipping into the price, as that can vary widely, too.

You can find many Ukrainian pysanka books for sale on line through eBay (auctions and shops).   The prices can be quite good, but postage from Ukraine can be quite expensive.  I’ve had good luck with the Cherry Ukrainian Art shop on eBay. Oleh Kirashchuk sometimes carries Ukrainian pysanka books in his eBay shop, Art-Pysanka, including Svichado titles. There are a few sellers out there who really jack up prices on books, so always check more than one source.  Googling the title can be a good way to do this.

Svichado2 and Rodovid3 sell their own titles on line. Rodovid sells and ships from the US, and has an English option on their website.  Svichado is based in L’viv, Ukraine and has a Ukrainian only website; you can order from them, particularly bulk orders, and pay by Western Union, but it is probably best to do this via telephone. 

REMEMBER:  Always check to see how much shipping will cost, especially when ordering internationally!  The small price savings you get may not make it worthwhile if you’re paying air mail rates on heavy books.

And some rare and hard-to-find books have been uploaded onto the web for all to share. Two books I found of particular interest are these about Lemko pysanky:

Липовянські Писанки (Lypovyanski Pysanky): a book with lots of drop-pull pysanky from Lypovany, a Lemko enclave in Croatia.  It is bilingual, in Ukrainian and Croat, and was originally published in Zagreb.

Лемківська Писанка (Lemkivska Pysanka): a larger book, in Ukrainian, about Lemko pysanky, and with photos from a 2009 exhibit in Lviv.

Even if you can’t read the text, these books are worth downloading for the photos alone.  There are also several electronic Ukrainian libraries on line, and they have uploaded some of the older pysanka books published in the diaspora, as well as classic Ukrainian texts.  Here are some of the links:

There is a large selection of these posted in the Traditional Ukrainian Pysanky group of Facebook.

If you know of links to other pysanka books, please let me know.


Ukrainian Gift Shop

All Things Ukrainian

Polish Art Center


Baba’s Beeswax




Cherry Ukrainian Art


Lemko Books


  1. 1.A search for Dmytriw’s “Ukrainian Arts” on May 3, 2008, yielded a copy through Alibris for $8.00; the only offering on Amazon was $98.00.  Huge difference.  And Elyjiw’s book is no longer available anywhere new; copies pop up occasionally, but usually at very high prices.

  2. 2.Svichado is Vira Manko’s publisher. (And former employer, as she is officially retired now.  She worked as a polygraphist.)  You can find most of her titles at Ukrainian prices (a really good deal now) but will probably have to pay a lot for shipping. As it is a Ukrainian company, you can only pay through Western Union.  While buying a single copy may not be cost effective, buying  multiple copies might save you a significant amount. Do the math–it might be worth it.

  3. 3.Rodovid produces drop dead gorgeous Ukrainian art and folk art books (as well as poetry and other titles).  Their site sells them for what appear to be reasonable prices with shipping from the USA (Belton, MO).  I highly recommend the Cherkasy Pysanky book.

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