Dzirani Anoush: A Delicious Book

The Cover of 'Dzirani Anoush'
The cover of 'Dzirani Anoush'

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (A.W.)–Apricot jam can be delicious, but a book? How could a book be delicious?

Kirk-Mirk, a children’s book publisher, writes on its website ( that its mission is to “enrich Armenian children’s literature with books as colorful and exquisite as fruits”—an imaginative and clever comparison, and one that inspires hope.

Books, if colorful, diverse, and at times unconventional, can be compared to fresh fruits. In fact, Boston based illustrator Alik Arzoumanian, the founder of Kirk-Mirk, says the name was inspired from the first line of Vahan Tekeyan’s poem “Dagh Hayeren Lezvin,” which reads: “O, Armenian language! I love you as I would love an orchard!” She adds that if we disregard its spelling in Armenian, Kirk-Mirk is also a play on words, since it translates into “books and such.”

Kirk-Mirk’s first book, or “fruit,” is also based on word play. Written and illustrated by Arzoumanian, the book is called Dzirani Anoush. The title does not refer to apricot jam, as translated literally, but to twin sisters—one with orange hair and the other with a beautiful voice. When the twins get upset at each other (which happens quite often), they come up with new names for each other: Anoush (Sweet) becomes “Bitter,” while Dzirani (Apricot) becomes “Parsley.” One shouts “Hot,” while the other replies “Pepper,” and so on. Thus, through colorful and animated pages, the young reader or listener is introduced to new words describing different taste sensations and a variety of vegetables. It’s worth noting that the twins’ family members are always present in the story through their indirect and gentle interventions, and that at the end, the twin sisters always reconcile.

The picture book’s hardcover binding and vivid colors are eye-catching. Dzirani Anoush is printed by the Hamazkayin Vahe Setian printing house in Lebanon, and sponsored by Dr. Adrine Karakashian. Arzoumanian hopes that the successful distribution of the book will allow Kirk-Mirk to fund its future publications.

To learn more about Kirk-Mirk’s endeavors, download educational activities that accompany Dzirani Anoush, or to find a list of bookstores and online vendors, visit


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