Sophia, the little heroine of this story, wants to help her mother to bake a cake. Mom tells her to fetch the cake pan from the storage room, but Sophia is afraid of that dark space – she’s so afraid that she doesn’t even dare to stretch her arm to turn the light on. But then comes her dad and gives her a pair of special eyeglasses – eyeglasses that make the world look different. And more than that! They not only change the look of things in darkness, but also give the person wearing them the ability to talk with animals. Looking through the magic eyeglasses, Sophia meets a spider in the storage room and a moth in her bedroom. As she opens a window, she sees a weasel and a saturnia moth in the garden. Her encounters with these creatures show that beings who look nice are not always nice – and vice versa. This warm and breezy story teaches young readers self-confidence, the importance of getting to know someone before making a judgment, as well as the fact that first impressions are not always reliable.
There are three love stories in this book – three stories about love that is unattainable because of the very nature of those who fall in love. But that doesn’t make these feelings less powerful. The buoy and the anchor are waiting for a storm that will bring them together, even though buoys are made for floating and anchors for anchoring. The sun is trying to shine less intensely so it could love the snow longer, while the snow enjoys basking in the sunshine, even though it melts in love. And the sea and the sky are the greatest of all, eternal lovers, always mirroring each other, coming together and moving apart…
The stories that Igor Rajki tells in this picture book – actually, he “mumbles them as he walks” – are original, peculiarly humorous, and full of linguistic invention, with a number of made-up words, collected in the end in a little author’s dictionary. The illustrator Nikolina Žabčić responds to the playfulness of the text with equal artistic freedom.
The face of the heroine of this artist’s picture book is full of spots, her body full of hair, there’s the word “Fat” floating around her, her breasts are so little you can barely see them. But these aren’t flaws – despite the fact that a glamorous “face from a magazine cover” also finds its way into the story. Flaw as a concept simply does not exist for this mirror. Without hiding anything, and with an untameable smile, the heroine keeps looking at herself exactly as she is. No imposed beauty standards intimidate her. No threatening words („Carnegiea gigantea”!), nor horrendous images (monkey-like hairiness or a body too big for a bathtub) make her flinch…
Using humorous and expressive forms, the author of this book, Agata Lučić, invites readers – primarily young, female readers – to take a look in the flawless mirror and to accept their bodies such as they are, with a smile on their face.
As night falls, the world we see is changing. What seemed familiar under daylight now becomes strange and mysterious. And this might be the reason why night inspires artists to fantasize about it over and over again. The author of this picture books sees Night as a woman in a starry dress, a queen both young and olden, who arrives with her suite of nocturnal creatures, blending dream with reality. She creates space for clocks without pointers, enigmatic encounters, tea-drinking animals. She waves her hand, and wondrous beings obey her, whether on land or at sea. She waves her hand, and beginnings of stories begin to unfold, flags of faraway kingdoms start flying. A mixture of ages, fairy-tale motives and outer space travel comes to life wherever she goes. There is no obstacle for voyagers in her darkness, every direction is good, on every side unending expanse of her realm… And as she leaves – look, who bids her farewell on the balcony there, who is returning home climbing those stairs? – dreams leave with her, they all go to sleep. That’s what Jasmina’s night is like, wide open for the fantasy of her readers.
A child with a “slow parachute” jumps from the roof of his building and describes the balconies next to which she/he flies. She/he then climbs the stairs and informs us about the interior of the apartments and their occupants. Each of the tenants is unique in their own way: someone is obsessed with English breakfast, someone sleeps in a cage because he is convinced he turns into a bird during the night, someone lives in an elevator with a pet snake, someone makes mechanical animals, someone builds walls and someone tears them down…
Descriptions of the occupants of the crazy house are fanciful, vivid and amusing; the text also contains a discreet educational point: regardless of the harmless “madness” of each of the tenants, in general they respect each other, and all together form a harmonious whole. The “crazy house” thus becomes a symbol of possible coexistence, of individual freedom embedded in the community.
To the easy playfulness of the text corresponds the artistic style of the illustrator Venda Vernić, offers the young reader a kind of gallery through which one can move in two directions, up and down, finding on every page a visual surprise.
The narrator of this story, who has always wanted to be (and always has been) a Dreambringer, grows as a character from page to page, and sometimes assumes almost cosmic dimensions. For he is the one who delivered dreams about the stars to the inhabitants of ancient Mesopotamia several thousand years ago — as well as some information to the thieves from the neighborhood last week. This Dreambringer is not perfect, he is so much overburdened with work that ”confusions may happen”, and sometimes he has to deliver a really scary dream. But some of the dreams from his luggage are really extraordinary: the number zero dreamed up by a Mayan priest and the recipe for ice cream that appeared in a dream an ancient chef; some strange signs from which the alphabet will emerge, but also a tender awakening love of a young girl… It seems, however, that it is not the dreamer who is responsible for the content of the dreams, but the dreamers themselves, who “dream beyond all rules”…
The imaginative world of Igor Rajki was turned into expressive paintings by the young artist Nikolina Žabčić; these are her first picture book illustrations.
The little girl Piccola shows an unusual feeling for sounds. Imitating the chirping of birds, the crackling of fire, the sounds of the wind and everything else that surrounds her, Piccola amazes the listeners singing her little melodies. When she comes to a
music school and old Professore starts teaching her to play the piccolo, the smallest girl with the smallest flute becomes ‘Piccola con piccolo’; her Bird Music becomes a huge success and she is invited to perform all over the world. Piccola con piccolo
is the first picture book written by Bruno Mezić. Creating a likable character of the little girl Piccola,
telling about her adventures in sound, and skillfully playing with Italian words, the author introduces young readers to the terminology of classical music. Illustrations by the young visual artist and designer Klasja Habjan imaginatively and playfully follow the text and bring to life the original little heroine and her music.
The heroine of the story about the ‘topsy-turvy island’ Palagruža is the girl Gorjana who has to cope with a great change in her life: her father got a job as a lighthouse keeper, and she is moving with her family to a faraway island in the Adriatic Sea, lonely and strange, with no children to play with. Despite the sadness she feels leaving her friends and well-known environment, she boldly accepts the unknown and starts exploring her new homeplace. When with a group of fishermen who seasonally come
to the waters around Palagruža comes a girl, only a little older than Gorjana, the exploration of the ‘topsy-turvy island’ goes on in a deeper and merrier way, enriched with a friendship. Illustrations for this picture book are joint work of the text writer Lana Momirski who drew them and the visual artist Ivana Koren Madžarac who added colour, turning them into rich marine watercolours which will draw the young readers into the exciting island world.
Illustrating a fable about a parrot run away from the ZOO who meets various animals and finds all of them for some reason ridiculous until the a teaches it a lesson, the artist Ivana Pipal finds ingenious ways of representing basically the same situation: the parrot and another animal. Giving each protagonist mood and personality, and creating at the same time deeply pleasant green world of the woods, she turns the tale about understanding and accepting others into rich visual pleasure.
This haiku collection will enchant both nature lovers and budding poets. The spare, lyrical text describes a series of short vignettes, each of them taking place in a different kind of rain, from thunderstorms to falling flower petals. The poems—some serious, some gently humorous—depict scenes from all over the globe: a horse struggling to plow a field, a father changing a tire while his children play, and two friends making up after a fight.
With its majestic artwork, this introduction to a classic poetic form will inspire readers to write their own haiku as they experience the amazing world around them.
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