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Iva Bezinović-Haydon

Iva Bezinović-Haydon was born in Rijeka in 1981. She gained an MA in Croatian language and Comparative literature on the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences University of Zagreb. Darktown is her fourth picture book. Her short stories can be found in several newspapers, anthologies and websites (Strane, Astronaut, Libartes, Čovjek Časopis). Her picture books have been shortlisted for various awards and some have even won. She lives in Zagreb with her husband and their three children.

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Addressing the children for the first time, the renowned Darkville, the setting and the main character of this picture book written by a distinguished author Iva Bezinović-Haydon, is a sad town: all plants are being systematically cut there. No one really knows whose idea that was, but two city officials play a significant role in its implementation. One of them stamps the word ‘NO’ on all requests for a change, the other maintains order with his cutting tools – until a little blue flower emerges from a crack in the asphalt and everything starts to change… Using simple words and an appealing plot, the author talks about the need humans feel for the living green world, for colors, diversity and freedom, but also about different ways of standing up to bad rules imposed from somewhere above – it can be done in a hidden manner, in private spaces, or openly, in public, joining forces with other people. The young illustrator Laura Martinović brought the story about Darkville to life with her playful and warm illustrations, full of creative visual ideas and details that enrich the text.