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Jingle Bell Book Series

Croatian Folktales


After reading old Croatian folktales in a very serious book for adults,author Sanja Lovrenčić decided to set her favourite ones free and make them more accessible to children of today, telling them in her own literary voice, adjusting them slightly so that they would be more understandable. In eleven short tales, we meet a wide range of interesting heroes and antiheroes, from fox brides and tiny fairies to ravenous young women and mean bunnies. Set in magical and mystical forest settings skillfully depicted by Branka Hollingsworth, these tales – sometimes whimsy, sometimes not – now get to live on in the minds and hearts of new generations of young readers and listeners, saved from the terrible destiny of being forgotten.

Rascals in the Gutter


In the best tradition of young adult novels, but with a fresh voice, Josip Čekolj recounts the story of his rascals — four friends on the brink of adulthood. Although the town through which they roam is imaginary, their love and confusion, their conflicts and blunders, much like their need for warmth and belonging are all very real. As the rascals learn to find their way ‘in the gutter’, various characters show up to guide them along. Some are more trustworthy than others, and they largely come from the fringes of society, with perhaps the most important being an old lady with her cats and flair for poetry. And as usually happens in coming-of-age stories, their wading through murky waters becomes a first step towards maturity. The inspiration for this book was the exhibition ‘Rascals and Frogs’ by the visual artist Dominik Vuković, themed around memories of childhood. He illustrated this edition in close collaboration with the author, resulting in a special relationship between the text and illustrations.

The Seven Cats


The Seven Cats is a collection of children’s texts by the great Russian avant-garde author Daniil Harms. As Harms worked under hard censorship, these texts form the main part of his oeuvre that was published during his lifetime (most of his “adult” texts were circulating only as manuscripts within underground circles). The Seven Cats encompass various prose miniatures, some longer stories but also children’s poetry. Throughout these various genres one can follow the celebrated absurdist humor of Daniil Harms which is, in these children’s texts, deprived of its cruel elements and becomes a means of transforming the very often glum everyday to an anarchic carnival. The book was illustrated by Vendi Vernić, a prized young Croatian visual artist whose stile corresponds perfectly with the avant-garde but still childish aspects of the literary text.


Book #3379

Of Bears and their Humans


The heroes of this illustrated book are teddy bears who turn out to be incredibly lively pets, always looking for some kind of mischief. They steal pancakes, sing and swim; they meet other animals in the city park; in the summer they go to the seaside and they never-ever sleep their winter’s sleep. The teddy bears’ little adventures are presented as short messages that their owner sends to her friend, and these messages very often acquire a visual power and a narrative dynamic which resemble silent cinema sketches. Once the whole picture is put together, however, one realizes that, from message to message, the author has taught him some important things on friendship and freedom… The book was illustrated and graphically designed by the young artist Hana Vrca who gave it a specific visual coherence and quality.


Book #3368

Gvalup and Other Stories


A girl riding a hare, a boy taking off to an adventure with a walking carob tree, a barge that riots against its crew, a little fawn adopted in an elfish family, a statue that decides to live near a pond, a star that falls from the sky before its time – Tamara Bakran’s stories are as varied as are her heroes. Little episodes from the everyday life of a child suddenly take a fantastic turn – a little girl crying that the water for her hair wash is too hot may summon a fire brigade, and a jump into a puddle may lead into a fairyland. The originality and merry rhythm of these stories catch the reader’s attention and offer the kind of pleasure that is the basic prerequisite for creation of a lasting interest in books and reading.


Age: 6-9

How Wang-Fo Was Saved


How Wang-Fo Was Saved is one of a very few texts for children written by the great French novelist Marguerite Yourcenar, here translated into Croatian for the first time. In her story, inspired by a Chinese legend, with a master painter as the main protagonist, Yourcenar is posing fundamental questions about humanity and art in a simple, yet striking manner. Searching for the aesthetic pleasure the perfect master Wang-Fo discards the material world and its acclaim. However, an encounter with the Emperor reminds him that works of art are always about the world and part of the world – even if they eventually succeed in becoming a world in their own right and a sort of sanctuary.


Age 12+