Telling a story about a girl obsessed with flying and her (almost) magical book, the author blends fiction with facts about three Croatian inventors. In a playful way he switches between worlds: following a detail in her garden – a ladybug, a butterfly, a star – Svjetlana slides into a moment in the life of the inventor she was reading about. Subtle changes in style mark every transition into the world of inventors’ drawings, imaginatively expanding the space of the girl’s home and family.
This picture-book is the first within a series with which Mala zvona introduces works of great Croatian visual artists to children. The famous Croatian impressionist painter S. Raškaj was deaf – and very sensitive to nature. Therefore, the writer of this picture book chose to represent her life and work in six walks with easel in different surroundings: the garden of her childhood, parks in the city where she learned to paint, winter woods and summer meadows where she made her best pictures. The illustrator did not copy the style of watercolors made by S. Raškaj, but gave the adequate transparence and lightness to his own.
In this short novel Michael Ende takes us for a journey across Europe, Asia, Africa, all the way to Hindukush. The story’s protagonist, Cyril Abercomby is an English aristocrat and the son of a 19th century diplomat. In his childhood he follows his father on diplomatic missions and when the father dies, Cyril inherits the family fortune and continues wandering across the globe in a pointless spleen. Although he had been enjoying the luxury of grand hotels and high society ever since his earliest childhood, Cyril is haunted for life by a feeling of non-belonging, of homelessness. But then one day, he finds his home – on a painting. Suddenly his voyages become purposeful: he must find the place depicted on the canvas, no matter the costs. This quest leads him to different atrocities and a final, suicidal, mission: neither dead, nor alive, Cyril finds his home in the space of his own imagination grafted upon a real geographical place. Michael Ende thus develops a dark, but lyrical story on alienation, the power of imagination and the workings of art. His text has been illustrated by the painter Dominik Vuković who visually represented the dark contours of this story that revolves around a painting.