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.
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.
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.