White Ravens: Slovenia
Slovenia (Slovenian) - 1994 - 54
Dekleva, Milan (text)
Sottler, Alenka (illus.)
Bučka na Broadwayu
(Bučka on Broadway)
Ljubljana: DZS, 1993. 62 p.
USA/Satire - Stereotype
In this satirical, highly unusual fantasy tale a brother and sister from Slovenia, Bučka and BoŠko Cankar, travel to the USA, landing in a world filled with detective and Western stereotypes. They are followed by Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy in a terribly long Buick, discover a starlet bound and gagged in a bathtub, who wants to give them an autogramm immediately after being set free, meet Indians and Supergirl. In an entertaining tone in a language loaded with slang, readers between nine and 99 are presented with the fully satirical mirror image of a world which, in the television world of today, is usually accepted without much criticism. (10+)
Slovenia (Slovenian) - 1994 - 55
Makarovič, Svetlana (text)
Reščič, Lucijan (illus.)
Kaj lepega povej
(Say Something Nice)
Ljubljana: DZS, 1993. 65 p.
The actress, poet and children's book author Svetlana Makarovič (*1939), who has become popular in particular through her fairy tales for younger children over the past twenty years, has produced here a master piece of poetry for young people. Illustrated with ornamental graphics, this volume contains cheerful and witty verses about love affairs, poems of congratulations, romantic love poems. New Year poems and farewell poems. (10+)
Slovenia (Slovenian) - 1995 - 34
Fritz, Ervin (text)
Vogelnik, Eka (illus.)
Svet v naprstniku
(The world in a thimble)
Ljubljana: DZS, 1994. 56 p.
This is the first children's book by the Slovenian playwright and poet Ervin Fritz (born 1940). As in his poetry for adults, Fritz's poetry for children is at times funny, at other times profound. This volume includes serious poems, nonsense verses, counting rhymes and ridicule verses in a idiosyncratic manner of speech. The three- color illustrations done with mixed technique and high-quality, attractive graphic design contribute to the book's overall appeal. (6+)
Slovenia (Slovenian) - 1995 - 35
Zorman, lvo (text)
Stančič, Zora (illus.)
(The growing up disease)
Ljubljana: DZS, 1994. 151 p.
(Veliki otroci, 2)
Slovenia/School holiday - Adventure
The popular Slovenian children's and youth book author depicts here the experiences of a group of teenagers during the school holidays in the Slovenian mountains in a very funny and humorous manner. The reader gets a glimpse into the contemporary lifestyle in Slovenia, especially the conflicts present within the family, at school, and between generations. The protagonists become involved in a theft and fraud. This is a quite literary, but entertainment novel. (9+) ☼
Slovenia (Slovenian) - 1996 - 231
Novak, Boris A. (text)
Manček, Marjan (illus.)
Blabla : pesmi in igre za male in velike tigre
(Blah-Blah: Stories and Games for Tigers Large and Small <Play on words>)
Ljubljana: DZS, 1995. 9 p.
This book contains seven very successful cyclic poems by one of the most popular Slovenian poets of modern times, both for adults and children. The themes of these poems include both animals and humans and make reference to various forms of pop music, card games, human fate, values such as orderliness and cleanliness (from various points of view), television. It also includes brazen and thought-provoking verse on topics such as love, nonsense poems and plays on words. (11+)
Slovenia (Slovenian) - 1997 - 229
Hoffmann, E.T.A. (text)
Kranjc, Mojca (transl.)
Stupica, Marija Lucija (illus.)
Hrestač in mišji kralj
(The nutcracker and the mouse king)
(German orig.: Nußknacker und Mausekönig)
Ljubljana: DZS, 1996. 75 p.
(Zbirka Velikanček; 4)
Christmas - Toys - Reality - Fantasy - Battle - Mouse - Nutcracker - Soldier
The former Slovenian State Publishing House has always had a high reputation in Slovenia. Since its privatization, the imprint has only gotten better, particularly in its book design, as proven by this volume. The national and international prizewinning illustrator Marija Lucija Stupica (born 1950) comes from a highly regarded family of artists in Slovenia and has gained renown for her illustrations of H.C. Andersen. Also in her other works she feels more at home in fantasy than in reality. In this work she addresses children as well as adults. The illustrations, done in muted grey, brown and yellow tones, make for a rather cool effect by reducing images to their essentials and using static poses. This corresponds, however, to the melancholy and lyricism of this romantic tale. (8+)
Slovenia (Slovenian) - 1997 - 230
Lainšček, Feri (text)
Ribič, Igor (illus.)
Ljubljana: Prešernova družba, 1996. 128 p.
Reality - Imagination - Magician - Circus - Friendship - Adventure
In this fantasy a magician is able to present the thoughts of a girl, Gela Gela, and a boy, Tulsi Bulsi, to his circus audience as a mysterious realistic projection. By accident the boy and girl find themselves caught up in the mental world of an ape and are unable to return to their own reality. Through a chain of circumstances, Tulsi Bulsi believes that Gela Gela has betrayed him and he becomes harsh and evil. Only after many adventures does she manage to gain his trust again, making their return to the real world possible. After their long odyssee it turns out that they had only been in the ape world for a short time beween two circus performances, so no one except for the magician had known that they were missing. (8+)
Slovenia (Slovenian) - 1997 - 231
Tarman, Draga M. (text)
Demšar, Danijel (illus.)
Ko se dan konča
(When the day ends)
Ljubljana: DZS, 1995. 31 p.
(Zbirka Čudeži narave; 2)
Night - Animals - Plants
This information book about the night is a remarkable combination of highly literary and lyrical texts with well-founded information about the night-time life of animals and plants in different regions. Along with gardens, meadows, ponds and forests in central Europe, the book presents the night-time biosphere in various parts of the tropics. In an appendix the author describes the sensory organs which help animals to find their way through the night. Blue and green tones dominate the atmospheric illustrations . (6+)
Slovenia (Slovenian) - 1998 - 226
Sitar, Jelena (text)
Cvetko, Igor (illus.)
Primeri detektiva Karla Loota. Skrivnost v galeriji ali zgodba o senčnih lutkah
(The cases of detective Karel Loot. The secret of the gallery, or the story of the shadow puppets)
Ljubljana: DZS, 1996.  p.
(Umetnost igre ; 2)
Art gallery - Shadow play - Detective
When the most valued picture in an art gallery begins to change constantly, the director calls in Detective Loot to clear up the mystery. Loot studies the picture very carefully and guards it all night long. Gradually it begins to change, shadows move back and forth across it. Karel Loot is stymied until he discovers that he is watching the scenes of a shadow play. But then suddenly Karel Loot vanishes, too. This picture book is illustrated with funny, bizarre pictures. The story is suspenseful and also reveals some information about the principles of shadow theater. (5+)
Slovenia (Slovenian) - 1999 - 223
Pavček, Tone (text)
Gatnik, Kostja (illus.)
Majnice. Fulaste pesmi
(Catkins. Whacky poems)
Ljubljana: Založba Mladika, 1997. 83 p.
Love - Poetry
Tone Pavček's love poetry, written especially with male teenagers in mind, make use of their generation's cool style and jargon but still reveal an emotional depth. The author takes the coolness and airs of young people quite seriously, but also gives an ironic touch to his portraits of this kind of self-posturing. The excellent illustrations by Kostja Gatnik incorporate elements of caricature and graffiti with a simplicity that fits well with the style of the poems. (12+)
Slovenia (Slovenian) - 1999 - 224
Miklova zala. Povest iz turških časov
(Mikel's daughter Zalika. A story from Turkish period)
Ljubljana: DZS, 1997. 122 p.
(Zbirka Zgodovinsko klasje)
Slovenia/History 1470-1620 - Turkish wars
(see cat. no. 225)
Slovenia (Slovenian) - 1999 - 225
Ljubljana: DZS, 1997. 127 p.
(Zbirka Zgodovinsko klasje)
Slovenia/History 680-830 - Lombards - Migration - Avars
Both of these historical novels deal with events in early Slovenia. Ilka Vašte draws a picture of the first settlements in the western parts of its current territory in the late 7th and early 8th century, describing the conflicts with other tribes (Lombards) and invasions by the Avars based on historical sources. First published in 1923, the book was very topical then because the Slovenians living in Italy were experiencing increasing pressure from the Italian fascists. The novel »Miklova zala« by Jakob Sket first appeared in 1884 in a magazine and deals with the invasion of the Turks in Slovenia between 1470 and 1620. Although the Slovenians did not have to live as long under Turkish rule as other southern Slavic peoples, these 150 years still represent a sense of threat in the Slovenian consciousness. Sket also draws upon historical and traditional literary sources but writes in a more free, fictitious style than Vašte. Ever since Slovenia became independent, popular interest in the historical roots of its population has continued to grow. In the European context, the history of this region of southeastern Europe - though often neglected - deserves more attention. (12+) ☆
Slovenia (Slovenian) - 2000 - 220
Bogataj Ambrožič, Saša (text/illus.)
(The under-the-bed kobold)
Ljubljana: DZS, 1999.  p.
(Velikanček ; 7)
Sleep - Fear - Gnome - Sandman
When little Nika becomes so afraid of all the things that seem to have changed into spooky monsters that she cannot fall asleep, the underthe- bed kobold appears and tells her all about his own childhood. The little kobolds once were afraid to fall asleep, too, and so they were sent into the forest to visit the owl, who would give them courage. But the owl gave the little kobolds the task of visiting human children and taking away their fears of falling asleep. The humorous illustrations of this soothing read-aloud story convey the atmosphere of the moment through the background coloring. (4+)
Slovenia (Slovenian) - 2001 - 217
Bitenc, Janez (text)
Reščič, Lucijan (illus.)
Zmaj Lakotaj z Ljubljanskega grada
(The ever-hungry dragon from Ljubljana castle)
Ljubljana : Založba Mladika, 1998. 25 p.
Ljubljana/History - Dragon - Shepherd-boy - Legend
This picture books recounts a legend about the history of the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana. A fearless shepherd boy succeeds in taming the dragon who lives in a cave near Ljubljana castle. As a result, the dragon children abandon the cave, shortly followed by their father. A remarkable feature of this legend is its peaceful and reconciliatory tone: no heroic feats are celebrated and the traditional, bloody extinction of the dragon is avoided. Instead, the legend advocates non-violent coexistence and underlines that even the dragon, as our fellow creature, has a right to life and respect. The coloured pen-and-wash illustrations unfold the setting in a skilful, historicising style. One picture will often show a whole sequence of events. An appendix includes the folksong about the ever-hungry dragon. (5+)
Slovenia (Slovenian) - 2001 - 218
Dremelj-Resnik, Anton (storyteller)
Matičetov, Milko (record)
Štefan, Anja (ed.)
Manček, Marjan (illus.)
O Pustu in zakletem gradu : slovenska ljudska pravljica
(Carnival and the enchanted castle : a Slovenian folktale)
Ljubljana : Slovenska Knjiga, 1999.  p.
Slovenia - Roman legionist - Good deed - Castle - Magic - Devil - Exorcism - Fairy tale
This fairy tale picture book is about a Roman veteran with the name of Carnival who received magic objects from people he had helped in times of need. One evening, while on the look-out for a place to spend the night, he comes upon an enchanted castle which is deserted by all its inhabitants at nightfall for fear of the devils who wreak havok there all night. In spite of many warnings, the dauntless soldier stays in the castle overnight and chases the devils away. The next morning, he is richly rewarded. This fairy tale was told by Anton Dremelj-Resnik (*1910), one of the last Slovenian storytellers, written down by the literary scholar and collector of folklore, Milko Matičetov, and adapted to modern standard Slovenian by Anja Štefan. The caricaturesque illustrations are a contribution from the popular Slovenian artist and cartoonist Marjan Manček. (7+)
Special Mention - Slovenia (Slovenian) - 2001 - 219
Prap, Lila [i.e. Liljana Praprotnik-Zupančič] (text/illus.)
Ljubljana : Mladinska Knjiga, 1999.  p.
Insects - Spider-family - Nursery rhyme
This picture book for beginning readers presents little animals in witty verses. The ladybug and the firefly will be among the happy few to arouse affection. They are followed by less likable fellows like the daddy-long-legs, the moth, the maggot, the book-worm, the spider, the flea, the potatoe beetle, the tick, the drone, the woodworm and the louse. The amusing rhymes and the simple, anthropomorphised animal-illustrations will join in the effort to relieve children of their fear or digust at these fine little creatures. (3+)
Slovenia (Slovenian) - 2002 - 216
Vandot, Josip (text)
Rozman Roza, Andrej (adapt.)
Èoh, Zvonko (illus.)
Kekec in Bedanec
(Kekec and Bedanec <proper names>)
Ljubljana : Založba Mladinska Knjiga, 2001.  p.
(Zbirka Cicibanov vrtiljak) (Velike slikanice)
Shepherd – Child – Giant – Threat – Rescue
Originally published between 1924 and 1936, the stories about the clever and helpful shepherd boy Kekec by Josip Vandot (1883-1940) have become children's classics in Slovenia and former Yugoslavia. In these tales, set in a realistic environment and containing adventurous and fantastic elements, the author proves that it pays out to be helpful and kind to one's neighbours. In this particular story, Kekec dupes the evil giant Bedanec and, by saving his life, finally forces him to promise to leave this region. For the first time, the publishing house Mladinska Knjiga has now published one of the Kekec-tales as a picture book. The attractive illustrations, drawn in a mixed style resembling Romantic and naïve paintings, take the readers into the Slovenian mountains. (5+)
Slovenia (Slovenian) - 2002 - 217
Zupan, Vitomil (text)
Stupica, Marija Lucija (illus.)
Plašček za Barbaro
(A coat for Barbara)
Ljubljana : Prešernova Družba, 1999.  p.
(Prešernova koledarska zbirka)
Coat – Walking – Search – Girl – Finding
This picture book tells the bizarre story of a coat, travelling around on its own, frightened and lonely. No-one wants to take it, neither the tramp, nor the dog, not even the noble lady. A tomcat offers its help, but the coat is too much afraid to trust the cat. After the coat is almost run over by a car, it stands at the side of the road desperately whining, when suddenly a girl comes by. As it had always been her dearest wish to own such a beautiful coat, she eventually takes it with her. The slightly mel- ancholic pictures in shades of green and red, drawn by internationally renowned artist Marija Lucija Stupica, perfectly complement the story. (3+)
Slovenia (Slovenian) - 2003 - 211
Muck, Desa (text)
Čamagajevac, Sebastijan (illus.)
(Alone at home)
Ljubljana : Mladinska Knjiga, 2001. 219 p.
(Knjižnica Sinjega galeba ; 307)
Teenager – Party – Love – Kidnapping
The new novel of Desa Muck, a very popular author in Slovenia, describes four days in the life of fifteen-yearold Laura. They are full of dreams and plans, accidental complications of unusual events, activities, analyses, insights, and surprising turns. When Laura stays at home alone during the weekend, her schoolfriends suddenly turn up celebrating a party with alcohol and the usual kissing and grabbing. As if all this wasn’t enough, some robbers kidnap Laura. What a relief, that everything is back to normal when Laura’s parents return. Once the readers dive into the plot, they will hardly be able to tear themselves away from it because of its breathtaking speed and many entanglements. (11+)
Slovenia (Slovenian) - 2003 - 212
Osojnik, Mojca (text/illus.)
Hiša, ki bi rada imela sonce
(The house that wanted to have some sun)
Ljubljana : Mladinska Knjiga, 2001.  p.
House – Town – Shadow – Sun
This inventive picture book tells the story of an old uninhabited little house that is surrounded by the big houses casting their shadows on it. Thus, it never even sees the sun. The little house ponders over the sun’s appearance and its nature. When one day a family moves into the little house, it is renovated, brought back to life, and in many different ways, it finally learns about the sun. In the impressive collages and the gouache paintings in strong colours, the Slovenian capital Ljubljana can be recognised. (3+)
Slovenia (Slovenian) - 2004 - 210
Prap, Lila (text/illus.)
Poga?nik, Jelka (text)
Ljubljana : Mladinska knjiga, 2002.  p.
Animals – Characteristics
In this picture book, the authors present one particular animal on every double-page spread and ask a question – which might seem a bit silly at first – about each: Why does the walrus have a beard? Why does the giraffe have such a long neck? Why do hyenas laugh? Why does the crocodile cry? Why does the elephant have a trunk? etc. Apart from a few nonsense answers, these questions are explained in a way that is both easy to understand and scientifically wellfounded. Thus, this book is more than just a standard non-fiction book. The witty and simple illustrations drawn with black outlines provide a realistic picture of the animals portrayed in this varied selection. (4+)
Slovenia (Slovenian) - 2004 - 211
Prešeren, France (text)
Peklar, Andreja (illus.)
(Rosamund of Turjak)
Ljubljana : Prešernova Družba, 2003.  p.
(Poezije Franceta Prešerna v besedi in sliki)
Middle Ages – Winning the bride – Turkish Wars
With this picture book, the publishing house Prešernova Družba presents a newly designed and illustrated edition of a romance by the Romantic author and most important Slovenian poet France Prešeren (1800-1849). When trying to win over the beautiful but arrogant Rosamund of Auersperg (Turjak), the Count of Scharffenberg (Ostrovhar) praises Rosamund’s beauty, which is only surpassed by that of Leila, the Bosnian pasha’s sister. Rosamund therefore tells him to kidnap Leila and free a few captured Christians. In Bosnia, however, he falls in love with the pasha’s sister and brings her home as his bride. As for Rosamund, she is forced to enter a convent. The book enchants its readers both with its elegant typographical design and the intensive colours of the illustrations. (7+)
Slovenia (Slovenian) - 2005 - 213
Novak, Boris A. (text)
Manček, Marjan (illus.)
Kako rastejo stvari
(How things grow)
Ljubljana : Prešernova Družba, 2004. 79 p.
Child – Everyday life – Household object – Planet – Animals – Love – Children’s poetry
The literary scholar Boris A. Novak (b. 1953) works as poet and dramatist and translates poems from English and French into his mother tongue. In this collection of poems for children, the author juggles words around: Nonsense rhymes, astonishing phrases, and unexpected punch-lines alternate. His topics range from items of clothing and household objects to the sun, the moon, and the stars, and to love and animals. What renders the verses particularly interesting is Novak’s understanding complicity with his child readers. Moreover, he does not avoid tackling delicate issues. (5+)
Special Mention - Slovenia (Slovenian) - 2005 - 214
Prap, Lila (text/illus.)
Bela, Natalija [et al.] (transl.)
Mednarodni Živalski Slovar
(The international dictionary of animal languages)
Ljubljana : Založba Mladinska Knjiga, 2004.  p.
Animal sound – Dictionary
When we talk about the various ›languages‹ of animals, we usually don’t realise that the frogs’ croaking, the dogs’ barking, and the goats’ bleating is expressed very differently in different languages. In this picture book, illustrated in Lila Prap’s characteristic style with simple, expressive pictures in bright colours with bold outlines, children and adults discover how the animal sounds are represented onomatopoeically in 41 different languages and dialects from around the world. Moreover, they also learn the correct expressions for clucking, neighing, and meowing in these languages. On the first and last pages of this book, readers will find a complete dictionary of animal sounds. The middle section of the book, however, is designed as a ›normal‹ picture book introducing one animal per double-page spread with its typical sound presented in always changing sets of four languages. (3+)
Special Mention - Slovenia (Slovenian) - 2005 - 215
Tomšič, Marjan (text)
Peklar, Andreja (illus.)
Kar je moje, je tudi tvoje : zgodbice o živalih
(What belongs to me, belongs to you, too : animal tales)
Ljubljana : Založba Mladika, 2004. 65 p.
Istria – Humans – Friendship – Animals – Behaviour – Ecology
Writer Marjan Tomšič has been living in Istria for a long time. In his remote cottage he has plenty of opportunities to watch animals and get into contact with them. These tales try to demonstrate that humans should not consider themselves the pride of Creation, but that it is their duty to live together in peace with all the other animals. In the end, however, they are left with the question of which behaviour really is in harmony with nature’s laws. The gouache illustrations in predominantly earthy colours perfectly match the tone of the stories. (6+)
Special Mention - Slovenia (Slovenian) - 2006 - 213
Peklar, Andreja (text/illus.)
Fant z rdečo kapico
(The boy with the red hat)
Ljubljana : Inšt. za Likovno Umetnost, 2005.  p.
Human being Animal – Environmental protection – Fairy tale
Inspired by some images on a golden vase from the Hallstatt culture (ca. 1,200-500 B.C), the author tells an ecological tale about a stag with golden antlers who destroys the fields and gardens in a wealthy kingdom to take revenge for the human exploitation of nature. The protagonist, a boy with a red hat, manages to mediate between the human beings and the animals by convincing the people that they should live in peace with their animal neighbours. This literary fairy tale, presented as a concertina book with a series of pictures, is completed by illustrations in shades of red, yellow, and gold. (4+)
Special Mention - Slovenia (Slovenian) - 2006 - 214
Reba, Matea (text)
Prelog, Marija (illus.)
Kamnik : Reba, 2005. 59 p.
Mouse Girl – Everyday life
In this book for small children, the author tells the story of a little mouse girl. The single episodes, in which human children can recognise themselves, are taken from the daily life of this friendly fourlegged protagonist. They talk about all the things that play an important role in children’s lives, such as playing together, sharing things, about little mishaps, kissing, good luck wishes, giving and receiving presents, ideas about a future profession, and a trip to the sea. The delicate water-colour drawings depict the little mice amongst poppies, ivy, and grass. They perfectly accompany the action and faithfully reflect the stories’ atmosphere. (3+)
Special Mention - Slovenia (Slovenian) - 2006 - 215
Štefan, Anja (text)
Lovšin, Polona (illus.)
Bobek in barčica
(Bob and the boat)
Ljubljana : Mladinska Knjiga, 2005.  p.
(Zbirka velike slikanice)
Child Animal – Solidarity
When little Bob rows across the lake, he comes across a number of animals, one by one: the mouse, the frog, the rabbit, the fox, and last but not least, the bear. They all want to join him and everything goes well until the heavy bear heaves himself into the boat. The barge keels over and the animals only just manage to reach the shore. Instead of giving up, they decide to build a bigger boat so that they all can go rowing together. This simple and humorous tale is similar to a folk tale, partly because of its affinity to nature. It focuses on the child and shows how much can be achieved if you work together and rely on each other. The illustrations in earthy shades of colour perfectly render the facial expressions of the boy and create the animals with simple but effective means. (3+)
Slovenia (Slovenian) - 2007 - 212
Kokelj, Nina (text)
Junaković, Svjetlan (illus.)
Deček na belem oblaku
(The boy on the white cloud)
Ljubljana [et al.] : Mladinska Knjiga, 2006.  p.
Child – Illness – Death – Life after death
Little Domen is ill, and his mother is extremely worried about him. One day, he insists on climbing up the church tower. Up there, he steps onto a cloud and flies away visiting children who are ill or in need. He meets other boys and girls sitting on clouds and doing good deeds; all of them are children who died before they had a chance to grow up. With a lot of empathy, the author talks about the various religious concepts of life after death and about the comforting thought that angels take care of human beings. The Croatian illustrator’s gouache paintings, sometimes amusing, sometimes melancholic, and often drawn from a perspective high above the earth, complement the text in a very sensitive way. (5+)