The protagonists of Two Wise Hippos, Huberto and Marcelo, use to sit under a London pane's shadow and spend a lot of time throwing mud balls into the brook. They talk to other animals, though (Carmela the elephant and Tanami the giraffe are among them) and sometimes try to do important things, like helping grasshoppers and commissioning paintings. They like to pose grave questions: How to make a bouquet of rhymes? How wide is the summer? Who is fundamental in this world? Why should we read a lighter book? How long does a downpour last? How to count penguins? The 21 short stories comprised in Two Wise Hippos are clear and short, poetic and tender, hilarious and wise.
Text: Peter Svetina
Peter Svetina is a writer, professor and translator from Slovenia. He writes for children, young adults and adults, but his work often crosses the borders between different target audiences. Svetina’s works often play with occurrences and images arising from his everyday life, and have been translated into English, German, Spanish, Korean, Polish, Latvian, Estonian, and Lithuanian. His books have received some of the most prestigious national and international awards and are immensely popular among literary critics and young readers alike. His name was included in the shortlist of the 2020 Hans Christian Andersen Award.
Ilustration: Francisco Tomsich
Francisco Tomsich is an artist and author born in Uruguay in 1981. He produces exhibitions, publications, works for the stage, research models and pedagogical devices since 2003, operating with different media, languages and tongues.
The Gymnast Nikolaj Chases Away the Wicked Thief
Nikolaj the Gymnast is Klarisa Jovanovič's first picture book. It tells the story of a gymnast who detects a thief while doing his exercises in the park. The scene makes him so angry that he decides to catch him. The thief steals a baby's rattle and, on another occasion, a magnifying glass from an old lady who visits the park. The thief’s third criminal attempt in a row consists in trying to steal the tablecloth which a poor man puts on his table to embellish it on Sundays. This time, Nikolaj will catch him and recuperate all the stolen items. Nikolaj the Gymnast is written in verse, in a humorous and very skilful way. Even if posing the ethical question of whether stealing is acceptable or not, it does it without moralizing.
Text: Klarisa Jovanovič
Klarisa Jovanović is professor of French and a comparative literature graduate. She translates mainly from Greek, but also from Serbian, Croatian, Macedonian, Italian and French. She has published three books of poetry. In 2007, she published the poem Zgiban prek Mure, which was nominated for the best debut next year. Her poem Izgnana was nominated for Veronikina nagrada, the literary award given to the year’s best collection of poems. She is also an interpreter of poems set to music and folk songs.
Illustration: Štefan Turk
Štefan Turk graduated in art history from the University of Trieste and studied painting with the renowned Trieste painter and educator prof. Nino Perizi. He is a painter, an illustrator and a fine arts teacher. He works as a co-mentor in various children artists' colonies and runs art workshops for children. He regularly publishes his illustrations in the magazine Seagull and has collaborated with Ciciban and Mavrica.
Just 5 More Minutes
Time is always precious, especially when you spend it with those people who you miss the most, even if you still have to get to know them. When they knock on your door, the world turns upside down. Even those things that you could not understand until today, eventually start making sense.
Text: Patricija Peršolja
Patricija Peršolja works as a speech and language therapist and deaf educator and is the author of many stories for children and young adults. She started publishing stories in magazines for children and wrote a series of children’s stories for the Slovene National Radio. In 2013 she was nominated for the Veronikina nagrada, the literary award given to the year’s best collection of poems, with her first book of poetry, Gospodinjski blues.
Illustration: Polona Lovšin
Polona Lovšin is an illustrator and a painter. She has illustrated numerous of picture books and textbooks, and regularly collaborates with the most important Slovenian children's magazines such as Zmajček, Cicido, Ciciban and Kekec. She lives and works in Ljubljana, but often travels due to her exhibitions abroad and collaborates with important publishing houses such as Pan Macmillan, Penguin Books and Templar Publishing.