Serbian / Serbia
B. N. Lj. (Banda neželjenih ljubimaca)
(U.P.G. – The Unwanted Pets Gang)
Dimitrievski, Mihajlo (illus.)
Čačak: Pčelica, 2017. – 153 p.
Animals | Self-organization | Solidarity
White Ravens issue: 2019
Reading age: 10+
A pet store, location undefined. Lisa the dog and Gordon the cat are sure of one thing: something terrible is happening outside. They’re right: human beings vanish after a turbulent, undefined calamity. The animals are on their own. With plenty of suspense, this children’s book conveys what dog, cat, snake, squirrel, parrot and company are most concerned with – survival – and how they gradually organize themselves into a makeshift community, overcoming their primal instincts. Initially, author and playwright Uglješa Šajtinac propels his beastly characters and their distinctive traits into conflict with each other. When they realize, though, that threats lurk just outside in the form of ranging, hungry animal gangs, the pet store animals regroup and form their own gang. The book was nominated for the Nin Award for “Best Novel” in Serbia in 2017. Uglješa Šajtinac was the 2014 award-winner of the European Union Prize for Literature.