Croatian / Croatia
Gvalup i druge priče
(Gvalup and other stories)
Cupek, Željka (illus.)
Zagreb: Mala Zvona, 2017. – 80 p.
Humans | Nature | Nature spirits | Short story
Reading age: 7+
White Ravens issue: 2018
Fifteen brief stories, fifteen special encounters: Croatian author and lyricist Tamara Bakran (b. 1979) brings human beings (usually children) into contact with nature’s creatures – animals and plants – or with fantastical characters such as fauns and fairies, showing the magic of the relationships. Even physical objects, such as striking barges or the moon, speak up. In the titular story, Gvalup, a dwarf-like girl who lives by the sea with her white rabbit and sleeps in a bird’s nest, watches people who come to the seaside. One day she meets Lamar, an author, and helps her write a story. Gvalup learns how to read in the process and in the end stays with Lamar to explore this new world, this new life. The stories are accompanied by Željka Cupek’s illustrations, which possess the same pleasant restraint and poetic symbolic power as Tamara Bakran’s texts.