Serbian / Serbia
(The crocodile sings)
Veselinović, Maja (illus.)
Beograd: Kreativni Centar, 2017. – 141 p.
Siblings | Newborn | Disease | Family make-up | Attention
Reading age: 10+
White Ravens issue: 2018
All of a sudden, Danica’s parents Sajmon and Natasha are acting differently. It’s because of Danica’s new brother Viktor, who was oxygen-deprived for a few minutes during birth and may now be ill his whole life. While Natasha is demoralized by the uncertainty of Viktor’s health, Sajmon wants to come to terms with the difficult situation with the help of grandparents, uncles, and aunts. Danica, from whose perspective the story is told, suspects that something is not right, and feels the easy relationship her parents and she once enjoyed is now slipping. In diary-like entries, the girl talks with her little brother, whom she calls the crocodile. One day, this crocodile starts singing, and readers may surmise a positive outcome is on the horizon. Vesna Aleksić mixes her warm narrative style evocative of a happy childhood with undertones that reference the increasing tension in Danica’s family. This is another reason why her children’s book has received multiple awards in Serbia.