Georgian / Georgia

Zolemia
(Papa Zebra’s missing stripes)

Kirt’aze, Sop’o (= Kirtadze, Sophia) (text/illus.)
Tbilisi: Sulakauri, 2011. – [40] p.
ISBN 978-9941-15-404-1

Personality | Crisis of identity | Self-awareness | Helpfulness | Animal story

Oh my! Papa Zebra loses his stripes, and no doctor can help him. What bothers Papa even more is that everyone is staring at him. So he tries in vain to hide his apparent flaw, by wrapping himself in strips of clothesline, for instance, or dreaming to get into jail so he can wear a striped uniform. Everything changes when Papa Zebra notices that other animals have identity issues, too – such as a giraffe afraid of heights who can’t raise its head. He turns to helping others and realises that one can get along just fine without stripes.

≫Papa Zebra’s missing stripes≪ is representative of a whole series of new picture books from Georgia. Sophia Kirtadze (b. 1988) is part of the Virgam illustrator collective, which is working to develop a contemporary Georgian picture book genre from scratch. This has brought fresh energy to the Georgian children’s book market – thanks also to Sulakauri Press, which has published several Vigram volumes. (Age: 5+)