A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

Czech / Czech Republic

Bertík a čmuchadlo
(Bertík and the Snuffalo)

Soukupová, Petra (text)
Korunka, Petr (illus.)
Brno: Host, 2014. – 133 p.
ISBN 978-80-87596-42-5

Divorce – Family conflict – Escapism

Nine-year-old Bertík must go to the country with his mother and her new boyfriend – “stupid” Richard. Two more families Bertík can’t stand meet them there, and so he frequently retreats into the nearby forest. There he meets an unusual creature, something between a beaver and warthog. The Snuffalo is mildly annoyed by Bertík, but as a trouble-eater it just happens to be its job to help this child. Together, the two figure out whether or not Richard is really stupid; the Snuffalo also helps Bertík reflect on his own situation. Eventually, the Snuffalo can finally slip away and recover from its exhaustive care work. Petra Soukupová (b. 1982) has received several awards in the Czech Republic for her fiction works. “Bertík” is her first children’s book, and it was nominated for the award of the Czech IBBY “Zlata stuha” in 2015. It prototypically deals with the conflict-laden, complex parent-child relationship in the aftermath of a divorce. (Age: 8+)