A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

Slovenian / Slovenia

Fino kolo. Po zgodbi Manke Kremenšek Križman
(The beautiful bike. After a story
by Manka Kremenšek Križman)

Komadina, Tanja (text/illus.)
Ljubljana: Forum, 2014. – 63 p.
(Series: Stripburger – Ed. Minimundus)
ISBN 978-961-6553-66-7

Yugoslav Wars / 1991-2001 – Trauma – Xenophobia – Nationalism – Graphic novel 

The city of Mostar in 1991: Mile dreams of owning a bicycle. But when the Balkan Wars break out, Mile’s mother cannot make good on her promise to give her son a bike in reward for his report card. The only thing that matters now is securing a good, stable future for Mile and his family. All that occurs in the following two years of conflict is left unreported. The book’s plot picks up again in 1993: Mile, living on his own with distant relatives in independent Slovenia, befriends Lana, who owns the bike he always wanted. When the bike is stolen and Mile is accused of being the culprit, he is branded a worthless “Balkan gypsy”. After a few days everything seems to be back to normal, but the slur remains in use. Tanja Komadina’s wonderful story is her first comic. With touching pictures, she probes the xenophobic attitudes of the former Yugoslavian nations and considers what war does to people’s minds. (Age: 9+)