Croatian / Croatia

Ja konj
(I, Horse)

Balog, Zvonimir (text/illus.)
Zagreb: Alfa, 2013. – 87 p.
(Series: Knjiga za mladež)
ISBN 978-953-297-478-2

Horse / History / Mythology | Poetry

Everyone has seen horse-and-rider statues before, frequently also the riders depicted therein – but what about the horses? Croatia’s star author Zvonimir
Balog literally puts the horse before the cart in his newest picture book, which was awarded the Grigor Vitez Prize in 2013. He introduces historical riders from the perspective of their horses, on a children’s poetry ride through various countries and periods. From Buff alo Bill to Alexander the Great, Joan of Arc to Saint George the dragon slayer, Balog parades famous riders and their mounts. And there’s more: the volume also contains poems about the horse as a working animal, about Pegasus, the mythological father of all horses, and the use of
horses in today’s police forces, among other topics.

The poems do not become one dry history lesson, though, but remain exciting and humorous anecdotes – thanks to Balog’s typical polished, at times galloping rhymes as well as the deliberately awkward, childlike illustrations. (Age: 4+)