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Dora Dutková, Sylva Fischerová / Juliet & Insecta

Juliet and Insecta, two young girls who live in a housing estate block of flats in apartment No. 3331, take off to discover the world. In their eyes, the drab buildings transform into hiding places of strange creatures, neglected corners of the estate turn into uncharted regions, and the nearby forest becomes a danger zone full of wonderful mushroomy creatures. Poet and philosopher Sylva Fischerová has an exceptional feel for the child's language and imagination. The dialogues of her child protagonists are perfectly authentic, given to seriousness as well as extraordinary humor.

 

Extract: 

HOW THEY SET OUT TO JULIA’S LAND

 

Julia sat on the bench dangling her legs.

“Where will we go?“ she said.

Hmyza sat on the bench dangling her legs.

“Where will we go?“ she said.

“No, I’m asking where we’ll go,“ said Julia.

“No! I’m asking where we’ll go,“ Hmyza insisted.

“It’s me who asked first!“ Julia was getting angry.

“But it was my idea!“

“No, it was mine!“

“So where will we go?“ Hmyza said again, dangling her legs. It was easier for her because she was smaller. She was six, and Julia was eight. She was older and more reasonable.

“We’ll go somewhere where we’ve never been before,“ said Julia. “Because today is the right day for travelling to unknown places where lions live.“

“Lions?“ Hmyza said. “Why lions?“
“It’s just a saying,“ said Julia. “In unknown territories where no one has gone before, that’s where lions live. And only after someone enters the territory, he gives it some name. Say, Julia’s Land. Or, teeny Hmyzville?“

“I’ll show you teeny Hmyzville!“ Hmyza was angry. “I’ll call my territory Hmyza’s Rosy Valley, and it’ll be really pretty there. But –“ she stopped suddenly, “what about the lions? What will happen to them then? Does that mean like that they’ll be in Hmyza’s Rosy Valley?“

“No, they’ll run away, because it doesn’t make sense for lions to be in Hmyza’s Rosy Valley,“ said Julia. Her blond wavy hair fell half way down her back. Hmyza’s hair was wavy, too, but dark and not so long.

“You think they’ll run away to some other territory?“

“Well, perhaps they can run from one territory to another,“ thought Julia.

“But what if someone passed through all the territories? What will happen to the lions, then?“ Hmyza said.

“That can’t be,“ said Julia quickly. “I think there must always be a territory for the lions.“

“You mean some Lions’ Land?“

“What Lions’ Land?“

“Well, if there’s a Julia’s Land, there must be a Lions’ Land, too. Right?“

“Hmm. Wouldn’t it be a Lion’s Den?“

“No, I think that a Lion’s Den is something different. It has something to do with lionizing, I guess.“

“With lionizing? Then it’s quite clear,“ said Julia, „because all lions want to be lionized, so if you don’t lionize lions you’ll end up in the Lion’s Den. Although people usually say Lion’s Muzzle, I think.“

“But we won’t go to the Lion’s Den – or Lion’s Muzzle – right now, will we?“ pleaded Hmyza, who was really small. She didn’t go to school yet, and not long ago did she just started saying correctly: “Julia jumped jauntily into a giant jetplane“; but she still had problem when pronouncing more complicated sentences like “Gerbil is neither a germ nor a geranium.“

“No. We’re going to go to Julia’s land right now,“ said Julia, and both girls left the playground surrounded by the block of appartement buildings, where they lived in building Nr. 33; Julia on the third floor, Hmyza on the seventh.

 

205x200 | 74 pages | 2006 | Baohemia | buy now

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