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Juraj Horváth, Tereza Horváthová / The Blue Tiger

When Johanka, aged nine, receives a slap from an angry school janitor, things begin to happen. At the crossroad not far from school, a blue tiger appears, turning the whole town upside-down while Johanka's life starts to change afresh. The Botanical Garden where she has always lived with her mother and with Matyáš Kytka and his father, the gardener, is to give way to a huge intersection and shopping center. And the blue tiger is stalked by Fiškus Tuš, collector of curios. Besides, there has not been a drop of rain in two months. The story with mystery plot tells about being different, dreams, a great flood and hope.
A film based on the book is due to be released in 2012. 
Published in Japan. 

 

 

.....Jo Gabor was quite a funny little person. Jo didn’t like to do anything but read. She read in the tram, on the street, in the lunch-queue, at school and at home-in short, everywhere. That’s why she forgets everything and has time for nothing. And also she writes and writes. Usually something new every week. She writes secretly, because it’s nobody else’s business. She has ideas for lots of stories, but most of the time she never gets to the end of them. She says that it annoys her that the stories are not real. That they’re even less real than when she has a dream. A dream is real even though you can’t touch it.

Jo is 8½ and she lives with her mother in a small little house in the Botanic Garden on Little Hill down by the river. It’s an old Botanic Garden, quite small and normal. A professor built it about a hundred and fifty years ago. That professor was the great-great-great-grandfather of Matthew Plant. They say it was a great event, the first botanic garden in the town.

They also say that right where the old Botanic Garden is now there’ll soon be a junction and a big glass shopping mall. But perhaps that will take a bit of time yet, because for the moment, as Jo’s mother Mrs Gabor says, it’s “quiet as a forest path”. Maybe those plans will just stay plans.

Jo says that she lives with her mother alone because her father left on an important marine scientific expedition and never returned. You see, he found Paradise Island and stayed there. Matthew is now drawing the boat which he’ll sail on in order to find that island. Matthew knows how to draw everything, and best of all maps and charts. And he’s looking forward to setting sail--they’ll close the garden anyway, and by that time his father will be a complete cantankerous grouch. Mr Plant is both the director and the gardener in one. But recently he’s been only grumbling and giving out. Matthew prefers to visit his neighbours, Jo and her mother. Matthew knows how to do everything, Jo says. Even how to build that boat. Matthew and Jo both wear a small leather pouch around their necks inside of which is written: Henshon elatan ake i akim. It’s the Indian for “This is my brother.” (Translation Justin Quinn)

205x200 | 96 pages | 2005 | Baohemia | buy now

BAOBAB Publishers is small, family-owned publishing house specializing on quality children's books. Since its establishment at the break of the millennia, BAOBAB has done its utmost to restore the pictorial book culture in the Czech Republic, namely by cooperating with a score of like-minded authors, i.e. story-tellers and illustrators, scouting and supporting young talents, contributing to the development of children's author books phenomenon, mapping the European literary scene of children´s books as well as acquainting Czech reading public with the most interesting illustrators of the 20th and 21st centuries. Besides publishing and promoting activities, BAOBAB is the initiator and organizer of numerous book culture events, of which the most important the yearly Tabook Festival holding place in late September and early October in Tábor, Czech Republic (www.tabook.cz). BAOBAB Publishers cooperate closely with the Miroslav Šašek Foundation, Prague's Academy of Arts & Design (UMPRUM), Tábor's Baobab Book Shop & Gallery and Xaoxax Gallery in Prague's Vršovice District.