Even though it is not unusual to find picture books about national anthems, we have to admit that it is quite unusual to see a picture book about Croatia’s national anthem designed by a non-Croat.
At the recently held 40th International Book Fair Interliber in Zagreb, a Mexican Cynthia Martinez presented a wonderful picture book about Croatia’s national anthem. It is interesting to note that Martinez is a daughter-in-law of the popular Croatian sociologist and a university professor Slaven Letica.
The story about Cynthia’s picture book is very educational. As Mexico has had a picture book about the national anthem and her daughter learned to sing the Mexican anthem, Cynthia discovered that there is no such thing in Croatia.
Last summer, Martinez addressed to the president and the owner of Školska knjiga Ante Žužul with her idea about a picture book that would be titled ‘’Lijepa naša domovino’’, as is the title of Croatia’s national anthem. After a few months and thanks to Cynthia, the book editor Emica Calogjera-Rogic and the book illustrator Marsela Hajdinak, a picture book about Croatia’s anthem saw the light of day.
The picture book contains a music recording, a translation of verses into five world languages (English, German, French, Italian and Spanish), a short note about the creation of the verses and the setting of the anthem to music, as well as a useful explanation intended for small children about illustration symbolism.
This beautifully illustrated picture book is intended for children in Croatia and abroad in order for them to learn to accept other nations, to learn from other cultures and at the same time to promote their own identity and their values.
‘’With this book the Croatian anthem will travel around the world and gather together all our children wherever they are’’, commented Žužul.