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Hektor i Leopoldina by Kašmir Huseinović
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Hektor i Leopoldina

by Kašmir Huseinović

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Recently added bydavidgn, farfromkansas

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Hektor i Leopoldina, by Kašmir Huseinović and Andrea Petrlik Huseinović, is a Croatian book about a young mouse (Hektor) who is unhappy living in the big city; because of this, he decides to relocate to the countryside, where he finds true happiness. Although the city is not necessarily a horrible place (as evidenced by the happy mice who do live there), Hektor simply does not feel at home among the skyscrapers and busy streets; however, once he reaches the countryside, he finds comfort in the animals, neighbors, and scenery of his new home. When Hektor meets Leopoldina, a female mouse who lives nearby, he finds a kindred soul, someone with whom he can share his passions and hobbies. The two mice hold hands, make cheese(!), and appreciate the beauty of their natural surroundings; the story ends with Hektor and Leopoldina sitting together under the stars, enjoying the beauty of the heavens above – clearly, Hektor has not only found himself a new home, but has found someone with whom he can share it.

Although I am not able to read the text by Kašmir Huseinović, the tale of someone from a big city seeking refuge in the pastoral world is a story that rings true across all borders and languages. Most of my understanding of the story comes from the illustrations by Andrea Petrlik Huseinović, which are truly remarkable pieces of art. The paintings of Hektor and his story of relocation are very unique and stylized - Andrea Petrlik Huseinović’s style almost reminds me of Babar in shading and tone, but with a more modern twist.

Although I’ve never even seen the Croatian language in print before, it was easier to “read” Hektor i Leopoldina than I had anticipated. Because Andrea Petrlik Huseinović’s illustrations are so expressive and detailed, I was actually able to follow the story of Hektor’s relocation to the countryside with relative ease. However, since I am such an avid reader, I was frustrated by my inability to comprehend the written text in the book; hopefully, an American version/translation of Hektor i Leopoldina will appear in bookstores in the near future.

The implications for library service are that I need to be more cognizant of the needs of my English language learners. The ELL population at the high school where I teach is growing steadily, and it’s important for all my students to have the resources they need for success. While I might not ever have a student from Croatia, I will occasionally have students who do not speak English or Spanish as their native language; because of this, I will need to provide resources for these students that they can read without the extra work of translation. After all, if my frustration of reading a children’s book for five minutes was recognizable, I can only imagine what it must be like to feel surrounded by a foreign language on a daily basis.

Citation:
Huseinović, Kašmir, and Andrea Petrlik Huseinović. Hektor i Leopoldina. Croatia: Kašmir Promet. Print. ( )
  farfromkansas | Jul 9, 2010 |
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Grad u kojem je zivio Hektor slicio je bilo kojem drugom gradu u svijetu.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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