CNS Croatia

“My First Book” Project
By Didi Anandarama

The national contest for children to write and illustrate their own book has completed its 4th year with the prize-giving ceremony in the local theatre hall in Karlovac City. This year we received 360 books from 80 primary schools with a large number of wonderful books making it hard for the jury to choose only three winners. Graciously Karlovac City library took up printing three books and with support from local companies, the Ministry of Education, the city of Karlovac and individual parents we managed to print totally 10 stories! One story was performed by the city theatre‘s children’s ballet group. We had a workshop discussing how to improve on the text and illustrations that was much welcomed by teachers and children.

In its fifth year the contest has a new poster design and a brochure for distribution. We have opened the contest without age restriction up to the age of 15 to give a chance for the best books to win regardless of age.

“My Zoo”
by Mihael Petranovic
First Prize 7 years olds

“Can Earth Recover?”
by Maja Gjajic
First Prize 11 year olds

By Apolonja Lucic
First Prize 12 year olds

Thoughts on the project: 

When I first heard about “My First Book” project I was surprised about this interesting idea of story books created by children and wondered why no one thought of it before. And this is how these beautiful story books were created and many talents for writing and illustrating were discovered – for the delight of all of us. I congratulate everyone and I hope that “My First book” project continues for a long time.
 – Sanja Pilic, children’s litterateur and member of the jury.

Time will tell the effects in psychological, aesthetical and cultural forming of young individuals that “My First Book” may have on each young author. But even at this moment we can say that in the soul of the innocent young authors the love for books has been kindled. And that is not a small thing, on the contrary!
 -Tito Bilopavlovic, children’s litterateur and member of the jury

I am glad that I participated in this contest. It is an opportunity to show outside of school what I have learned from my teachers. I thank them. I am looking forward meeting young people my age. I hope to make new friendships that I’ll keep in memory. -Maja Gjajic 11y, student and winner in the contest.Children are creative, full of imagination and ideas. It is important to recognize this and facilitate this creative process. In this way story books turn out as exemplary manifestations of children’s creativity. “My First Book” project is bringing this treasure of children closer to everyone. – Marica Zaberac, teacher

We at ‘Holcim’ are guided by this vision: ‘We build foundations for future generations.’ By writing their first book the future generation has an opportunity to present us with their vision, they can tell us what foundations they want, show us true values, help us make correct decisions…What a beautiful gift to us adults. -Žarko Horvat, general manager of industrial ecology of Holcim company (sponsor of the project).

“Watch out Mines!” Project

Volunteers have started to give workshops in schools and are distributing the books of which 10,000 were printed. These story books made by five young students are warning other children who live in areas of possible mines from the last war.