Famous Croatian collection of children’s stories by Ivana Brlić Mažuranić now available in audiobook and e-book formats

Objavljeno 12.12.2014.

Priče iz davnine (Croatian Tales of Long Ago), a famous Croatian collection of eight children’s stories by the internationally acclaimed Croatian writer Ivana Brlić Mažuranić, has recently become available in audiobook and e-book formats, with special linguistic and graphic layout adjustments for children suffering from dyslexia, blindness, or some other visual impairments that prevent them from using standard print materials. The book was launched at the National and University Library in Zagreb on 10 December 2014, the international Human Rights Day.

The presentation was opened by Director General of the National and University Library in Zagreb Dunja Seiter-Šverko, who greeted everyone present in her brief introduction.

The book was presented by speech-language pathologist Željka Butorac, who explained in greater detail the adjustments made and formats used, i.e. MP3, DAISY and .PDF, to make the book readable for persons with various reading disabilities. Ms Butorac brought closer to the audience the way in which such children perceive standard print material and reasons owing to which they experience difficulties with reading, and consequently, education. During the presentation, a passage from the original text of the story Toporko the Wanderer and the Nine Princes (Lutonjica Toporko i devet župančića) was read to the audience, which after that listened to the same passage with linguistic and graphic layout adjustments played on a computer and an MP3 player.

Editor-in-chief and director of the Čujem, vjerujem, vidim foundation Mirko Hrkač emphasized that this publishing project is valuable for all who need adjusted reading materials, particularly school children with dyslexia. He announced the publication of five other adapted classic works of children’s literature.

Consulting editor Draženka Blaži pointed out that the book was prepared and edited in compliance with world-class standards for easy-to-read materials without compromising the essential quality of the work and the author’s specific writing style, the work’s atmosphere or characters and legends from Croatian and Slavic history and literary tradition drawn on in the original. Graphic layout adjustment, i.e. adaptation related to visual presentation and organisation of content that make the reading of this type of work much easier, include broad margins, wide horizontal and vertical spacing, larger font, a limited number of the lines of text on pages and structural simplification of sentences. Unfamiliar words, metaphors, symbols and archaic expressions appear in bold type and are accompanied by additional explanations.

The presentation closed by the brief talk of the Adviser for Public Libraries and member of IFLA Section for Library Services to People with Special Needs Dunja Marija Gabriel from the National and University Library in Zagreb. Ms Gabriel provided information on the Croatian translation of IFLA Guidelines for Easy-to-Read Materials by IFLA Section for Library Services to People with Special Needs that was issued by the Commission for Library Services for Persons with Special Needs of the Croatian Library Association in 2005. She also spoke about dyslexia and other reading disabilities awareness training programme aimed at the implementation of IFLA Guidelines for Easy-to-Read Materials and activities of Croatian libraries focusing on the providing of assistance for children with dyslexia carried out as part of the programmes of the Croatian Library Association and Training Centre for Continuing Education for Librarians in Croatia.

The programme was moderated by actor and radio host Dubravko Sidor and it included musical performances by Ana Rucner and Andrijana Sesar from the Croatian Music Academy who performed Oblivion by Astor Piazzolla.

The book may be ordered online from the Čujem, vjerujem, vidim foundation.