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Monday, May 10, 2010


First child’s book is a picture book. Although, Jan Amos Komensky who in 1658 published a work in Latin language Orbis sensualium pictus (The Visible World in Pictures) is most often mentioned as the originator of children’s picture books aimed for educating adults and children.

Justin Bertuch, a publisher from Weimar and a patron of art who between 1970 and 1830 published Bilderbuch für Kinder (Picture Book for Children) – a publisher’s series of 12 tomes on 1185 pages with 6000 illustrations is considered to be the real father of the children’s picture book. A children’s book should be an indispensable part of the child’s room inventory …like a bed, doll or a wooden horse… and the earliest child’s education has to start with pictures… were at that time the prophetic words of Bertuch and this opinion has remained unchanged to our days. Hence, first children’s books appear only at the moment when the child is seen as a person with special interests and needs. In the majority of European countries this is the period of the 17th and 18th century. First children’s books had – first of all – the role to educate and were intended for religious, moral and spiritual education.

Among first such books was a book Spiritual Milk for Boston Babes, by the English priest John Cotton, published in 1646, which contained religious morals in verse. With the intention of educating, there appear at that time also the Fairy Tales by Perraut and the Fables by La Fontaine, to be followed by fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm and stories of Gulliver by Jonathan Swift and Robinson by Daniel Defoe, though the last two had not originally been written for the youngest. Croatian children’s literature is almost two centuries late in relation to its world appearance. First books that appear are ABC books, readers, songbooks, catechisms, fairy tales, fables, and moral stories.

They were aimed for the entertainment and instruction of well-behaved children, exclusively those that already could read. The first Croatian book for children is considered to be Mali tobolac (A Small Quiver), by the teacher Ivan Filipovi?, published in 1850.

Title: CHILDREN’S BOOKS – Croatia
Date of Issue: 6 May 2010
Country: Croatia
Denominations: 7,1 kn x 2