Gundars Lauris
Hallo, Walfisch!
A novel from Latvia

Illustrated by Anete Melece
Translated from Latvian by Matthias Knoll
© for the German edition: 2018 Baobab Books
88 pages, hardcover
ISBN 978-3-905804-87-4
CHF 21.80 / € (D) 15,90 / € (A) 16,40
ages 8 and up


Whale and Buzzbee are the nicknames grandfather and granddaughter have given to each other. They do have real names too, but that is another story … Whale and Buzzbee spend a lot of time together while Buzzbee’s parents are at work. Never they rush, always they are on time – for breakfast, for reading books out loud, for going to the playground in the park, for lunch and for all of Buzzbee’s projects: glueing, cutting, sewing …
Always, Buzzbee has bugging questions. One day she asks Whale: »Why don’t you say hello to other people?« She herself was thaught to greet everyone and doesn’t mind to say hello at all. Even to the grumpy man from the corner shop.
Grandfather is short of an answer and comes up with a strange explanation: The people in former times did not greet each other, and he is simply not used to saying hello. Buzzbee can’t believe it and is determined to teach her grandfather how to say hello, no matter what. It wouldn’t be Buzzbee if she didn’t succeed in the end. Not only Whale is saying hello now, everybody in the Kronvalda parks is saying hello and talking to each other …


Original edition: Sveiks, Vali, © 2017 Liels un mazs, Riga

The Author

Lauris Gundars (*1958) war born in Latvia. He has written 33 screenplays, and directed 26 plays so far; any moment, it can be on more. Further more he is head of MA programme on playwriting at Liepaja University, as well as an associate professor, lecturer of drama and presentation skills at Latvian Academy of Arts.
Relatively late in life, he started writing for young readers too. Hallo, Walfisch! (Sveiks, Vali!) is his second book for children – and the first that is translated to German. Lauras Gundars lives in Riga. He has a granddaugther.

The Illustrator

Anete Melece (*1983) was born in Latvia. She studied visual communication at the Art Academy of Latvia (BA) and animation at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Art (MA). She is a freelancing illustrator and animation filmmaker currently based in Zürich. Anete has illustrativ 5 Latvian books for children so far, Hallo, Walfisch! is the first being translated in to German. For more information on her work, please visit Anete's Website.