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Gundars Lauris

Hallo, Walfisch!

A novel from Latvia

Illustrated by Anete Melece
Translated from Latvian by Matthias Knoll
© 2018 Baobab Books
88 pages, hardcover
CHF 24.00 / € [D] 17,00 / € [A] 17,50
ISBN 978-3-905804-87-4
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. They never rush, they are always 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 …
Buzzbee always has bugging questions. One day she asks Whale: »Why don’t you say hello to other people?« She herself was taught to greet everyone and doesn’t mind saying hello at all, even to the grumpy man from the corner shop.
Grandfather is short an answer and comes up with a strange explanation: The people in olden 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 …

The author

Lauris Gundars (*1958) was born in Latvia. He has written no less than 33 screenplays, and directed 26 plays so far. Furthermore he is head of the 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! is his second book for children – and the first that has been translated to German. Lauris Gundars lives in Riga. He has one granddaughter.

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 illustrated 5 Latvian books for children so far. Hallo, Walfisch! is the first being translated into German. More information on her work can be found on her → Website.

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