Michal Hvorecký: Dunaj – magická rieka

Dunaj – magická rieka.
(Danube – a magical river)
Illustrated by Simona Smatana.
Monokel 2021.
German edition: Donau. Ein magischer Fluss.
Translated from the Slovakian by Mirko Kraetsch.
Achse 2022.

The Danube is a European river, acting both as boundary river and as a connecting waterway. It meanders through ten countries, more than any other river in the world. In “Danube – a magical river” the river’s largest fish explores his environment. The beluga sturgeon presents the river’s origins – two streams that unite and gain in strength – and then travels with the ever-changing current through time and landscapes. “Each time that I swim up and down the river I discover something new,” says the beluga. And that is also true of this children’s book. The interrelationships that are explained in Michael Hvorecký’s short and simple sentences find illustrative resonance in Simona Smatana’s bold pictures, allowing information to be clearly understood and offering many opportunities for further conversation. Last but not least, “Danube” is a forceful plea to both old and young readers to help preserve the biodiversity – including the endangered beluga – of this magical river. (Age: 7+)