The Tales of the Wind; old Slavic folk tales from Croatia go digital!

“When we initiated this project, we could not have dreamed how profoundly the world would change in a span of a single year. From corona virus outbreak to the earthquakes in Croatia, a series of events upturned our understanding of everyday life, culture and art in general.

Perhaps now when we see how easily our dreams crumble to dust, we can better understand our ancient ancestors who wove legends around the natural events and causes that shaped and stamped their lives.

USPAVANKA (official music video)
Tradicijska “Uspavanka” iz Dalmatinske zagore, audio-album Lidija Bajuk Trio: Prelja (Scardona Zagreb, 2014.)Croatian traditional “Lullaby”, audio-album Lidi…

Those were the tales passed down from grandmothers to grandchildren and from fathers to sons. That wisdom ensured survival. It was the art that erased fear. This oral tradition was taught either by whispers or loud ritual shouts. Nestled next to a crackling hearth, imagination knew no bounds.

The Tales of the Wind – English edition 2020

The present-day world, more than ever, needs to reclaim its lost art of listening…  Still, the tales somehow survive and live on through the glow of modern digital fire. They reach the ears of new kids who listen and observe this world in an entirely new way. “-  says Zdenko, the author of The tales of the Wind, one of the most beautiful Croatian art book.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of “The Tales of the Wind,” a collection of stories written and illustrated by him and inspired by the magical lore of the region he grew up in. As Zdenko was already considered a trailblazer in his home country, the collection was hailed for its originality and stormed the book world, smashing the sales records.

The book took seven years to complete and it is a treasure trove of weird, wild, and magical creatures like Fairies, Fates, The Unseen, Murks, Nigglers, Darkwalkers, and Houndgobs, to name a few. He adds to their lengthy list his own mysterious long-legged creatures, with tall hats, windswept hair, and fiery eyes, beckoning us into the world inspired Croatian folk-tales and folk beliefs that have been orally transmitted from generation to generation for centuries.

This Slavic legacy, preserved and disguised in Christianity merges with Celtic and Roman roots and this is what adds a special flavour to the Croatian cauldron of tales. This specific blend of traditions sets Croatian stories apart from the rest of the Slavic traditions and marks its uniqueness.

The digital version of The Tales of the Wind offers the tales of yore with contemporary illustrations. Enhanced by animations it brings a new dimension to the way we read them and experience them. With the sound of wind and whispers of creatures hidden in the pages of the book, the reader can become a storyteller, listener, but also an explorer able to trace the steps of elvish creatures on the map. You will discover the locations where these beings lived and where these stories nestled. But you will also see where we live compared to the bygone world.

The TALES of the WIND – legacy invitation
For more, Look Up on: digital version of the book The Tales of …

Now is the time to recall these stories, for our own sakes, but also for the ones who will one day hear it from us. Become a part of this project and support our tales of the wind. Those who want to know more and wish to support us can find us at this address:

Support project on Kickstarter

Very few children fortunate enough to have someone to read them stories are able to resist the lure of fairytales. Most of them remain under their spell only for a brief time, some continue to read them throughout their lives and only a handful turn their hand on collecting, creating, and composing tales old and new. They come to be the storytellers.

Zdenko Bašić is one of them and 2021 marks a special occasion for a special book.

Born in Zagreb, Croatia, he has been working as an illustrator and animator since 2002, enriching many children’s books and collaborating with numerous American and European publishers, sweeping an armful of awards along the way.

Zdenko won the Grigor Vitez Award for Illustration in 2009 and 2014, and he is also a three-time recipient of Kiklop Award. His works were exhibited in Slovakia, Iran, and Japan, and in Klovićevi Dvori Gallery in Zagreb, he held a big exhibition “The Shadows of the Wind” in 2017 after winning the Grand Prix at the Sixth Croatian Biennale of Illustration. In 2012 he was added to the International Board on Books for Young People Honours List (IBBY).

His film “Gulliver” wins the Grand Prix at Animateka Festival in Ljubljana, and in 2012 his animated/live-action film The Oars is awarded the Gold Medal of UNICA, World Festival of Non-commercial Filmmakers in Bulgaria. In 2017 he becomes the co-founder and the first Artistic Director of the Perun Festival in Velika Gorica, dedicated to forgotten folk tales and legends and, together with Spiritos Publishing House he comes with “The Goldsmith’s Treasure,” which becomes a bestseller in 2018. Last year he published the book “Moguths – the Forgotten Guardians of Turopolje.”

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