April 2 is Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday, and International Children’s Book Day is celebrated around the world.

H. C. Andersen's life is also connected with Ljubljana: on the way from Vienna to Trieste, Andersen stopped twice in Ljubljana. First by carriage on March 19, 1846, and the second time by train on May 30, 1854. Both times he spent the night in Ljubljana at the Hotel Stadt Wien, which is located near today's Nama store. He was enchanted by the entrance to the Postojna Cave and the karst landscape and wrote about it.

This year's celebration is special, because the Slovenian IBBY section has prepared a poster and a letter. The poster was illustrated by Damijan Stepančič, who also designed an invitation for celebration in the shape of a cube. The people of Banja Luka know Damijan, because in February 2015, he led workshops for students of supply teaching lessons of Slovenian language. The letter was written by the Slovenian writer Peter Svetina. The title is Hunger for Words, which makes special sense these days when we can’t live as usual. But the hunger for words can be suppressed by reading, books are still available to us.

The letter was published on April 2, 2020 on the home page of the Slovenian IBBY section: IBBY

Many parts of this letter (also in Russian, Spanish, French, Chinese ...) can be listened to on the FB page of the Slovenian ibby section. There are also illustrations made by students of supply teaching lessons of Slovenian language to mark the International Day of Youth Literature.

Students of supply teaching lessons of Slovenian language maintain contact with the Slovenian language, the work is done remotely. Numerous publishing houses have made it possible to download their books for free, famous Slovenians read and tell their stories online, theatres have online plays, and we can also watch Slovenian films. We can’t go out, but we can enjoy the sound of words and good stories.

Let's not be hungry for words, reach for books, let's watch theatre plays and movies, let's listen to music!

Barbara Hanuš

Translation: Ana Marjanović