Culture & Art
Dubrovnik for kids
Dubrovnik for kids: Adventures of Maro and Baro
As a part of the educational project ‘Dubrovnik for Kids’, Dubrovnik is proud to present a series of picture books intended to teach our youngest visitors about the history of Dubrovnik through the adventures of the famous Dubrovnik characters Maro and Baro.
Mr. Maro Krile, the author of the collection of picture books “The Adventures of Maro and Baro“ left a great impression not only on kids from Dubrovnik but worldwide.
So far he has published two picture books whose main characters are based on the two cast iron figures that guard Dubrovnik’s bell tower, known as Maro and Baro. In the stories, these two main characters and best friends, experience many adventures and tell the story of Dubrovnik’s history.
Standing for centuries atop Dubrovnik’s main bell tower, and striking the bell with hammers every hour, the figures of Maro and Baro represent Dubrovnik and its heritage, and have, let's say, watched and observed in the history of the city. They have withstood all the adversities and witnessed all the events, says Maro Krile. The book is based on the idea that Maro and Baro were also once kids, and today they are here to witness and tell our kids stories about Dubrovnik and its history.
The author says that the original idea was born several years ago at a family gathering when a discussion was raised about how important it is to pass on our heritage and dialect to our children. These stories can be presented in an amusing and interesting way for kids.
The books were originally written as bedtime stories for the author’s son Bruno who would every night ask him to tell a new story before he went to bed; then they would together come up with the new adventures of Maro and Baro, and that is how the stories were born. Later the stories were renamed into Bruno’s little books – a concept made especially for children of Dubrovnik. All stories were related to Dubrovnik’s heritage and history, explained Maro Krile.
Although Maro is a graphic designer himself, all his books are checked before printing by his greatest fans - his two children, son Bruno (9 years old) and daughter Lara (5 years old). They took their job very seriously and are most critical of their dad's work, but also his greatest inspiration.
The first book, called “Saint Blaise, Dubrovnik’s patron saint“ was published three years ago. It tells the story of St. Blaise and how he rescued the city of Dubrovnik from an attack by the Venetians. This picture book of fourteen pages has been translated into nine languages, and was printed in a pocket edition so that it is also a perfect size for a „take away“ souvenir for our youngest visitors . Interestingly, this first book was also noted by famous film director Francis Ford Coppola who loved the book so much that we have given him a copy as a gift for his granddaughter to read as a bedtime story.
The second book, in series of stories about Maro and Baro, was published in 2014, titled “Miho Pracat and the Lizard.“ It introduces whole new adventures of Maro and Baro. The book was published in Croatian and English.
The author says that he is also preparing a third book about King Richard the Lionheart, who is believed to have been shipwrecked near Dubrovnik on his way home from the Third Crusade. Mr. Krile already has ideas for more titles in this series such as “How Dubrovnik was built”, “A trip to Constantinople” and many others. His vision for the future is also to create an animated movie.
“Stories of Maro and Baro“ is part of the educational project ‘Dubrovnik for kids’.
The project is being developed in cooperation with Dubrovnik museums and under the patronage of the City of Dubrovnik and Dubrovnik-Neretva County. These books, according to the author, will probably be uploaded on the Internet and will soon be available at www.dubrovnik4kids.com.
If you are interested in purchasing one of these books as a keepsake, you can find them in the following stores in the Dubrovnik Old Town:
- Dubrovnik museums (at the Rector's Palace)
- Algoritam Multimedia Bookshop (second street next to the Sponza Palace)
- Algebra bookshop (next to the Široka street)