top of page
Book cover with an illustration of two girls peeking through what it appears to be a portal with a shape of a person.

Close to here lives a girl

KUD Sodobnost International

Country:  Slovenia

Original title: Tu blizu živi deklica

Original language: Slovenian


Age group: 5 - 12

Categories: Fiction, Illustration.

Inclusive towards: Race, socio-economic background, migrations, cultural background


Author: Ida Mlakar Črnič

Illustrator: Peter Škerl


Number of pages: 26

Format (in mm): 22 x 26,8


Info on rights holder: Publishing house KUD Sodobnost International

Rights sold: Turkish and Croatian


Close to here lives a girl. Without a name. Without any friends. Without her own room. A girl who nobody listens to. Nobody abides. Nobody invites over. Close to here lives a girl who craves warmth and presence just like you do. A girl who hides a miraculous treasure inside her. She goes to the same school. She sits close to you. She takes the same route from school to her home. Do you want to know who she is? Do you want to meet her?

A touching story abouth compassion, different socio-economic background and religion, written from a child’s point of view.

Powerful insight into how children are perceiving poverty and multiculturalism.


Ida Mlakar's text is short, but it has tremendous power. It reaches deep and undermines the walls od prejudice and hatred.

Book illustration of an upper view from a bedroom. A girl sleeps on the lower bunker bed, while a young and an older long-haired lady sleep on the upper one.
Book illustration of a lady and a young girl getting on a blue bus. A boy inside is looking through the window.
Book illustration of a lady and a girl hanging clothes next to a small house.
Book illustration of an older and a younger girl walking on the street.

Info on the author:

Ida Mlakar Črnič is a very popular and awarded author of children’s books. She decided to beceome a writer at the age of seven when she created her very first story about a lost bean. At present she works in the youth department of the public library in Ljubljana where she organizes readings for children and other programs. In her free time she loves writing stories. She describes human relations and emotions so her stories touch readers and overwhelm them.


Awards in the field of children’s literature: 

The Kristina Brenkova Original Slovene Picture Book Award, 2016.

White Ravens, 2019 for Nearby Here Lives a Girl, 2016.


Nominations in the field of children’s literature:

The Kristina Brenkova Original Slovene Picture Book Award, 2011, 2009, 2007, 2004.

Golden Pear Rating, 2019, 2016, 2004.



Info on the illustrator:

Peter Škerl’s illustrations can be found in numerous picture books (more than 100 different editions), textbooks and children’s magazines. He graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts and Desing of the University of Ljubljana, studying illustration and design of visual communications. Škerl is one of the most popular, awarded and established Slovenian illustrators.


Awards in the field of children’s literature:

Ideata da manlio menaglia promossa dalla rivista delle nazioni, Roma, 2001.

The Hinko Smrekar Award in Recognition of a Young Artists, Ljubljana, 2002.

Award for Best Designed Children’s Book, Ljubljana, 2007.

Original Slovenian Picture Book, Izola, 2008. 

The Hinko Smrekar Award, 2012.

The Levstik Award, 2013.

Original Slovenian Picture Book, Ljubljana, 2016.

Listed for the IBBY Honour List, 2017.

Original Slovenian Picture Book, Ljubljana, 2018. 


Nominations in the field of children’s literature:

Nomination for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (2016, 2017, 2018).

Nomination for Andersen’s prize (2017, 2018).



Awards and nominations:

White Ravens Catalog 2019. 



Links to media mentions:

bottom of page