Bajalka, Institute for Publishing and the Art of Storytelling, is a non-profit organisation dedicated to publishing original children’s and young adult literature. Our primary focus is on the production, publishing and presentation of picture books. We also promote children’s reading culture through storytelling, devoting special attention to gender topics.
Bajalka devotes particular attention to picture books written and illustrated by the same author which are held in particular regard in the field of children’s literature.
The textual and the visual part of the picture book take shape at the same time and draw from one another’s inspiration, thus achieving the highest possible degree of harmony.
Gender Topics in Our Works
Bajalka strives to develop children’s sensitivity to gender topics that are still underrepresented or subject to one-sided representations in our country. From an early age, children are often trapped in the clichéd patterns of a binary understanding of the world with highly specific rules for girls and boys.
Very early on, they learn to recognise which toys, clothes, hairstyles, colours and behaviour patterns apply to a particular gender. We feel it is important that children learn to have a freer perception of gender, one outside the dominant, stereotypical roles of masculinity and femininity.
Zdenka Gajser (1962), storyteller, librarian and poet. She holds storytelling events featuring folk and original stories across the Maribor Library network, where she works in the department of children’s and young adult literature. In addition to regular storytelling events with creative workshops, she also organises storytelling holidays, storytelling for children and adults with special needs, pedagogical library instruction for schools and kindergartens and various library tours.
Furthermore, she organises illustration exhibitions and different topic-specific exhibitions closely tied to the art of storytelling.
As part of the Young Readers’ Service, she is the co-organiser of the Maribor Storytelling Day and co-editor of several professional publications.
- Kaaba sanjalka, ZKO Velenje – odbor za literaturo, Šoštanj, 1985.
Zdenka Gajser is the recipient of the 2017 Award for Outstanding Achievements in the Promotion of Children’s Literature and Reading Culture, awarded by the Slovenian Section of IBBY.
Alenka Spacal (1975), writer, illustrator and storyteller. She received her BA and MA in Philosophy and her PhD in Sociology from the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana. In the theoretical field, she studied feminist visual art. In the field of children’s literature, she works primarily as a picture book author. She narrates her stories to children through illustrations. Her works are exhibited in exhibitions both in Slovenia and abroad.
- Mavrična maškarada (The Rainbow Masquerade), 2013, ŠKUC Publishing (Lambda Book Series).
- Kako ti je ime? (What’s Your Name?), 2018, Bajalka.
- Modre ptičje misli (Blue Bird Wisdoms), 2018, Bajalka.
- Fižolčica beži pred fižolovo juho (Beany’s Escape from the Bean Soup) – to be published in 2019, Bajalka.