Hektor in zrela hruška

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Title in English: 
Hector and the Ripe Pear
Dim Zupan
Andreja Gregorič
Place of publication: 
Zgodba nekega Hektorja
Year of publication: 
p. 56
21 x 14,5 cm
ISBN 978-961-205-169-3

Dim Zupan (1946) is an established Slovene children's writer who received the national Večernica literary award for this book in 2012. The seventh book in the collection of illustrated books about the sympathetic labrador Hector, a »meditative dog with philosophical tendencies« is also the last, since the ripe pear from the title alludes to maturing and aging, which is also sooner or later followed by the end, or the fall from the branch if we return to the pear. Zupan has thus tackled a difficult, serious problem theme, which, through the dog's first person narration and the author's characteristic gently humour, comes out almost reassuring, a little sad on the final pages but never traumatic. Hector has become an »old doggie«, a wise dog with experience who even in old age allows himself the occasional practical joke. It is not forever, though: »I've been lucky that I ripened, now it's time to fall from the branch. We all knew this from the very beginning.« So Zupan does not this time rework typical themes around which conversations among strolling dog owners tend to revolve but weaves into the text much that we can usefully transfer from a dog's life to that of humans. The last book in the series is thus skilfully offered as a starting point for discussion and consideration of aging and death. At the same time, like its predecessors, it is designed for a hesitant reader since it provides short, often funny and, thanks to the governable extent and fairly spaciously laid out text, which alternates with the collage illustration of Andreja Gregorič, also easy reading.