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ABC BOOK: Moje berilo [My Primer].


An unusual, crudely made, rather cruel and rare Slovenian ABC book was printed for the coastal primary schools in 1963.


Large 8°: [1] title page, 63 pp. with black and white illustrations within text, originally folded illustrated wrappers with inserted 6 printed cards, original illustrated boards, green cloth spine (minor wear to the binding, light foxing to the edges, otherwise in a good condition, a seemingly originally unused example with traces of later browsing).

This is a rare primer, made for primary schools of the coastal areas of Slovenia in 1963. The inserted cards on the back with an alphabet, basic words in cursive and images, connected with certain letters (like T for Tito), were meant to be cut out and used in didactic games. The same card repeats in three copies, as the same book would be chared by more students or generations.

The black linear illustrations are rather crude, slightly morbid and unusually inappropriate for a primer. The style is a mixture of contemporary fashion, such as 1960s female hairstyles, and contemporary political propaganda, like a portrait of president Tito. Some images show extremely cruel or sad scenes: one of the first pages depicts a dead man in a pond of blood, who was killed by a car, another image shows children going to a cemetery and refers one of the girls as “poor”, because her mother is dead, and a short story depicts a boy putting a house of fire.

This type of “didactic” illustrations did not exactly catch on and the book was never reprinted.
There are only four examples recorded in Slovenian libraries and none abroad.


References: OCLC 781031554.

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