Priča o Jednoj Lopti by Marta Huber: Story of First Football in Croatia

Katarina Anđelković

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Šokačko sijelo Županja (Facebook)
Šokačko sijelo Županja (Facebook)

As Glas Slavonije writes, Marta is a curator at the Regional Museum, and her book is about the first time football was played and the first time a ball was even held in Croatia. It is about a segment of the past of the city on the river Sava, about the time from the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, when industrialists from England arrived in Županja and built a tannin factory there because of the rich oak forests. And with the English, the first football arrived. The picture book tells the story of love between the industrialist Fred and Šokica (traditional local lady) Katarina, as well as the story of life in a Slavonian village about a hundred years ago. 


The promotion guests were greeted by Hrvoje Tkalac, director of the “Stjepan Gruber” Museum, asserting that his colleague Marta had decided to show the city’s past in a charming way with her excellent work. The author of the afterword, Katarina Bušić, museum advisor from the Ethnographic Museum in Zagreb, said that, both as a museum worker and as a Županja native, she is proud of the local team that decided to prepare a picture book, the first museum publication of its kind in Croatia. The story is told in a straightforward, understandable, and suitable way for children, providing a lot of data and information. She concluded that this small, truly local picture book contains all the topics a story must have. Nothing in it is made up; all the events really happened in Županja.


The collaborator on the picture book, professor Katarina Berać Vuić, is the author of the glossary that appears on each page, as well as the quiz at the end of the picture book. She presented the picture book through a conversation with Marta Huber and academic painter Mislav Lešić – Đurakov. The author admitted that she had been carrying the idea of writing for a long time. In the Museum, she often meets kindergarten and school children, so she tries to adapt the historical narrative for their age. She thought that with good visualization, all the events, years, and circumstances would be more understandable to children. She succeeded in this, thanks to vivid illustrations with a multitude of local natural and ethnographic peculiarities and details hidden on the pages, which were brought to life by Mislav. Congratulating the authors, an excerpt from the picture book was read by Mayor Damir Juzbašić at the end of the promotion.

The book can be purchased in the Stjepan Gruber Museum in Županja.

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