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MY GRANDMA IS LIKE THE SEA, written by Natalie Franceska and illustrated by Sanja Kolenko

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My Grandma is Like the Sea

Product Description

Heart of Croatia has undertaken the project of bringing our customers 2 beautiful books, both written by an Australian-Croatian author, and illustrated by an artist who lives in Croatia. Even though the cost of shipping books from Australia is very expensive, we feel compelled to bring our American audience books with which they and their children can identify:  Grandmothers and their wisdom and unconditional love, which is a universal theme...that, combined with the power and transformative beauty of the Adriatic Sea, are very compelling reasons to offer you the opportunity to purchase and enjoy these books. 

"Imagine standing at the edge of the big blue sea. As you close your eyes, you remember the words of your grandmother. What advice will you take with you? This poetic story captures the teachings of a grandmother to her grandchild. By offering her wisdom, the grandmother encourages all children to navigate the magic within. She teaches children to live with confidence, from the heart and in the present moment, and to discover that the greatest treasure of all is to love and be loved."

My Grandma is Like the Sea embodies the beautiful bond that grandparents and grandchildren share; it follows a little girl and her grandmother who explore the sea and share unconditional love. The child connects with the world, supported by her grandmother, whose love is as wide and vast as the deep blue sea. Grandma’s presence inspires one to take risks and live from the heart. A strong message of love is at the core of this poetic story. A love that encourages young readers to explore the world and their heart’s desires, knowing that they are accepted and worthy as they are. And that they belong no matter where they are in the world.

Recall the freedom of a childhood spent by the sea. My Grandma is Like the Sea and My Grandpa is Like the Sea will connect with all ages, children and adults alike. 


 Natalie Franćeska was born in Sydney, Australia with Croatian roots. Her father was born in Dubrovnik, Croatia hailing from Mali Ston, and her mother was born in Korčula, Croatia. My Grandma is Like the Sea & My Grandpa is Like the Sea are both inspired by childhood memories of long summers spent at Natalie’s grandparents’ homes in Korčula and Mali Ston and with family in Dubrovnik on the southern Dalmatian coast in Croatia.

The illustrations are reflective of the cultural influence of the region.  

Natalie Franćeska is a talented storyteller who is passionate about inspiring and connecting others. She is a business graduate, and she studied at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in her hometown of Sydney, Australia. Natalie is the proud founder of Nala’s Den, a parenting and wellbeing blog. There, Natalie shares her own pearls of wisdom.


Sanja Kolenko is a children's book illustrator and graphic designer based in Croatia. Her style is a unique combination of traditional folklore motifs and a fresh, modern outlook on digital illustration. Sanja's work evokes a sense of magic and brings us all back to childhood memories of the sea.

"I was born in 1992 in the small town of Varaždin, in Northern Croatia. I received my Master’s Degree from the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Teacher Education in 2017.  I started drawing as it always brought me joy and was my safe space.  Daydreaming was a big part of my life too, and I must admit it still is. 

The two most important pillars of this book are vibrancy and richness of detail: these are what I wanted to convey the most prominently. As per the author’s requests, the goal was to properly convey the astounding wealth and vividity of colour that’s present in the Croatian seaside, and the various details peppered throughout the work help ground it into reality.

It’s the sense of belonging and discovery that lie at the core of the book. This is ultimately universal, and I believe that there’s plenty of potential here for most readers to reflect on their own childhood experiences."


 ‘I love this book! It encourages children to dream big, understand their inherent worth and connect with the world.’
– Frances Vidakovic, award-winning parenting blogger at Inspiring Life Dreams

 ‘A heartwarming book that inspires children to navigate theworld and follow their dreams with the support of an all-encompassing grandmother’s love.’  – Dino Radja, professional basketball Hall of Famer

 ‘Wonderful. As I read the book to my granddaughter, she enjoyed it and felt like it was her grandmother. The story took me back to my childhood, when I had all the attention, support, and great, great love of my grandmother.’
– Vinko Barčot, songwriter (for renowned artists such as the late Oliver Dragojević)

Since this book is shipped to us from Australia, we are currently taking pre-orders as the shipping, particularly for books, is very expensive.

We will be taking pre-orders up until March 7th.


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