sAndekraska Pampernella, eleven years old, is a princess from the Kingdom of Florin and has a name similar to her: unusual and slightly buzzing. She can ride, make her way anytime and shrink adult men in an emergency. She never left the mansion without her historian, bodyguard, and one of her excellent haircuts with cool names like “Pop Up the Mountain” or “Frizzy Allover”. She receives gifts from Angelina Jolie and goes swimming with Johnny Depp. It goes without saying that it was the Pope himself who baptized them. What should this girl be missing?
Above all, best friend. And that’s exactly what Pandekraska Pampernella wants you to find in the book of the same name by successful children’s book author Zoran Drvenkar. The princess’s parents care a lot about their daughter and prefer their car kit and long-term lemonade regimen. Pandekraska has – how could it be otherwise – an extraordinary godmother. But apart from her and the loyal servants of the palace, she feels extremely lonely in the life of Bandicraska. This has to change with the help of an elaborate girlfriend algorithm.
A little bit of a road movie, a little bit of excitement
In turn, she tells the princess and her faithful historian Domingo Iglesias de Sacramento, better known as Don Pluto, about this eventful search. Drvenkar’s book is fast, fun and funny, a little bit of the road movie, a little bit of the thriller and crime thriller. Because instead of a best friend, the young princess has a formidable enemy and a great secret, and her complete solution must be revealed in other Pandekraska books. Readers can look forward to this sinister, never-in-person enemy if she is like the other female characters in the book. Because not only Pandekraska, but also the girls you meet during the story are great characters. Not fun, but it has the best meanings of the word: self-confident and crazy, but also sometimes unsympathetic, arrogant, and insecure. The fact that Pandekraska’s girlfriend is hard to find has to do with the fact that it doesn’t make it easy for the candidates: “I hate tennis,” Vicky said burped. I’ve seen that. ‘ She gave me a cynical look. “You knew that and still you were challenging me ?!” I couldn’t resist. ”
With sophisticated characters and a story full of jokes and ideas, it’s surprising that “Pandekraska Pampernella” sometimes uses a very flat cliché. The Irish have so many children that they can barely distinguish between them, and the villain Pov Stroganoff is of course Russian. Now it’s not a bad thing to play with the cliché. But tone of voice matters. One syllable is completely inhumane. About children in India, he says: “Once he was caught in a group of begging children who pulled his clothes on and grabbed his legs. It was like wading in mud. My bodyguard dragged the children with him a few meters away, then left him. It was later discovered that they had stolen the cell phone. From his jacket. “
This is what friendship means
Sure, a spoiled princess is talking here. But if this stolen phone becomes a problem in the course of the story, the clip does not only serve to illustrate the princess’ arrogance. Aside from that, it’s hard to find a protagonist who sees dirt in poorer children sympathetic in any way. You don’t have to, but that’s what the main character is built for despite her weaknesses. Residency in India makes the princess rethink her role in the world, because Nisha, whom Bandicraska met there, fights child exploitation with her friends. But whether these formulas are necessary to demonstrate this process is at least debatable.
However, after all wandering in the wilderness, one would like to know how it will go with Pandekraska Pampernella and her potential friends. Vicky in particular, who is four years older than the princess and who has been ignored by the algorithm, is especially charming despite her obvious flaws and is much ahead of the princess in her knowledge of human nature. Not only because of this that she would be a very good candidate for the position of best friend, but in her clever manner, she repeatedly pulled the princess out of her high horse: “It seems like she never took me seriously at all, she laughed at me and made me feel like a spoiled brat. She loved me. ”This is the essence of friendship, Vicky knows:“ Whatever your best friend does, she can do it wrong and you forgive him because she is your best friend and you will never understand him on purpose, because she loves you. ” The princess still lacks this insight in some places. Fortunately, one might say. This is exactly what makes the story fun.
Zoran Drvinkar: “Pandekraska Pampernella”. a novel. Drawing by Martin Balchait. Beltz & Gelberg Verlag, Weinheim 2021.336 pp. , Hardcover, € 14.95. From 10 years