More than Words

Wonders of Weather: Zoran Vakula's Meteorological Picture Books

Spring has officially arrived, and I'm bringing you just the right topic to read while exploring my beautiful city of Zagreb. Buckle up; we're flying to the sky!

Hear out this remarkable tale of collaboration that blends the realms of meteorology and storytelling. Today on the TO DO list: exploring the journey of Zoran Vakula, a prominent figure in weather forecasting, and his creative partnership with the talented illustrator Nik Titanik. Together, they've embarked on a mission to educate and inspire young minds through a series of captivating meteorological picture books, and I'm here with all the details.

A Meteorological Maestro

Zoran Vakula stands as a towering figure in the Croatian meteorological landscape, revered for his profound knowledge, unwavering dedication, and infectious passion for weather forecasting. Born and raised in Croatia, Vakula's journey into meteorology began with a childhood fascination with the ever-changing skies above. His innate curiosity led him to pursue a career in meteorology, where he quickly emerged as a trusted authority, guiding and informing the Croatian public through his insightful analyses and accurate forecasts.

Beyond his professional accolades, Vakula's endearing presence on television programs and radio broadcasts has made him a beloved household name across Croatia. His ability to communicate complex meteorological concepts in a clear and accessible manner has endeared him to audiences of all ages, fostering a deep appreciation for the wonders of weather within the Croatian community.

He is widely known for rhyming his weather forecast lines, which makes you want to hear what he has come up with to this day. All about his importance to Croatians says a famous line from one of our singers saying "Vakula je reko ", meaning if Vakula says that it will be sunny, you don't have to check twice – it's for sure.


Nik Titanik - The Artistic Luminary

Nik Titanik, on the other hand, is an acclaimed Croatian illustrator who brings a distinct artistic flair to the collaborative efforts with Zoran Vakula. With a background rooted in the rich artistic traditions of Croatian culture, Titanik's vibrant illustrations reflect a deep reverence for the natural world and a keen eye for detail. His whimsical interpretations of meteorological phenomena infuse the pages of their picture books with a sense of enchantment and wonder, captivating readers young and old alike.

Through his illustrious career, Titanik has garnered widespread acclaim for his contributions to Croatian art and culture. His works adorn galleries, publications, and public spaces across the country, serving as a testament to his enduring legacy as an artistic luminary.


The Genesis of the Meteorological Picture Books

Driven by a shared passion for meteorology and a desire to spark curiosity in young minds, Vakula and Titanik embarked on a visionary project to create a series of meteorological picture books. Inspired by Vakula's interactions with children on television programs and his daughter Luna, the duo sought to demystify complex meteorological concepts in a fun and accessible format. Thus, the "Weather Tales" series was born, with each book dedicated to exploring a specific meteorological phenomenon.

The "Weather Tales" series invites readers on an immersive journey through the atmospheric wonders surrounding us. From the whimsical world of winds in "Wind " to the ethereal realm of clouds in "Cloud Chronicles," each book delves into a different meteorological topic. Vakula and Titanik foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of weather phenomena' intricacies through vibrant illustrations, informative narratives, and playful activities.


Discovering "Vjetropirasta" -  Windy

Let's explore with "Vjetropirasta" (Windy), the inaugural gem in this series. Within its pages, young readers are introduced to the whimsical world of winds, guided by the curious Val. From unraveling the mysteries of wind to engaging in interactive activities like coloring and puzzles, this book promises an immersive learning experience that transcends the ordinary.


Image Credit: Naklada Vakula


Unraveling Cloud Chronicles with "Oblačasta"

Next, we delve into "Oblačasta" (Cloudy), where the delightful Vedrana guides us through the ethereal realm of clouds. Together, we uncover the secrets of cloud formation, explore their myriad shapes, and ponder the sky's wonders. With each turn of the page, readers are invited to engage in thought-provoking inquiries, nurturing a deeper understanding of atmospheric phenomena.


Image Credit: Naklada Vakula


Basking in the Radiance of "Sunčasta"

In the luminous world of "Sunčasta" (Sunny), we accompany the radiant Sunčica on a journey through the celestial sphere. Here, we learn not only of the sun's warmth and vitality but also of the importance of sun safety. Through vivid illustrations and informative narratives, young minds are empowered to embrace the sun's brilliance while safeguarding their well-being against its rays.


Image Credit: Naklada Vakula


Embracing the Enchantment of "Pahuljasta"

Enter the enchanting realm of "Pahuljasta" (Snowflaky), where the jovial Snješko leads us on a frosty escapade. Amidst glistening snowflakes and winter wonders, we unravel the mysteries of snow, from its delicate crystalline structure to its transformative impact on the landscape. Through Snješko's adventures, readers are transported to a whimsical winter wonderland, igniting a sense of wonder and awe.


Image Credit: Naklada Vakula


Diving into the Dewdrops with "Kapljičasta"

Next up, we have "Kapljičasta" (Raindroppy), where the curious Rosa embarks on a quest to unravel the mysteries of precipitation. From gentle dewdrops to cascading rain showers, we explore the diverse forms of liquid bounty that grace the earth. Through interactive elements and engaging narratives, readers are invited to immerse themselves in the captivating world of water cycles and weather wonders.


Image Credit: Naklada Vakula


A lightning flash of "Munjasta" 

"Munjasta" (Thundery) is the sixth book in the "Weather Tales" series. It focuses on lightning, thunder, and thunderbolts and aims to educate children about these phenomena. The book explores where, when, and how lightning occurs and safety measures during thunderstorms through engaging narratives and vibrant illustrations. It aims to enhance children's meteorology understanding, especially amidst climate change - and we know how important that is. :)


Image Credit: Naklada Vakula


What A Meteorological Adventure

Like every other story, this one has also come to an end. We can agree that this meteorological adventure with Zoran Vakula and Nik Titanik brought us wonder and curiosity that await within the pages of "Weather Tales."

It's also worth mentioning that the Mali Teatar theatre has staged numerous of these meteorological plays, offering immersive experiences with weather-themed performances. These theatrical productions realized in collaboration with the Center for Culture and Information Maksimir and with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia, provide yet another avenue for young minds to explore the wonders of meteorology in an interactive and entertaining manner. So you still have the opportunity to see live what we are talking about.

Their creative collaboration aimed to inspire young minds to explore the world of meteorology with awe and fascination, fostering a lifelong love for the wonders of weather. But they've got my attention, too, and I hope you will also find these pages inspirational regardless of your years.


Header Image Credit: Naklada Vakula

                                                                                                                          Author: Kristina Duvnjak