- Original Slovene Picture Book Award 2012
A fairytale about a black sheik with a red flower by a celebrated Slovene writer Vitomil Zupan (1914 - 1987), is a fairytale about love, sat in a fantastic world of far eastern desert. The sheik is destined to rule the world; he is learning illusive arts and looking for love. Before he can find the woman of his dreams, he has to find seven drops of blood from seven different kinds of love. He finds them and he finds the woman of his love, but she has to die, because he does not love her unconditionally and because he as a ruler is not capable of uniting East and West and ruling the world with kindness and justice. Angry and disappointed he still roams the desert as a spirit of a black sheik with a red rose.
The story was written in 1938, written by hand, illuminated and illustrated by the author, it was put aside and almost lost, while the author was at war, twice in the concentration camps and seven years in prison as a political prisoner during the Yugoslav communist regime. The fairytale has never been published until now. The manuscript is kept at the national library in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Here the marvellous illustrations are the work of Damijan Stepančič.