If you are looking for an inclusive picture book that also has beautiful illustrations and thought provoking stories, and you also want to help children in Ukraine, please look no further and grab Maya and Her Friends!
About The Book:
Genre: Children’s Book, Picture Book
Publisher: Studio Press (imprint of Bonnier books)
Format I read it in: Hardcover
Nine-year-old Maya goes to school in Ukraine and has sixteen classmates, all with different home backgrounds. As she introduces us to each of her friends, she shares an important message about love, respect, and what means to be a family.
All publisher profits will be donated to charities helping to protect the children of Ukraine.
Maya and Her Friends is a book by Ukrainian human rights activist and author Larysa Denysenko. The author wrote the introduction whilst hiding in Kyiv, and the book itself is a beautiful story about acceptance and tolerance in a country deeply affected by conflict.
I couldn’t help but read the first few pages, and I was so intrigued by Maya and her friends that I couldn’t put the book down until I finished. The tone of storytelling is very refreshing and gripping. We get to meet Maya’s friends from school and her teacher Yulia. Every child has a unique story. I was pleasantly surprised how inclusive and relatable these stories are.
I enjoyed the illustrations as well, and if you understand Cyrillic, or are in the process of learning the alphabet, you will have lots of fun seeing the children’s names written in Cyrillic – this being my main alphabet I really enjoyed the representation! The colours are vivid and the art style is very interesting too.
Maya has a very gripping voice of how she introduces her friends. And all friends share something interesting about them. We meet Hrystyna, who lives with her grandma, and Danylko, who doesn’t know who his father is. The twins Sophiya and Solomia, and the three Sophiyas that can cause some serious sophiyahavoc.
I warmly recommend this picture book! It’s funny and keeps you interested, I am sure children will love meeting Maya’s friends as well.
About The Author:
Larysa Volodymyrivna Denysenko is a Ukrainian writer, lawyer, human rights activist, TV and radio presenter, and member of the PEN Ukraine.
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