By Eleni Sakellis
Books make wonderful gifts this holiday season for all ages. Young readers will especially appreciate the gift of a book they can cherish throughout the years. Here are a few more titles to share with book lovers this Christmas.
Can We Sing Them? Na Ta Poume by Kikis Kapsaski is a wonderful book and CD set. With 28 traditional Christmas and New Year’s carols this book makes an excellent gift to entertain the entire family. The songs on the CD are sung by a Greek children’s choir. The book and CD set is available online.
The Lucky Cake by Anna Prokos and illustrated by Christina Tsevis is a delightful children’s book explaining the tradition of the Vasilopita for young readers. Charming illustrations highlight the story of a family enjoying Yiayia’s delicious cake while learning about the meaning of the tradition. The book is available in a Greek edition as well.
Ta Christougenna tou Pastelaki, or Christmas with Pastelakis, by Lina Giannos and illustrated by Alexandros Laios, is a fanciful tale featuring a journey to Bethlehem with the Little Drummer Boy. The book includes the lyrics to Greek Christmas carols for the whole family to enjoy.
Also by Lina Giannos and illustrated by Alexandros Laios, Mathaino tin Alphavita me ton Pastelaki or I Learn the Alphabet with Pastelakis is another educational and entertaining children’s book. The character of Pastelakis returns to help young readers with the Greek alphabet. Part of the children’s book series O Pastelakis o Kollitos Sou, the books make a great gift set for young readers.
The wonderful children’s book series Loukoumi by Nick Katsoris is an endearing gift option that will not only enchant young readers, but also gives back. Written in English, the books follow the little lamb named Loukoumi on various adventures with her friends including Fistiki the cat and Dean the dog. The CD narrations of the books feature celebrities including Olympia Dukakis, Jennifer Aniston and her father John Aniston of Days of Our Lives fame. A portion of the sale of the Loukoumi books is donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Loukoumi’s Celebrity Cookbook, also by Katsoris, presents favorite recipes from celebrities. Among the contributors, Ernie Anastos, Melina Kanakaredes, George Stephanopoulos, Betty White, and Oprah Winfrey. Winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Award, the book was first published in 2011 and a portion from the sale of each book is donated to charity.
The Bible is one of those books we may or may not have on our shelf but have probably not read consistently throughout our lives. The end of the year and the start of a new one is an excellent time to remember the true meaning of Christmas by reading the Gospel. If concerns about understanding the language of the Bible have kept you from reading the Good Book on your own, there are new translations available in all languages and even versions for young readers to understand. A Daily Readings app is also available on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America website goarch.org