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Literature

Children’s Book Week – TNH Favorites

NEW YORK – This week is Children’s Book Week, the twice-annual celebration of children’s books and reading. Established in 1919, Children’s Book Week is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the U.S., marking its 105th anniversary in 2024 with over 2,000 participating schools, libraries, and bookstores in all 50 states.

A few of The National Herald’s favorite children’s books follow.

Actress and stand-up comedian Ellen Karis, best known as the “Greek Goddess of Comedy,” released her first children’s book in 2021, titled Special People: Godparents in the Orthodox Christian Faith. Available online, the book is a great resource for teaching children ages 4-10 about Godparents and their role in children’s lives in the Orthodox Christian Faith.

‘I Kokkini Fisarmonika’ (‘The Red Harmonica’) by Nikos Zavolas. Photo: Facebook

‘I Kokkini Fisarmonika’ (‘The Red Harmonica’) by Karpathos native Nikos Zavolas recounts the story of Orestes and his red harmonica, which changed the life of an entire village as the power of love and the power of forgiveness always triumph in the end. The book is available in Greek.

Bilingual Greek-English texts are a great way for youngsters to build on their language and reading comprehension skills. Greek-Australian children’s author Panagiota Andreadakis has released bilingual Greek-English children’s books, including The ABC of the Twelve Days of Christmas (Greek Orthodox version), The ABC of Greek Easter, The 123 of the Twelve Days of Christmas (numbers board book for toddlers), and The Twelve Days of Christmas Activity Book. The hardcover of The ABC of the Twelve Days of Christmas, made and printed in Australia, features colorful illustrations by Anna Gerb and is finished with embossed gold foiling and matte laminate.

The bilingual Greek-English children’s books, The ABC of Greek Easter and The ABC of the Twelve Days of Christmas by Panagiota Andreadakis are available online. (Photo: Stelakis)

Andreadakis’ first book, The ABC of Greek Easter, also offers children and families the opportunity to reconnect with cultural traditions and events, from the beginning of Apokries through to Easter Sunday, the celebration of the Resurrection of Christ. The book explores the meaning of the Easter prayers, hymns, the Lenten period, traditional Easter foods and sweets, and specifically focuses on the moving events of Holy Week. Colorful illustrations also by Gerb are a highlight of this book geared toward young readers. It is available in hardcover and is also printed in Australia. The books are available for purchase online: https://www.stelakis.com.au.

The 123 of the Twelve Days of Christmas and The Twelve Days of Christmas Activity Book are also available in the U.S., sold by Taste and Art of Greece based in Manchester, New Hampshire: https://www.tasteandartofgreece.com.

Greek Orthodox Easter Activity Book by Panagiota Andreadakis. (Photo by Eleni George)
The 123 of Greek Easter by Panagiota Andreadakis. (Photo by Eleni George)

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