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Literature

Children’s Books on the Greek Easter Traditions

April 26, 2021

Growing up in the Greek-American community, many of us learned early on to explain to our non-Greek friends about the celebration of Greek Easter, Pascha. From the strict fasting during Great Lent to the many foods we prepare for the feast, the celebration has inspired authors to write children’s books to help young readers more fully understand the traditions, customs, and the religious significance of the holiday.

The ABC of Greek Easter by Panagiota Andreadakis is a bilingual Greek/English book for children and families to reconnect with the 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 by Anna Gerb highlight this book geared toward young readers. Available in hardcover, the book is printed in Australia.

Greek-Australian Panagiota Andreadakis is a bilingual (Greek-English) children’s author who lives in Melbourne. After working for several decades as a health professional, she decided to pursue her passion for Hellenic culture and children’s education, according to her biography. Andreadakis was inspired to write books as a way of preserving the wealth of Hellenic heritage and passing it onto the next generation with the same care and passion that it was passed down to her by her parents and grandparents. An active member of the vibrant Melbourne Greek Community, Andreadakis was a senior member of a traditional Greek dance group during her youth and also did volunteer work within the community.

The book is available online through the publisher, Stelakis: https://www.stelakis.com.au/the-abc-of-greek-easter/.

The Lucky Egg by Anna Prokos, illustrated by Christina Tsevis, highlights the Greek Easter egg tradition. The protagonist, Billy, can't wait for Easter, especially cracking the red eggs with his family. Billy hopes his egg will be the lucky one so he can have a year of good fortune, but Billy quickly remembers how fortunate he already is. The Lucky Egg is part of the children’s book series by Prokos that follows Billy and his family as they celebrate Greek holidays and he learns the story behind them and some of the beloved Greek traditions that make each holiday so special.

Prokos has written more than 50 books for children and their families, recently turning her attention to publishing books that feature Greek culture and traditions. As a child, she joyfully participated in the numerous traditional events and holidays celebrated by Greek-American families. Today, as a parent, Prokos realizes the importance of simply and colorfully explaining these beloved cultural traditions with future generations. A native of New Jersey, the author now lives near Charlotte, NC, with her husband and four sons, where she enjoys sharing stories of growing up Greek.

Illustrator Christina Tsevis lives in Athens, Greece, and grew up in an artistic family which has been creating beautiful artwork for years, and motivated her to create her own designs as a teenager. To create the titles in The Lucky Book Series, Tsevis drew upon her love of family traditions celebrated in Greece. Tsevis encourages children to embrace their individuality and share their uniqueness with the world.

The Lucky Egg by Anna Prokos, illustrated by Christina Tsevis, is available online: a-to-zpublishing.com.

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