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Children’s Books by Contemporary Greek Authors
You’ve heard of Mnemosyni, the Greek goddess of memory. Mythology buffs will know that she’s also the goddess of storytelling—and mother of the Muses! So, it’s only fitting to name a literary column in her honor. Here, you’ll learn about authors, poets, books, and all things “Greek” literary.
by Maria A. Karamitsos
Welcome back! This time let’s talk Children’s Books! There are a multitude of contemporary Greek authors writing picture books, and many have Greek themes. Some are even bilingual. There are so many talented authors, I could fill several pages. Let’s meet some with more recent releases.
After decades in the health industry, Panagiota swicthed gears to follow her passion for her sharing Hellenic heritage and Orthodox Faith. She’s penned two Greek/English bilingual books that help kids learn about Greek traditions and customs. The ABC of the Twelve Days of Christmas and The ABC of Greek Easter.
This multilingual and multi-published author runs a parenting blog, is a translator, and has been a foreign language teacher. Elisavet’s bilingual books have been published in 50 languages, including English and Greek. She’s also written books on raising multicultural children. Among her most popular is Happiness Street (independently published, 2020), in which a young girl reflects on summer memories with her grandmother.
The multi-published author and musician also teaches Modern Greek. She’s the force behind the Bilingual Bookshop in NSW, Australia. Among Eleni’s most popular bilingual Greek-English books are When Can You Play With Me? (2022) and My Grandma is a Musician (2020). They’re both published by Grammatika Pty. Ltd.
This actress/model turned entrepreneur and author pens stories that teach lessons about gratitude, self-reflection, problem-solving, empathy, kindness, and inclusivity. Picky Patrick (Mascot Kids, 2022) is the first book in the ‘Kids We Love Collection’.
An archaeologist by trade, Maria began writing in 2013. Her first book, the award-winning Sky Cloud City: The Adventures of Hope & Trusty (2016), was inspired by ‘The Birds’ by Aristophanes. Arthur the Fly-Slayer & the Forty Dragons (Little Centaur Press, 2018) is inspired by a Laconian tale. It’s also been translated into French. Recently, she published an updated version of Sky Cloud City (Little Centaur Press, 2021). Since 2020, she’s written a series of short stories for KPHTH magazine, in which siblings Minos Zoiros and Ariadne Lalaoussa introduce kids to Cretan culture, history, and archaeology.
You may know her as the Greek Goddess of Comedy, but she’s also a Sunday School teacher and the author of Special People: Godparents in the Orthodox Christian Faith (Bowker Identifier Services, 2020). Ellen created this resource to help teach kids about the special relationship between a Godparent and Godchild.
A New York attorney “by day”, Nick is the author of the ‘Loukoumi’ book series and founder of the Loukoumi Make a Difference Foundation. Inspired by the birth of his son, he wrote the first Loukoumi book in 2003. There are now eight books in the award-winning series. Many celebrities have lent their voices to his stories, including Loukoumi’s Good Deeds (independently published, 2009) narrated by John and Jennifer Aniston.
Brianna Koucos Midgley
The ‘Yiayia’s Kitchen’ book series (independently published) was inspired by Brianna’s cherished childhood memories. In the series, Yiayia teaches Koukla about her Greek heritage, family traditions, and how to prepare a Greek recipe. Something happens, leading to a teachable moment. Currently, there are three books in the series: Honesty (2019), Patience (2020), and Family Traditions (2021).
A model, actress, avid animal activist, her first book, I Miss My Best Friend (GreenTree, 2017), about losing a pet. It’s a recipient of the Reader’s Favorite 5-Star Award. Penelope’s second book, Different is Beautiful (Who Chains You Books, 2020), is about accepting yourself and others no matter how you look.
Kanella and Sunny (independently published, 2021) is about Joanna’s grandmother and her pet canary. The immigration story follows Kanella as she pursues her American dream, with her trusty feathered friend at her side. It’s a story about following your dreams and never giving up.
The ‘Lucky Book’ series (A-to-Z Publishing) teaches kids about Greek customs and history. Her first book, The Lucky Cake (2011), is about the Vasilopita tradition. Learn about Pascha traditions in The Lucky Egg (2013). The Lucky Day (2021) is about Greek Independence Day and the Greek Revolution. OXI Day takes the spotlight in The Lucky Word (2021).
This multi-published author, poet, and publisher has been a foreign language educator for the past twenty years. Amelie Goes to Grandma’s (independently published, 2021) is among Agatha’s most popular. Her books have been translated into English and French, and her latest, A Young Kimolistas (Weaving Waves, 2022), will also be translated into Japanese.
The mother of a son with hearing loss, Angeliki penned The Secrets Hidden Beneath the Palm Tree (AuthorHouse, 2019). It introduces kids to the sensitive world of children with cochlear implants. It models ways to approach, befriend, and include these children in school activities. It’s been translated into Greek.
Demetra Tsavaris Lecourezos
An entrepreneur, film producer, and co-director, she’s the author of seven books. The first in Demetra’s ‘Young World Traveler’ edu-tainment series that takes kids on virtual travels, was published by thewordverve in 2014. Ready, Set, Opa! (2017) transports readers to Greece. It’s also available in Greek. She also penned Letters from Around the World: Learning the Greek Alphabet (2017) and Cancer in My Family (2020), co-authored by her daughter, Katerina Lecourezos. The fourth ‘Young World Traveler’ book, also co-authored with Katerina, is called A Globe Within a Globe (2022).
A Greek-Cypriot journalist, Stephanie penned the “Ikoyenia” series, five bilingual Greek-English rhyming tales that follow a young girl named Anthea and the relationships she shares with her loved ones. There’s Cooking with Yiayia, Gardening with Papou, Playtime with Baba, Bedtime with Mama, and Christmas with My Family. She’s also the author of two My Greek Guide books: Numbers and The Alphabet.
It’s Not a Skirt (independently published, 2021) is this author’s debut. She channeled her love of Greek dance and customs into a cute story about a boy who has to wear a foustanella for a dance performance and is worried what other kids will think. The story teaches kids to be proud of where they come from and to celebrate their cultural traditions.
This author and illustrator also owns Yiayia’s Market, where she sells authentic items from Greece. Violet is the grandmother of nine! Her first books, Silly Yiayia (CreateSpace, 2015) and Sunday Dinner at Silly Yaya’s (Create Space, 2016) are among her most popular. Pete Comes to America (Meadow Road, 2019) is based on her grandfather’s immigration story.
Well, that will get you started! See you next time for more of Mnemosyni’s Musings.