Book Series Review: Anya and Her Wings & Superseal, written by Natalia Lialina and illustrated by Andrei Lialin
Today for the first time on my blog I'm reviewing two books in one post. The reason being that both are from the same author (Natalia Lialina) and designer/illustrator (Andrei Lialin). Moreover, both of these books are the work of The Chickenleg House creative group. If you want to know more about this children's book series, I recommend visiting Natalia Lialina's official site (here).
Before I get into reviewing these two lovely books, I want to take a moment to stress the importance of reading to children. In this screen and technology dominated age, a nice book is every parent's best friend. As a parent, family member, friend or educator, you'd want kids to rest their eyes from the screen as often as possible. If you want to improve your children's language skills, one of the best ways to do it is by reading to them.
Reading to (and with) children will not only help them improve their vocabulary and literacy, but will also help to develop their imagination and further their future learning habits. Moreover, you don't have to be a parent or an educator to read to children. I don't have children myself, but I often read to my nephews and nieces. Reading to children is immensely important. For that reason, it's always a joy when one finds a children's book of excellent quality. Even better when it's two books!
ANYA AND HER WINGS
I knew that I was going to love this story even before I had read it, because I was already familiar with the concept of Anya's story. Around a years ago, I had purchased the bilingual Anya and Her Wings : Colour & Create colouring book for my nephew. The book was a great success with him. Anya and Her Wings: Colour & Create book is so much more than just a colouring book! I have had great fun with colouring and working on other activities in the book with my nephew ever since. In case you're interested in it, I had already published the review for that bilingual colouring and activity book here.
Anya and Her Wings book comes in two editions: English and Russian. I was gifted the English copy of this book by the author, so that's the version I'll be reviewing today. As the title would imply, the story of Anya is a story of a little girl on a quest for her wings. The story starts with her birth, and before reader knows it, Anya is old enough to set on an adventure of finding her wings. Anya and Her Wings is a story of bravery, acceptance, patience and understanding. This story has so many moral messages hidden within its pages. It teaches children to dream, but also to be patient, to develop empathy and understanding.
The writing is beautiful and expressive. Anya and Her Wings has some elements that will be familiar to those familiar with Russian fairy tales, such as the motif of the house with chicken legs. The adventures of this little girl were a joy to read about. The story itself is reminiscent of old folktales and classical fairy-tales. More that once, this book made me think of all those beautiful classical European fairy tales I grew up with.
Nevertheless, there are many personal elements to this book. For instance, the heroine of this book was inspired by author's daughter Anya. It really is a wonderfully unique story for children. Rooted in tradition, but very much an original book. The illustrations are nothing short of amazing. The design of the book is outstanding- a perfect design for such a great book. If this review has sparked your interest, you can purchase Anya and Her Wings books on Amazon or you can contact the author directly.
Superseal is a bilingual (Russian and English) story of a young seal that is anything besides ordinary. The writing style is simple, elegant and easy to understand. The plot follows the young seal as he learns more about his environment. Just like Anya, the young seal sets on an adventure! When our young seal learns from his father that his species is called ordinary seal, he is somewhat disappointed. The young seal goes to research his environment, he swims and encountered a boat filled with young boys. He informs them that he is a superseal. For some reason, he decides to introduce himself like that. From that point, the seal's learning adventure continues. Our talking (and quite eloquent) young seal encounters different boats and ships, and talks with people and mariners on them. Our young seal will learn a lot before the end of the day.
Just like with all the other books I have from this author, the art aspect of Superseal is so vibrant and full of life. The book itself is of excellent quality. It is medium size, so it is easy to carry around. As is the case with Anya and Her Wings, this book holds many lessons for kids. In addition, Superseal will teach a child quite a few things about the sea and boats. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful as always, and there is even a vocabulary list of navy terms. The English and the Russian texts are side by side, and that makes them very easy to compare. Therefore, Superseal book can be used as a tool for language learning. It's simply perfect for adults and kids who love the sea and wildlife. If you're looking for a book inspired by sea creatures, look no further.
Those would be my reviews. As I said, if you want to know more about this children's book series, I recommend visiting Natalia Lialina's official site (here).