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Interview on Filanagnostis

Στιγμιότυπο 2022-01-18, 10.53.15 μμ.png

In the context of a complex view of literature, our page also hosts books that belong to Children's and Youth literature. We recently presented in our Children's - Youth literature column the book "Ice Wonder" by Sofianna Paidousi. A book dealing with the emotional world of bullied children. The book does not just address the problem but aims to help children to recognize and manage their emotions, but mainly to understand that they should speak up if and when something similar happens in their own life or in the life of someone of their age. In our presentation, we focused on the rich, well-written and above all well-crafted text, on the writing of Ms. Paidousi, on the plot and on the flow of the work and in general on the fiction as a whole.

But mainly we focused on everything that is included in this book as a whole, as it is obvious that this is a book that has been created with a lot of care and even more love.

      We asked the author for an interview which she immediately and with great willingness gave us and it is the first interview related to a children's book and today we present it to you. We are sure you will enjoy it.

7+1 questions from the "Filanagnostis" by Avgerinos.


1) How did you decide to get into children's literature?

      From a very young age, I liked fairy tales, stories and children's heroes. I mostly liked their characters and the heroines more to be honest but also the dragons, witches and elves. They all fit easily on my child's head, although I usually got them mixed up.

      What I really liked after that was drawing them, which unfortunately I didn't continue, unlike writing. So, later at some point, after completing my studies at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, as a kindergarten teacher, I got caught up with a lot of fairy tales, Greek and mostly foreign. It was then that after taking children's and adolescent literature courses (among other related studies), I wanted to externalize - through this type of art, which concerns small but mainly older children -, my own stories, to share with others and make them participants, in a way, with their content.


2) To write for children one needs to see life through children's eyes and how easy is that for an adult writer?

      Yes, by all means. This, however, I would wish and would like all people to do, even those who will never write anything for children. I have a feeling that our world would be better and brighter!

      I personally started my first blog (, about children's literature (classical) and later on theater, in 2015, in a period of uncertainty, in the middle of the crisis, without many positive outlets, something that children need so much every day.

      My goal was to create an environment that is beautiful, accessible, pleasant, with a happy ending - as befits everything, that is (almost) fairy tales-, which will attract young and old. At the same time, I was spending my time creatively writing children's stories and knowing that I have also created the right environment to include them later!


3) How inhibiting is the technology and easy access to the screen in trying to get a child to love books?

      Unfortunately, no one can, no matter how hard they try, stop the evolution of technology and its impact on the everyday life of today's children. After all, now, due to the recent epidemic, even in kindergartens the use of technology and the lesson through corresponding platforms on the computer screen is encouraged and not only for the needs of distance education.

      In any case, its measured use - which, however, requires active participation, constant feedback, time and a lot of work from the parent/guardian-, does not act as a deterrent to reading books. This, of course, also requires the additional existence of role models in the child's environment (parents/guardians and teachers at the first level) who have the book in their daily life, so that the children do not end up dealing only with electronic games and social media.

      Many books, however, Greek and foreign, classics and not, for children - including my "favorite" Ice Wonder - also exist in ebook format or offer audio narration for example, with accompanying activities, via computer, corresponding to the printed form of the book.


4) What do you think will be the future of children's books in our country?

      As long as there are children, there will be books for children, that is, always! At least that's what I want to believe! What is hopeful and optimistic and makes me particularly happy is that I see new material at the book fairs in Athens, Thessaloniki and the province. At the same time, there are not a few writers... of adults, who also deal with children's literature, even if this may be contemporary or have to do with the numerous and always constant audience. After all, Ice Wonder wants company when he grows up and will be a "big" child. How will this be done without books?


5) Is the parent-educator-author collaboration important for the relationship that will be formed between the child and the book?

      The chain of the parent-educator-writer relationship is not only important, but it is also irreplaceable. That is why from the first day of publishing Ice Wonder, I have been available to students, teachers and school units all over Greece without exception and I have done this by traveling everywhere, because Ice Wonder needs everyone's help and needs true friends, to "exorcise" school bullying. So don't think about it, invite Ice Wonder and his spiritual mother to your school, so that we can strengthen our relationship and raise a "safety wall" against school bullying.

    Never forget that the child is the one who will decide in the end whether to read the book that the parent, the teacher, or the author may have recommended, no matter how much everyone else insists! So isn't Ice Wonder?


6) In the past fairy tales and children's books did not have pictures and in the even longer past fairy tales were passed on orally, by word of mouth. How important do you think illustration is to the presentation of a children's book? Does the image dominate the text?

      A picture is worth a thousand words, so I believe that illustrations play a crucial role in the presentation of a children's book, let alone a children's book age of the image we live in. That is why it is very accurate, while many times the result does the text an injustice and degrades the book. The picture grabs the children's attention and "keeps" them in the story, as much as the text might.

For the period illustration of my new book, until I came to the conclusion, I searched and thoroughly studied samples from dozens of illustrators from Greece and abroad.

Personally, many times, when I read and re-read books, even well-known ones, I am always impressed by the tasteful and appropriate illustrations, in relation to the text, which usually does not excite me. So I conclude that perhaps the image is as important as the text in capturing the child reader's attention and engaging the story until the end.


7) Entertaining, educational, topical, timeless. What exactly should children's literature be?

   However difficult it may sound, it must be all these together and each separately, always in moderation and without didacticism.

Entertaining, because the book is a form of entertainment anyway, especially when it is aimed at children. Didactic, in an indirect way, regarding behaviors and life patterns, because the children's book may not be a scientific book, but it has the power to shape souls and shape characters.

Current, because its subject is necessary to interest the (micro) world of children in our time and finally timeless, because what author would not want his books to be read even after many, many years? That's what Ice Wonder would want too!

8) Tell us a few words about your latest book.

My next story, after "Ice wonder" and school bullying, which has been completed and is in the process of being published, is called "The Amphimirror" and is again about diversity and more specifically, eating disorders and the relationship with the body and ourselves in adolescence.

Of course, magic will also play a part here, as it is a period tale with a corresponding illustration. As in my first book, I am very happy, because there are many selected people participating. After all, the book is not only the author's, or at least that's how I perceive it. It will therefore include the personal texts of four experts (acclaimed nutritionists and psychologists), who "enter" history (among them Dimitris Grigorakis). Also, teachers write creative writing and play activities. In addition, the fairy tale will contain an exclusive song, with Eleni Dimou and the band Meidiama, an ebook and a recorded narration with a new all-star team.

I hope this will also find a place in the hearts of young and older children, like Ice Wonder, who has been amazed by his response throughout Greece and Cyprus! Thanks from the bottom of my heart indeed! Let me close with H. Gibran's saying: "Keep me away from the wisdom that does not weep, from the philosophy that does not laugh, and the grandeur which does not bow before children..."

    We would like to thank Sofianna Paidousi for the interview she gave us as well as for the one copy she made available on our page and which will be raffled off to our little "friend readers" and we wish her to continue the same dynamic.

Source:, 22 May 2020

Book no.1
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