Gerald Jatzek, Wiener Zeitung

για το βιβλίο “Μια άλλη µέρα θα νικήσεις εσύ!” των εκδόσεων Πατάκη

Who wins? In kindergarten, on the playground, at home with the siblings
- children are always competing. And
it is not unusual for the same children
to lose out again and again. How can you deal with it if you lose? How do you keep a healthy self-confidence? How do you maintain loving relationships with others? And how can you break through or interrupt a culture of competition that seems to begin with birth? Who wins? is a tale of two little beaver brothers who, at the end of the day, embrace each other full of love and finally go to sleep with a changed view of the world. A little beaver swings high, followed by the curved lettering “Who wins?”
But beware: the ropes are bent, and
this announces the change of direction backwards. Rocking – that means an eternal up and down, always threatened by the fall, which may be the outcome of the desire for “more”. Although in the end actually another little beaver falls from the swing and breaks a leg, however at the centre of the gentle tones and rather simple illustrations of this children’s book, is not the fall which follows the boisterous conduct, but rather the negative consequences of competitive behaviour among siblings. [...]
‘Who wins?’ is a question that goes beyond the confines of family life and addresses a fundamental problem in contemporary, competitive societies.
As kids, we practice behaviours that permeate our entire lives: we constantly compare and compete. Victory and success define the value of a human being and affects her self-esteem. We succeed, essentially, when others
fail. Does that have to be the case? What does it mean to have “success”? What makes individuals valuable and lovable? What kind of relationships do we want to keep up? And, finally, does the comparison with others play a role at all? The story of the award-winning
Greek author Maria Papayanni –whose work has not yet been translated and is hardly known in Germany– remains clear throughout. A story is told that is clearly recognizable as a fable but refrains itself from spelling out a precept. Both in the visual language and in the writing style
it becomes very clear that something is to be revealed. Readers and listeners are invited to follow the story without identifying with any of the characters, without distinguishing between good and evil, without immediately comparing and evaluating each behaviour. [...]
Who Wins? is a children’s book that lovingly and unobtrusively depicts a core problem of our time. It is a good idea to take the time to read it and to start a conversation with your children. Since it stimulates an active co-thinking, and the visual language avoids typical stimuli for toddlers, the book is recommended for children from 4 years of age. Conclusion: A fairy-tale about the violence of comparison and the repercussions of competitive behaviour. Instructive, subtle, and a little sad–but still, so beautiful

toutelaculture.com

για το βιβλίο “Μια άλλη µέρα θα νικήσεις εσύ!” των εκδόσεων Πατάκη

Children like to take part in races and competitive games, but sometimes, those who lose get hurt, and lose a sense of their self-worth. This is what happened with Pollux, here. But this is also what will motivate him to overcome himself, to mature, and to realize that there is something more important than winning. He understands that whoever loves and is loved is always a winner. An inspired and touching book with wonderful illustration.

Eleni Svoronou, O Anagnostis

για το βιβλίο “Μια άλλη µέρα θα νικήσεις εσύ!”

“Our beavers are the Earth’s eternal ‘heroes’. Vainglorious but also capable of the bravest self-abnegation. Able to understand that “finally, everything is a matter of luck and the gods may stop favoring you any time they like – it takes no more than a minute to turn from lucky to unlucky. The most important thing is who you are, what of you is left once good luck abandons you.” But that is exactly what good children’s literature can do. In its sparse and frugal language, it can condense meanings and concepts that belong to the sphere of philosophy. Aris found that out for good when his good luck ran out. So, let us be our selves. Another day we will win, differently.”

Elena Ardzanidou, Thinkfree

για το βιβλίο “Είχε απ’ όλα και είχε πολλά” των εκδόσεων Πατάκη

“A different, interesting story, rich and well written. It succeeds in managing the obsessions of its protagonist which cause suffering and darkness to the land. At every page you might be listening to music that gives rise to gloom, alienation, terror until, once again, light and hope arrive. A theatrical story or, better still, a story for an opera. The book requires multiple readings, with pauses and spells of silence. It seeks initiated readers while it simultaneously attracts the ‘rest’, the new, hatching readers. In this work, too, Maria Papayanni dares confront the passion for wealth which only brings about pain, destruction, exile and depletion and she does so with a few sparse words, Doric, well aimed and creative. A craftswoman who enchants, while methodically arresting the attention of her old, but also her new reader.”

Manos Kondoleon, Bookpress

για το βιβλίο “Είχε απ’ όλα και είχε πολλά” των εκδόσεων Πατάκη

“Whereas Papayanni writes with lyricism and tenderness, she addresses issues intensely political or social in character and does so in the service of initiating the child in a cyclic and not in the least utilitarian analysis of the world.”

Anta Katsiki_Guivalou Professor at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Bookpress

για το βιβλίο “Είχε απ’ όλα και είχε πολλά” των εκδόσεων Πατάκη

“In a language that is simple and direct, through the vehicle of a fairytale, it addresses serious issues which children, but also adults, face in the difficult times of the present. […] Without didacticism, not even indirect, Papyanni highlights the nourishing and restorative power of knowledge, imagination and memory in creating and recreating a life full of optimism, joy, hope and, especially, free of the sundry fears and nightmares that poison our life, turning it into a veritable hell. This fairytale of Maria Papayanni is a modern narrative, political in the broad sense, as it highlights, often by contrast, the concepts of freedom, subjugation, free will, submission, love, hatred, personal and social isolation, totalitarianism and democracy, the collective overcoming of difficulties, resistance to despotism, and does so in a manner that is particularly pleasant and attractive. Certainly this text is amenable to multiple readings.”

Aggelioforos

για το βιβλίο “Ως διά μαγείας” των εκδόσεων Πατάκη

“A tender book about the wonderful adventure of a life not beset by fears, and with the right friends.”

Aerostato magazine

για το βιβλίο “Ως διά μαγείας” των εκδόσεων Πατάκη

A hymn to friendship, difference, childhood

Report of committee for the awards of Diavazo magazine

για το βιβλίο “Ως διά μαγείας” των εκδόσεων Πατάκη

“It treats the issue of the acceptance of difference in a particularly original manner and with a wealth of narrative techniques. Combining realism with imagination, the author creates fictional characters who, through the contrasting values they represent, challenge the child’s critical thinking and its ability to respond to reality. A text with many plot twists and a complex storyline, in a language that is particularly well crafted and alive and manages to enchant the reader, both young and old.”

Anta Katsiki_Guivalou, Professor at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

για το βιβλίο “Ως διά μαγείας” των εκδόσεων Πατάκη

The novel As if by magic my Maria Papayanni deals with the issue of difference and its acceptance in a way both strikingly original and contemporary in its narrative structure. Through the perceptions of the members of a strange family, especially the mother’s and the daughter’s, and through their way of life, the importance is highlighted of dreaming and miracles in everyday life, as they occur at a personal and interpersonal level, both in education and in the wider social sphere where the story is taking place. Difference is intimately linked with the concept of freedom, a person’s self-definition, the free expression of one’s views, resistance to violence, democratic consciousness and breaking new ground in one’s ideas and attitudes. The contrast and struggle between the established and the unconventional view of life, as well as the former’s attempts at dominance, permeate the text and the outcome is to elicit from the reader a sense of optimism, vitality and joy… This social novel of Maria Papayanni is characterized by realism and imagination, with elements of modern and post-modern writing…. Its language is especially well crafted, with a child’s point of view prevalent in the interpretation of events, subversive, with humor, originality and a wide range of narrative techniques that showcase in a fresh way complex and difficult issues of contemporary life. A book that captures, intrigues and enchants the young reader. Finally, by going beyond the expected and habitual, As if by magic is not only original in concept but also innovative as writing.