for the book «Με λένε Μάγια»
“My name is Maya”; thus simply is the six-year-old heroine introduced in Maria Papayanni’s new book. Observer and narrator at the same time, with a child’s feistiness, directness and disarming honesty, Maya looks at the world around her with a sense of wonder, asks questions constantly and rightfully expects answers to those seemingly simple questions which, however, grownups can’t always answer with the ease with which she makes them. Maria Papayanni’s Maya is a child of our times. The author succeeds in portraying her language and thought without the affectation and clichés which adults often resort to, when they “borrow” children’s voice. Hence, the young reader meets with a true peer, the thought processes, the guile, the jokes, the puzzlement of that age group in the course of daily life. And learns effortlessly, without didacticism or lecturing on the part of the author, the very important thing that Maya learns in her first days at school. That “school is first for making friends and then for learning how to read and write”, since it took her four months to master writing but only one day to meet her best friend.