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A Ukrainian Christmas

"Fully celebrating the traditions of Christmas and imbued in hope for love and peace to prevail, this richly illustrated, heartfelt, and thought-provoking book champions Ukraine."

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

A Ukrainian Christmas called out to me, from the beauty of the cover by Olena Staranchuk through to the promised contents within. When it arrived I found a book perfectly sized in form, not too large, in fact just right for gifting in a stocking or placing beneath a Christmas tree. Historian Yaroslav Hrytsak and Nadiyka Gerbish explain in the foreword that this book was: “published in Ukraine a year before the onset of the full-scale Russia-Ukraine war”. They highlight an optimism for peace, justice, and love, and perhaps most of all hope, stating: “For as long as we celebrate Christmas, we can neither be defeated nor destroyed. This is the message that Ukraine is trying to convey to the world, and this what our book is about”. It is fascinating to discover that Ukraine holds two celebrations of Christmas on 25 December and 7 January, this joining of traditions marks a diversity in the borderlands between East and West. As I read I was joined by joyously colourful illustrations by Julia Tveritina, Lusya Stetskovych, Yulia Nesmeyanova, and Kateryna Borysyuk. From feasting and fasting, to carols and nativity scenes, Christmas is truly celebrated. It also includes the banning of Christmas and all holidays from the Soviet calendar in the 1930’s, and finally proclaims the solidarity of Christmas truces. The acknowledgements really hit home when you hear about the determination to bring A Urainian Christmas to these shores, where letters to publishers were written during the wailing of air-raid sirens. Marta Gosovska and Anastasiya Feher have created a translation that sings of the independence of Ukraine yet ensures you feel the connecting hand of warmth, understanding, and friendship. The book proclaims a hope that the: “victims of war must be remembered and the tyrants must fall. Peace is worth fighting for and must be preserved”. So profoundly meaningful and powerful, A Ukrainian Christmas ensures that you never lose sight of the true meaning of these festivities and how important they are in the lives of so many people.

Chosen as a LoveReading Star Book, it is worth noting that the publisher Sphere is making a donation to the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal on publication of A Ukrainian Christmas.

Liz Robinson

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