“Dzvinka Hayda has woven an enchanting tale with lovely illustrations that colorfully portray the ancient and beautiful traditions of Ukrainian Easter.”
Kateryna Yushchenko, First Lady of Ukraine 2005-2010
“In this picture book, a little girl searches for an Easter gift for her mother.
Dzvinya, a ... girl with a “very kind heart, a sweet smile, and two long braids,” lives in a Ukrainian village. She hopes to surprise her mother with an Easter present that is just as special as the traditional pysanka (decorated egg) that her babtsya (grandmother) always gives her for her holiday basket. With a gentle narrative touch and the lovely, homemade simplicity of her painted illustrations, Hayda sends Dzvinya to a flowery meadow, searching for the perfect gift. Young readers will enjoy the repeated pattern in the text as Dzvinya spies a chirping bird in a tree, tries in vain to catch it for her mother, and incurs the same result when she attempts to nab a meowing cat and then a nose-wiggling bunny. Her sadness vanishes when she encounters a friendly nesting hen with an egg to spare. Back at home, Dzvinya knows “just what to do,” gathering paint pots, beeswax for her kistka (drawing tool), and a candle to create a pysanka for her mother inspired by her day. The book includes the definitions and pronunciations of Ukrainian words used in the story and a description of the symbolism of colors and designs found in the art of pysanky. (Based on Ukraine’s traditions, this tale will resonate deeply with adults in light of the tragedy unfolding in that country.)
Children will be charmed by this tender story and artwork inspired by Ukrainian culture.”
Kirkus Reviews (Review)
Dzvinya’s Gift for Mama
NEW! Dzvinya's Gift for Mama
Spring has arrived in Ukraine, with all its beauty. Soon it will be Easter. This year, Dzvinya wants to surprise her mama with an extra special gift so she goes outside to see what she can find. When she spies a speckled hen sitting on her eggs, Dzvinya remembers how her dear babtsya decorated eggs for her Easter basket. She gingerly picks up an egg and carries it home.
That night she dreamt of little critters magically floating in the dark sky. At the break of dawn, with great determination, she begins decorating the egg and transforms it into a pysanka. Not only will she surprise Mama with her special gift, but little does she know that Mama has a surprise for Dzvinya.
Winner of the 2023 Moonbeam Award, this precious and richly illustrated picture book depicts the age-old pysanky traditions practiced by Ukrainian people throughout the world. The story also offers readers an opportunity to experience a child’s deep love for her Mama.
View larger samples of the illustrations with accompanying text by clicking on a thumbnail below.
Hardcover pp 32
12″ x 8 1/2″
14 full color illustrations
Printed in the U.S.A.