It’s 1/25–a date around the world known as Multicultural Children’s Book Day! It’s with the greatest pleasure to share my review of Peggy Fourka’s latest book for MCBD! Peggy is a popular illustrator and writer in Greece and Cyprus, and she brings her deep knowledge of art into her books, including Adventures in Artville, which I had the privilege to review for #MCBD #readyourworld.
In Peggy Fourka’s “Adventures in Artville,” a normal class trip to the National Art Gallery turns into an exciting adventure with a group of six likable, friendly and curious kids (and their lovable dog!). The lively group suddenly finds themselves in the center of the action when they enter a secret passageway into Artville. There, they meet a talentless and mean painter, Pinel Aquatrel, who has stolen some of the world’s most famous paintings in order to create his own magical color palette.
The main characters must solve riddles to release the colors that have been stolen and save the world from losing its colors forever. In a fun and original adventure mystery, young readers discover five world-renown painters and their works. Readers get a first introduction into the world of art as they encounter the lives and paintings of renowned artists like Dali, Picasso, Matisse, El Greco, and Boticelli. Readers are treated to replicas of the artists’ most famous paintings, cleverly incorporated into the book’s illustrations. The crew of characters, along with the reader, needs to solve riddles that cleverly incorporate history, art and language to get to the next spot in their adventure.
The book is filled with many learning opportunities for readers, with puzzles, mazes, searches and various activities that incorporate what readers learned in the story with fun activities to challenge and engage young minds. Adventures in Artville is written in Greek and is part of a series of “Adventures In…” books created by Peggy Fourka and published by one of Greece’s premiere children’s publishers, Psichogios Publications.
Mrs. Fourka is no stranger to children’s publishing. She has illustrated more than 200 books and has written a number of children’s fictional stories, including “Adventures in the Islands of the Bullies,” which was a best-seller in Greece and Cyprus and was produced into a theatrical play in 2015. The book and musical taught children about friendship, love and respect. Fourka’s latest book “Heaven’s Alphabet”, also published by Psichogios Publications, focused on the alphabet through Christian faith. In 2018, Fourka fulfilled another passion when she started teaching Byzantine Iconography to children at Greece’s Metropolis Piraeus Art School. Mrs. Fourka and her husband enjoy spending time with their 8-year-old son, George, who is not only the artist’s inspiration but brings the color into her life.