‘My Grandma is a Musician’: Eleni Elefterias to launch her debut bilingual children’s book

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Grandmothers (Yiayiades) are our everyday superheroes and the cornerstone of every Greek family; however, their role is often stereotyped.

With her debut bilingual (Greek/English) children’s book, titled ‘My Grandma is a Musician – Η γιαγιά μου είναι μουσικός,’ author Eleni Elefterias aims to break the grandmother stereotype, while teaching the Greek language to youngsters regardless of linguistic background and cultural heritage.

“As a teacher I am interested in good bilingual books for children. My book, which is accompanied by a song written by me, is suitable for children from 4 years old right through to 12-year-old beginners in the language.

“It includes transliteration (Greenglish/Greeklish) so that anyone can read it, even in Greek, whether they are of Greek background or not,” Eleni Elefterias tells The Greek Herald as she unfolds the storyline and the elements of her first book. 

“It is based on me and my experiences and explores occupations while breaking down stereotypes. The children are modelled on my own granddaughters and those of my relatives and the little dog character is my own dog, Scout.

“The ‘Yiayia’ in the book has many interests and occupations that are not usually associated with women.”

Apart from a lecturer in Community Languages at the University of Sydney and teacher of Modern Greek, Eleni Elefterias, is also a songwriter (τραγουδοποιός), a lyricist (στιχουργός) and a performer at concerts and boîte-style events as well, the owner of Sydney’s Greek Bilingual Bookshop and a columnist with The Greek Herald.

“The book aims to teach kids about some of the activities I’m involved with, through a vocabulary more challenging than the simple vocabulary we usually see in many bilingual chidlren’s books.

“I always use traditional and syncopated Greek rhythms in all my songs as rhyme and repetition in music is attractive to young children. The book is beautifully illustrated by Serbian artist, Branislav Sosic and edited by award winning author and linguist Dr Panayota Nazou,” says Eleni Elefterias. 

The book launch will be a fun event for the whole family and is scheduled to be held on Saturday, May 8 in Marrickville, Sydney. 

“It will be a fun affair for children and adults. We will have free games and refreshments as well as some entertainment from musicians Sotiri Prokopiou, Panayiotis Psarakis and “Tassos Bouzouki”. 

“The book will be presented by Professor Ken Cruickshank, Director of the Sydney Institute for Community Languages

“I hope you can all attend and make this a special day.” concludes Eleni. 

*The ‘My Grandma is a Musician – Η γιαγιά μου είναι μουσικός΄ book launch will take place on May 8, from 2-5pm at Gumbramorra Hall in Marrickville. You can RSVP via SMS on 0400 43 60 79 or email on: info@bilingualbookshop.com.au

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