The Sunflower Lion: A Book of Poems And Stories To Help Ukrainian children and Parents

Book Launch In Smock Alley Theatre Dublin On Sunday 28th August

Yesterday, I was very happy and proud to take part in the presentation of, The Sunflower Lion, as it was launched into the world at the Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin, Ireland. This delightful book was put together by Ukrainian citizen, Hayna Budilova. She is a remarkable woman, whom you can find out more about in my interview blog with her, which is coming soon.

Halyna Budilova and I were connected by a mutual Facebook friend. Halyna was looking for writers that wrote poems and stories for children, for a book that she wanted to produce for children and their parents who had to leave Ukraine because of the war. I was immediately interested in this project and felt it would be a personal way to help those who had to flee their country. Halyna and I agreed to meet to discuss it. So on a lovely spring morning we met up in the children’s playground in Ballinalee, Co.Longford and sparked ideas off each other.

Halyna on the left amd me on the right

My poem, ‘Songbird Chorus’ was inspired by the little girl, Amelia Anisovych who sang her heart out in a shelter in Kyiv. Her wonderful spirit was seen around the world and epitomised the belief of the Ukranians that they will see their country rise again.

‘Missing’, was inspired by my husband who mentioned how important pets were to the Ukrainian people. I wanted to bring out how a child might feel with his or her pets missing, and how they are missing their father, home and country, and are left trying to make sense of it all.

The collection brought together talented poets and storytellers from Ukraine, Belgium, Poland and Ireland. A special edition that was created during the difficult period of Russia’s war against Ukraine. It is designed to help parents and children who were forced to leave their homes because of the war, as well as host families abroad.

The Launch Was A Great Success

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