Reading Club: Children’s Book | Evie and the Animals - Εικόνα

The SNFCC’s Book Club for Children renews its appointment with young book lovers for March, facilitated by theater pedagogue Artemis Manou, and also available online!  

The read of this month is Evie and the Animals by Matt Haig.

On Sunday, March 20, young readers will meet at the Book Castle to share impressions, feelings and thoughts, as well as to embark on an imaginary journey, sparked by the book of the month, into the fascinating worlds emerging from its pages.

In addition, this month’s meeting will also take place online via Zoom, on Saturday, March 26. 

The book:
How would you like to be able to talk to animals? Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Well, the heroine of this month’s book possesses precisely this talent: she can hear and talk to animals through her thoughts. Now, her dad has forbidden her doing so, “in order to protect her,” as he puts it. And Evie is managing to obey her dad’s wish — until the day that her school rabbit asks her to set it free. Then, her dad is forced to tell her the entire truth about her gift: A few years back, her mom, who could also speak with animals, tried to stop the evil Mortimer J Mortimer from destroying the Amazon Rainforest. After her mother’s death, Evie’s dad took his daughter and moved away, even changing their names, so that Mortimer could not find them. But various events, such as several animals disappearing in their neighborhood, indicate that Mortimer has tracked them down...
Let’s read this book to see what happens next in this fascinating story, but also to see how a child manages to believe in herself, be herself, and fight for animals, nature and the environment! 

The author:
Matt Haig
was born in 1975 in Sheffield, England. His first novel, The Last Family in England (based on Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1), became an immediate bestseller, with the book’s film rights being purchased by Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B. Then came The Dead Fathers Club, an adaptation of Hamlet based on an eleven-year-old boy, and The Possession of Mr Cave, a horror story about an overprotective father (under film adaptation by Parallel Films), all of which were translated into multiple languages. The Radleys first came out in 2010 and is being translated into more than 29 languages, while its film adaptation is underway by Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban). Matt Haig lives in York, with writer Andrea Semple and their two children.

The facilitator:
Artemis Manou 
holds a BA in Greek Language and Literature (Linguistics major) from the University of Athens and an MA in Teaching Greek as a Foreign/Second Language. In addition, she has graduated from the Drama School of Vassilis Diamantopoulos. After working for a few years in private education and as an actress, since 2009 she has been combining her love of theater and children, working as a motivational speaker and a theater director. She has co-operated with Onassis Stegi at the Youth Theater Festival, where she wrote theatrical plays and directed performances for teenagers, and at the experiential learning program “Contemporary Art: First you live... then you understand” that Onassis Stegi carried out in primary schools, where she organized workshops for creative expression on contemporary art stimuli together with Tzeni Argyriou, Andreas Kasapis and Myrto Tikof. Since 2017, she has been working at the National Theatre, facilitating workshops for children, teenagers and educators. She has authored a total of 15 plays for teens. A special place in her heart belongs to the National Theatre’s program “Theater in Greek,” with the participation of Greek and refugee teenagers. The theatrical play The Journey, which she co-authored with Vangelis Kyriakou, was included in the repertoire of the National Theatre Young People’s Stage in 2018. She was born and lives in Athens. But she dreams of living in many other places too – together with her family. 

Activities for children before the Book Club meeting:
- Take a moment and think about a different twist to the story: What would happen if Evie did not dare to be herself and did not use her gift? 
- Highlight the phrases of the book that touched you the most, and write them down somewhere, with colors and drawings of your choice, so you can remember them! Then bring them along and let’s all remember them together!
- Look up animals that are in danger of extinction, pick one and draw a picture of it. Now, let’s assume you have the same gift as Evie and that you happen to come upon this animal — where could that be? Write down the animal’s thoughts and everything it tells you, and be its spokesperson among humans.
- Read up about the Amazon Rainforest online, and tell us the two things that stuck in your mind!
- If you could have a secret gift, what would it be, and how would you use it for the good of the world (following in the footsteps of Evie)?
(And don’t forget: we all have hidden or visible talents that make us unique, that make us who we are!)


Sunday 20/03 | 17.00-18.15

Up to 22 participants | For children aged 7 to 10
Free participation via online pre-registration

Pre-registration for 20/03, starts on Monday 28/02at 12.00

Saturday 26/03 |17.00-18.00

Pre-registration for 26/03, starts on Monday 28/02at 12.00

Up to 25 participants | For children aged 7 to 10
Free participation via online pre-registration 


Facilitator: Artemis Manou

Anyone reserving a seat at the Book Club is required to have read the book of the month.

The Greek edition of Matt Haig’s Evie and the Animals is available from Patakis Publishers.


For the entry of the public in the activity area, the minors from 4 to 17 years old can present, a statement of negative self test (24 hours), a certificate of diagnostic test PCR (72 hours) or rapid (48 hours), according to the latest provisions of the Joint Ministerial Decision.

The use of face mask and social distancing measures are mandatory in indoor and outdoor areas of the SNFCC, in accordance with Hellenic National Public Health Organization regulations. 

Due to public health measures, there may be changes regarding either the staging of the event, or the maximum number of participants.

Children should always be accompanied by parents or adult chaperones, who should stay outside the activity area for as long as the activity lasts.

As part of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center's collaboration with the National Library of Greece, ), the February  book for the Children’s Book Club has been chosen by NLG staff.


See also

Wednesday 12/06, 18:00

First-Aid Course


Sunday 09/06, 13:00

Fun Dance


Tuesday 04/06, 19:00

Mini Basket