(Springfield, Massachusetts, United States) – A Greek-American children’s author from Springfield, Massachusetts, Maria T. Kamoulakou-Marangoudakis uses Ancient Greece to inspire her works. Her latest, The Adventures of Hope & Trusty, Sky Cloud City, came about during a blizzard in during the 2013 winter season. At the time, she was reading an historical novel set in Ancient Greece. Both of these things inspired her latest work.
In fact, The Adventures of Hope & Trusty, Sky Cloud City, is inspired by a work by Aristophanes’ called, The Birds, which talks about how important things like friendship, mutual cooperation, and respect for the environment are to our existences. Aristophanes is her favorite playwright from that era. She turned to his works for inspiration because she is drawn by the fairytale-like quality that is present in many of his plays.
She said that, “As a Greek archaeologist and an admirer of the classical Greek spirit, I felt compelled to communicate the timeless values of peace, humanity, dignity, justice and friendship to young readers between the ages of seven and 10 and to create an alternative story to traditional ‘prince charming’ fairy tales. In Greece, there are beautiful adaptations of ancient Greek plays. They are great at introducing young readers in a fun way to masterpieces of classical Greek literature.”
Prior to becoming an author, Kamoulakou-Marangoudakis was an archaeologist employed by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture. She also battled breast cancer. She said that, “This book was born out of a breast cancer experience. It became part of the healing process because it offered me a new purpose in life. Breast cancer stormed through my life and turned it upside down. After a period of restlessness and inner searching, I felt a strong desire to share my knowledge of ancient Greek culture with children.” This work tells a story of two children who adventure to the bird kingdom in order to help oppressed birds.