Narrator Natalia Payne delivers a somber yet hopeful performance of this picture-book audio detailing a Ukrainian girl's experiences during the 1932-33 Ukrainian famine/genocide. On her birthday, Zlata, whose name means "golden," receives a blouse embroidered with red threads for love and black for sadness. These emotions are woven into the fabric of her life as her family contends with brutal Communist soldiers who plunder their fields, destroy their belongings, and take Zlata's father away. Payne's measured performance is enhanced by well-placed sound effects and a superb musical soundtrack with repeating motifs that signal danger, sorrow, and the togetherness of family life. Although Zlata and her family endure the bitterest pain, it is her gently communicated determined grace that listeners will remember. S.A.H. © AudioFile 2023, Portland, Maine [Published: DECEMBER 2023]
Trade Ed. Macmillan Audio 2024
DD ISBN 9781250329547 $1.99
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