Worldwide Buddies was born out of our curiosity and fascination about the diverse realities and wonders of our world, and out of a sense of obligation to pass these onto the little humans out there.
Growing up in a divided country, we were brought up reading stories, hearing stories, sometimes even writing stories, of the "good guys" and the "bad guys", of "us" and "them", of classifications, drawn lines and boundaries. But the older we got, the more we interacted with different people. Some of the "good guys", some of the "bad guys", lots of "us", lots of "them", and many, many, many more. The stories we were brought up with became blurred, jumbled in a vibrant assortment of stories, they became only a fraction of our perception.
We soon came to realize all the stories we never heard, the different perspectives we missed out on, the surprising similarities we discovered along the way, the striking peculiarities we were amazed by, the kindness and magic we witnessed in so many unfamiliar eyes!
"Wouldn't it be lovely", we thought, "if we gave children these stories and experiences early on? Expand their minds and ability to learn and comprehend, fuel their imagination, and nurture their capacity to embrace all the friends they'll encounter in life? Wouldn't that turn them into the best adult humans yet?"
We concluded that it would.
So we did.
Evi holds a BA in Geography from LSE and an MA in Education & Creative Writing from NYU. She has worked at kindergartens and in the editorial department of Penguin Random House. As a kid, she always looked for ways to make the world a more playful place and wanted to build a colorful children's city where everything was connected with slides! While she hasn't achieved exactly that, Worldwide Buddies is her adult answer.
Favorite picture book as a kid: The Rainbow Fish
Nefeli Malie Malekou
Nefeli holds a BSc in Architecture from the University of Bath. Being raised in her mother's kindergarten, she probably knows better how to communicate with children than with adults. Growing up, she remembers drawing anything and everything on pieces of paper and then folding the pieces of paper to turn them into books! Born to create children's stories, or what?
Favorite picture book as a kid: The Rainbow Fish (we get along for many reasons - this is one of them!)