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Sabel’s red dress

Parga Publications
Illustrated by Daniela Stamatiadi

Sabel must flee to a foreign land. Everything she loves will be left behind. Her mother tells her she is allowed to take only one thing. Without a second thought, Sabel finds the red dress that her Grandmother gave her for her birthday. Once settled in their new home, her mother tries in vain to persuade Sabel to wear something else. Every day the dress is washed, dried, and worn again.

  • White Ravens 2014.
  • Peter Pan Prize by the Swedish Section of IBBY (2016).
  • Shortlisted for the Greek IBBY picture book award (2015).
  • Shortlisted for the Cyprus national literature award for young children (2015).


“It is one of the books that we read again and again. Because it speaks to our heart and makes us think of our loved ones who are no longer near us. The text exudes warmth and sensitivity, and creates powerful images.” Vasilis Koutsiaris, “The Magical World of Children’s Books”

“An unpretentious book, a story that flows through the life of young Sabel, like the flowing of a river… The writing puts us in the position of the observer. As if pushing us to notice all young Sabels that exist around us, in our neighbourhood, in our children’s school.” Angeliki, “Beloved children’s books” blog

“Many important stories have been written about war and escape this fall, but one story will live a little longer. It is Sabel’s red dress by Cypriot author Marina Michaelidou-Kadi and Greek children’s book illustrator Daniela Stamatiadi.” Bladh Viveca, “Swedish Radio / Culture News”

“Every year, 1700 new children’s books are published in Swedish. Sabel’s red dress is one of the most beautiful and certainly most urgent!” Newspaper “Culture”, Sweden

“Today, when 60 million people are on the run, we need insight into exile conditions. Sabel’s red dress has a restrained language and expressive but calm and sensitive black and white ink drawings, where the red of the dress is the only color up to the last page. The book also gives young children an understanding of exile sadness and longing, but also hope that life can get its color back.” Ulla Hjorton, IBBY Sweden