Book Review | Stories for Anastasia by Maria K.

Stories for Anastasia by Maria K.

Maria Kuroshchepova considers herself a storyteller. Rightly so.

Stories for Anastasia, the first book published by Maria K., is a collection of eight stories written for a sick niece in the Ukraine. A list of words with their definitions follows each story, to help young readers with comprehension. That is not to say that these stories cater to any specific audience, for they do not. I found as much enjoyment in this collection as I believe my 12-year-old daughter will. Readers might spot some evidence of language challenges within the thoughtfully written prose, since the author is a Ukraine native. Some sentences bear awkward construction and some words and phrases appear misplaced but you will quickly dismiss it, not wanting it to get in the way of Maria’s enchanting stories. The stories are short and sweet, and always engaging.

The book opens with Sam, the story of an elderly dog who is half Lab and half who-knows-what. Sam is a dog who moves slow and deliberately. When Gerry, his Main Human, is away, Sam sleeps contentedly in his bed, snuggled against Gerry’s shirt, inhaling his scent, awaiting his return. Sam shares the home with a cat, Monsoon, who shares his name with the second story in the collection. Maria paints a scrumptious picture of Monsoon’s appearance with a soft coat that is colored in all shades of coffee with cream from chocolate brown on his ears and paws to French vanilla on his chest and tummy. Nothing is quite as endearing as Monsoon’s tiny kitty tucks as he gets Maria ready for her bedtime.

Maria then adds to her family of pets when she adopts Maggie, a mixed breed with abounding energy and unending affection. Dear Maggie, the dog who runs around the house until she can run no more and collapses in a heap, the dog who goodheartedly taunts her animal companions, the dog who makes puddles on the floor when she is scared or excited, the dog you can’t help but to love, and love dearly. If your heart doesn’t melt at the image of Maggie’s goodnight nose-touching with Maria AND Sam, then you simply haven’t got a heart.

Maria’s prose is a delight. Her attention to detail transports you right into her home, taking in the sights, sounds, and smells alongside her, yet does not overwhelm. The only issue I have with Stories for Anastasia is that there aren’t more of them.

If you would like to win a copy of Stories for Anastasia, please visit Maria K.’s blog

*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*


Kristin is the mom of two boys and two girls and lives outside of Philadelphia, PA. She loves to read, write, shop, and spend as much of her summer as possible at the Jersey shore!

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