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Book Review: The Magic Buttons (Nouneh Sarkissian)

By Assadour Guzelian

A reception to launch Nouneh Sarkissian’s The Magic Buttons was organised at Linley London Centre on December 10, 2015 by Lord David Linley and Naim Attallah of Quartet Books.  

Lord Linley welcomed the guests and congratulated Nouneh Sarkissian, highly praising her book.  On behalf of Quartet Books, Mr. Naim Attallah greeted the guests, praised the author of “The Magic Buttons” and spoke about the literary merit and contribution the book will make to UK children’s literature.

Sarkissian stated that stories of her previous books, as well as the one just published, teach children not only to love and respect moral values, but also to be resourceful and brave in defending them.

Sarkissian was born in Yerevan and graduated from the Romano-German faculty of the State University of Armenia. In 1991, together with their two sons Vartan and Haik, Nouneh and her husband Armen settled in London, UK, where she obtained a MA degree from Goldsmith College, London University.  

Nouneh is not a newcomer to children’s literature. Her stories were published in Soviet Armenian children’s magazines during her early university years. Although ‘’ ’The Magic Buttons’’ is Nouneh’s first English book, Armenian children have been enjoying her stories for many years.

“The Magic Buttons” is a beautiful tale written by an author who has great creative talent and an intimate knowledge and understanding of a child’s world. She can communicate with them, nourish their minds and feed their imagination with noble ideas. The story of the book is about the International Conference of Wizards and Witches, which has been sabotaged by Izzi Berton, who has stolen all the magic from those attending, causing havoc everywhere. He has also stolen the magic buttons. The hero of the book is a little girl called Pearl. Can Pearl find and bring back the magic buttons and cure her grandfather and many others infected with Blue Fever by Izzi Berton?

If with her earlier books, N. Sarkissian succeeded in revitalising Armenian Children’s literature, undoubtedly with “The Magic Buttons” she has made a triumphant entry to English literature as children’s author.

The only remark I wish to make is related to the appearance of the book and not its literary merit. In my opinion the publishers could have chosen a more child-friendly font in printing the book and done at least some of the illustrations in colour.

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