Brighten up the lives of Ukrainian refugee children

An interactive book set with comforting stories that reconnects families from Ukraine

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Non-profit project under patronage of:

Laurentien van Oranje

Princess of the Netherlands

Olena Zelenska

First Lady of Ukraine

Elke Büdenbender

First Lady of Germany

Doris Schmidauer

First Lady of Austria

More than 2 million

Ukrainian children have become refugees.

That’s a quarter of the child population in Ukraine.

Ukraine Map

We welcomed them!

They are our guests, our neighbors, our children’s classmates, or living nearby.

Almost 1 million Ukrainian refugees are now in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Austria.

Europe map

They need your help! Why now?

Better Times Stories is a volunteer based effort to directly connect donors and refugee children

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They have fled to safety but Ukraine’s youngest are not fine:

Don't have books

Books were left behind with only a few things to carry while fleeing the war in Ukraine. No reading time for months, and counting.

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Adjusting to new environment

A new language environment causes children to fall behind in development, combined with social distress.

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Separated from their relatives

Fathers and many other relatives are staying behind in Ukraine with the possibility that they will never see or hear from them again.

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We have found solutions to these problems

Set of five
picture books

Carefully selected stories from the Top 5 bestselling illustrators and authors that help children cope with their situations. Bringing a piece of home to the children.

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Learn new language

Bilingual books with professionally narrated audiobooks in both languages helping kids with early reading and new language.

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Relatives read to kids (even from afar)

Helping children to deal with separation. Fathers and other relatives narrate the books that could be read along anytime and as many times as kids wish.

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Helping children to connect

Book 3D

15€ per package as donation gift

For kids
aged 3 to 7

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Shipping now:
NL and DE (soon)

A specially designed package for kids aged 3 to 7 in this particular situation. Five bilingual interactive picture books  unite them with fathers and help them to adapt to their new language environment.

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Delivery

You gift - we deliver

Donating? Once donated, your gifts will be automatically matched and delivered to the family that requested a package. You will be notified once the package(s) are delivered.

Requesting? As Ukrainian refugee family with temporary residence in the Netherlands, Flanders (Belgium), Germany or Austria you can request a free package. Once requested, we will do our best to match you with a donor and ship the package.

Top 5 pictures books

Children's books from bestselling Ukrainian authors and illustrators helping kids to cope. All in bilingual format.

101 vuurtorens / 101 маяк
101 vuurtorens / 101 маяк
101 vuurtorens / 101 маяк
101 vuurtorens / 101 маяк
101 vuurtorens / 101 маяк
Arrow left
Arrow right

Falling asleep

101 vuurtorens / 101 маяк

Oksana Lushchevska, Dzmitryi Bandarenka
Authors
Oksana Lushchevska, Dzmitryi Bandarenka
Authors
Oksana Drachkovska
Illustrator
Oksana Drachkovska
Illustrator
Iryna Koval
Translator
Iryna Koval
Translator
MONATIK
UA narrator
MONATIK
UA narrator
Kevin Hassing
NL narrator
Kevin Hassing
NL narrator

Age

3-7

y.o.

Paperbook

32

pages

Language

NL/UA

Audiobook

16

min

Recording

5 people

Dimensions

220x290 mm

When Zakhar cannot fall asleep, he thinks how other people sleep and observes the house across the street. The light often flashes in the window, so the boy imagines it to be a lighthouse. Zakhar does not sleep as his father, an architect, does not sleep either. Dad offers a proven method to enable his son to fall asleep. It’s counting. So, what will they count? Will Zakhar manage to fall asleep?

Awards

Спецвідзнака "Смішна книжка" "ТОП Барабуки"

2020 year

Спецвідзнака "Смішна книжка" "ТОП Барабуки"

2020 year

Een gouden idee! / Ідея на мільй000000н!
Een gouden idee! / Ідея на мільй000000н!
Een gouden idee! / Ідея на мільй000000н!
Een gouden idee! / Ідея на мільй000000н!
Een gouden idee! / Ідея на мільй000000н!
Arrow left
Arrow right

New beginning

Een gouden idee! / Ідея на мільй000000н!

Katerina Sad
Author and Illustrator
Katerina Sad
Author and Illustrator
Iryna Koval
Translator
Iryna Koval
Translator
Gorbunov Yuriy
UA narrator
Gorbunov Yuriy
UA narrator
Melissa Drost
NL narrator
Melissa Drost
NL narrator

Age

3-7

y.o.

Paperbook

32

pages

Language

NL/UA

Audiobook

13

min

Recording

5 people

Dimensions

220x290 mm

When a farm loses its owner, a flock of ducks living there start thinking about their future. The ducks decide to write an advertisement, stating that they are looking for a new owner, but since they can’t write, they have to learn to do so. You can discover whether the ducks achieve their aim by flipping through the picture book The Milli000000n-Dollar Idea by Katerina Sad together with your child. Through this wonderful and humorous story, readers will learn what a successful start-up is and that there is always a way out of a difficult situation.

Awards

Спецвідзнака "Смішна книжка" "ТОП Барабуки"

2020 year

Спецвідзнака "Смішна книжка" "ТОП Барабуки"

2020 year

De bizon zoekt een nest / Зубр шукає гніздо
De bizon zoekt een nest / Зубр шукає гніздо
De bizon zoekt een nest / Зубр шукає гніздо
De bizon zoekt een nest / Зубр шукає гніздо
De bizon zoekt een nest / Зубр шукає гніздо
Arrow left
Arrow right

New home

De bizon zoekt een nest / Зубр шукає гніздо

Oksana Bula
Author and Illustrator
Oksana Bula
Author and Illustrator
Iryna Koval
Translator
Iryna Koval
Translator
DOROFEEVA
UA narrator
DOROFEEVA
UA narrator
Bart Moeyaert
NL narrator
Bart Moeyaert
NL narrator

Age

3-7

y.o.

Paperbook

40

pages

Language

NL/UA

Audiobook

15

min

Recording

5 people

Dimensions

220x290 mm

All important things in the woods are managed by wonderful tukonis. And now they are preparing to visit the animals who fall asleep in winter. But there are animals who do not sleep in winter. The Bison is used to roaming in the snow in search of food. He had not even suspected that one could safely nap in a den when it freezes outside – until he met the bear, who was just getting ready to go to sleep... The result of this meeting, as well as the ability to listen to oneself and others, are explained in this warm and touching story

Awards

Спецвідзнака "Смішна книжка" "ТОП Барабуки"

2020 year

Спецвідзнака "Смішна книжка" "ТОП Барабуки"

2020 year

Mijn opoe / Моя Ба
Mijn opoe / Моя Ба
Mijn opoe / Моя Ба
Mijn opoe / Моя Ба
Mijn opoe / Моя Ба
Arrow left
Arrow right

Love and memory

Mijn opoe / Моя Ба

Tanja Stus
Author
Tanja Stus
Author
Nadjozjna
Illustrator
Nadjozjna
Illustrator
Iryna Koval
Translator
Iryna Koval
Translator
Olena Zelenska
UA narrator
Olena Zelenska
UA narrator
Laurentien van Oranje
NL narrator
Laurentien van Oranje
NL narrator

Age

3-7

y.o.

Paperbook

32

pages

Language

NL/UA

Audiobook

17

min

Recording

5 people

Dimensions

220x290 mm

Every person has a special memory hut where their kin lives. So Gran is there, on the porch of that so-called hut. An old granny cannot properly move, it is hard for her to talk, but despite all that her relatives still love her, value every precious minute spent together and accept each other the way they are.

Awards

Спецвідзнака "Смішна книжка" "ТОП Барабуки"

2020 year

Спецвідзнака "Смішна книжка" "ТОП Барабуки"

2020 year

De dag dat Oorlog naar Rondo kwam / Війна, що змінила Рондо
De dag dat Oorlog naar Rondo kwam / Війна, що змінила Рондо
De dag dat Oorlog naar Rondo kwam / Війна, що змінила Рондо
De dag dat Oorlog naar Rondo kwam / Війна, що змінила Рондо
De dag dat Oorlog naar Rondo kwam / Війна, що змінила Рондо
Arrow left
Arrow right

Hope and optimism

De dag dat Oorlog naar Rondo kwam / Війна, що змінила Рондо

Romana Romanyshyn and Andriy Lesiv
Authors and Illustrators
Romana Romanyshyn and Andriy Lesiv
Authors and Illustrators
Sylvia Vanden Heede
Translator
Sylvia Vanden Heede
Translator
Jamala
UA narrator
Jamala
UA narrator
Diewertje Blok
NL narrator
Diewertje Blok
NL narrator

Age

4-9

y.o.

Paperbook

40

pages

Language

NL/UA

Audiobook

17

min

Recording

5 people

Dimensions

220x290 mm

War has come to the idyllic town of Rondo. Can three gentle but brave friends stop War's destruction and save their beloved home? Danko, Zirka, and Fabian live peacefully in the small town of Rondo, a magical and joyful place where even the flowers sing! Everything is perfect ... until the fateful day that War arrives. Having never experienced War, the inhabitants don't know what to do. They try to talk to it and fight it, but nothing seems to stop the spread of War's destruction and darkness. Harnessing the power of light, community, and song, Danko, Zirka, and Fabian, along with all their neighbors, must rally together to lead Rondo to victory. How War Changed Rondo reflects the darkness and pain that conflict bring and the wounds that linger long after it's over. This picture book serves as a tribute to peace, resistance, and hope.

Awards

Спецвідзнака "Смішна книжка" "ТОП Барабуки"

2020 year

Спецвідзнака "Смішна книжка" "ТОП Барабуки"

2020 year

Sascha zählt lieber Leuchttürme / Саша любить рахувати маяки
Sascha zählt lieber Leuchttürme / Саша любить рахувати маяки
Sascha zählt lieber Leuchttürme / Саша любить рахувати маяки
Sascha zählt lieber Leuchttürme / Саша любить рахувати маяки
Sascha zählt lieber Leuchttürme / Саша любить рахувати маяки
Arrow left
Arrow right

Falling asleep

Sascha zählt lieber Leuchttürme / Саша любить рахувати маяки

Oksana Lushchevska, Dzmitryi Bandarenka
Authors
Oksana Lushchevska, Dzmitryi Bandarenka
Authors
Oksana Drachkovska
Illustrator
Oksana Drachkovska
Illustrator
Oksana Kurylas
Translator
Oksana Kurylas
Translator
MONATIK
UA narrator
MONATIK
UA narrator
Benno Fürmann
DE narrator
Benno Fürmann
DE narrator

Age

3-7

y.o.

Paperbook

32

pages

Language

DE/UA

Audiobook

16

min

Recording

5 people

Dimensions

220x290 mm

When Sascha cannot fall asleep, he thinks how other people sleep and observes the house across the street. The light often flashes in the window, so the boy imagines it to be a lighthouse. Sascha does not sleep as his father, an architect, does not sleep either. Dad offers a proven method to enable his son to fall asleep. It’s counting. So, what will they count? Will Zakhar manage to fall asleep?

Awards

Спецвідзнака "Смішна книжка" "ТОП Барабуки"

2020 year

Спецвідзнака "Смішна книжка" "ТОП Барабуки"

2020 year

Eine tierisch gute Idee / Ідея на мільй000000н!
Eine tierisch gute Idee / Ідея на мільй000000н!
Eine tierisch gute Idee / Ідея на мільй000000н!
Eine tierisch gute Idee / Ідея на мільй000000н!
Eine tierisch gute Idee / Ідея на мільй000000н!
Arrow left
Arrow right

New beginning

Eine tierisch gute Idee / Ідея на мільй000000н!

Katerina Sad
Author and Illustrator
Katerina Sad
Author and Illustrator
Ganna Gnedkova and Peter Marius Huemer
Translators
Ganna Gnedkova and Peter Marius Huemer
Translators
Gorbunov Yuriy
UA narrator
Gorbunov Yuriy
UA narrator
Doris Schmidauer
DE narrator
Doris Schmidauer
DE narrator

Age

3-7

y.o.

Paperbook

32

pages

Language

DE/UA

Audiobook

13

min

Recording

5 people

Dimensions

220x290 mm

When a farm loses its owner, a flock of ducks living there start thinking about their future. The ducks decide to write an advertisement, stating that they are looking for a new owner, but since they can’t write, they have to learn to do so. You can discover whether the ducks achieve their aim by flipping through the picture book The Milli000000n-Dollar Idea by Katerina Sad together with your child. Through this wonderful and humorous story, readers will learn what a successful start-up is and that there is always a way out of a difficult situation.

Awards

Спецвідзнака "Смішна книжка" "ТОП Барабуки"

2020 year

Спецвідзнака "Смішна книжка" "ТОП Барабуки"

2020 year

Ja, ich will ins Bett! / Так, я хочу спати!
Ja, ich will ins Bett! / Так, я хочу спати!
Ja, ich will ins Bett! / Так, я хочу спати!
Ja, ich will ins Bett! / Так, я хочу спати!
Ja, ich will ins Bett! / Так, я хочу спати!
Arrow left
Arrow right

New home

Ja, ich will ins Bett! / Так, я хочу спати!

Oksana Bula
Author and Illustrator
Oksana Bula
Author and Illustrator
Thomas Weiler
Translator
Thomas Weiler
Translator
DOROFEEVA
UA narrator
DOROFEEVA
UA narrator
Claudia Michelsen
DE narrator
Claudia Michelsen
DE narrator

Age

3-7

y.o.

Paperbook

40

pages

Language

DE/UA

Audiobook

15

min

Recording

5 people

Dimensions

220x290 mm

All important things in the woods are managed by wonderful tukonis. And now they are preparing to visit the animals who fall asleep in winter. But there are animals who do not sleep in winter. The Bison is used to roaming in the snow in search of food. He had not even suspected that one could safely nap in a den when it freezes outside – until he met the bear, who was just getting ready to go to sleep... The result of this meeting, as well as the ability to listen to oneself and others, are explained in this warm and touching story

Awards

Спецвідзнака "Смішна книжка" "ТОП Барабуки"

2020 year

Спецвідзнака "Смішна книжка" "ТОП Барабуки"

2020 year

Meinе Оmi / Моя Ба
Meinе Оmi / Моя Ба
Meinе Оmi / Моя Ба
Meinе Оmi / Моя Ба
Meinе Оmi / Моя Ба
Arrow left
Arrow right

Love and memory

Meinе Оmi / Моя Ба

Tanja Stus
Author
Tanja Stus
Author
Nadjozjna
Illustrator
Nadjozjna
Illustrator
Natalia Guzeeva
Translator
Natalia Guzeeva
Translator
Olena Zelenska
UA narrator
Olena Zelenska
UA narrator
Elke Büdenbender
DE narrator
Elke Büdenbender
DE narrator

Age

3-7

y.o.

Paperbook

32

pages

Language

DE/UA

Audiobook

17

min

Recording

5 people

Dimensions

220x290 mm

Every person has a special memory hut where their kin lives. So Gran is there, on the porch of that so-called hut. An old granny cannot properly move, it is hard for her to talk, but despite all that her relatives still love her, value every precious minute spent together and accept each other the way they are.

Awards

Спецвідзнака "Смішна книжка" "ТОП Барабуки"

2020 year

Спецвідзнака "Смішна книжка" "ТОП Барабуки"

2020 year

Als der Krieg nach Rondo kam / Війна, що змінила Рондо
Als der Krieg nach Rondo kam / Війна, що змінила Рондо
Als der Krieg nach Rondo kam / Війна, що змінила Рондо
Als der Krieg nach Rondo kam / Війна, що змінила Рондо
Als der Krieg nach Rondo kam / Війна, що змінила Рондо
Arrow left
Arrow right

Hope and optimism

Als der Krieg nach Rondo kam / Війна, що змінила Рондо

Romana Romanyshyn and Andriy Lesiv
Authors and Illustrators
Romana Romanyshyn and Andriy Lesiv
Authors and Illustrators
Claudia Dathe and Oksana Semenets
Translator
Claudia Dathe and Oksana Semenets
Translator
Jamala
UA narrator
Jamala
UA narrator
Mary Lang
DE narrator
Mary Lang
DE narrator

Age

4-9

y.o.

Paperbook

40

pages

Language

DE/UA

Audiobook

17

min

Recording

5 people

Dimensions

220x290 mm

War has come to the idyllic town of Rondo. Can three gentle but brave friends stop War's destruction and save their beloved home? Danko, Zirka, and Fabian live peacefully in the small town of Rondo, a magical and joyful place where even the flowers sing! Everything is perfect ... until the fateful day that War arrives. Having never experienced War, the inhabitants don't know what to do. They try to talk to it and fight it, but nothing seems to stop the spread of War's destruction and darkness. Harnessing the power of light, community, and song, Danko, Zirka, and Fabian, along with all their neighbors, must rally together to lead Rondo to victory. How War Changed Rondo reflects the darkness and pain that conflict bring and the wounds that linger long after it's over. This picture book serves as a tribute to peace, resistance, and hope.

Awards

Спецвідзнака "Смішна книжка" "ТОП Барабуки"

2020 year

Спецвідзнака "Смішна книжка" "ТОП Барабуки"

2020 year

101 vuurtorens / 101 маяк

Falling asleep

101 vuurtorens / 101 маяк

Read More
Een gouden idee! / Ідея на мільй000000н!

New beginning

Een gouden idee! / Ідея на мільй000000н!

Read More
De bizon zoekt een nest / Зубр шукає гніздо

New home

De bizon zoekt een nest / Зубр шукає гніздо

Read More
Mijn opoe / Моя Ба

Love and memory

Mijn opoe / Моя Ба

Read More
De dag dat Oorlog naar Rondo kwam / Війна, що змінила Рондо

Hope and optimism

De dag dat Oorlog naar Rondo kwam / Війна, що змінила Рондо

Read More
Arrow left
Arrow right
Sascha zählt lieber Leuchttürme / Саша любить рахувати маяки

Falling asleep

Sascha zählt lieber Leuchttürme / Саша любить рахувати маяки

Read More
Eine tierisch gute Idee / Ідея на мільй000000н!

New beginning

Eine tierisch gute Idee / Ідея на мільй000000н!

Read More
Ja, ich will ins Bett! / Так, я хочу спати!

New home

Ja, ich will ins Bett! / Так, я хочу спати!

Read More
Meinе Оmi / Моя Ба

Love and memory

Meinе Оmi / Моя Ба

Read More
Als der Krieg nach Rondo kam / Війна, що змінила Рондо

Hope and optimism

Als der Krieg nach Rondo kam / Війна, що змінила Рондо

Read More
Arrow left
Arrow right

Bringing a piece of home to the children

Books from bestselling Ukrainian illustrators and authors. The title selection is done by experts from the Children's Reading Laboratory of Junior Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Barabooka. In partnership with Ukrainian Book Institute.

Read and listen in two languages

Reading is essential for children’s language development. Our bilingual picture books include both text and audio narration in two languages.

Line yellowLine yellowHow to use mage 1

Stories read by father, even from afar!

Helping children to cope with separation. Each book is remotely recordable by family members staying behind in Ukraine.

How to use mage 2

How it works:

How to use step 1How to use step 1How to use step 1How to use step 1 line mobileHow to use step 1 line desktop

1

Mother sends the link

Simple as sending a text.

How to use step line 2 desktopHow to use step 2How to use step 2How to use step 2How to use step 2 line mobile

2

Father narrates the book

Open your personal link and start reading the story.

How to use step 3How to use step 3How to use step 3How to use step 3 line mobile

3

Children Read-Along or Listen

Connecting children with separated fathers and other relatives for a storytime

Read with voices most dear to a child

Each book could be narrated by up to 5 family members.

Frequently asked questions

Q. What happens after my donation?
Q. Who is the package for?
Q. We have a lot of Ukrainian refugee families at our municipality, hotel, shelter, school, etc. How do we get the packages for them?
Q. How can my company make a donation and sponsor families?
Q. Which countries do you ship the packages to and when?
Q. How do you send the packages?
Q. I know a family with a Ukrainian refugee child personally. How can I gift them a package?
Q. I am Ukrainian parent with a child in ages 3 to 7, how do I get the package?
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Still have questions?

Can't find the answer you're looking for?
Please mail us at support@bettertimestories.com

Get In Touch

About Better Time Stories  💛💙

More about Better Time Stories

Better Time Stories is a non-profit project to directly connect donors and sponsors with Ukrainian refugee children in the Netherlands, Flanders (Belgium), Germany, and Austria. To donate, select a number of children you would like to support, and we will match you with a family in need and directly ship the package to them.