You might not consider the history of Cyprus to be fodder for a children’s book, but writer Marina Christofides has managed to turn the colourful history of the island into an award-winning illustrated book.

The Island Everyone Wanted – An illustrated History of Cyprus is a beautifully illustrated book that captures the island’s fascinating history in a way that will appeal to young and old. Marina has brought to life the sad, colourful and sometimes amusing stories from Cyprus’ past with the help of illustrator Eleni Lambrou, whose beautiful laborious pictures took almost three years to complete and earned her a Ministry of Education book award.

“There are so many lovely stories associated with Cyprus”, Marina said. “There’s the story of King Peter who always took his wife’s nightie with him when he travelled. Some horrific ones, like the slaying of Marcantonio Bragadino. And some funny ones.” “I wanted to make our history come alive, to be fun not boring, and above all, to be easy to read for children so they would learn,” she added.

The illustrator used historical references to respectfully depict period costumes and other details as accurately as possible. Many of the illustrations are influenced by mosaics and original engravings, and are true to the time periods of the events being captured. It is one of those books that will appeal not only to children, but also to adults for its beautiful illustrations. The book also contains a cleverly added activity to hold children’s attention. There is a figurine hidden on every page for children to find, a very unique offering, possibly making this the children’s book that everyone wanted.

The Island Everyone Wanted can be purchased online at