Threads: Zlata’s Ukrainian Shirt


Threads is an inspiring picture book about a girl’s survival of the 1930s Ukrainian Famine-Genocide, messaging hope, pride for one's heritage, and context for today's War in Ukraine.

The threads on Zlata’s beautiful birthday blouse were knotted by her mother’s hands. “Red is for love, and black is for sadness,” her Papa says. Her Mama warns her not to show it off. Ever since the Communists came from Russia to Ukraine, they prohibited the teaching of Ukrainian culture. They’ve even taken the grain from Zlata's family's fields. But despite the danger, her parents refuse to give up their art, language, or beliefs.

As Zlata works to help her community survive, she finds that the dream of freedom is stitched deeper into the Ukrainian spirit than she could ever imagine.


Drawing from her own family’s experience in the 1932-33 Ukrainian Famine-Genocide, Lina Maslo weaves a thoughtful story that dares us not the forget the pain of the past as it informs the present conflict in Ukraine and inspires hope for the future.