The Music of My Woodpecker

Text by Anna Anisimova, illustrated by Yulia Sidneva

These short stories tell the tale of a little blind girl―not in a tragic way but rather with acceptance of life as it is and with great love for the world, which can be so diverse for all of us.

If a child can’t see, it’s still a child who learns about the world, feels happiness, and shares feelings with family and friends. The heroine likes having fun and communicating with people. We are never told directly that the girl is blind. She is so active and joyful, it’s hard to imagine that she doesn’t live a full life. We follow her thoughts, dreams, and events in her life and we get an opportunity to look at our own life from a different angle. This brightly illustrated book is divided into four big parts. Each part has its own theme and colors. We learn about the girl’s friendship with elephants: either it’s an elephant in the paleontological museum or an elephant-shaped cloud in the sky. We follow her adventures with her grandpa who has the third leg ― a walking stick called Bustler. Then, she learns to write and to read ― she uses her secret code like a real secret agent. And finally, she meets a new friend, though people are not always open to something someone they don’t understand.

The full English translation is available.

2017 IBBY Selection. Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities (The Invisible Elephant – the first story in this collection, which was previously published as a separate book)


  • Short stories about happiness both for children and parents.
  • Difficult topics touched upon in a very light and easy-going way.
  • Short chapters and large font can be a good start for beginning readers.
  • Tender illustrations bring together the real world and the invisible.
  • This book includes the Braille alphabet which could be used for a secret code game.
  • A short comic offers information on how to interact with a blind person.

"Written in a simple language full of wordplay and humour, it speaks to all ages, while inventive illustrations by Yulia Sidneva perfectly capture the fragile balance between the real world and the invisible." –Ekaterina Shatalova, Russophone Kid Lit.

"I thought it was a story of an invisible friend. I could pull together a few other invisible friends’ books and that would make a nice little blog piece. But what Yonder sent to me was so uniquely incredible because it felt authentic, a character with dimension, imagination, and frustrations." - Paula Holmes, World Kid Lit.

"With gorgeous, inventive illustrations by Yulia Sidneva and artfully translated by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp, The Invisible Elephant, is a truly special book that helps kids to value all the different ways of seeing the world." – Bookworms for Kids.

"The illustrations are playful and energetic, like the main character herself. As in the art, where the use of white space allows the viewer’s imagination to enter more fully into the experience, this girl’s lack of visual definition stimulates an imagination rich in ideas, connections, and perceptions. And humor." – Ann Dixon, Kid Lit North.

Interview with Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp, translator of the English-language edition published by Yonder: Restless Books for Young Readers

Chapter book
Age: 5+
Pages: 112
Size: 190*245 mm
Published in 2020 by Samokat

Another title by the same author and illustrator is MY PET ICEBERG
Another title by the same illustrator is QUARTET TALES
Made on