Note: Thank you to Author Irina Skibenko for providing copies to review. All opinions are my own.
Smart Story Space for English Language Learners
For children who are learning English as a second language, one of the best ways to do so is by reading books. Reading stories can give children a way to learn a language through everyday conversations and situations. Children sometimes don’t even realize they’re learning because reading stories is more fun than the rote memorization often required with traditional textbooks.
One such resource is the Nina & Eve book series for English language learners via the Smart Story Space program created by Ukrainian author and teacher Irina Skibenko. She has over 17 years of experience teaching the English language and is certified as detailed in the About the Author section below.
Skibenko says, “I love working with children and empowering them to become Global Citizens through sparking their interest in reading and exploring the world, finding their own voice, guiding and boosting their imagination, writing their unique stories, and connecting them to each other, as well as their parents.”
Smart Story Space is a reading and creative writing adventure program for children (ages 8-12 years) who love animals, traveling, reading, and creative projects. The program also offers opportunities to find new friends from all over the world and write their own adventure stories. Children who study English as a foreign language from different countries can connect through the program’s online classes where they can explore, read, and write together.
Nina & Eve Book Series
Smart Story Space includes a book series of three adventure stories featuring 11-year-old Nina and her dog, Eve. Together they travel around the world with Nina’s family and explore different cultures and countries.
The books feature short chapters with beautiful illustrations to bring the stories alive. Each book also includes a link to audiobook versions of the stories.
All the books have a secret words page at the end of the stories. Children who complete and send the secret word answers to the author can win a prize.
The books are geared toward English language learners, but the stories themselves have universal appeal for all children including those whose first language is English.
Nina & Eve First Trip to the Sea
In this first book of the series, Nina takes her pet Daschund, Eve, to the picturesque seacoast of Oludeniz, Turkey. Eve loves feeling the sand between her paws and chasing seagulls. But when Nina looks away, Eve swims into the open sea. Nina must find a way to rescue her beloved pet. The story in this 19-page book covers the friendship between a child and her pet, family values, courage, and kindness.
Nina & Eve at Schonbrunn Palace
In this second book of the series, Nina and Eve accidentally are locked in Schonbrunn Palace park in Vienna, Austria after it closes for the night. Based on the author’s real-life experience, the story shows Nina persevering, meeting a new friend, and finding her own solution in this 26-page book.
Nina & Eve in the Middle of the Indian Ocean
In this third book of the series, Nina and her family travel to Reunion Island with Eve. Here, they visit amazing places such as Vanilla Garden and the volcano Piton de la Fournaise. Along the way, they find a lost puppy and help to rescue it. This book is longer, at 48 pages, than the first two books in the series.
Interactive Reading for English Language Learners
All three books have collaborative workbooks. In these workbooks, children can go through the stories to work out the original text of the story. Here, they can do different kinds of tasks focusing on grammar, vocabulary, writing, spelling, and creative skills.
Below is a YouTube video of the author doing an interactive reading with her first book.
Where to Purchase
The Smart Story Space website offers digital packages and a physical book box package. The physical book box package includes the printed book, audiobook, workbook, pre-reading worksheets, bookmarks, cards, stickers, and a mini easel.
The site also offers interactive online courses that teach children subjects like how to complete long-term projects like writing a book. For educators, they can purchase course modules for the books.
Products and courses are available internationally at www.smartstory.club. All books are printed and mailed from Ukraine. Please allow 2-3 weeks for the package to arrive.
Enter the Nina & Eve Digital Book Giveaway [CLOSED]
One lucky reader will win a digital copy of one Nina & Eve book of their choice: Nina & Eve First Trip to the Sea, Nina & Eve at Schonbrunn Palace, or Nina & Eve in the Middle of the Indian Ocean. Please enter via the entry form below. The worldwide giveaway is open to entrants aged 18+ years old with a valid email address. The prize will be delivered via the winner’s email address. Good luck!
About the Author
Irina Skibenko is a Ukranian teacher, author, and founder of Smart Story Space. She is the author of three adventure stories for children: Nina & Eve First Trip to the Sea, Nina & Eve at Schonbrunn Palace, and Nina & Eve in the Middle of the Indian Ocean. Skibenko has 17 years of teaching experience in the English Language. She has received the following certifications: Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English, Cambridge Teaching Knowledge Test Certificate, Classic Children’s Literature Certificate by Hillsdale, Travel Journaling Certificate by Dave Fox (Bestselling Humor and Travel Author), and Developing a National Geographic Explorer Mindset with Your Learners Course Certificate by the National Geographic Society.