British actress Joely Richardson will star in a short film for Save The Children reading a decades-old poem with “hauntingly relevant” lyrics to raise funds for children in Ukraine on the first anniversary of the conflict.
Richardson, 58, will narrate The Moon Of Kyiv from late Italian poet Gianni Rodari about shared humanity, which remind us that no matter where we are from we all exist under the same moon.
The poem, written in 1955, went viral in Italy days after Russia’s invasion into Ukraine last year and came to symbolise a call for peace.
It has since been transformed into a picture book with poignant illustrations from Italian artist Beatrice Alemagna which children’s publishing company Walker Books printed for free.
The charity’s UK ambassador Richardson, who recently starred in Lady Chatterley’s Lover, said of the two-minute film which will be released on Thursday: “As we approach the one-year anniversary of the outbreak of war in Ukraine, Save The Children asked me to narrate the beautiful new animation of The Moon Of Kyiv.
“Although it was first written over 70 years ago, the words are still hauntingly relevant today. 100% of the profits from the sale of the book will be donated to Save The Children, to help support children impacted by the conflict.”
Renowned author Sir Michael Morpurgo, best known for his children’s novels including the 1982 work War Horse, said: “Read this book, look up at the moon, know it shines on the faces of the children of Ukraine, on everyone everywhere who is living through war and living through peace.”
Eoin Colfer, best known for the Artemis Fowl book series, said: “A book the world should read, gorgeous and heart-warming, full of optimism and wisdom.”
Rodari worked as a teacher and journalist before writing books for children and achieved huge success across his long career before his death in 1980.
Alemagna is an author and illustrator of more than 30 books for children, including The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy, On A Magical Do-Nothing Day and Harold Snipperpot’s Best Disaster Ever.