Maya & Filippo Make Friends in Auckland

“Maya & Filippo Make Friends in Auckland” is available here.

Maya & Filippo

Embark on a one-of-a-kind, unprecedented, breathtaking adventure with Maya and Filippo as they travel around the globe on board the “Fun Princess” — a cruise ship full of surprises. Discover their fascinating ports of call, find out what the local customs and traditions are, join the kids in activities at sea, and explore the remarkable world they create through the power of their positive outlook.

This time Maya and Filippo discover Auckland and meet different kinds of people depending on…read the book to find out! Spoiler alert: the kids ride a big hop-on, hop-off explorer bus, where strange things happen. They stop at the famous Sky Tower, where they do something very exciting.

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Five Star Reviews From “Readers’ Favorite”

5-star-largeMaya and Filippo make friends in Auckland is part of a really cool series of books about a brother and sister, and their adventures all around the world! In this adventure, author Alinka Rutkowska takes the kids to the fun and adventurous side of New Zealand. It explores a lot of different concepts that I found highly intelligent and wonderful in a children’s book. Issues like being different in another country, making friends, etc. are all explored in this wonderful world traveler book. 

The drawings were cute. Relatively unrealistic and childlike, they are bright, colorful, and sure to attract the attention of even the most distracted child. Typically, I prefer a bit more realism in my work, but they were cute none the less. Children will relate, that is for sure. 

One of the things I liked best was that there were a lot of words. Even with really young children, I prefer there to be a lot of words, and actual paragraphs. I’m of the opinion that these kinds of stories build vocabulary and comprehension much better than simple one-word, two-word, stories. It also teaches kids about storytelling in general, depending on how the reader reads the items to the kids. I think Alinka Rutkowska hit the ball out of the park with this series, and this book in particular. I had fun reading, even as an adult! I would recommend parents of younger children use this as a good bedtime story to get the young ones’ minds wandering to foreign lands. Who knows, this might be what inspires them to study abroad one day!

Rating: 5.0 stars. Reviewed by Katelyn Hensel for Readers’ Favorite


Two children have the opportunity to see how someone’s behavior affects others in this cute children’s story, Maya and Filippo Make Friends in Auckland, by Alinka Rutkowska. This young brother and sister discover the relationship between happy thoughts and good experiences after comparing their unhappy thoughts with the unpleasant behavior of two old women who are on the same bus. When they decide to concentrate on the things that make them feel good, their day turns around and they enjoy their trip to Auckland. This also provides an opportunity for them to learn a little about the city as they make friends and see some interesting things. The day gets even better when they return to the cruise ship that is their home, to find their favorite dessert and a positive affirmation from their mother waiting for them.


Alinka Rutkowska has created a wonderful combination of information and a positive message in her adorable children’s picture pop-up book. This story demonstrates that there are different ways of looking at things and that attitudes can affect the quality of an experience or a day. As a child hears this story, the lesson learned by the characters of Maya and Filippo is shared in a way that allows a young reader to relate easily to it. A positive connection is made using a situation almost any child would encounter; so instead of being told how to behave, the child can repeat the action in his or her own experience. This is a great teaching tool for children to understand the power of positive thinking and the impact of negativity.

Rating: 5.0 stars. Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers’ Favorite


Maya & Filippo Make Friends in Auckland by Alinka Rutkowska is a charming children’s pictorial story book, which introduces a child to the concept of travel, feelings, and mannerisms. The book helps in developing emotional acceptance in society. This book offers a wide array of pictures with many colors to excite and keep the interest of a child reading the book or having it read to them. 

The author teaches children about the excitement of traveling to new places and how to act to be accepted. For example: the children in the story were complaining and therefore, on their journey, they met other people who were also complaining. Changing their attitude in a new place, they then began to meet friendly people and have fun with their exploration of Auckland. The author reaches out to children with this story plot to help them understand “mirrored emotions.” Mirrored emotions mean if you are happy, the people around you will be happy; if you are sad, you will meet sad people, and so on. Moral to the story: how you act in public and around others in a new place in general, will be how others will act towards you.

Alinka Rutkowska has done a fantastic job reaching children in an emotional, but understandable way when explaining social actions and feelings when in public places, new places, or when meeting new people. This story was a very pleasant read, with its very colorful pictures, easy to read story line, and life lesson within.

Rating: 5.0 stars. Reviewed by Michelle Robertson for Readers’ Favorite


Maya and Filippo are not only best friends; they are also brother and sister. They live on a cruise ship with their parents and their cat. On this special day, they are visiting a place called New Zealand. But instead of being happy and enjoying the sights and sounds of New Zealand, Filippo starts complaining about their missing chocolate bars. Then the family decide to get on a tour bus, and Filippo starts crying because two ladies sit down in front of them and they can’t see. Then the two ladies started complaining. Filippo then realizes how he must have sounded when he was complaining, so he decides to act better. What do you think Filippo does to be happier and enjoy their sightseeing bus tour? And what exciting things did they see in New Zealand? And who are the new friends Maya and Filippo met?

Maya and Filippo Make Friends in Auckland, by Alinka Rutkowska, is a really neat book that teaches children about different places in our world. As Maya and Filippo enjoy their tour of New Zealand, everyone that reads this book will enjoy the tour with them, learning about all of the interesting and exciting places in New Zealand. And another very important lesson Maya and Filippo learn is that when you think about bad things, you will always be in a bad mood, but when you think about happy things, you will find more happy things to think about. It is all about your attitude. Your friends will enjoy you more if you have a good attitude. And Filippo might be rewarded with a special chocolate treat when he gets back to their ship. But you have to read the book to find out. And I have to mention that the illustrations are fantastic.

Rating: 5.0 stars. Reviewed by Joy Hannabass for Readers’ Favorite


Maya & Filippo Make Friends in Auckland is a children’s book written by Alinka Rutkowska and illustrated by Konrad Cechinski. It’s the story of a brother and sister who live on a yacht with their parents and travel around the world. Their morning adventures are marred when they realize that they have run out of chocolate for their cereal. Since they both love chocolate, Maya frowns and Filippo begins to cry. Their mother chases them off the boat as they’ve arrived in Auckland. She tells them to go investigate the city, have fun, and make new friends while they’re exploring. They find a tour bus to travel on, but their frowns are matched by the frowns of two unpleasant old ladies. When the two children cheer themselves up by thinking about things that make them happy, they meet two new friends who show them the city where they have a great time. Mother is waiting for them back at the boat with a wonderful chocolate cake, and she explains how good thoughts can have the power to make good things happen.

I’m sitting here smiling after reading Maya & Filippo Make Friends in Auckland. There’s action and adventure and things to think about, and the words and pictures go beautifully together. I love the way Cechinski illustrated the book. He made me want to sit down and start drawing the story for myself — and I bet there will be kids who will do just that after they’ve read this book. Maya & Filippo Make Friends in Auckland is remarkably intelligent children’s fiction that packs a powerful message or two in a playful tale that’s never preachy or overwhelming. I highly recommend Rutkowska and Cechinski’s adventure tale and look forward to reading about Maya & Filippo’s other adventures.

Rating: 5.0 stars. Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

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