Maya Gonen, Noa Boker (Israel)

How the idea for your silent story was born?

Maya: I met Noa at a silent book workshop for illustrators and writers. During the first brainstorming session, we chose the word “snow” as a starting point. From there, the idea began to roll like a snow globe.

Noa: Maya and I collaborated during a creative workshop, seeking our collective voice, a fusion of our creativity. Eventually, we were drawn to a singular image: a crystal ball containing a polar bear cube.

What's the story about?

Maya: This is a story about a storm raging within the soul of a child in a toy store, as he experiences a moment of frustration and loneliness. With the help of an unexpected friend, he embarks on a journey to find a safe place where he can feel loved and happy.

Noa: This story delves into the profound yearning of a child—a primal longing to feel embraced, cherished, and safe. The child embarks on a journey, driven by the primal instinct to seek out the comforting gaze of a maternal figure. As he navigates the depths of his own inner fear, through his encounter with the polar bear cube, he embraces his mother’s love, finding solace in her loving arms.

Why have you decided to enter the contest?

Maya: When I heard about the contest, I delved into the silent books world and fell in love. The language of illustration is universal, exciting and full of possibilities, and it is the language I love to speak.

Noa: As an author passionate about narrative cultural bridging, Celebrating children’s literature and transcending language barriers through silent books, captured me. it promised a global storytelling resonance.


Maya Gonen is an illustrator, graphic designer, and multi-disciplinary artist. She studied photography, co-founded an artists’ collective, established a shop for handmade products, and is always eager to embark on new creative adventures. She lives with her partner, who is a photographer and artist. Together, they raise a dog, chickens, and two children who are her greatest inspiration.

Instagram, Website


Noa Boker is a writer, theatre maker, and psychodrama therapist. Her works have been featured on Lyrica, a literature website, and in Haaretz Literary Supplement, an Israeli newspaper. Noa founded and led “Tamhil”, a multicultural bilingual theatre troupe, bridging divides through shared narratives. Her passion lies in deeply engaging with communities through the universal language of storytelling.