UG through the eyes of a child. Zuzia visits the University of Gdańsk!

Why does the University of Gdańsk Library look like a ship? How many elements does the skeleton of a fin whale at the Faculty of Biology consist of? Do misses and misters doctors work at the University? Take a completely new look at the University of Gdansk - through the eyes of a child.

‘Zuzia Visits the University of Gdańsk’ is a new promotional children’s book from the University of Gdańsk, which takes young readers into the fascinating world of science, seen through the eyes of a 7-year-old girl - the daughter of university employees.

Zuzia's dad fulfils a promise he made to her and takes her to his place of work. As she makes her way along the university's pathways, Zuzka looks at the sites on campus with curiosity and her typical delight.

For many children reading this book, it will be their first encounter with the world of academia and will provide answers to their questions. It is distinguished by beautiful and expressive illustrations, which reflect the emotions accompanying Zuzia's adventures.

There is no other book on the market which, while promoting the university, introduces children to university life in such an accessible way.

Join us for an interview with Agnieszka Beck from the Promotion and Sponsor Relations Team, the originator of Zuzia's story.


First sketch of Zuzia

Julia Bereszczyńska: - Where did the idea to publish a children's book come from?

Agnieszka Beck: - In the summer of 2023, an intern - Dominika Konkol- joined the Promotion and Sponsor Relations Team. When she brought her portfolio, our attention was drawn to a picture of a bunny painted in a unique line, with beautiful shading and refined details. As we had wanted to introduce a product aimed at the youngest audience for some time, and I had always dreamt of writing a children's book, I asked Dominika if she would like to work with me on this project. I described to her how I saw Zuzia, and after a while, I had a draft on my desk, which I took to our supervisor, dr Tomasz Czuba, who said without hesitation: ‘Great, let's do it!’. A few weeks later, with the cooperation of the invaluable Press Team, the book was ready for printing.

- What was your inspiration for writing Zusia's adventures?

- My daughter and the daughter of a researcher from the UG Institute of Sociology (who is a reviewer of the book), and the observation of children visiting our campus. Their delight when they see the fin whale at the Faculty of Biology for the first time, their joyful running around in the Ecopark, and their photo shoots by the 'I love UG' sign.

- What did you want to convey to the children through the story of Zuzia and her adventures at the university?

- I wanted the book not only to entertain and provide knowledge about the scientific world but also to refer to important values and policies of the university, such as social inclusion and the promotion of a culture of scientific equality or gender equality.


- What was the reaction to the book from the youngest - and most important - reviewers and their custodians?

- The reactions have been very positive. However, I have to admit that the moment when we handed out the book at the University Kindergarten and it occurred to me that maybe even today one of the parents would read Zuzia to their children at bedtime was stressful. Later that evening, when the parents sent pictures of their children with the book and kind words about it on our joint chat, the stress let go.

- Who is behind the success of Zuzia’s story?

- I must emphasise here that the book was created thanks to the cooperation of two teams: the Press Team and the Promotion and Sponsor Relations Team. As a result, we did not have to use external resources. The fact that we were able to do this in a group that knows each other very well, has worked on many other projects, supports each other and, if necessary, is not afraid to tell each other directly that something could have been done better, is a big plus for this project, which certainly influenced its final shape.


- Will 'Zuzia Visits the University of Gdańsk' be continued?

- Yes, 'Zuzia Visits the University of Gdańsk' is the first book in the series. Its character is typically promotional, but we are planning to cooperate with scientists and academics at the University of Gdańsk, who will help us create items for children in which science will be communicated in an accessible way, and our main character will be the guide through this world.

In addition, we plan to create products for children that relate to the character of Zuzia. In collaboration with game specialists, we are currently working on a board game with a Zuzia-related theme. Bookmarks will also be created, and we are planning to create a jigsaw puzzle.

We are already working on the next part of the book, but for now, what it will be about will remain our little secret. I hope children will like the main character enough to often reach for the book and maybe even visit the University of Gdańsk with their parents because it really is worth it. Our campus is an interesting and child-friendly space.

- Thank you for the conversation. I wish you further publishing success!


As part of the book's promotion, author Agnieszka Beck and illustrator Dominika Konkol went to the University Kindergarten to read an excerpt from the story and show the kindergarteners how illustrations are made.

Together with the Book and Coffee Café, the Promotion and Sponsor Relations Team organised a visit of the University Kindergarten children - in the footsteps of Zuzia - at the café, combined with a tasting of hot chocolates with stars.

The preschoolers also had the opportunity to see the University of Gdańsk Library visited by Zuzia and, like Zuzia, find out what the space capsules on the walls of the building are.

The book 'Zuzia Visits the University of Gdańsk' can be purchased on the website and stationary in the University Shop, and soon also in the University Bookshop at the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Animation: Dominika Konkol and Mateusz Byczkowski
Dubbing: Zosia Kurasz (7 y.o.), Agnieszka Beck, Mateusz Byczkowski, and Dominika Konkol

Edit. Julia Bereszczyńska/Press Office