Ehsan Abdollahi at The House of Illustration

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Ehsan AbollahiEhsan is an award-winning illustrator of children’s books, his work is published through Tiny Owl Publishers.

He teaches at Tehran’s top Honar (Art) University and he is currently in the UK to attend the Edinburgh International Book Festival and other engagements.

On Thursday 10th August he joined a discussion panel at The House of Illustration  in conjunction with Tiny Owl Publishers.

The panel was made up of James Mayhew, Erica Jarnes, Beverley Naidoo, Azita Rassi and Delaram Ghanimifard.

Discussion was fascinating and there was a strong focus on the initial refusal to entry and visa for Ehsan, a ban! After considerable pressure and public energy from many people, including The Bookseller and The Guardian, this was overturned and Ehsan was allowed entry into the UK.

But what does it mean to be ‘banned’? And who is affected by the ban? The panel felt that a ban meant that not only the person was banned from the country but also the children and recipients of the books were also banned from listening to Ehsan and his work, creating an apartheid situation.

Banning affects us all as we are not allowed to hear or take part. In effect it stops dialogue.  A dialogue, in this case where children can share an understanding of cultural differences, through books.  Where they experience a greater  understanding of a global world, sharing lives and concerns, knowing similarities and differences and valuing both.Ehsans colouring materials

Ehsan had also run some workshops for children, creating passports of peace and hope and, ‘using a poem as a springboard to explore how you might change the world and what colours you would use.’ Tiny Owl.

His books are amazing, the illustrations depict life in colour and style, they have a beautiful expressive feel about the images and tell the stories, often with no need for words.

When I Coloured the World‘ and ‘A Bottle of Happiness‘ are both wonderful books to have and to share. They tell more than the story written in the words, they are moral stories and full of meaning.A Bottle of Happiness

As picture books they have a place in libraries for children of all ages and adults too. By sharing the books with parents and teachers, there is much to discover in words, pictures and meaning.

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At Books Go Walkabout, we are keen explorers of books in different places, reaching out across the world, using books and stories in a global dimension.

We are delighted to share Ehsan’s work and that of Tiny Owl Publishers with the world. We do this directly when travelling to the other side of the globe and through our blog which is read across Australia, South East Asia and in Europe.

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

 

 

 

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Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

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A Bottle of Happiness by Pippa Goodhart and Ehsan Abdollahi

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A Bottle of Happiness - cover image and web link
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On one side of a big mountain the people were rich and worked hard to become richer, but they were not happy.

On the other side of the mountain,  people were not rich but shared things, including stories and they were happy. A small boy climbs the mountain to find the other side is full of wealth.

He returns one day with a bottle and brings the riches of happiness into that community. The moral is, share with others and you will have riches in abundance.

A story about people and getting on with each other, a fable with meaning and a positive ending.

Created and published by Tiny Owl, who are a very exciting new, independent publishing company, established in 2015. They believe in having stories which act as bridges. They have a number of books from Iranian authors.

They have a programme of intercultural projects where authors and illustrators from different countries work together in creation of a children’s book.

A Bottle of Happiness is written by Pippa Goodhart and illustrator is Ehsan Abdollahi. The text and illustration matches the idea behind the story.

Pippa has also written over a hundred books, including Winnie the Witch. Ehsan works as an illustrator of children’s books and newspapers as well as teaching at university in Iran, He recently was initially refused entry to the UK, when booked to deliver an event at Edinburgh Festival 2017. After much support and pressure Ehsan was granted a visa into the UK. Hooray!!

Ehsan AbollahiBuy this book from BgW

This is a beautiful book and a heart-warming story. Recommended for homes, sharing, libraries and schools.

Sue Martin

Books go Walkabout, stories across the world

 

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Plasso & Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

The Comics Exhibition at Seven Stories in Newcastle, UK

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Approaching Seven Stories - image
Approaching Seven Stories….

Seven Stories is the National Centre for Children’s Books. Nowhere else in the UK matches the uniqueness of Seven Stories.

There are collections from authors with titles galore and notes of their work as it progressed. There are amazing original pieces of artwork from illustrators, as well as the printed book.

Seven Stories are custodians of the only collection in the world of British authors from 1930’s to present day.

Children’s books change the lives of those who read them, they capture thoughts and feelings, they create adventure and exploration, they help children to face and understand the world.

The centre has many roles and activities, including workshops, events for children of all ages, connections with schools in the North-East. It has a wonderful bookshop and a café for lunches, with a view over the Ouseburn river.

Exhibitions have a big place in Seven Stories. The two exhibitions running now are about Bears and Comics. There are also exhibitions with material from previous exhibitions, archived digitally and accessible as a resource. Once the exhibitions have finished at Seven Stories they often go on tour around the country, such as the recent Michael Morpurgo exhibition, on tour this year.

Always worth a visit to Seven Stories - Comics image
Always worth a visit to Seven Stories…

The Comics exhibition, is showing until Summer 2018 on the fifth floor and once you enter, you are immersed in the world of comics, old and new.

Comics, illustrations, graphic novels, adventure, showing a whole world of characters and story. One page of a comic would lead you into another world with weekly episodes keeping you on the edge of your seat. There are many favourite characters, heroes and superheroes, good guys and bad guys.

The exhibition is set out to show the different aspects of comics; story, character, setting, props and power, and style. As you journey through the exhibition there is a really good sense of the components of creating a comic adventure, with characters and plots larger than life! The quality of the illustrations and huge amount of time involved in creating a page with many panels of sketches is enormous.

Ahoy there? - panels image at the Comics Exhibition, Seven Stories
Ahoy there?

A story for a comic is generally made in a series of panels, with each panel including some words in speech bubbles or a displayed text, but often there are no words at all!

Characters can be anyone really, monsters, jokers, friends, people you know or even yourself. The exhibition shows how you can define your character in clothes, height, features and special powers.

Other areas are Props and Power; an amazing collection held in some drawers of destiny and a wardrobe full of ideas or possible impossibilities!

Alongside the comics with superheroes and other characters were also some well-known novels, made into comic or graphic style. My favourite was Tom’s Midnight Garden, which looked amazing and also Moomin on the Riviera, The Snowman, Guardians of the Galaxy and Asterix.

Would you enter the wardrobe - image
Would you enter the wardrobe?

This is a fantastic exhibition and we could well have spent a whole day there.

The team at Seven Stories, who collate and present the exhibitions, have real professionalism and flair in the creation of this amazing space, especially the interactivity of many of the displayed artefacts.

Maybe one day soon, I will go back and wander into the Wardrobe of Impossible Possibilities. If you visit the exhibition and find the wardrobe you may discover new  solar systems, characters and stories within.

A visit to Seven Stories and the Comics Exhibition is a must for the school holidays or at any time.

Sue Martin

Further reading and exploration of ‘the comic’?

https://comicswap.wordpress.com/       https://comicsclub.blog/

Great archive and news stories on a theme, featured links at the exhibition.


Image Credits: With thanks to Seven Stories for the images of the 'front door' and the magical wardrobe...

 

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Plasso & Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

Pet Dragon – Dare to Care by M.P.Robertson and Sally Symes

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Dare to Care Pet DragonHave you ever wondered how to look after your dragon? Once caught and living with you, looking after a dragon is not an easy pet option!

From choosing the type of dragon to assisting in learning how to fly… this is the book for you!

The illustrations are captivating and appealing and dragons of all sorts and all colours and kinds are shown in detail of scales, fiery tongues and flames with boxes of text to read and enjoy.

The idea was conceived by M.P Robertson, and written by Sally Symes, and finally published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, who have a brilliant knack of spotting a great book potential.

If you are feeling brave… visit M.P Robertson website and you can find ways to draw and do more with dragons.

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But first, we recommend that you buy the book and then when you have your dragon, let us know how.

PS Warning !! Never feed your dragon Brussel Sprouts!

Sue Martin

Books go Walkabout, stories across the world

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Plasso & Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

Maya Angelou – Little People, Big Dreams

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Maya Angelou, Little People, Big DreamsMaya Angelou, is a remarkable story of the woman and the girl.

Born in St Louis, Missouri, she faced much unfairness about the colour of her skin. At eight years of age she was attacked by her mother’s boyfriend and stopped speaking for 5 years!

She became many things… dancer, singer,writer,producer, teacher and an activist for civil rights, as well as a mother and grandmother. She wrote a book called I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, with memories from her childhood. She read from her collection of poems at both the White House and United Nations and she is remembered for her message of hope for all people.

The book, Maya Angelou, is written by Lisbeth Kaiser and illustrated by Leire Salaberria. It is part of the Little People, Big Dreams series from Frances Lincoln, part of QuartoKnows, discovers the lives of outstanding people,from designers and artists to scientists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream.

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Other books we have featured in this great series: Agatha Christie and Marie Curieread more here

Beautiful hard back books, written in a highly illustrated copy, to engage readers of all ages and for children who want to find out more and explore without thousands of words. Good for older children with ESOL too.

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Plasso & Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

What on Earth? Bees

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What on Earth? Bees
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Explore, create and investigate with this wonderful book written by Andrea Quigley and illustrated by Paulina Morgan.

Are you busy as a bee? Bees are the hardest working insects on our planet and without them the world would be a very different place. From looking at the different types of bees to making honey flapjacks, this book takes you on a journey into the life of the bee, bees around the world, making honey, life in the hive and being a bee keeper.

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It is packed with facts in this very intriguing style of text and illustration, both working cleverly to enhance the interest and develop a real sense of enjoyment, understanding and learning.

As part of the What on Earth series published by QED this is a great book to have in your home or in the library. I can think of many children from ages 6 -10 who would enjoy finding out more about bees using this book as a guide.

At Books GoWalkabout, we are working with schools in Hong Kong. For students who are learning English, this is a wonderful resource to use for students from 11 and upwards. We will be promoting this book in Asia.

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Plasso & Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

All the Wild Wonders Poems of our Earth

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All the wild wonders
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An amazing anthology of poems from Wendy Cooling, beautifully illustrated by Piet Grobler. The poems are compiled to do two things; to celebrate the beauty of the world and to notice the dangers.

Wendy Cooling, MBE, is well known in the world of children’s books, in the UK and beyond. She has contributed enormously to supporting the provision of books for young children and is also a celebrated anthologist.

She hopes that at least one of the poems lingers in the readers mind.

Poets are taken from different periods of time, and space, from Christina Rosetti to Benjamin Zephaniah.

Two of my favourites are; The Prayer Tree, Anon, ‘I am the beam that supports your house, the board of your table, the bed on which you lie... and The Old Windmill by Paul Bright,  Catch the wind, just for an instant,Catch the wind , then let it go…

The illustrations are superb and involved in the words and lines of the poems, cleverly created by Piet Gobler in watercolour washes of subtle colours which  support the poems in thought and feeling.

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A recent release from Frances Lincoln Children’s Books and an excellent addition for any library, home or school.

You can buy the book now from Books Go Walkabout..

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

Books Go Walkabout

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Plasso & Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

Brian Alderson donates rare children’s book collection to Newcastle University and Seven Stories

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Brian Wouldhave Alderson, a Freeman of the City of Newcastle and a renowned children’s literature scholar, is donating his extraordinary collection of children’s books to Newcastle University and Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books. Believed to be the largest privately-owned children’s literature collection in the UK, it is made up of more than 20,000 books, dating from the 17th century to the present day.

Source: Press Release –  Newcastle University

Books Go Walkabout is delighted to be visiting Seven Stories in Newcastle upon Tyne and sharing this good news with our contacts in different countries. The collections will be a wonderful resource for children around the world.

Works come from the United States, France, Germany and Britain, and the collection includes original illustrations and papers related to Brian’s diverse career. Brian is a respected author, editor, critic, and scholar who has curated many exhibitions and is a former children’s books editor of The Times (1967 – 1996).

”His interest in children’s books  soon became a passion. The donation is a mark of Brian’s long-standing and ongoing support for both Newcastle University and Seven Stories. He was awarded an honorary degree by the University in 2016.

He said: ‘With the University’s scholarly interests in children’s literature and historic children’s book collections, and with Seven Stories being the national home of contemporary children’s books, I am delighted to be able to augment the City’s prominence in fostering interest in what is an unduly neglected subject.”

Jill Taylor-Roe, Acting University Librarian at Newcastle University, said: “The Alderson Collection enhances and extends the University Library’s unique and distinctive holdings in Children’s Literature, and together with Seven Stories’ holdings, will create an incredibly rich resource for anyone interested in the history and further development of children’s literature.”

Sarah Lawrance, Collections and Exhibitions Director at Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books, said: “We are immensely grateful to Brian Alderson for the generous gift of his collection, which includes many rare and unique books – now to be made publicly accessible for the first time – and complements the holdings of Seven Stories and the Philip Robinson Library perfectly.”

The donation of the Collection jointly to the two organisations is a key outcome of Seven Stories’ and Newcastle University’s Vital North Partnership, funded by Arts Council England.

The two organisations are marking Brian’s generous donation with a free exhibition of some of the highlights from the Collection at Newcastle University’s Philip Robinson Library, opening in June 2017 and running throughout the summer”.

Sue Martin

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Plasso & Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

Taking Flight by Adam Hancher

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Taking Flight cover image and purchase link
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Take Flight is the courageous and true story of the Wright brothers, the pioneers of flight!

Two brothers of humble origins who never gave up their childhood dream of being able to fly. In Dayton, Ohio in 1878, two boys stood in their backyard, mesmerised by their new new toy; a helicopter that can hover in the air.   “One day, I’m going to fly like that,” they agreed.

Written by Adam Hancher, an illustrator from London, Taking Flight tells in detail in words and images how two people followed their dream and managed to conquer problems and create a new way of travel. The book is a real insight into discovery, and although many years ago, this new experience is now part of so many peoples lives.

It is the first title in a new biographical series on inspirational figures called Dare to Dream, published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Publishers. The series will be dedicated to inspirational figures throughout history who can teach children that with courage and determination you can make dreams a reality.

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We thoroughly recommend this book for children, especially for ages 6-9 years.

Sue Martin

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Plasso & Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

Tiny Owl

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The Elephants Umbrella cover image and web link
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Tiny Owl is an independent publishing company committed to producing beautiful, original books for children.

They were established in 2015, and believe in global children’s books and about building bridges across our world. Two  of their latest books are  The Elephant’s Umbrella and Alive Again, are both full of vibrant illustrations and intriguing text.

The Elephant’s Umbrella is a tale of generosity, and full of opportunities for conversation and reasons to smile. The elephant has an umbrella and his friends join him where it is cosy and dry. One day the umbrella blows away and the other jungle animals try to use it themselves, but don’t feel like sharing!

” If I become yours, where will you take me when it rains?” asks the umbrella to the bear. But the bear only wants the umbrella to help him get the honey!

Laleh Jaffari is the author, born in Iran she has written over 25 children’s bookss and is also a TV director.

Ali Khodal has illustrated over 80 books and won national awards in his home country of Iran.

Alive Again - cover image and web link
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Alive Again explores what it means to be alive and how words can express the meaning of ‘alive’, but yet they don’t hold the quality of being alive only. This book has lots of hidden depths and the illustrations will help teacher, parents and children to think and puzzle and wonder.

Ahmadreza Ahmadi is the author and is an Iranan poet and children’s story writer. In 2010 he was shortlisted for the Hans Christian Anderson Award. Nahid Kazemi is the illustrator.

Books Go Walkabout enjoys Tiny Owl books and shares values in vision of creating bridges through children’s books across the world.

Sue Martin

 

 

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Plasso & Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.