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Meeting Marjan Vafaian in Tehran

Marjan Vafaian, illustrator of Bijan & Manije and The Parrot and the Merchant

Marjan Vafaian, illustrator of Bijan & Manije and The Parrot and the Merchant

Marjan lives in Kish Island, in the south of Iran. When we arrived in Iran, she had gone to Dubai to apply for a visit visa to the UK, to attend the Edinburgh International Book Festival. As you may know, despite all the documents and the EIBF invitation, her visa got refused. Unfortunately this meant we could not launch her newest book, Bijan & Manije with her being present in the UK  as scheduled before. I met her in Tehran when she was back from a frustrating three weeks wait in Dubai.

I had a chance to give her, an advance copy of her latest book, Bijan & ManijeMarjan has a very calm personality, that is probably echoed in her Persian cat! Her quietness and femininity is visible in her illustrations. I could easily see the merchant lady (male in the original story, but a woman in Marjan’s retelling) from The Parrot and the Merchant in her. However, the boldness of Manije from Bijan & Manije was somehow visible behind her looks.

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Marjan Vafaian siging a copy of The Parrot and the Merchant

She promised to write her experiences of retelling ancient stories for children today. Then she signed a copy of The Parrot and the Merchant. The signed book will be given away to a lucky winner in a near future event.

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The Parrot and the Merchant by Marjan Vafaian

 

Buy The Parrot and the Merchant

Buy Bijan & Manije

Visit our bookstore

A gallery of Marjan Vafaian’s illustrations

Read more about Bijan and Manije:

  • Our Exciting forthcoming title: Bijan & Manije. Link
  • An amazing adaptation of a Persian ancient epic poetry. Link
  • Impressive performances of epic literature in cafe’s and street theaters.Link

Read more about The Parrot and the Merchant:

  • The Parrot and the Merchant teaches about true love. Link
  • Read David almond’s words about this book in the Guardian. Link
  • A blog report about storytelling of this book at Belsize Library. Link
  • A review by Carousel. Link
  • A review by Jill Bennett. Link
  • Learn about Marjan Vafaeian, illustrator of this book. Link
  • A blog report of an event at Pimlico Library. Link
  • Poetic side of Tiny Owl Publishing. Link
  • the importance of introducing diversity to children. Link
  • listen to this fantastic report of BBC Radio 4 about Rumi. Link
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Meeting Hoda Hadadi

by Delaram Ghanimifard

Hoda Hadadi, the illustrator of A Rainbow in My Pocket

Hoda Hadadi, the illustrator of A Rainbow in My Pocket

During the summer trip to Iran, I met Hoda Hadadi to discuss the progress of the new book she is illustrating for Tiny Owl. I first met her at her home. There in addition to some of her artworks on the wall, she had one wall covered with a doll collection, and a display table with all sorts of tiny cars and toys. She was moving houses though, and our next meeting was in a cafe in Tehran.

Hoda’s books are published in different countries and languages. Besides A Rainbow in My Pocket with Tiny Owl, her last published work in English was Deep in Saharaa book for Penguin Random House. She is currently working on a new book for Tiny Owl and two other titles for two American publishers.

I’m not giving away much about the new book yet, but the author is Christine Kidney and this is a sketch of a spread:

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My Baby Brother is Just Like Me! work in progress, Hoda Hadadi

Hoda’s illustrations are unique collages. Depending on the text, they take a more abstract or descriptive form. A Rainbow in My pocket, for example, was a more poem and required a more conceptual style. The new book, in contrast, is aimed at a younger audience and is even more approachable.

An extract from A Rainbow in My Pocket

An extract from A Rainbow in My Pocket

Hoda was very kind gifting me one of her artworks. Thank you Hoda!

A gift from Hoda Hadadi

A gift from Hoda Hadadi

 

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Buy A Rainbow in My Pocket from here

Read more about A Rainbow in My Pocket:

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