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 & Manije. Marjan 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.
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.
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
by Delaram Ghanimifard
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 Sahara, a 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:
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.
Hoda was very kind gifting me one of her artworks. Thank you Hoda!
Visit our bookstore
Buy A Rainbow in My Pocket from here
Read more about A Rainbow in My Pocket:
- We need more multicultural books. A review by Anita Silvey
- A joyous whimsical poem. A review by Mirrors, Windows, Doors
- Discover your own rainbows. A review by Armadillo.
- Dreamy poems like a child’s imagination. A review by Guardian Witness, Nicky Wallis.
- Why the ants queue in such a straight line? A review by Parents In Touch.
- Watch this short video introducing Hoda Hadadi, the illustrator. Link
- A book for personal contemplation. A review by Jill Bennett.
- Poetic side of Tiny Owl Publishing. A blog post.