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Unlocked contains global voices and their experiences are so relatable

Buy Unlocked

An essential read!

We’re over the moon with this incredible review of Unlocked from Tom Griffiths over on CheckEmOutBooks! Have a read below.

How was lockdown for you? What did you get up to? This unique picture book asks 15 Tiny Owl illustrators to reflect on their lockdown experiences. Hope is one of the prevalent themes of this book and the reflective introduction by Tiny Owl Publishing co-founder Delaram Ghanimifard also shows the resilience and positivity we had to show to get through it together.

And that’s what I really loved about this book. It provides such a discussion point and is ideal in any home and classroom. Everyone saw lockdown differently but it was lovely seeing the stories of kindness and the belief that the world will heal contained within these pages. At times, I feel I just remember the pressure, the concern for my loved ones throughout that first lockdown and the frustration of seeing others breaking rules whilst we were supporting the phenomenal NHS: wanting to keep my children safe at home so limited time at school but then working 7 days a week to get things done. Nahid Kazemi’s story really resonated with me. But actually these stories remind me of the positives: the strength in getting through this storm, getting out into nature to explore our local area, the weekly clapping on our doorstep and how communication strengthened via our devices. I got invaluable time with my children to play and watch them grow. Their happiness in the darkest of times was such a joy to see! These acts were all done through love and resilience. Thank you Unlocked for reminding me of these things and giving me perspective!

Unlocked is also terrific in that it contains global voices and their experiences are so relatable. Among the wonderful illustrations, Jenny Duke’s story really reminded me of how my mum coped during lockdown, missing her grandchildren while Dunja Jogan’s account took me back to watching the news and seeing the balconies come alive at night with music. What an incredible experience that must have been to be a part of! Anna Doherty showed the positives of a lockdown birthday (you could eat the entire cake!) and I loved Piet Grobler’s map of his walk, appreciating nature. It was Dale Blankenaar’s illustration at the end which was really thought-provoking for me and led to me being so personal in this review. This experience has changed me, but for the better, and this book is a historical account of what humanity did to get through lockdown. An essential read!

Suggested reading age: 4+

Unlocked: Stories of hope from Tiny Owl artists in lockdown is published by Tiny Owl Publishing and is available here to purchase. For teacher resources and more information, visit and search using the hashtag #TinyOwlUnlocked

  • Watch: In conversation with Nicola Davies
  • Watch: In conversation with Kate Milner
  • WatchUnlocked book trailer
  • Read a reviewUnlocked is a treat to savour, to linger over, and to reflect upon – A Library Lady

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