Kazemi, Nahid (translated by Azita Rassi)The Orange House. Tiny Owl, 2016, pp24, £12.99. 978 1 910328 11 8
There is much to be discussed and enjoyed in this handsome picture book about change and becoming reconciled to it. Another theme promotes being open to others, and offering and accepting friendship. The orange house is the only original house left in what is now an alley of newly built houses. She feels threatened by all the differences between herself and them. In turn, the new houses are mystified as to why the orange house never speaks to them. Then the demolition gang arrives. The new houses remember the garden of the orange house with its trees and noisy birds, and how it brings breathing space to everybody. They decide to save the orange house by blocking her from the gang’s sight. Old and new, the buildings will be friends and provide a pleasing environment for all to enjoy. The art style, in full colour collage and pencil is beautiful indeed, apparently simple but actually highly skillful and imaginative. Kazemi’s images of trees bend to the winds of change from the title page onward. Collage scraps of fabric portray personified houses which are thoroughly un-stereotypical and visually intriguing, being shown in plan and elevation simultaneously.
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More to read about Nahid Kazemi:
- Edinburgh Book Festival with Nahid Kazemi. A blog post. Link
- A photo gallery of Nahid’s event in London. Link
- Story and craft event with Nahid in London. A blog post. Link
- Read an interview with her here
- I saw the actual Orange House! The story behind the creation of The Orange House.Link
- A gallery of Nahid’s beautiful illustrations. Link
- A review of this book by Jill Bennett, here.
- An interview with Nahid Kazemi, illustrator & author of this book, here.
- A review by Parents in Touch, here.
- A review by Read it Daddy. here.
- A review by Let Them Be Small, here.
- A review by Outside In World. here.
- I saw the actual Orange House. Here