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Buy The Drum 

Buy The Little Black Fish

This week, on the 30th May, Tiny Owl went on an adventure to Hay Book Festival, where Tiny Owl authors Beverley Naidoo (Cinderella of the Nile) and Ken Wilson-Max (The Drum) took part in events. There was also an extra-special puppet show, performed by Performing Arts and Music students from Hereford College of Arts in collaboration with the Fetch Theatre Company using puppets created especially by Contemporary Design Craft students. All in all an absolutely wonderful day.

The Little Black Fish 

The day kicked off with the puppet performance of The Little Black Fish. The Starlight stage was packed full of adults and children wanting to see the show. Over two hundred people turned up, and many were even sitting on the floor in their eagerness to catch a glimpse of the performance. Then it started, a rush of brilliantly coloured puppets. Even very young children, were captivated by what was going on on stage. They were full of questions for the performers. Even authors performing at the festival dropped by, eager not to miss a thing.  The Little Black Fish was the very first story that Tiny Owl published, so it was very emotional seeing this beloved story being performed for children in the UK.

After the performance there was a birthday party, to celebrate the Little Black Fish‘s 50th birthday, at 2 pm, featuring a big parade with music and puppets which weaved around the festival. There was, of course, a delicious birthday cake. We even had a beautiful banner decorated by our own Ken Wilson-Max on a pavement of Monmouth. It was an odd place for inspiration to strike but the magic happened there anyway. Thank you to all the performers and everyone that worked on this project! You allowed us to celebrate The Little Black Fish’s Birthday in style!

The Drum

Meanwhile, Ken hosted a wonderful event for his book The Drum. Seeing the event completely sold out and filled with children and adults was a real highlight. Ken read from The Drum and danced and tapped along to the rhythm. Everyone enjoyed the event, children and adults alike, and loved dancing along. There was even a conga line which was started to the beat of Happy and You Know it. The event was a huge success and goes to show that you don’t always need instruments to make music, instead you can use your body and drum along with the beat in your heart.

Cinderella of the Nile 

Beverley’s event took place on the Starlight Stage, the same place as The Little Black Fish performance, at 11.30 am. Beverley talked about working with Iranian illustrator Marjan Vafaeian (and her love of cats) and being shown round the British Museum by editor Sophie Hallam and expert Mateen Arghandehpour. She also discussed the different versions of Cinderella, including Andrew Lang’s Blue Fairy Book, which came with Beverley on a boat from England to South Africa, and where they come from. The children were enthralled, and there were lots of questions at the end, including: ‘what’s your favourite fairy tale?’ and  ‘Why did the bird take the slipper?’

There was also a beautiful gallery, which featured many of Marjan Vafaeian’s artwork. The amazing Jackie Morris described the art as ‘BEAutiful’, her voice full of emotion and awe. Another highlight of the festival was seeing Jackie Morris’s artwork beautifully displayed at Hay Festival. There was a beautiful owl on gold leaf, and so many otters. These were just two artists among the many amazing ones at Hay Festival.

All in all we had an amazing day, and can’t wait for next year.

  • Read Beverley Naidoo’s response to our fairy telling campaign
  • Check out this blog about Hereford Collage of Art’s rehearsal for The Little Black Fish
  • Read about Ken’s event at New Beacon Books

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