We were so lucky to have the fab author and illustrator Mike Henson visit us in the Tiny Owl nest! He wrote his thoughts on his visit – read them below!
What a wonderful treat. Welcomed into the inner sanctum of the tiny Tiny Owl office and plied with tea and a sneak peak at some of their lush forthcoming picture books. This definitely doesn’t feel like “straight to business”. More of a meandering conversation peppered with thoughts about the shape and colour of a better world.
And here’s the thing. Here’s what makes me think “we need Tiny Owl”. We live in dangerous times – an increasingly polarised world in which competing world-views are choosing to retreat from what they don’t understand, using the language of fear and rumoured threat, rather than that of love and curious adventure.
For my part, in pursuit of a better way to live, my family and I have made various strange and abnormal decisions. We’ve chosen to live with my parents-in-law – our grand multi-generational living experiment. We’ve chosen to home-educate our children – plugging into an ever growing home-ed community which seldom learns at home. And we are ever in pursuit of a meaningful faith and spirituality.
But before you roll your eyes, dismissing this all as strange and other, my point is not that we’re getting things right. It’s that the world has expanded as we’ve explored it. Fears have been dispelled by education – exposure, experiment and discovery.
And when I step into the Tiny Owl office, I’m again invited into previously unexplored corners of the globe. The strange and yet beautiful sights, sounds and vibrancy of reimagined Persian epics, South African folk tales and Iranian classics. These aren’t the usual high-street fare, but, behind their unfamiliar expression, it’s intriguing and refreshing to discover familiar threads. We are more like our distant brothers and sisters than we sometimes realise. It seems important to realise that. It seems important to see alternative peoples, places and ideas represented in the common marketplace. It’s the business of shining spotlights at shadows – revealing their secrets, whether benign or malicious, poisonous or delicious.
One of my mentor’s sayings is “the truth will set you free”. In an age of fake news and trolling, a bit more truth sounds like a good idea!
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