Posts Tagged ‘kleineeuleganzallein’
Many celebrities were pictured taking part for the press including Princess Laurentien from the Dutch royal family and prime minister Mark Rutte (!) In the last photo there is even a real owl at the school!!!!
There was even a reading at Schipol Airport Library
There are puppet performances too. The second to last performance was by Ton Meijer in the oba library (the little girl in the picture is pretending she is a sleepy owl about to fall) and the last was by Pagetti jeungdtheatre
The blog post about how i came up with the idea is here
Here are the first few pages…
You can order it in the countries/languages below
the original language edition is korean
엄마를 잠깐 잃어버렸어요 in KOREA >>> here
A Bit Lost in UK/IRE >>> here or from local bookshop
Little Owl Lost in the USA /CAN >>> here
Little Owl Lost in Australia >>> here
Little Owl Lost in NZ >>> here
Ihan Hukassa in Finland >>> here
Mama Kwijt in the Netherlands >>> here
Un Peu Perdu in France >>> here
Kleine Eule Ganz Allein in Germany >>> here
Un Poco Perdido in Spain >>> here
Um Tanto Perdida in Brazil >>> here
Ar Strae Beagán in Ireland (Gaeilge) >>>here
Mamma Borta sweden >>>here
Una Mica Perdut catalan >>>here
OH-OH Italian >>>here
ちょっとだけまいご Japanese >>>here
小小迷路 Chinese >>> here
Hvor er mammaen min? Norwegian (Bokmål) >>> here
Kvar er mamma mi? Norwegian (Nynorsk) >>>here
Hebrew /Danish >>>coming soon
Winner of Prix P’tits Mômes Geneva
Before I had my idea for my little lost owl story I had actually wanted to do a different story about birds in a forest. The birds in the first story come down from their tree top roosts to the bottom of the forest and meet all the other animals of the forest along the way. They pass all the forest animals who want to eat them and eventually manage to find food near the forest floor. The last spread would then be a panoramic of them back perched at the top of the trees at the end of the day overlooking all of the life of the whole forest. I had the idea because I wanted to introduce all the animals and have the interactions of the forest in a sort of Arne Naess story of deep ecology and interconnectedness.
This image was the trigger for the story. It’s a screen print I did for the fair trade company People tree. I really liked the image because I had the idea of hiding figures in the complex background (see the little cat in the bottom right)
I liked the silhouetted running shapes of the birds. They eventually evolved into the running owl and squirrel in the finished book.
The birds here hide from a tiger (also a snake and an elephant)
The birds in their perch for the final image. They look across at the whole forest and see the web of all the animals that we met in the story.
In the end I sort of had to scrap the idea, I didnt like the way the birds interacted with the other animals of the forest. They were not engaging with them as such and it left a sort of lonely tone to the story. I may try it again another time but for this book I decided I wanted to do something that was more engaging and somehow a little like pantomime. Without engaging with little funny questions and cause and effect (Uh oh! is he going to fall off?/ Uh oh! Is it Mummy? etc) a very young audience tends to lose interest quickly.
The breakthrough came when I made the bird fall from his nest. That way he was lost and had to engage with the other animals in a way that wasnt about avoiding being eaten. In order to give the bird a range of expressions, forward facing eyes is much better graphically so I chose an owl instead of a bird. Also owlets apparently have a habit of falling out of their nests. I had imagined somehow that owl babies were cute until i actually looked them up on the internet
In the end my story turned out very different. Although the story had changed, there were a few things that I kept the same. The main thing was for the story to be able to be read without words so that children can understand everything just by looking at it. I also wanted there to be other visual interests in the book that children can find themselves. In the first story there were glimpses of the berries that the birds were looking for all along throughout the story, and in the final lost owl story it is the mum looking for her child.
The first images of the new owl story
Although I changed the story, you can see the patterns on the owls were similar to the original birds and I was using all the same colours.
some character sketches
i got some character ideas from handicrafts i bought in Mexico (this one was made by Tejiendo Arcoiris in San Cristobal)
…more bold graphic toys for inspiration…
and a bit of henri rousseau.
I had the idea of doing a leporello (non-accordian) fold-out so that you can follow the path that owl takes as he falls. I ended up dropping this idea too. But there is still a half page where little owl drops on the opening spread.
Eventually I lost most of the pink colour from the owls too. By now it has now become almost unrecognisable from the original story
some more colour tests…
i started going a bit mad with all the trees….
one thing i like about these is the only white on the page is the white of the eyes of the characters. It focuses attention on them in what would otherwise be a very busy image.
I did the typeface for the book with help from the brilliant typographer Andreas Pohancenik
a test for the endpapers
i quite like squirrel playing peek a boo in this early version of the cover.
…and the other half in Mexico ..so i could concentrate fully on it. I had to stop working on other jobs so i was running out of money by now!
i had some reference images spread out on the hotel floor and was worried the were going to get tidied up.
the final spread of the owl falling
in the finished pages you can see the mother hidden in the top left as her child is running around looking for her. the silhouettes of the running animals were inspired by the earlier work with the running birds.
The panoramic final scene is also based on the imagery from the earlier story
The final cover as it is now in English
If you want to see more you can see the first few pages of the book HERE
I have been getting some great reviews for Little Owl Lost and i thought i would try to put them all in one place
Goodreads review here
Carthage Centre of Children’s literature John Warren Stewig, Director
“In our world, understatement is becoming a lost art, and elegance a disappearing quality.This book has both” “Exemplary design qualities”
TimeOut NYC ‘Picture book Pick’
swiss-miss.com design blog
36pages.com Craig Frazer’s picture-book blog “has nearly every redeemable quality of an exemplary book”
Book-by-its-cover picture book blog
brainpickings.com ‘the best childrens books 2010’
PRI Public Radio ‘Recommendations for Childrens Books’ < listen to the radio programme
Irish Times Great Reads for the under 10s “a stunning literary and visual achievement”
Sunday Business Post “this stunning book from rising Irish star Chris Haughton is one of the top picks of the year”
Today with Pat Kenny radio show < listen to the radio programme
Kim Harte picture book blog
Hughes and Hughes staff picks
Gandhi and Tulsi Mehar Shresta
a few images from the classroom
this guy is having a really bad banana. not nice.
All the Ullu’s! The Hindi word for ‘owl’ is ‘ullu’ which is also the word you use if you want to call someone stupid. Owls are thought of as stupid in India and Nepal, the opposite to how they are seen in the west. My owl is definitely a Nepali ‘ullu’ rather than a western owl. Actually I have become known as ullu-man in the Mahaguthi office (!).Thanks very much to Sumitra, Anita, Chandigarh and Uttara (also to Ono and Sunil who arent here)
*UPDATE* they are now available from my new shop here
My first picture book A Bit Lost was actually first published in Korean. I had met the excellent Borim Press at the Bologna Book Fair in 2007 and was blown away by their catalogue. I went over to visit them and ended up illustrating and making most of the book with them from Korea. Their set up is amazing so i thought i should post a bit about it.
The Borim Press office is in Paju Book City (above) which is a new development by the Korean government. Printing was actually invented in Korea more than two hundred years before Gutenberg ‘invented’ it and Korea has a long and proud history of printing and literacy. In order to promote and modernise the industry and put Korea on the worldwide publishing map they subsidised the setting up of Paju Book City. It was set up as a super high tech printing facility right next to all the top Korean Publishing houses. It is a very modern sustainable development built as a satellite town 30 mins from Seoul. It also has high tech looking wind generators (which never seem to be working? hmm…)
You can read more about it here. South Korea spends more of its GDP on education than almost any other country so the shiny educational buildings are a more common sight there than in Europe or the west.
The Borim office. The spaceship looking part is a children’s theatre. Inside their publishing house is a children’s theatre, a childrens picture book gallery (with waist high pictures) and a little childrens bookshop (with knee high tables). You can see better pics from their site. I was very honoured to be Borim’s first non-Korean author.
The lobby/reception. The ‘wavin’ looking pipes on the right i had originally thought were some weird Korean office communication device….but i was told it was a sculpture. You can still talk into them though if you want.
The childrens theatre. I saw a nursery rhyme gig one afternoon (in Korean) for an audience of 150 expecting mothers. It wasnt really my thing so I had to sneak out the back.
The next door office. All the big publishing offices in Seoul moved out to here to use the shared printing presses/conference hall/facilities etc.
The high tech printing facility next door.
This is where my book was printed!
Having a meal with the Borim team. Jinsuk (my Art Director) Sangon (Production Manger who i lived with for a month!) myself and Ines Yoo (my Editor and the person who first introduced me to Borim in Bologna)
Jinsuk my art director in the best jumper I’ve ever seen… Happy Pig!!! YAY!!!!
The CEO of Borim Mr Kwon and his wife outside their beautiful home. They have a traditional stone ondol system in their newly built home which was also built by a mixture of traditional Korean and modern sustainable methods. They are a really interesting couple, Mrs Kwon is a traditional Korean musician (drummer)
I managed to stay for week with Mr Kwon and his family. In Korea everyone sleeps directly on the floor (the underfloor heating is pretty nice in winter and makes it hard to get out of bed…) The book is taking three times as long as i thought it would. Thats probably why im not smiling in the picture. Oh dear. I blamed it on the ondol. Check out the Kimchi pots outside the window. He collects them, there were a LOT of them.
Finally finished after 10 and a half months! Woo hoo!
Myself, Mr Park, Borim’s editor in chief and Sang Me who did all the translation.
감사합니다 to everyone at Borim!!!!
If you are interested in seeing more of Borim Press and their outstanding books and illustrations take a look at their site. Its in Korean so its kind of hard to navigate but you could requst a PDF catalogue by email.