Twelve children’s books written and illustrated by
Iranian authors and illustrators, which have been translated into English, published and distributed by Tiny Owl in UK bookstores and bookselling websites, are now available in Iran.
Iran’s Book City Institute has distributed the English books in the country whose original Persian editions have already been published by local publishers such as Nazar, Chekkeh, and Sales, ISNA reported. Tiny Owl started translating Persian stories into English and bringing them to the UK market in 2015. So far it has
published 12 titles which range from old and modern fables to poems, and contemporary stories with moral themes and educational messages. Their publication was warmly welcomed by renowned children’s literature authors and critics like David Almond, winner of the Hans Christian Anderson Award, who wrote that the stories were “beautiful and deserve to find an audience, especially when there is so much ignorance and suspicion about Iran.” This is part of Delaram Ghanimifard’s, co-founder of Tiny Owl; hope to reveal another side of Iranian culture largely ignored by in the West. Ghanimifard, originally from Iran and currently residing in the UK, set up the Tiny Owl Company with her husband after noticing the lack of translated fiction in the UK.
All the books include their original and genuine illustrations as they can help children enrich their visual and artistic knowledge. Probably the most famous book in the series is ‘The Little Black Fish’ written by the late author Samad Behrangi and illustrated by the veteran graphic artist Farshid Mesghali, 72. First published in 1968 in Persian, the story is about a fish who dares to venture out of the pond into the stream, then the
river and finally the sea. Mesghali won the prestigious
Hans Christian Andersen Award for the illustrations. ‘Tahmineh’s Beautiful Bird’ by the renowned ethnography artist Parviz Kalantari, 84, is the story of a Qashqai (member of a tribe dwelling in central and southern Iran) girl in a nomadic tribe. Every page of the story shows a piece of Tahmineh’s lifestyle including her school, how her mother bakes flatbread and milk the goats, and what they wear.
‘Alive Again’ written by the veteran poet Ahmadreza Ahmadi, 75, and illustrated by Nahid Kazemi talks about regaining things that are temporarily gone like blossoms, rain, and wheat grains. Ahmadi’s other book ‘When I Colored in the World’, illustrated by Ehsan Abdollahi, deals with the idea of changing unpleasant concepts such as war and hunger, to more colorful and happy words. From the old classics, stories from the 13th-century Persian poet Rumi, Tiny Owl has published two titles, ‘The Parrot and the Merchant’ illustrated by Marjan Vafaian and ‘The Jackal Who Thought He Was a Peacock’ illustrated by Firoozeh Golmohammadi.Other books include the folk tale ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ illustrated by Mahin Tahzibi, ‘A Bird Like Himself’ and ‘The Clever Mouse’ written and illustrated by Anahita Teymorian, ‘Snowman and the Sun’ written by Susan Taghdis and illustrated by Ali Mafakheri, and ‘The Orange House’ written and illustrated by Nahid Kazemi.