“I worry when I think of a post-Brexit future for the UK families, especially the children, who are growing up with our books. What went wrong? What did they miss, the parents and grandparents who were reading Room on the Broom with its message of the importance of solidarity, partnership, friendship and kindness? The book wasn’t called No Room on the Broom.” – Axel Scheffler, The Bookseller Industry Awards, 14 May 2018
Pan Macmillan is proud to announce the publication of a passionate and heartfelt exploration of Europe spearheaded by The Bookseller’s 2018 Illustrator of the Year, Axel Scheffler. Drawing Europe Together: Forty-five Illustrators, One Europe is a vibrant and diverse collection of illustrations and captions by esteemed children’s book artists from across Europe and the UK, including Judith Kerr, Quentin Blake, Chris Riddell, Oliver Jeffers, David Roberts, Rebecca Cobb, Marta Altés, Jutta Bauer and Thomas Müller. The book publishes on 1st November 2018.
Axel Scheffler says: “I'm very grateful that Macmillan is turning this project into a book. For obvious reasons, I feel very engaged on a personal level: the Brexit uncertainty puts into question my own future and that of my family in this country (even though I have lived here for 36 years).
“I feel very encouraged by the response and the solidarity of my colleagues; there was great enthusiasm to contribute and the pictures are very touching and heartfelt. I also did a workshop at the Institut Français with British school children, who were very engaged and interested in discussing Brexit and Europe (a little mock-referendum went clearly in favour of remain!). This convinced me even more that schools need to have more debate and I hope that a book like this might encourage families to take up the discussion too.”
Shortly after the result of Britain’s EU Referendum, Axel had a discussion with some German friends. They felt strongly that the idea of a united Europe and its importance should be communicated in a more positive and effective way to children and young people. A year later, Markus Weber, children’s publisher at Moritz Verlag in Frankfurt, asked his children’s book illustrators to create a ‘picture of Europe’. Along with Axel, sixteen more illustrators from across Europe contributed artwork, which was then shown at an event at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2017 and then at the German Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs in Berlin.
In spring 2018, the original illustrations moved to the Institut Français in London, where the exhibition grew to include contributions from an additional fourteen UK-based artists.
Drawing Europe Together is a unique collaboration designed to share these incredible artworks with a wider audience, encouraging thought and consideration in the world we are in today. The book will have a cover illustration and foreword by Axel and will feature illustrations and captions from all the artists who contributed to the London exhibit, plus an additional fourteen drawings by new contributors from across Europe.
Anthony Forbes Watson, MD Pan Macmillan, says: “The work of Axel Scheffler, as an eminent German illustrator working in Britain – often in collaboration with British writers – embodies the rich benefits of cultural collaboration across borders and his work has engaged children in the UK and around Europe for decades. When we heard Axel's impassioned and moving plea at this year's industry awards for Europe to stay together, we decided to help Axel to put a book together to give him and his fellow illustrators a collective and creative voice in this debate, and for this book to serve as a reminder that such cultural collaboration should never be taken for granted.”
Belinda Ioni Rasmussen, Publisher Macmillan Children’s Books says: “We are proud to publish Axel's Drawing Europe Together and we celebrate the work of all his wonderful contributors. This powerful book promotes a public discourse around Brexit with heart and humour. Each illustration in it says more than a hundred negotiations and, as an immigrant, I feel particularly passionate and excited about its reach and ability to stir.”
The Drawing Europe Together exhibition will continue to tour, including a launch event and exhibition at Waterstones Piccadilly in November 2018 and it will also be shown at the European Commission in London for its final days in March 2019. The exhibition is also due to be shown at Bristol’s RWA Gallery in February 2020 where the exhibition will run alongside a broader exhibition about migration. Seventeen of the original illustrations will be prints of the European contributions as the originals have been auctioned to raise over €17,000 for Pulse of Europe.
Contributing illustrators (in alphabetical order by first name):
Andreas Német, Anne Brouillard, Antje Damm, Aurélie Guillerey, Axel Scheffler, Benji Davies, Birgitta Sif, Bridget Strevens-Marzo, Bruce Ingman, Catherine Rayner, Claude K Dubois, Chris Haughton, Chris Riddell, David Roberts, Édouard Manceau, Emily Gravett, Emma Farrarons, Jim Field, Jörg Mühle, Judith Kerr, Jutta Bauer, Katja Gehrmann, Kristina Andres, Lydia Monks, Marta Altés, Morag Hood, Neal Layton, Ole Könnecke, Oliver Jeffers, Patrick George, Penny Dale, Polly Dunbar, Quentin Blake, Rebecca Cobb, Rob Biddulph, Sabine Lohf, Sara Ogilvie, Sarah McIntyre, Stéphanie Blake, Steve Antony, Susanne Göhlich, Thé Tjong-Khing, Thomas Müller, Tor Freeman, Yasmeen Ismail.
For further information please contact:
Alyx Price at Macmillan Children’s Books | [email protected] | 07841 764 118
Beatrice Cross at Macmillan Children’s Books | [email protected] | 07891 734 618