Anne Ryan

Launch of ‘Salih’

My new illustrated picture book Salih

written by Inda Ahmad Zahri is released on March 1st 2021 with Ford Street Publishing

Paul Collins and the enthusiastic team at Ford Street Publishing, should be enormously proud of not only releasing this book on the due date, but also hosting a combined launch to a full house with illustrator Marjory Gardner and her gorgeous new picture book ‘Frankie goes to kindergarten’ written by Peta Baxter and Connie Hemmens. I was so grateful to Marjory for her generosity, inviting me to join in and celebrate this special day.

Book launches are difficult to organise in normal circumstances, but the extended lockdowns that played out in Melbourne over the last 12 months has seen amazing resilience and creativity among the team at Ford Street Publishing to maintain their high standards of excellence in aiming to produce quality books for children’s literature.

It was such a wonderful afternoon of colour and smiles as everyone was enjoying gathering together and sharing their joy of books.

The highlight for me was inviting my beautiful aunty Trish Franklin AO to share insightful connections to the visual literacy of Salih’s story and her lifetime observations and work with refugees. Her speech was rich with understanding for the role of imagery in children’s literature. The audience was so grateful for her elegant words and I thank her for the contribution she has made to our very special day.

Trish was a Primary School teacher before she left to work in refugee camps in Thailand – mainly with Vietnamese unaccompanied minors – children who had escaped from Vietnam – without their parents. Trish then went on to work – for 20 years – for children in Vietnam – with particular emphasis on developing innumerable opportunities in developing their educational lives.

I have dedicated this book to her for always sharing her love of children’s literature with me from a very young age. I am so grateful for the opportunity to share this memory with my family, friends and bright book enthusiasts.

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