A Picture Book from Iran

An Umbrella with White Butterflies by Farhad Hassanzadeh, illustrated by Ghazaleh Bigdelou, published by Tuti Books in Tehran

Allow this Persian cat to draw you to the work of Iranian children’s book author, Farhad Hassanzadeh and illustrator Ghazaleh Bigdelou. Iran, like the U.S., is fighting for its people suffering in the corona virus pandemic. In our global fight, I’m acknowledging and celebrating the art of picture books from book creators around the world. Hassanzadeh has just been shortlisted for the Hans Christian Anderson award for best children’s book creators in the world presented by IBBY, the International Board of Books for Young People. He is a deeply respected author in Iran but I couldn’t find his books snapped up by a U.S. publisher to bring them to us. I hope his making this shortlist could bring An Umbrella with White Butterflies to the U.S. Here’s one of Ghazaleh’s interior illustrations:

Illustration by Ghazaleh Bigdelou in An Umbrella with White Butterflies by Farhad Hassanzadeh.

We know a goldfish and a cat figure in the story. We know this from the publisher, “Fate brings children together in a two-hour period before the Persian New Year” and the children go on to have profound impacts, one on the next one. As we each have on one another across the world.

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