Chris Riddell pens guides to freedom for Amnesty International

Chris Riddell pens guides to freedom for Amnesty International

Michael O’Mara Books is collaborating with Amnesty International UK on two visual "guides to freedom" illustrated by Waterstones' Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell.

The first project is a classic picture-book edition of the bestselling My Little Book of Big Freedoms illustrated by Riddell, while the second, Freedom to Express Yourself, will be an "inspirational" notebook exploring themes of freedom through inspiring words, including quotes from Malala Yousafzai, Mahatma Gandhi, Bob Marley and Harper Lee, and featuring illustrations from Riddell and Sir Quentin Blake, among others.

Michael O'Mara acquired world rights to publish My Little Book of Big Freedoms: The Human Rights Act in Pictures under the Buster Books imprint on 22nd June 2017 and Freedom to Express Yourself: An Inspirational Notebook on 7th September under its LOM Art imprint.

All royalties will go to Amnesty International UK.

The new edition of My Little Book of Big Freedoms, originally published by Amnesty International in 2015, will come with a new cover and full-colour artwork throughout. It will highlight 16 different freedoms, each accompanied by an illustration from Riddell and simple text. Downloadable resources will accompany the new edition for parents, teachers and librarians and fun activities for children, too, to provide a springboard for introducing human rights values and encouraging discussion.

Freedom to Express Yourself: An Inspirational Notebook will also explore themes of freedom, with a focus on ideas such as safety, home and family, using a mixture of words and illustrations. The words come from a variety of sources, including from Yousafzai, Gandhi, Marley and Lee, which will be "brought to life" through thought-provoking imagery from artists such as William Grill, David Shrigley, Meera Lee Pate, Jean Jullien, Stik, Jackie Morris, Owen Davey and Andrea D’Aquino, in addition to Riddell and Blake. There will be empty space left for readers to express themselves. 

Nicky Parker, publisher at Amnesty International UK, said: “Amnesty is delighted to be partnering with Michael O’Mara, who are past masters in making complex ideas accessible and who share our vision of a world where human rights are enjoyed by all. We look forward to brightening 2017 with two beautiful collaborations: the new, classic edition of My Little Book of Big Freedoms illustrated by Chris Riddell, which goes to the heart of human rights for small children; and Freedom to Express Yourself: An Inspirational Notebook, which we suspect will be the most inspiring and beautiful notebook of next year, with quotes, illustrations and plenty of space for notetaking, drawing and doodling.”

Managing editor at Michael O'Mara Sophie Schrey said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Amnesty and we are proud of both titles. Working with Chris Riddell on the revised artwork for the classic edition has been an honour; we feel it's so important to bring this valuable little book to a wider audience. The inspirational notebook is simply breathtaking and we’ve been overwhelmed by the thought-provoking illustrations from such a diverse range of artists. We hope this book will provide the perfect inspiration and springboard for anyone to be free to express themselves, however they wish. After all, that's what is at the heart of Amnesty and the invaluable work they do.”