Flying Eye Books will publish Bandoola: The Great Elephant Rescue, the publisher's third collaboration with author and illustrator William Grill, a Kate Greenaway Medal winner.
Bandoola: The Great Elephant Rescue will feature illustrations of Myanmar’s forests and mountains and, alongside facts about Asian elephants and how humans live and work with them today, will remind readers about the enduring bond between humans and animals and why we must protect them, says the publisher.
The synopsis explains: "When the Second World War comes to Myanmar (formerly Burma), one special elephant named Bandoola becomes a hero. As people are forced to leave their homes in the Burmese jungle, Bandoola, his keeper and war veteran James Howard Williams (a.k.a. Elephant Bill), undertake a journey that will test their courage, understanding and bravery to the very limit. Putting trust in one another, they lead a group of 53 elephants and over 200 refugees to safety, scaling 6,000 ft mountains as they trek from Myanmar to northern India."
Flying Eye Books acquired world rights from the author, with publication slated for 1st October 2021.
Flying Eye published Grill's first two books Shackleton’s Journey and The Wolves of Currumpaw in 2014 and 2016 respectively. The former won the Kate Greenaway Medal in 2015.
Sam Arthur, c.e.o. of Nobrow and Flying Eye Books, said: "We are delighted to be working with Will on such a special book. His illustrations are breathtaking and expertly capture the beauty of the Myanmar jungles and mountain ranges. But Will’s special talent is his depiction of the elephants, they are such inspirational creatures and the stars of an incredible story. Will has chosen once again to bring an amazing adventure story to a new generation."
Grill commented: "I came across the story of Elephant Bill and Bandoola while I was studying at university. At first I was struck by the grainy images of elephants hauling enormous logs in the jungle, but what later gripped me was the epic journey they undertook, and the incredible bond between them. Our relationship with the animal kingdom is constantly evolving, and this true story proves how a kind and patient approach brings out the best in humans and animals."