Iranian illustrator Abdollahi teams up with Jackie Morris

Iranian illustrator Abdollahi teams up with Jackie Morris

Ehsan Abdollahi, the illustrator who hit the headlines after being refused a visa to visit the Edinburgh International Book Festival, is teaming up with Jackie Morris on a picture book.

The Twelve Dancing Princesses, written by Morris and illustrated by Abdollahi using a mixed-medium collage technique, is a new interpretation of a Brothers Grimm fairy tale about 12 princesses who, despite being locked up every night, wear out their shoes through dancing.

“There's something about how [Abdollahi] draws women that I just love,” said Morris. “I wrote The Twelve Dancing Princesses a while ago; but something started to peck away at my brain, that he would be perfect to illustrate this dark tale of dancing.”


Tiny Owl has world rights for the title and signed the contract with Abdollahi and Morris’ agent,Jessica Woollard at David Higham Associates. It will publish the book as part of its ‘One Story, Many Voices’ series, which tells familiar tales from unique perspectives, in October 2019.

Abdollahi, whose other books include A Bottle of Happiness, created with Pippa Goodhart (Tiny Owl), had his standard visitor visa application declined last year after the Home Office deemed his financial documentation as insufficient, sparking a social media campaign to reverse the decision, which was later granted.

Morris is the author and illustrator of many titles and most recently teamed up with Robert Macfarlane on The Lost Words (Hamish Hamilton), conceived after Oxford University Press (OUP) hit the headlines for removing words about nature from the Oxford Junior Dictionary.