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Pictures from an Exhibition

One of the greatest gifts you can give a child is to teach them to read as early as they are able to learn.  I regard my self as one of those fortunate people having been able to read long before I went to school, thanks to the help from my Mum, grandmothers and aunts.

I can remember sitting on my Mum’s knee and reading with her from such wonderful books as ‘Winnie the Pooh’ and Aklison Uttley’s ”Little Grey Rabbit’ series.It has been the pictures as much as the words that have stayed with me and many memories were evoked on my visit to More than Words’, the exhibition at Emsworth Museum over the weekend.

Book illustration has a very distinct life of its own, recognisable apart from the words it accompanies. Think for instance of the work of John Tenniel, the first illustrator of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Alice through the Looking Glass’, and A H Shepard who drew the evocative images of Winnie the Pooh, his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood and the pictures that accompany the poetry in ‘When We were Very Young’ and ‘Now We are Six’.  Despite later characterizations from Disney, it is the Shepard images that many people will associate most with Winnie the Pooh.

Examples of both these artists was on view, but most spectacular were the examples of pop-up-books and stories, both contemporary and historic.

Revisiting my own memories again, I recall a pop-up-book of wild animals, accompanied by strange and mysterious humans that inhabited the same lands. I didn’t find that one, but I did see a wonderful tiger by Jan Pienkowski which could be quite scary and surprising for a child as it leaps from the pages.

Pop-up-books require engineering as well as artistic skills so that they fold away without damage and spring back to life when the page is re-opened.  One remarkable example was an old sailing ship under full sail by Ron van der Meer which I think has to be my favourite.

I was surprised to learn that the origins of the art of the ‘movable book’ dates back as far as the 1300’s but it seems to have really started to grow in the 1700’s It steadily gained in popularity and creativity as books began to be written and created specifically for children,. There was a very productive period in the 1930’s with examples such as the Bookano series and is thriving today with artists like Pienkowski.

Pop-up artists featured in the exhibition included Lothar Meggendorfer, Louis Giraud and Robert Sabuda.

To find out more about this art form, The Movable Book Society website is an excellent place to start.

Support HLF at Waitrose – Give us Your Tokens!

Waitrose Community Matters tokenHavant Literary Festival has been fortunate enough to have been given an opportunity to raise funds through the Waitrose Community Matters scheme at the Havant branch during June.

Each month, the Havant branch of Waitrose donates a total of £1,000 to three local organisations. For every transaction, no matter how small, the customer will be given a ‘green token’ to place in the box of their choice.

Please put it in ours!

The more tokens we accrue, the bigger the percentage of the £1,000 will be allotted to HLF. So if you are shopping in Havant, please think of us and head to Waitrose.

Havant Literary Festival would like to thank Waitrose for their continuing support.

What you’ll find on the Festival Blog

Come here to find out the latest insider news on Havant Literary Festival 2009.

In the planning stages you will find news of events as they are arranged and later, as the Festival gets under way, there will be reports of events with photos and also reminders to tell you what is coming up next.

Getting the news out…


A happy and productive band of people spent the morning of 2nd April stuffing envelopes with the latest Havant Arts Centre brochures and newsletters, but more importantly an invitation to join the Havant Literary Festival Society.

For our reward, Red Mango Cafe supplied a very delicious buffet lunch.

For Steve Mason and myself, it was a good opportunity to catch up on what we had discovered about wordpress and plan how we might incorporate the various strands of web work already done, including last year’s Festival site which was designed and maintained by Ellie Dawes, the daughter of Tim Dawes from the Nineveh Gallery.

The possibility of registering a domain name to tie everything together was aired, and the technical advantages and disadvantages discussed. The topic will be passed on to the Festival Committee.

Steve is also planning to take some photos around Havant and has done a very nice drawing featuring a scroll or parchment and a gloved hand with a quill pen. Together with images and colouring representing the themes of the Festival – Crime, Water and Pathways, we hope to use this image or elements of it to make it easy for visitors to the website and the blog to find topics and events for the different themes more easily.

The aim of the website and blog is to bring the whole Festival experience to the wider world, but principally to attract more visitors to individual events. Post-event, visitors will find reviews and links related to the event, and where relevant, the authors, musicians or speakers.

What we are aiming for at present, is to get the message out to everyone in the area that the Festival run-up has already started with some fund-raising events. A lecture series is under way at Nineveh, Havant and a very successful Ceilidh featuring the band Feckless at St Faiths Church Hall was held on April 25th.