The Stolen Button-Web poster.jpg

The Stolen Button picture book

 

The stolen Button is a fully illustrated book (48 pages) written by a Chinese background author, Marianna Shek and Illustrated by a Persian background illustrator Leila Honari. The book is intended for an older audience (12+) and contains dark themes. Hearts are stolen every day, but a stolen belly button- well, that has consequences! When willful Mei Ling wheedles her mother, Lady Lin, into taking her to the circus, she catches the attention of the orphan Fang Fei. The envious girl traps Mei Ling in the mirror maze, then offers her safe passage home in exchange for her navel.

The Stolen Button is a representation of multicultural stories in an Australian landscape. The Silk Road is a historical location, a cultural melting point where East meets West. This transport corridor facilitated the exchange of goods, but more importantly, it transmitted ideas and stories. Classic tales such as Journey to the West and Aladdin have their roots along the Silk Road. However, the authors do not use the Silk Road as a realistic backdrop. It is an imaginative space to portray an exotic other, a wilderness, a place to face demons, spirits, and foes. Likewise, the Silk Road of our imagination is a fantastic place – a hybrid garden of Chinese stories from childhood memories of the author of the book mixed with illustrative elements from the illustrator’s Persian painting background. 

The illustrations for The Stolen Button are produced from a combination of traditional and contemporary methods. The inspiration came from themes and elements within the story, such as caravans, gypsies, the bazaar/marketplace, and migration and displacement.

The Stolen Button won second place in (CYA) the Children’s and Young Adult Writers and Illustrators Competition in Queensland, aspiring (unpublished) picture book category. The Stolen Button’s illustrations were exhibited in Brisbane city council libraries in 2018 and 2019. As a result, the author and the illustrator were invited to artist panels and interviewed with local, national, and international magazines such as Peril Magazine and BEMAC. The Stolen Button picture book raised $6,618 with 104 backers in the Kickstarter campaign in 32 days in November 2017. This book received many reviews from people and professionals on the GoodReads website.

Book Trailer

https://vimeo.com/215819065?embedded=true&source=vimeo_logo&owner=7922714

Music: Parnian Zanganeh


Kickstarter

Pledged of AU$ 6,600 goal with 104 backers

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/965099239/the-stolen-button

Interviews 

Marianna Shek and Leila Honari: The Stolen Button
(Peril Magazine Inc, ISSN 2207-2942)
https://peril.com.au/topics/arts/marianna-shek-and-leila-honari-the-stolen-button/

Meet the Artist… Leila Honari
https://www.rockonkitty.com.au/2017/05/29/meet-the-artist-leila-honari/

Australian Fairy tale Society 
Member Exclusive Enzine
Issue No.1, AFTS, Aug/Sept 2016
AFTS Ezine #5 ‘Aladdin’ - RoundTable
https://australianfairytalesociety.org/ezines/

Conference 
The 5th Annual Conference of the Australian Fairy Tale Society 
10 June 2018, The Royal Botanical Garden, Sydney
Conference topic: “Garden of Good & Evil: Growing Life Plucking Death.”
A joint Conference paper (Marianna Shek and Leila Honari)
paper title: THE SILK ROAD - CULTIVATING A HYBRID GARDEN (The creative journey behind The Stolen Button picture book)
This conference paper explores the creative process behind the development of The Stolen Button picture book focusing on the themes of migration, displacement, and the representation of multicultural stories in an Australian landscape. The Silk Road is a historical location, a cultural melting point where East meets West. This transport corridor facilitated the exchange of goods, but more importantly, it transmitted ideas and stories. Classic tales such as Journey to the West and Aladdin have their roots along the Silk Road. However, the authors do not use the Silk Road as a realistic backdrop. It is an imaginative space to portray an exotic other, a wilderness, a place to face demons, spirits, and foes. Likewise, the Silk Road of our imagination is a fantastic place – a hybrid garden of Chinese stories from childhood memories of the author of the book mixed with illustrative elements from the illustrator’s Persian painting background.

Author Event/Books-signing  for the Dymocks customers
Author Event/Books-signing for the Dymocks customers

Author Event/Books-signing for the Dymocks customers at Indooroopilly Shopping Centre

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Illustration 1
Illustration 1

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Illustration 3
Illustration 3

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Author Event/Books-signing  for the Dymocks customers
Author Event/Books-signing for the Dymocks customers

Author Event/Books-signing for the Dymocks customers at Indooroopilly Shopping Centre

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