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Anastasia Izlesou is a multidisciplinary illustrator and designer from the UK. Using a mix of digital and traditional media, she creates vibrant work full of bold natural elements. Her inspirations range from natural sciences, literature and folklore to everyday items and objects of kitsch.
The White Hare, published by Graffeg, was Anastasia’s first published book, followed by Leap, Hare, Leap!, the first title in the Wild Wanderers series. Anastasia is based in Bournemouth.
‘Lawn-prowler, mist-parter’ wind is small and weak at the beginning of this lyrical, gorgeously illustrated picture book. But, ‘heat-snatcher, pressure-catcher’, it borrows strength from the Earth and with a huff and a puff, grows big and strong, sweeping across the globe, snatching up a seed and helicoptering it far and wide, across oceans and deserts to eventually deposit it in the Amazon soil, ‘like a flag on a newly found moon’. Dom Conlon’s poet-perfect words whirl and fly as light and powerful as the wind, while Anastasia Izlesou’s sumptuous, atmospheric illustrations slide in a page turn from the heat of a sandstorm in Chad to the darkness of an Atlantic storm and the uncontrolled wild beauty of a Florida hurricane. A page of Wind Facts delves into words and ideas that might be unfamiliar, and this is both informative and inspiring.
Information book and poem both, Swim, Shark, Swim takes readers on a journey through the world’s oceans in the company of a blacktip reef shark. It begins in the waters off western Australia, where the shark, ‘This reef-watcher, jewel-guarder’, is urged to ‘swim, Shark, SWIM!’ to avoid a net. Through a tunnel of bubbles and light he speeds away through his saltwater world, and as readers travel with him, they too are plunged into the different seas, encountering a variety of sharks – tiger sharks, white tips, a tunnel-mouthed basking shark in ‘cathedral-cold waters’, a great white, ‘slicing wolf-eels from forests of kelp/ like the sea’s ancient spear.’ The language is beautiful and the images are too, both capturing all the quiet of the deep oceans and the power of the sharks that glide through them. As they read, children will discover so much about sharks and come to understand why it is so important that we protect them. A page of Shark Facts at the end provides further information for the curious. An inspiring and very special book.