British Council's UK/Viet Nam Season 2023 came to ROSL last Friday as we launched The Return of The Spoon-Billed Sandpiper, a one-week exhibition of Vietnamese illustration in partnership with Pop Up Projects (on view until 3 December).

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Friday 24 November was declared the first ever National Illustration Day, which was an apt occasion as Royal Over-Seas League hosted an afternoon opening for The Return of the Spoon-Billed Sandpiper. This exhibition is the culmination of a year-long collaboration between Pop Up Projects (UK children’s literature development agency), Nhã Nam (Vietnam publisher) and Simon & Schuster (UK children’s publisher).

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On view in the Central Lounge until 3 December, it displays the work of 15 Vietnamese illustrators. Trang Nguyen wrote a new narrative nonfiction picture book text called The Return of the Spoon-Billed Sandpiper. It tells the story of a near-extinct bird species returning to Vietnam, due to the efforts of conservationists to restore and protect its habitats.

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The exhibition will be presented at the Royal Over-Seas League in London, Manchester School of Art’s Vertical Gallery at Manchester Metropolitan University (11 December 2023 - 7 January 2024), and in Hanoi at Nhã Nam’s bookstores.

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Also as part of Friday's afternoon opening we welcomed British television and radio presenter, screenwriter and children's author Konnie Huq, spokesperson and editor for fundraising project 'Children For Change' - an anthology of writing and illustration by over 50 of the UK's brightest stars in children's books, to inspire children and young people to make actions, small or large, local or global, to change the course of the climate emergency. Pop Up Projects' ambition is to get this Children For Change anthology into every primary school in the UK and beyond, into hundreds of thousands of children's homes.

To support the Children For Change crowdfunding campaign, visit: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/children-for-change

 

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Konnie Huq says "I truly believe that children are the key to changing the future. The values, mindsets, and goals that inspire and excite them during their formative years shape the adults they become - adults that can change the future of the climate emergency. This is the key to the importance of this book, so please support this excellent initiative!"

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Speeches also included an address from Dylan Calder, founder and Director of Pop Up Projects and a representative from the British Council - The Return of the Spoon-Billed Sandpiper is a part of the British Council UK/Viet Nam Season 2023.

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