Our Picture Book Project

In June 2017, Penguin Random House UK and Ministry of Stories launched seventeen unique new picture books, all written by children between the ages of 8 and 12 and brought to life by volunteer illustrators.

The children attended weekend workshops at the Ministry of Stories to write stories ‘for their younger selves’, before being matched with their own volunteer illustrator, who brought their stories to life on the page. Penguin Random House UK have now published these stories as a series of real picture books. In developing these picture books, each child worked closely with their illustrator and had complete creative control over their picture book, explaining what their stories looked like and sketching their ideas together.

This unique publishing project is part of a partnership between Penguin Random House UK and Ministry of Stories, which is now in its second year.

Since 2016, we have been supporting the charity’s efforts to reach new communities through both funding and expertise, and inspiring our authors and employees to volunteer and fundraise. Together, our goal is to help close the creativity gap for 7,500 children across the UK by 2018.

Read the picture books in full:

A Royal Giraffe | Demolisher Damien and the Chicken Invader | How Georgie Became a Superhero | Isla the Nerd | Jake the Scared Hero | Leap to the Finish | Tecnoglo and the Special Element | The Act of Friendship | The Battle of the Diamond Sword | The Comeback | The Lonely Teacup Head | The Magic Boots | The Moon and Montgomery | The Three Owls | The Toucans That Never Gave Up | The Turn Around | The Wing Annihilator



Written by Danae, aged 9

What’s the story about?  

This book is about a princess. It is her 21st birthday, and she doesn’t know she is having a coronation. But her evil uncle Mike doesn’t want her to become queen, so he makes a perfume to turn her into something…

Illustrated by Faan Peeti   

Faan Peeti is an illustrator, writer and columnist from Thailand. She loves to create stories for both children and young adults.

Website: http://www.faanpeeti.com
Instragram: @faanpeeti

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Written by Ali Eren, aged 12

What’s the story about?  

Watch out! There is something unexpected coming from the sky... Is it a plane? Is it a flying chicken wing? Is it a fat cow? Well, Demolisher Damien finds out and he is as surprised as if someone threw him a birthday party. This fight will be remembered in history…

Illustrated by Melis Malatani  

Melis Malatani is a freelance illustrator and graphic designer who has a love of sharing stories, and continues to explore the endless possibilities of bringing her own and others imagined worlds to life.

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Written by Uresa, aged 10

What’s the story about?  

Be prepared to meet a future superhero, her enemy and her little sister. As you may know, puppies hate kittens and kittens hate puppies. If you love superheroes and animals, this book is for you!

Illustrated by Heidi Carlson Coburn

After spending the first 20 years of her life in Los Angeles, Heidi Carlson Coburn is now an illustrator and historian at the University of Cambridge. She happily traded the California sunshine for Cadbury’s chocolate.

Website: www.heidicoburn.com

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Written by Helin, aged 12

What’s the story about?  

Isla was a nerd that always got bullied. She had two very good friends that were always there for her. But one day, she went to her cousin’s house and became a completely different girl…

Illustrated by Vera Howard

Originally a graphic designer from Switzerland, Vera Howard moved to London to follow her true passion and become an independent illustrator.

Website: www.artifox.co.uk
Instagram: @artifox_design

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Written by Onyeka, aged 9

What’s the story about?  

The Evil Destroyer has overrun New York. Will anyone stop him? Jake can, but he’s scared. Will Jake ever overcome his fears?

Illustrated by Michi Mathias

Michi Mathias makes comics based on the absurdities of real life, draws vegetarian recipes in graphic form and enjoys using illustration to make complicated things clear, all in a somewhat realistic but slightly wonky manner with ink and watercolour.

Website: www.michimathias.com
Instagram: @michi.mathias

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Written by Ela, aged 12

What’s the story about?  

Holly and Polly are two best friends who have two extreme talents. They decide to join a talent show. As well as nerves, a lightening-bolt of rivalry strikes them both when the two of them want to win. Who will win? And will they ever become best friends again?

Illustrated by Alex Clark

Alexandra Clark recently graduated from an MA in Children’s Book Illustration at Anglia Ruskin University. As an illustrator she works mainly in gouache and colored pencil, currently her main preoccupations are female perspectives on fairy and folk tales.

Website: www.alexandraclarkart.com

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Written by Melinda, aged 9

What’s the story about? 

Another day for Tecnoglo being naughty, but he doesn’t realise he is going to save the world…

Illustrated by Tin Yan Lee

Tin Yan Lee is an illustrator from Hong Kong, and she enjoys illustrating children’s books and making comics.

Instagram: @tinyanlee

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Written by Bodil, aged 8

What’s the story about?  

The kind dragon Danielle really wants a friend, but everybody thinks she is evil. Will she ever find a friend? Friendship is more powerful than you think.

Illustrated by Susan Monk

Susan Monk is a graphic artist/illustrator/tutor, specialising in figurative work. She was featured in BBC2's ‘Jane Austen: The Unseen Portrait' in 2011 and has exhibited at the Medici Gallery, RMS and the Royal Armouries.

Website: www.susanmonk.com

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Written by Tobenna, aged 8

What’s the story about?  

The wizard Lightniss battles with his friends, but evil tries to track them down. They visit a magic planet, but experienced enemies are there and bad things can come. The D-evil wants a diamond sword, but so does Lightniss. Who will win? The battle starts now!

Illustrated by Gareth A Hopkins

Gareth A Hopkins is an artist and illustrator, and creator of the experimental comic ‘The Intercorstal'

Website: www.grthink.com

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Written by Tyrese, aged 12

What’s the story about?  

The story of a lifetime, about a police cat called Toby. But he has lost his badge, or has he…?

Illustrated by Payal Wadhwa

Payal Wadhwa is a service design lead at Fjord. Trained as a museum designer, she enjoys being able to find good stories, interpret them and tell them well.

Instagram: @conspirator_in_chief
Twitter: @comeconspire

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Written by Bartu, aged 10

What’s the story about?  

What type of world is this? Most people in the world are crazy, but not like this man! He has a dream, but not a normal one! What will he do to make his dream come true?

Illustrated by Mrinali Alvarez

Mrinali Alvarez is currently studying for a Ph.D. in Graphic Design and Typography at Anglia Ruskin University. Mrinali likes to approach a theme with no preconceived ideas. She lets each story tell her how it wants to be illustrated.

Website: www.mrinalialvarez.com

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Written by Uchenna, aged 10

What’s the story about?  

This amazing footballer Jordan is sensational. His friends adore him because of the amount of goals he has scored. However no-one knows his secret. Jordan’s secret is something that he always uses in football and it gleams wherever he goes. Do you know Jordan’s secret that contains magic?

Illustrated by Krina Patel

Krina Patel has worked as a designer in children’s publishing since 2012 and illustrated her first set of books for Hachette Children’s Group in 2015. Her style is versatile and ever evolving, she’s always on the look out for interesting new commissions.

Website: krina.net
Instagram: @krina_draws

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Written by Selin, aged 12

What’s the story about?  

Every child wants to go to the Moon. Montgomery is too small to go, but he is determined. What does he do to reach the Moon?

Illustrated by Maisie Noble

Maisie Noble is a Welsh, London-based illustrator who is currently studying for her Masters in Communication Design, Illustration from Kingston University after spending several years working in industry. In addition to illustration, Maisie works as an Associate Lecturer at University of the Arts London and runs creative workshops around London.

Website: www.maisienoble.co.uk
Instagram: @maisienoble

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Written by Kiana, aged 9

What’s the story about?  

There are three owls, Kiana, Josh and Lucy. They live in a tree as yellow as the sun. Their mum goes missing. Will they find her . . .?

Illustrated by Anna Brown

Anna Brown is an illustrator and designer, whose work tends to feature mostly rabbits, polar bears and assorted woodland creatures. She usually draws in pencil and colours in Photoshop, and occasionally experiments with printmaking.

Website: www.rabbitswhiskers.co.uk

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Written by Mahi, aged 8

What’s the story about?  

If the toucans never give up, you don’t give up! Find out what happens to the toucans on their journey to find their dream job. Read the story and follow your dreams.

Illustrated by Laura Casella

Born and raised in Rome, Laura Casella has been drawing since she can remember. Laura obtained a BA in Illustration from the Institute of European Design, in 1994. In the same year Laura’s work was selected at the Children’s Book Fair in Bologna for her non-fiction project Middle Ages. Laura recently studied for a MA in Children’s Book Illustration.

Website: www.lauracasella.com
Instagram: @la_kazella

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Written by Erencan, aged 10

What’s the story about?  

Have you ever lived with two strangers? For a second? A minute? This boy has been living with strangers for his whole life. You don’t know how it feels.

Illustrated by Zahra Tharani

Zahra Tharani is a fine artist and works as an illustrator in London and Oxford. She currently exhibits her work with Eynsham Art Group and Finchely Art Society.

Website: www.zahravisualart.com

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Written by Berkay, aged 12

What’s the story about?  

Be careful! All your chicken might be gone! Join the Wing Annihilator’s quest to eat all the chicken you want. Do you love chicken? Then join now!

Illustrated by Rose Robbins

Rose Robbins is a graphic artist currently living between London and Nottingham. Rose has always drawn characters and invented stories, since a very young age she has been obsessed with cartoons, comics and picture books.

Website: www.roserobbins.co.uk

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