The following guest post was written before the School Library Association Information Book Award ceremony took place and we are delighted to announce that Survivors of the Holocaust is in fact this year’s overall winner. Congratulations to authors Zane Whittingham and Ryan Jones for creating such moving and very personal account of the Holocaust.
We’re rather excited here at Fettle Animation that our first foray into publishing, our graphic novel Survivors of the Holocaust, has been shortlisted for a School Library Association Information Book Award. We’re getting ready are really looking forward to meeting everyone at the Awards!
Our graphic novel is based on our multi-award winning animation series Children of the Holocaust which we made with BBC Learning and The Holocaust Survivors’ Friendship Association, a charity based in Leeds, West Yorkshire.
Our novel tells six remarkable stories of survival and courage from eyewitnesses of Nazi atrocities during World War Two, told in the authentic words of genuine Holocaust Survivors.
Ruth – Escape from East Germany thanks to brave and resilient parents.
Martin – Poland, the Kindertransport and the Coventry Blitz.
Trude – Occupied Bratislava, evacuation to Britain and the search for her parents.
Heinz – The Nuremberg Laws, Kristallnacht and internment in the UK as an Enemy Alien.
Arek – Squalour and survival at Auschwitz Birkenau concentration camp.
Suzanne – Isolation, loneliness and neglect as a hidden child in occupied France.
Our books are colourful, with distinctive design inspired by wartime propaganda posters and are carefully researched with authentic period details.
The book is based on original artwork from the Children of the Holocaust animations by Fettle Director Zane Whittingham, and the individual frames of the animation were styled into comic book format by Fettle Animator Ryan Jones with the help of Hachette designer Peter Scoulding.
The original Children of the Holocaust animations are available as a resource for secondary pupils learning about the Holocaust at school available free at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01zx5g7/clips
Animation helps young audiences to understand the events of World War Two without too much of the horror and also to draw parallels and discuss the need for tolerance and peace in the world today.
Our animation has also resonated with a much wider audience, it has been broadcast on BBC Four and internationally in 14 countries, shown at international festivals, won a Japan Prize, a Sandford St Martins’ Children’s Award and two Royal Television Society Awards.
It is also going to be shown as part of the United Nations Holocaust Memorial Day Commemorations in New York and at centres around the world.
We’ve loved making the films, and all of the accolades and recognition, but publishing books has been the real cherry on the cake!
There’s something magical about the smell of the ink and the tactile shininess of the books.
For our survivors, this also acts as a unique record and a way of further passing on their stories to ensure that future generations can learn from some of the lessons of history.
They make great gifts for friends, family and visitors to our studio too!
We’re also so pleased to see it translated into different languages (Dutch, French and Italian so far) and to know that the message of our work is spreading around the world.
We’re really proud of our graphic novel and would like to thank the Hachette team for seeing the potential of this and for all of their hard work and enthusiasm in publishing, selling and promoting Survivors of the Holocaust.
This guest post was provided by Kath Shackleton and the views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the FCBG.