The Crows Know

Patrick Amber and Laura Stewart.

James Woollen interviews author Laura Stewart and illustrator Patrick Amber Photos by Carl Rose and James Woollen

According to Laura, “The crows know is a story about the noises crows make.” Her original inspiration was her mother saying that she could hear crows shouting, “Fire, Fire!”

Laura wrote the story eighteen months ago in a tent on a rainy day in Wales where the crows woke her up every morning. Local artist, Patrick Amber illustrates, bringing together shadow puppets with photos featuring local green spaces.

Patrick was in Athens working with refugees during production, so daughter, Ella, took on the photography. Published by the Independent Publishing Network, the first 100 copies have sold out worldwide, but a larger run of 500 is planned. All of the production has taken place in Sheffield.

PATRICK: We’re setting up a website of how we put the put the book together and how to make puppets. We’ve made a video about it.

JAMES: This book is something else. I’ve never seen anything like it.

P: Yes, it’s really something else to see it in print.

LAURA: Our friends worked with us and gave us advice. We really just did it for the love of it.

The Crows KnowWin a signed copy of the second edition of The Crows Know!

Send in your idea for children’s stories, drawings, photos, pictures of shadow puppets and local landscapes.

Puppet picnic coming to Abbeyfield Park, Saturday 3rd July

With puppet making and performance workshops, Patrick and Martin Currie have organised an exciting event.

There will be puppets you can talk to and interact with in the park, and if you want to put on a show yourself, we can make that happen.

Bring your favourite song on a device, and make a shadow puppets pop video. Children must be accompanied by adults, and adults are expected to join in. Bring a picnic, and take away your litter, or the litter picker puppets will get you!

To get involved, contact Patrick here: patrickamber@rocketmail.com.

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