Swallow’s Kiss

In celebration of Refugee Week we are delighted to announce the upcoming launch of Swallow’s Kiss, a beautiful children’s book inspired by the experiences of people at the Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants.

Swallow’s Kiss, by our artists in residence Sita Brahmachari and Jane Ray, follows the story of seven year old Blessing and her family as she discovers a bag of lost paper birds with wishes written in different languages on their wings. 

Blessing’s mother, a refugee from the Congo, every night sings her daughter a beautiful Lingala lullaby but the paper birds bring songs and wishes in many languages. Blessing embarks on a quest to discover what is written on the wings of these paper birds and the refugee people who made them.

Sita said: ‘In Swallow’s Kiss I felt a strong motivation to write a story for younger children because they have been so profoundly impacted by the isolation of this Global Pandemic.’

The novel, written in free verse, is published by Pop Up Projects CIC, a non-profit national children’s literature development agency.  Swallow’s Kiss is part of the 10 Stories to Make a Difference collection: ten original illustrated stories for young readers, all inspired by the theme of ‘difference’. The collection was launched this year in celebration for Pop Up’s tenth anniversary and to support their work in deprived schools, marginalised communities, and with talented aspiring and emerging writers and illustrators.

Like Swallow’s Kiss, all ten books tell the stories of people from marginalised groups traditionally underrepresented in publishing.  “We want the books to be a way into conversations with children about people in marginalised groups as well as helping people from those groups to see themselves in literature,” said a spokeswoman from Pop Up.

The stories are exciting new collaborations between established and emerging writers and illustrators, giving platforms to bold new voices. Swallow’s Kiss was edited by Dylan Calder at Pop Up and art directed by Elorine Grant at HarperCollins.  

Filled with light, love and birdsong, it is a wonderfully uplifting story that explores the common threads that connect our communities.

For a sneak peak of Swallow’s Kiss please click the download button below

Join us for the Swallow’s Kiss book launch on Thursday June 24th at 5pm.

Link to the launch: https://www.bl.uk/events/10-stories-to-make-a-difference

Join Sita Brahmachari and Jane Ray’s live workshop at the National Maritime Museum on Friday 18th June, 10 – 11am
Suitable for KS1-Lower KS2 (Ages 6-9)

Book via this link here: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/pufp-sbjr/register

You can buy your copy of Swallow’s Kiss here: https://pop-up.org.uk/shop/