Written by Tutu Dutta and illustrated by Martina Peluso
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Tutu Dutta is a raconteur of tales and the keeper of old knowledge and wisdom. She was born in India but grew up in Malaysia. As an undergraduate, she was awarded a scholarship by Japan Airlines to attend Summer School at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan. Japan’s rich cultural heritage and folklore treasure trove was an eye-opening experience for her.
She is the author of seven books, including Timeless Tales of Malaysia, Eight Treasures of the Dragon, and the middle grade series The Jugra Chronicles. Based partly on folklore and partly on history and imagination, The Jugra Chronicles is set in 17th Century Borneo.
In addition to her writing, Tutu has presented the paper ‘Adapting Asian Folktales for Children’s and YA Literature’ at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content in Singapore 2013, sponsored by the Singapore Book Council, and has also been one of the judges for the Scholastic Asia Young Writers Award 2014.
You can find out more about Tutu and her work here: www.tutudutta.blogspot.com.
Martina Peluso was born in Naples in 1980, where she currently lives and works. She studied printing art at the Institute of Art in Naples and has frequented courses of illustration at Sarmede and Pavia. In 2006, at the Carampa Circus in Madrid, she set up her first personal exhibition: Circus. In 2007, she exhibited a piece called the Hymn of the Creatures: Images of a World of Grace at the Museum of St. Damiano in Assisi, Italy. In 2014, she held an exhibition at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh. She has also participated in many collective shows throughout Europe.
From 2006, she began publishing her work with different publishing houses around the world. Moreover, she has organised cultural events and shows for children with the Kolibrì Cultural Association and has assumed the post of Art Director of the following shows: “The Game of the If: Homage to Gianni Rodari” at the PAN, Palazzo of the Arts of Naples, “The Colours of Salvatore Di Giacomo” at the PAN, Palazzo of the Arts of Naples, and “Neapolitan Rascals” at the Castel dell’Ovo, Naples.
You can find out more about her work here: http://martinapelusoillustratrice.blogspot.co.uk/
What inspired me to write Phoenix Song?
I’ve always been fascinated by mythical creatures: dragon, qilin, phoenix, kinara, griffin, sphinx etc. What could be more incredible than meeting such a creature in real life? I have no wish to meet a dragon or a sphinx face-to-face, but a phoenix would be wonderful! But what would it take to conjure such a creature? With these thoughts in mind, I looked for a suitable folktale that could be adapted into a picturebook, and in fact found two.
The first is the Malay folktale of Buluh Perindu (literally yearning or sighing bamboo). In this story, three brothers are given the task of bringing back a bamboo cutting from a hill that is haunted. The two elder brothers ignore the advice of an old man they meet on the way, and are turned to stone. The youngest brother manages to obtain a piece of bamboo. He fashions a flute out of the bamboo and manages to reverse the curse on his brothers, just by playing the flute.The second is the Chinese legend of the scholarly woodsman who is such a supernaturally gifted musician, he can tame wild animals and even summon the phoenix whenever he plays the xiao (a Chinese bamboo flute). The phoenix in my story is Cendrawasih or Fenghuang, a symbol of Spring, longevity and the renewal of life.
Tutu Dutta, author of Phoenix Song
Author: Tutu Dutta
Illustrator: Martina Peluso
Format: Paperback or ebook (ePub for iBooks)
Release date: 12th October 2015
Page number: 32
Age range: 4-8 years
ISBN (paperback): 978-0-9932253-4-5
ISBN (ebook): 978-0-9932253-5-2
Product dimensions: 24cm x 24cm
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