Nicola Davies at Hay Festival

The first few days at the Hay Festival this year have been fantastic. As usual we loved watching the literary community come together for a week of celebrating all things books.

On Thursday Nicola Davies sparked the imaginations of school children with readings from her incredibly touching award-nominated poetry collection, Choose Love, illustrated by Petr Horáček

Here is what publishing director, Matthew Howard, had to say on the event: "Graffeg were delighted to have Nicola on this year’s Hay Festival programme, and particularly as part of their events for school children. The event centred on Choose Love, a poem cycle that considers the whole refugee experience, and an attentive audience of teenagers listened carefully as Nicola described the conditions faced by migrants in the Calais camps and challenged the stereotypes as proclaimed by much of the UK media."

"Breaking the cycle of mistrust and fear and being able to open young people up to the realities faced by the individual migrant was the hugely positive outcome of this event. That there were so many with hands in the air asking questions at the end was equally encouraging - a sign that young people are keen to know and understand more."

Heading to the Hay Festival Later this week? Make sure you pick up a signed copy of Nicola's book, Choose Love.

Nicola's other texts for children are also available at the Hay Festival bookshop, including her Animal Surprises series, Perfect and The Pond. 

Make sure you visit while you still have the chance!

Choose Love

Nicola Davies & Petr Horáček

Choose Love is a cycle of poems that highlights the experience of those forced to become refugees. The core of the collection was written in 2018 as part of a project with the charity Refugee Trauma Initiative.

With the permission of both individual refugees and aid workers, RTI shared with Nicola a number of true and poignant stories which were then used as the basis for short-form poems. Over the following years Nicola has added to this core of poems to create a coherent collection on the theme of forced migration, its wider causes and consequences. 

About the author and illustrator:

Nicola Davies in award-winning children's author. Underlying all Nicola’s writing is the belief that a relationship with nature is essential to every human being, and that now, more than ever, we need to renew that relationship. Nicola’s children’s books from Graffeg include Perfect, The Word Bird, Animal Surprises, Into the Blue and the Shadows and Light series: The White Hare, Mother Cary’s Butter Knife, The Selkie’s Mate, Elias Martin, Bee Boy and the Moonflowers and The Eel Question.

Petr Horáček is an award winning illustrator and author of books for children. His books include The Best Place in the World, Puffin Peter, Blue Penguin, The Greedy Goat, Silly Suzy Goose and A New House for Mouse. 

Petr illustrated Nicola Davies’s book A First Book of Animals published by Walker Books, which was shortlisted for The Kate Greenaway Medal and in 2017 was awarded Schools Library Association Information Book Award. 

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