Story & Truth – first book by independent Birmingham publisher How Brave is the Wren!

Introducing Story & Truth a children’s book created by Ian Douglas (Storyteller and Theatre Maker) illustrated by Ben Javens (freelance illustrator / Designer for Anorak Magazine) and published by How Brave Is The Wren. Story is a young man who travels the world meeting new people and being welcomed into their homes, Truth is a wise and elderly lady who carries the weight of the world on her shoulders. When the two meet, Truth asks why it is that she is never welcomed into peoples homes, Story doesn’t know why but he does know that people will always welcome a Story if it is well told.

How Brave is The Wren is a travelling children’s bookshop operating from a converted caravan. Story & Truth is the first book published by independent publisher How Brave is the Wren

is my first foray into publishing and seemed an apt place to start, having met Ian at Just So Festival, which was my first ever outing with the caravan. I’d heard him tell the tale of Story & Truth around the campfire on many occasions. Everytime I could see it clearly as a book, with beautiful bold illustrations. The book is a traditional tale with a long heritage, it was gifted to Ian by his mentor Taffy Thomas as is the tradition with storytelling, Ben’s illustration’s are a perfect fit for this reason.

Jenny Moore, owner of independent children’s bookshop and publisher

How Brave is The Wren

This heritage has been considered through the whole process, from the size of the book to the binding, to produce a book for keeps, to be passed down through the generations. Illustrator, Ben Javens, has produced work for international clients such as The New York Times, The School of Life, Smithsonian, Frances Lincoln, Warburtons, The Guardian, and Timeout Magazine. He works as a designer and illustrator for Studio Anorak on commissioned projects as well as the quarterly published children’s magazines Anorak and dot.

I decided early on that the illustration and design for Story & Truth should reflect the age of the tale and so I looked to some old picture books in my collection to take inspiration. One such book was ‘The Story of William Tell’ as told by the mid century Illustrator Aliki Brandenberg.

Ben Javens Illustrator of Story & Truth