Blackberry Blue by Jamila Gavin

all images © richard collingridge 2008-13

Blackberry Blue by Jamila Gavin, is a book that I worked on earlier in the year for Tamarind Books.

Its a series of short fairy tales reminiscent of the Brothers Grim, but with a modern day european cultural take on it. So with the ethos of Tamerind books in mind, I set about (after Jamila had written most of it) creating characters from ethnic minorities that would hopefully reflect how the diversity of modern europe has changed since the creation of all our classic fairytales.

The idea was to do this, but do this in a subtle way, so it would hopefully fit in with other classical fairytales and not be overstated . The overall the world in which these characters inhabited would be the same as someone like Cinderalla (for example) would have, even characters in the supporting cast would be very similar to what they would have been in Cinderalla. But the main characters, the heroes & the heroines of the book would be from the ethnic minorities that make up a big part of modern day europe.

And I think with the help of designers Dominica Clements, Clair Lansley and editor Kirsten Armstrong we came up with something cool at the end!

You can pick up the book from lots of different places, here is one of them.

p.s. we also had a fun talk last thursday in coventry about this, (and an amazing steak dinner!) so thanks for everyone who put that on and thanks for everyone who attended, even more thanks to the people that asked me questions, and most thanks to the person who nominated me fro the Kate Greenaway Medal!)


  1. Another amazing work:) Love the idea and the cover is fantastic:)

    1. Thanks a lot! Just went on your blog again, I wish I was able to be as productive as you are ;)

    2. Thank you:)I wish I could make illos magical as yours:)

    3. haha…i think its always that the grass is greener on the other side…I find myself wanting to do more ink, line and watercolour work!


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