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Everybody's Welcome
Monday, 30 November -0001
Posted On 2017-03-16 13:11:30 |  Last Update 2017-03-16 13:20:49 |  Read 3012 times | 2 Comments

When publishing gets personal. Thomas Truong, Publisher of Caterpillar Books and 360 Degrees, had a very specific reaction to the results of the EU Referendum last June, which was the impetus for a new book called Everybody's Welcome.

It’s not a big secret that it takes AAAAGES to make a book. Typically, we’ll start work on a picture book around two years before it’s due to publish. However, every once in a while an idea pops up which is so urgent, we have to make it happen as soon as possible. One of the great things about being a small, independently-owned publisher is that we can be a little more nimble. We don’t have to go through a long arduous approval process. If it’s something we really believe in, our benevolent owners will usually give us free-reign to get on with it.

“The day the results of the EU referendum were announced was also the day I got the keys for my new house. It had been a tense and divisive campaign, and I was aware that there were a lot of people who felt differently to me on the issue of leaving the EU, but I was still shocked when the results came in.

As the son of a refugee (my dad fled Vietnam as a young man) and a European migrant (my mother is German) I struggled to make sense of the news. But what bothered me most, was how I would explain to my young son over the coming years, that he can and should be a force for good through difficult times. That we must continue to be kind, and welcoming, and work together to build a bright future.

Thomas with his son, Elliott, and wife, Sally.

So much of the Brexit debate involved conversations about immigration. And lots of discussions with friends, family and colleagues revealed feelings of unease, of not being welcome in the country they were born in or have made their home.

I returned to office with the seed of an idea, to share with Elliott and to enable other parents and carers to promote ideals of refuge, inclusivity and friendship with the very young. I called a meeting and had the support of the team, and we got to work. Everybody's Welcome was the result. It was made with love for our readers because everybody's welcome, in or out, as long as they’re willing to share the home we are building together.”

Everybody’s Welcome written by Patricia Hegarty and illustrated by Greg Abbott will be published on 23rd June 2017 by Caterpillar Books, an imprint of the Little Tiger Group.
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