Explore the creative world of Who Left the Light On?


We are thrilled to share some of the captivating illustrations from the first picture book in our Yonder imprint, Who Left the Light On? by Richard Marnier and illustrated by Aude Maurel. Who Left the Light On? is a visually stunning celebration of diversity in a community where creativity is given a free rein and acceptance is the order of the day.

This delightful picture book is about a uniform, monotonous village where all the neighbors follow the same rules of how their homes should look and when it’s okay to turn on the lights—until one day someone decides to turn on the lights at the “wrong” time. This one small act of independence soon shocks others into diverging from the norm and experimenting with their own ideas about design and decor. As the village explodes into color and the neighbors learn to artistically express to their cultural and artistic differences, Marnier’s world will light a spark of empathy and acceptance in young readers.

Artist Aude Maurel’s angular, unvaried images eventually burst into a lively abundance of bamboo huts, shoe-shaped barns, and glitzy palaces—all of which coexist in a state of good-natured neighborly cheer and are sure to enthrall kids and adults alike.

We are especially grateful for the generous support of Katharyn Dawson who sponsored the publication of Who Left the Light On? in honor of her mother’s ninety-fifth birthday. To learn more about sponsoring a Restless book, click here.


See Matt McCann's Illustrations for 'Chekhov: Stories for Our Time'

Take a sneak peek at artist Matt McCann's wonderful illustrations for Chekhov: Stories for Our Time, with an introduction by Boris Fishman and translated from the Russian by Constance Garnett, Ilan Stavans, and Alexander Gurvets:

Matt McCann: Artist's Statement

My mental picture of Anton Chekhov before this project was hazy. I vaguely summoned a playwright with a tenacious goatee whose work I hadn’t ever read, though I had spent some time with some of the other Very Serious Giants of Russian required reading, e.g., your Tolstoys, your Dostoevskys — with a smattering of Gogol and Turgenev. I figured he was probably a good read, too, but probably just as Very Serious, and since I had already read some of the others, I’d figure, Why bother? It didn’t help that, like many Very Serious artists, he was tubercular and died tragically young.

Boris Fishman’s invitation to reconsider Chekhov through the prism of the 1890 photograph he discusses in his introduction — that with the white suit and mongoose — was, for me, a revelation. I read a draft of that introduction before I had read a single solitary word of Chekhov, and it completely informed my idea of the man as someone who, along with his generous and total humanity, possessed a whopping dollop of humorousness. So I saw my task as an attempt to mirror that humor, as though making drawings I thought the mischievous-looking fellow wrangling that rodent might giggle at.

For stories where there wasn’t humor, I sought to achieve at least a visual wryness that I read into these stories, even the darkest ones, or tease out a tiny sliver of the story that I thought warranted further consideration. Sometimes that produced weirdness, like a bird with four wings.

In some, I just gave in, guiltily, to cartoonishness. Maybe too often. Maybe these illustrations can or should be dismissed as frivolous — serious literature interrupted by silly nonsense doodles.

Anton Chekhov doodled, though, too. He was pretty good.

—Matt McCann


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See Sonali Zohra's Gorgeous Images from the New, Illustrated Ramayana

When we read Arshia Sattar's gripping retelling of the classic Hindu epic Ramayana, we were blown away. Arshia takes an incredibly dramatic story—an army of flying monkeys, an evil demon king, a beautiful princess in distress, a hero who discovers his own secret powers—and brings it vividly to life in lucid, artful, and propulsive prose that honors the original ancient text by the Sanskrit poet Valmiki. Making the book even more vidid are artist Sonali Zohra's stunning illustrations: twenty two-page spreads in bright color, sharp detail, and astonishingly original conception. See the gallery below for a preview the images, which will be even more gorgeous in the finished, hardcover book—out March 2018 from Yonder!

Gallery: Sonali Zohra's Illustrations from Ramayana

Sonali Zohra: Artist's Statement

Growing up in India, not knowing the story of the Ramayana or at least a general outline of what it is about is unlikely. It is India’s great archetypal story, one that shows up everywhere. It is in the fabric of our culture and has been presented in a variety of styles and mediums—be it architecture, painting, illustration or sculpture—over the span of two thousand years.

The opportunity to illustrate the Ramayana, particularly this version translated and rewritten by Arshia Sattar from Valmiki’s original, was something out of a dream. As a child I was fascinated by indigenous folk artist Badri Narayan’s illustrations of the Mahabharata written by Shanta Rameshwar Rao. The illustrations portrayed the gods and goddesses in an almost human form—and, in my eyes, a more relatable form compared to the popular religious depictions of the characters. This seemed to fit Arshia’s style of writing: mystical yet so relatable. Inspired by the text, I began drafting my visions of this great story.

I wanted the illustrations to be dark and detailed silhouettes against bold colours in the hope of translating the mood and tone of Arshia’s descriptions. As an artist, the process is sometimes greater than the end goal. This process was almost meditative—it brought me closer to understanding the intricacies of the scenarios within the story and opened up a whole new way of setting the scene for the text to follow.

—Sonali Zohra


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