When a Traveller family experiences a run of bad luck, an imaginative boy called Yokki lifts their spirits with tales of a magical white horse. A traditional Traveller-family folk tale which inspires hope and celebrates creativity. Told by a Romani storyteller together with a picture book author to positively reflect Travelling cultures.
Richard O’Neill is an award winning, Writer and Storyteller, based in Manchester UK. Brought up in a large traditional nomadic Romany family where he learned his storytelling skills. He has loved books since reading his first one when he was four years old. When he’s not writing and telling stories he’s making traditional wooden toys. He is the recipient of the ‘National Literacy Hero’ award in the UK and a Aesop award in the USA.
As a child I loved to draw rainbows and the Easter Bunny. Also strange fantasy creatures appeared on my paper. I closed my eyes, moved my pencil on the paper and from the odd shapes I created beasts. Loads of colour was needed for every drawing to come alive. After school I went to art school. I wanted to become a fashion illustrator, but I soon found out fashion was not my taste. Actually I don’t care about clothes at all. So I changed direction and started to study visual design. Finally I specialized in illustration.
After finishing Art School I decided I needed a job. Well, everybody had one, so I thought I needed one too. I worked as a cook and after being tired of baking steaks all day I found a job as a graphic designer. Slowly I found my way to children’s books. Every day I saw the most beautiful artworks passing by when I was designing books and other stuff for children. When the company went bankrupt, I tasted freedom and started to work freelance. First as a designer with a longing to illustrate for children. And now finally there where I want to be. Illustrating books for children! Using ink, aquarel, pencil, crayon, basically everything needed to get the right mood on paper.