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Internationally acclaimed musician Guo Yue and his writer wife Clare Farrow collaborated to write their award-winning book, Little Leap Forward (Barefoot Books) a gentle, lyrical story about friendship and freedom, inspired by Yue’s own childhood during the Chinese Cultural Revolution.
Guo Yue was born in 1958 in Beijing, China. One of six children, and the son of a violinist, he grew up in a traditional courtyard. In 1982 he came to study the silver flute at the Guildhall School of Music, London. As a musician, Yue has travelled extensively, making recordings and playing on film soundtracks (including The Last Emperor).
Clare Farrow, a freelance arts writer, met Yue in 1994. Their first book Music, Food and Love was published in 2006. Little Leap Forward is their first book for children. Clare has most recently curated the exhibition Childhood Recollections: Memory in Design on the theme of childhood, which was shown at the Roca London Gallery in 2015.
‘One of the many pleasures of this moving story…is its depiction of how a musical child experiences the world as a symphony of sounds. The warm wash of color and the textured detail in Helen Cann’s illustrations reinforce the novel’s pastiche of folk tale, parable and realism. Yue and Farrow… evoke how Little Leap Forward bears witness with the eye of a poet, the ear of a musician and the transformative imagination of a storyteller.’
The New York Times
Simple, poetic and haunting, Guo Yue's story of his childhood in Beijing, accompanied by Helen Cann's exquisite illustrations, brings the Cultural Revolution alive in a way that is unforgettable.
Music Food and Love (Piatkus)
Little Leap Forward (Barefoot Books)