The BIG-Hearted Auction
  • The BIG-Hearted Book

    Charity Auction

    Hodder Children’s Books publish a new picture book, The BIG-Hearted Book by Nicholas Allan, written in association with the International Children's Heart Foundation.

    Auction of children’s illustrators:
    A private charity auction will be held on Tuesday 6th August at the Illustration Cupboard in London. The event will mark the publication of The BIG-Hearted Book and will auction off original and specially donated artwork from some of the best names in children’s illustration to raise funds for the International Children’s Heart Foundation. Artists including  Quentin Blake, Tony Ross, David Melling, Cressida Cowell and Mick Inkpen have created pieces showing their best-loved character holding a heart. The artwork will be on public display at the Illustration Cupboard priot to the auction.
    The BIG-Hearted Book came about under very special circumstances. Our Mass Market Sales Director, Helen Bower, received life-saving heart surgery in 2011 at Manchester Royal Infirmary in an eight hour operation. The surgeon who saved her life, Andreas Hoschtitzky, works for the International Children’s Heart Foundation, for free and in his holiday time, which sends doctors from many countries in the developed world to places where children would die without heart surgery. There are many: Chernobyl being just one.
    Nicholas Allan comments: “Having been born with a heart condition and having life-saving surgery when I was nine, this book I've written and illustrated is one . . . well, very close to my heart.  I am so pleased I've been able to help the International Children’s Heart Foundation so that children in other countries with congenital heart disease may have the same benefits I received myself.” Nicholas Allan’s website is
    Anne McNeil, Publishing Director, Hodder Children’s Books comments: “Having known Nicholas Allan for many years, it was obvious that this creative task was perfect for him.  His delicate humour and subtle sense of pathos are ideally matched to a project that is so very important and ground-breaking. And then when I contacted each of these special illustrators, their generosity took my breath away. Thanks to them. And thanks also, to John Huddy who is allowing us to use the wonderful Illustration Cupboard to showcase the art and to hold the auction. ”
    Helen Bower, Mass Market Sales Director for Hachette Children’s Books comments: “Having heart surgery saved my life and it is great to have a chance to give something back, especially to a charity that is so worthwhile. I feel very lucky to have had the very best care and expertise around me but the surgery I underwent for my congenital heart condition is not available to everyone around the world and so the work that Andreas and the ICHF do is vitally important. The dedication of the medical volunteers who work hard at their day jobs, and then in their own time, travel to underdeveloped and often dangerous locations to save children’s lives, is truly inspiring. I was delighted that an author as talented as Nicholas wanted to help with this project and the end result is an extremely touching and beautifully illustrated story about Babette and her best friend Bill . . .”
    Andreas Hoschtitzky, Consultant Congenital Cardiac Surgeon, comments: “Congenital heart disease is a global issue but over here, we have a very high standard of care. Less developed countries suffer from having no infrastructure and massive populations. The cost of cardiac care is extremely high and of the millions of children affected by congenital heart disease, many do not have access to services to deal with their condition. In the short-term the ICHF volunteers go out to perform operations and save children’s lives but the long-term goal is to establish a local self-contained health care system and train the local medical teams to be able to perform the surgeries themselves. Volunteers come from all over the world and provide their services free of charge. The ICHF rely on donations to help save children’s lives by providing medical care, vital equipment and essential training. The trips can be hard – there are only a finite number of operations we can do and the lack of equipment can be challenging but there are many stories of courageous children saved during the mission trips and, because of the work of the ICHF, there will be more every year.  Hopefully this book will raise awareness of the charity and also help towards the desperate need for funds.”
    Bryan Artiles, Director of Marketing and Specialty Fundraising for the International Children's Heart Foundation comments: “The BIG-Hearted Book is emblematic of ICHF's global mission. It takes a big heart to perform this work. We would like to think there is a string of hearts connecting all our Babyheart missions. The International Children's Heart Foundation is very proud and happy to have benefited from Nicholas Allan's talents. As an organization we fix children's hearts, this book touches children's hearts.”
    The BIG-Hearted Book will publish in the UK in paperback on 1st August 2013, priced £6.99.
    About the International Children’s Heart Foundation:
    The mission of the International Children's Heart Foundation is to bring the skills, technology and knowledge to diagnose and care for children with congenital heart disease to developing countries. One per cent of the world’s population is born with heart disease, making it the most common birth defect. Many congenital heart defects can be repaired with one surgical intervention, some require staged repairs. The United Kingdom and other developed countries throughout the world have hundreds of medical centers with trained specialists to care for children with heart disease. For children who are born in developing nations, this is not the case. From its base in Memphis, Tennessee, USA, the International Children's Heart Foundation coordinates its ‘Babyheart’ medical missions to bring life-saving surgery to these children. These missions are driven entirely by donations and medical volunteers. Further information about the charity can be found by visiting their website.

    Claude - Alex T. Smith
    Hiccup and Toothless - Cressida Cowell
    Hugless Douglas - David Melling
    Happy Heart - Quentin Blake
    Wibbly Pig - Mick Inkpen
    Babette and Bill - Nicholas Allan
    Lola - Lauren Child
    Tree - Tony Ross
    Back of an Envelope - John Vernon Lord

    Take a look at the fantastic artwork...