Penangite links up with Lithuanian to publish children’s book with a difference

The collaborators behind the book, writer Rosalind Chua and illustrator Artur Sirin, at the launch in George Town

It’s not often that you come across a vividly illustrated children’s book relating the adventures of a young person in the streets of a city trying to unravel a mystery after dark. And this city bears some resemblance to George Town.

A new children’s book, Twee and the Mysterious Howl, by writer Rosalind Chua and illustrator Artur Sirin was launched in Penang on 8 November with a launch in Europe expected next year.

The setting for the story
The setting for the story

Some information about the book from the publishers, Clarity Publishing:

The book which is the first in a trilogy follows the adventures of a young girl and her special dog as they overcome fear to unravel a nighttime mystery.

“The idea for the book had been fermenting for some time,” explained the author and publisher Rosalind Chua. “While the story was swirling in my head, the big challenge was finding the right illustrator, someone who could bring the characters to life, and create the surreal backdrop for the story.”

Months passed with little progress, until a chance conversation led to an introduction. “Ernest (Zacharevic) sent me a link to his friend’s website. I was immediately blown away by Artur Sirin’s talent and his eye for the extraordinary,” explained Chua.

A page from the book
A page from the book

“Even though I’m based in Malaysia and Artur works in Lithuania, we were on the same wavelength for the bulk of the creative process. It’s like we have a telepathic relationship!”

Following the Malaysian launch of the book in November, discussions are underway to finalise the launch of the Lithuanian edition in 2015. “There is an amazing tradition of illustrated children’s books in Eastern Europe and we really hope that Twee & the Mysterious Howl will be a part of that. The major market we would like to break in to is the UK market which is incredibly competitive and saturated with talent. Having said that I think we’ve created some very special characters with a beautiful story to tell.”

About the author

Rosalind Chua is a history graduate from the University of Durham, UK, with over 17 years of publishing, ad agency and writing experience. She spent seven years in London working in publishing. After returning to Malaysia, she established Clarity Publishing, an independent publishing house which focuses on high quality, commercial, illustrated titles.

She is the author of 12 books; Twee & the Mysterious Howl is her first children’s book.

About the illustrator

Artur Sirin is an architecture post-graduate from the Vilnius Art Academy, Lithuania. After a long career in architecture and interior design he branched out into graphic design and illustration fulltime after the birth of his daughter.

Graffiti is an art form close to his heart and in 2001, Artur assembled a collective of artists known as “The Milk Team” who carved out a niche in Lithuania’s hip street art scene. While sleepless nights changing nappies has cut down his graffiti time, it has also allowed his technique to expand into print making.

According to Artur who is also a pineapple fanatic, “My illustrations are inspired by my surroundings and past experiences. As a new dad, I draw plenty of inspiration from my daughter, from potty time to dance movements.”
Artur’s work is highly sought-after in Lithuania where it has featured in numerous websites, animations and computer games. Twee & the Mysterious Howl is his fourth children’s book.

For further information, please email Clarity Publishing at [email protected]

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gk ong


You should highlight the Penang Hop On Hop Off free bus service to kick off next Monday.

Don Anamalai

It is free for one week. Good to try out.

OM Saigal

We are ahead of Singapore where some childrens books were taken off the library shelves early this year. Children’s imagination and interest increase when encouraged by well-travelled and open-minded writers.

gk ong

Children books withh LGBT theme are taken off the shelves from Singapore public libraries due to pressure from conservative and religious church groups.

How do you applaud Malaysia when the authority do not tolerate LGBT lifestyle too? I remember an illustrative children book about where a baby comes from created great controversy in Bolehland not too long ago.


Anil. Wonderful to see the creativity of two people from different parts of the world merge into one. When we are left free to just get on getting on these types of lovely ideas emerge.

I would like you to encourage you to include more of these delights to divide up the crazy stuff that flattens talent, deadens ideas, so that what was once unique is baked to a bland stodgy mix.


Right on Anil.