Pan and His Flower, 1982
His first book “Pan and His Flower”, received the Picture Book Award given by a jury of children, organised by the Association of Librarians. It was published by Redhouse in 1980.
“It was a simple story…” he says, “a boy finds a flower out in the field, which is pulled out of soil and thrown to die. He saves its life by putting it back in soil. That’s all.” The story ends by saying “Now he has a strong friend…”
Receiving an award with his first book resulted in two things: One, he became more confident in himself and immediately started on his second title in the same series. Two, Redhouse Press felt better in terms of supporting him towards his next steps in children’s literature.
He never considered publishing his first book again, he says: “it was a very naive and amateurish work, better to keep it in my heart…”
I am Bored, 1982
“I am Bored” was Fatih Erdoğan’s second title published by Redhouse. Though the hero named Pan was alone in the first book, another figure, a heroine named Sun was added to the story this time.
Pan has lots of toys to play with, but he’s still bored. He finds the solution himself: He goes to Sun and suggests her to play together with his toys, which he is willing to share.
In the initial illustration below right, Pan has four fingers. “I read from a Walt Disney book…” he says, “it was easier for animation purposes to draw hands with one finger less.”
But, it seems he didn’t keep that advice…
An Elephant Story, 1981
An elephant falls in love with a stork. But the stork says: “Just look at yourself! So fat, and look at me, so thin! We don’t even match…”
So, the elephant goes on a diet, “only one strawberry per day!” He exercises to get thinner, so he does… He gets thinner and becomes a strange ‘creature’ at the same time.
Funny Animal Stories 1, 1981
“An Elephant Story” (above) and 3 more stories (Porcupine Story by Müge Sökmen and two adaptations) were printed under one cover.
The Violinist Bear (Funny Animal Stories 2), 1982
Fatih Erdoğan has worked on this title three times. The first time when he has written the story of the violinist bear, the pictures were more cartoonish style. There are about 30 years in between the two pictures above. Though he never considers himself an illustrator, he loves to illustrate for himself and the effort he has shown has resulted in some improvement in his style and work since then. The first edition had black and white pages for the reader to use as a coloring book.
Me and the Goat (Funny Animal Stories 3), 1985
One day, Fatih Erdoğan went outdoors hiking with a few family members. On a steep hillside he saw a baby goat which (he thought) had stuck there. In order to rescue the goat, he climbed the hill, grabbed the goat and brought it down, but as he jumped from one rock to the other one he injured his ankle.
Well, it’s not that he didn’t know goats can climb any hill, but it sees he needed an adventure… This is the story of the goat and himself…
How Does it Rain?
After reading a title from Piaget on children’s questions, he decided to work on some related stories. He has selected some basic ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions and started with ‘How does it rain?’ Though he intended on writing more, the series ended after two titles.
Where did the Sun Go?
After the rain question, Aslı wants to know where sun goes every night. This story is based on the idea that Lewis Carroll brought up in 1850. He speculates that if one can travel fast enough, he can move before the sun around the earth, he can go to the previous day!
Our heroine wants to try this with her tricycle…