Last year, illustrator Suzy-Jane Tanner travelled to Cambodia with Viking in preparation for illustrating Karine Hagen's book Finse Explores Indochina. She was especially moved by a visit to the Viking sponsored village school near Chong Koh and the HVTO school in Siem Reap, where she met some of the children, all of whom are learning English.

On her return to the UK, Suzy contacted people she knew who wrote and illustrated children's books and has since collected more than 600 beautiful, brand-new books for children of all ages, particularly picture books. Some of the books are even signed by the author/illustrator with an encouraging message for the children.

"I thought it would be nice to do something. I was inspired by Richard Blamey's collection of football shirts for the children and wondered what I could do with my interests. I have friends and colleagues who are artists and illustrators. When I asked them if they had any children's books they could donate, I was amazed by the response. South West Illustrators, David Bennett of Boxer Books and the children's section of the Society of Authors were all so helpful and brought boxes and boxes of books to my house."

Suzy has also donated several of her own books and she and Karine will be including the Finse series, which Viking will arrange to ship to Cambodia. Her efforts will greatly benefit the children, and may even spark ideas for other donations.

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Viking set to bloom at Chelsea

Beautiful, brand-new books collected for children in Cambodia

Love books? You'll love the Viking Book Club