“What I enjoyed most about this project? Working with curious and creative children, and answering their questions with our text.”
May 2015 marked seventy years since Soviet troops liberated Prague and ended the Second World War in Europe. Lilacs of Peace, an e-Book and education project, commemorates this anniversary by bringing history alive for children in London.
In spring 2014, Lucie Wenigerová came up with the idea for Lilacs. The aim was to make an eBook with illustrations and text, teaching children about an important chapter in world history.
At the heart of the project is a true story. On May 9th 1945, as Prague was liberated, spring arrived early. Overnight, thousands of lilacs blossomed in Prague gardens and parks. Ever since, the appearance of lilacs each spring has reminded Czechs of the end of the war. Lilac flowers have become a Czech symbol of peace.
Lilacs tells the story of the Second World War to children aged 5-9. The eBook is divided into eight chapters, broken up by eight fun fact sections. The text is by Michaela Sanytrová and Natalia O’Hara.
From summer 2014 on, the story was read at art workshops, where children created the book’s artwork.
Every week in autumn 2014, a group of children listened to a chapter from the book and then made artworks, which later became the book’s beautiful illustrations.
We cooperated with some Islington-based schools and communities, like Highbury Quadrant Primary School, the Kurdish Children and Youth Centre, St Mary Magdalene Church and St Mary Magdalene Academy.
Zuzka Jungmanová and her assistants prepared art workshops with activities and learning materials for the children.
Graphic design, photographs
After the workshops, Zuzka Jungmanová and Eva Pospěchová, who created the graphic design of the eBook, compiled the text and images.
Recording audio, sound effects
Actor John Voce recorded the audio for the eBook. Once the story was recorded, the sound designer Martin Lumsden created sounds effects, like bombs, sirens, and Hitler speaking to his followers.
Finished audio e-book
Lilacs of Peace is an iMovie presentation and an audio eBook. Our audio e-book is published in digital form and includes text, collages and audio. You can use it on computers or other electronic devices. In order to be able to read and work with the e-book, it’s important that you download it first on your computer.
(When you click on the words in red, you’ll be directed to the glossary with definitions of what those words mean.)
Please download the audio eBOOK
and see our iMOVIE uploaded on YouTube:
Thanks to everyone who helped
We hope that the eBook will tell the story of the Second World War to as many children as possible. The goal is to answer their questions - and perhaps encourage them to ask new ones. Lilacs of Peace is about history, war, and the importance of peace.