Iranian artist Ehsan Abdollahi hit the headlines after the UK refused him a visa to visit the Book Festival last year, a decision that was eventually overturned after a campaign of protest. We are thrilled to welcome him back, this time as our Illustrator in Residence. Abdollahi’s charming and intricate illustrations give young readers the freedom to invent a meaningful narrative that may, or may not, play out in the story texts. For his series, Abdollahi offers a celebration of visual storytelling, including a discussion with the award-winning African-American poet Eloise Greenfield and a free Big Draw at which you can help him create a giant collage. He also joins an international line-up for The Freedom Finale on the last day of the Festival.