Marto Kelbl (Czech Republic)

How the idea for your silent story was born?

While creating a different project I recollected a strong memory of mine when as a kid I was hospitalized. It was a bit sad in the beginning but then I occupied a room with a girl who was so funny I did not even mind the sickness. So I wanted to create a book based on this short friendship.

What's the story about?

When we are on our own in an unknown environment, we might tend to be timid, but this also gives us the opportunity to step out of our comfort zone. I wanted to show that such events can introduce us to new people and to new experiences. So when children go through my book, they get familiar with how things go in a hospital and that there is no reason to be shy and sad. You never know what you can get out of it. In this case, an unbreakable friendship!

Why have you decided to enter the contest?

I dedicated the book to my two years old niece because I adore the way she goes through illustrated books and examines every detail. Sending it into the Silent Book Contest gives me a chance to get the book amongst many other children who could also enjoy it just like my niece. And as a starting illustrator it would make me very joyful!


Marto is a young illustrator and author. Currently he’s finishing his MA studies in Illustration at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen. He’s always thinking how to change his techniques and what to experiment with next. In 2021 he received a prize for the most beautiful book of the Czech Republic in the student category. He mostly enjoys collecting picture books, learning Italian, and sewing blankets or toys.