Henry Martin 

Tipperary Artists Award 2017

University for the Creative Arts, Grant 2017

Poetry Society Exhibition, 2018

Dromineer Literary Festival, 2018

Edinburgh College of Art, 2016



One-line Description


Yappo is a poetic picture book by the illustrator Iro Tsavala and the writer Henry Martin.


Short Description


Yappo is an illustrated, poetic narrative by Iro Tsavala and Henry Martin. It is the story of a nameless man who travels the countryside protecting his one belonging: a small plant. On his travels he encounters a milliner, a butcher, a dog, and a mermaid, who each ask him for a leaf from the plant. Using only one word, ‘Yappo,’ the man rejects each request, before continuing on his way. When he arrives at a town, his plant is taken from him, and he is banished—the following day, the plant blossoms.


Long Description


Yappo is a picture book for adults by award-winning writer Henry Martin, and illustrator and academic Iro Tsavala. It is the story of a nameless, mostly silent man, who protects a small plant as he walks through the wilderness. During his travels, the man meets a milliner, a butcher, a dog, and a mermaid and each requests a leaf from his plant. The man refuses to comply, muttering ‘Yappo,’ a word he repeats to himself as he walks the countryside all alone. The man eventually reaches a town, where his plant is taken from him, and he is banished. The next day, the small plant blossoms.


Yappo is a quirky poetic narrative inspired by fairytales, as well as the Japanese Koan. In many ways it poses more questions than it answers. What does the word ‘Yappo’ mean? Where is the man from? Where is he going to? Why do the people he meets want his plant? Why or how can he understand a dog or mermaid’s request? Was the plant better off with or without him, in the end?


Iro Tsavala’s beautiful illustrations capture the tone of the narrative perfectly. The landscape and world she creates are dark and wintery, silent and wild, and dotted with signs of human life: washing lines, telephone poles, an airplane, a lighthouse. Inspired by time spent in Ardnamurchan in the  Scottish Highlands, the world Tsavala creates, and the facture of her style, create an earthy world that is timeless, befitting a contemporary fairytale.


Iro Tsavala


is a Royal College of Art graduate (2008) and lecturer in illustration at University for the Creative Arts, Farnham. Her work has been exhibited at Boston Children’s Museum, Somerset House, London, Ethnographic Museum, Krakow, and the Women’s Library, London. Iro has illustrated for The Guardian, Laurence King, Karnac Books, Monika Magazine and the Poetry Society. She was a finalist in The Book Illustration Competition, 2012 (The Folio Society, and the House of Illustration) and a shortlisted artist for the V&A Illustration Awards.  She has illustrated and written a number of books which have been sold and displayed at the ELCAF bookfair, and internationally.


9781999725006 4 MILINER 21 CROWS FLIGHT



Published: October 2017

Publisher: Company Cod

ISBN: 9781999725006

Pages: 48

Illustrations: 20

Binding: PBO

Price: £15.00

Size: 230mm x 210mm




Text, Henry Martin

Illustrations, Iro Tsavala


Limited Edition

Signed and Numbered 300 copies