Tom Michell
AUTHOR

Tom Michell

Welcome to this page which I share with Juan Salvador the Penguin! I am a semi-retired writer and artist now living with my wife near the sea in Cornwall and Juan Salvador was the wild penguin who elected to come and live with me rather than return to the sea after I rescued him from an oil spill off the coast of Uruguay more than 40 years ago. Eventually I wrote up the story, because he formed a very important part of my life and was the eponymous hero of so many bedtime stories for my children when they were young. First came a self-published edition called 'A Penguin Saved and other Recollections from South America' which was illustrated with my own drawings of Juan Salvador, some of which are shown here. At the time we all thought it a huge joke that Penguin Books would publish it one day. When that did actually happen we thought we couldn't be more surprised. However since then it has been translated into 23 languages, has an audio book read by no less an actor than Bill Nighy, was short listed for the Kingston University 'Big Read' of 2017 and has been selected as an English language text book in South Korea; Juan Salvador has even been featured on the BBC's Radio 4 Today Programme with John Humphrys. All these things were beyond our wildest dreams! I always carry a camera with me when out and about in the country, while walking the dogs for example, and photograph wildlife I see. The plight of so many species is something that needs to concern us all. I get huge pleasure from drawing plants and animals. Some of these are shown as well. Sadly there are very few photographs of Juan Salvador still in existence. Most were destroyed in a minor flood many years ago, however a couple of minutes of film, taken on my ancient wind-up clock-work cine camera, have survived and show Juan Salvador in the swimming pool at St George's College, Buenos Aires, Argentina. After a moult his feathers were pristine once again and this can be seen as a video clip on our page. I do hope you enjoy watching the antics of this wonderful bird and it will help you understand just how completely he captured the affections of everyone he met!
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