Archive for the ‘african tales’ Category

Children’s Book Illustrations

September 23, 2009

Illustration from “Tales My Ghanaian Grandmother Told Me”
akuas-folish-wish1

Things we need to bear in mind when buying illustrated childrens books.Some are self-evident, others are not.

We buy children books with stories which we ourselves enjoy and illustrations which appeal to us. We know that children are sensitive to pictures before they can speak let alone read. This fact has led to the production of books with pictures and no text which are aimed at the very young. Children can look at the pictures and their imaginations are ignited as they create their own stories.
Illustrations help young readers understand the message of the text more easily. Illustrations can also help a child to discover his or her own identity and cultural heritage. This is an important point for children from minorities or those who belong to groups which have been held in low esteem or discriminated against.
Illustrations show such things as objects, landscapes and processes which it would be hard for a child to comprehend from a verbal description.

Folktales often feature creatures and situations which the young reader will have difficulty in imagining. This is the reason why I have full color illustrations in my book Tales My Ghanaian Grandmother Told Me for Information Click Here
Illustrations can send positive, uplifting messages to readers. There are so many wonderful, original authors and illustrators at work that it can be very difficult deciding which book to choose. We need to be discriminating buyers.

TALES MY GHANAIAN GRANDMOTHER TOLD ME <a href="http://www.lulu. Some are self-evident, others are not.

We buy children books with stories which we ourselves enjoy and illustrations which appeal to us. We know that children are sensitive to pictures before they can speak let alone read. This fact has led to the production of books with pictures and no text which are aimed at the very young. Children can look at the pictures and their imaginations are ignited as they create their own stories.
Illustrations help young readers understand the message of the text more easily. Illustrations can also help a child to discover his or her own identity and cultural heritage. This is an important point for children from minorities or those who belong to groups which have been held in low esteem or discriminated against.
Illustrations show such things as objects, landscapes and processes which it would be hard for a child to comprehend from a verbal description.

Folktales often feature creatures and situations which the young reader will have difficulty in imagining. This is the reason why I have full color illustrations in my book Tales My Ghanaian Grandmother Told Me for Information Click Here
Illustrations can send positive, uplifting messages to readers. There are so many wonderful, original authors and illustrators at work that it can be very difficult deciding which book to choose. We need to be discriminating buyers.

TALES MY GHANAIAN GRANDMOTHER TOLD ME http://www.lulu.com/content/5427635

Author Book Signing 21st February,2009

April 1, 2009

21st February,2009

We left early for Cascades. Donnette gave the parking lady 20 rand and asked her to hand out our flyers. We made quite a grand entrance. I was wearing a Ghanaian outfit with gold stole, earrings, shoes and handbag. Savanah (Donnette’s ten year old daughter) was wearing one of Nuna’s outgrown Nigerian outfits and her sister Clarissa , eight, had a kente stole over her shoulder. Everyone was looking at them as they offered the passersby the flyers.

Colleen at the bookshop had set up a table with a cloth and two chairs. I put a kente cloth over the table which immediately looked more interesting and spread out my copies of “Tales My Ghanaian Grandmother Told Me” as well as “Dance to Health”. “Dance in Our Footsteps” and “Calling All Musicians”.

My first sale was to a “white” lecturer in psychology from the University of KwaZulu Natal who had brought along a lovely young “black” MA student in psychology. She is doing her thesis on traditional African tales.When the book signing was over she came back to the stand and we did a recorded interview.

Donnette had arranged the signing to be as near pay day as possible. But it was clear that people were not going in for spur of the moment purchases. One dance teacher expressed great interest in “Dance to Health” and took my contact details. Some people were interested in the book but found it too expensive. One woman eagerly examined the book and then asked if I had copies in afrikans. When I said “no” she put it down. There are still Afrikaaners who do not speak English and the English speakers often refuse to speak Afrikaans even if they can.

Colleen took some books for “Bookworld” and didn’t seem to think the price was too high. She will be in touch with Donnette when she needs more copies.

All in all the book signing was a success thanks to Donnette’s extremely hard work and imaginative approach.

After the launch I took everyone for lunch. I was the one who asked the waiter for the menu, ordered and asked for the bill. When he appeared with it he carefully put it on the table where Donnette had been sitting. I don’t think he had ever had a “black” African paying for a luinch party where everyone else was white.

http://www.strategicbookpublishing.com/TalesMyGhanaianGrandmotherToldMe.html Now available through Amazon.com
http://www.dance-to-health-help-your-special-needs-child.com
http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/Donnette

Encounters with Wild Animals Close Up

April 1, 2009


8th March,2009
On arrival at the Tala entrance (Tal means “Land of Plenty” in Zulu) it became clear that security is very lax inspite of the establishment having experienced a serious robbery. There was along line of cars and the security guard did not check details or note names and car numbers.

At reception the car park was chock a block with mainly 4×4’s. We were in fact early as check in was 2.00pm although no one had made us aware of this. The receptionist was very perfunctory and instructed us to meet her at Paperback Lodge at 2.00pm. She seemed very intent on getting us to have the buffet lunch at 164 rand!! She praised the variety of the fare letting us know that there were oysters etc. etc. I had hope to treat everyone to lunch but by common consent we decided that this was not a good idea. Aiden eats mainly chips and River (Clarissa) and Donnette are picky eaters.

Instead we enquired if we could have a coffee. We were entertained for quite some time by a number of antelopes who stood close by watching us with interest.The Nyala is one of Africa’s rarest and most beautiful antelopes. The coffee when it came was first class.

Afterwards we drove around for a bit on roads full of visitors. We saw large herds of zebra, some ostriches, wildebeest and warthogs.Donnette remarked that because the wildlife in the reserve was “managed” there were much higher densities of animals than one would see in the wild.Clearly things were hotting up for the mating season. The bird life is astonishing.

We drove to Paperbark Lodge. Paperbark trees are not indigenous but have been planted here to lower the water table. Each tree absorbs sixty eight liters of water per day.

One lodge was occupied by a crowd of raucous crowd of South Africans of Indian ancestry who were apparently using the conference facilities. Music was blaring and the guests were throwing one another into the swimming pool. We were wandering around looking lost when a lovely young man directed us to a reception area and offered us coffee and juice. When the receptionist finally appeared on time she marched way ahead of me to my room. I refused to be hurried along.

To my great delight I have a very nice room indeed. It is totally secluded and private with a little Patio surrounded by vegetation. The furnishings are made from beautiful hard woods and with hand printed and naturally dyed fabrics used on the headboards of the beds.The wardrobe doors have bamboo insets and the front door opens in two parts as in a stable.The bathroom has a free-standing claw-foot bath shower, .The bathroom door opens onto an enclosure with an outdoor All the ceilings are lined with bamboo. It’s really enchanting.

I was just beginning to feel settled when to my surprise there was a knock at the door and there stood the receptionist. She said she wanted to talk to me as she had had so little time earlier. She turned out to be both friendly and charming. Apparently my room is quite exceptionally well suited to seeing the animals as they all pass close by my window on the way to the water morning and evenings. I should get very good photos just leaning out of the window.

My night drive was incredible. I saw a rhino with her baby as well as a hippo and her baby swimming in the lake. There were a group of young giraffes who watched us with interest. Apparently if you see a giraffe standing with its’ head hanging down it’s dead. I also saw many varieties of antelope including a rare Reed Buck.

My guide was a very knowledgeable man who had apparently been a cabin steward with South African Airways some years back. He also hold a private pilots license. He was lamenting the fact that most guides are white as few “black” South Africans have any interest in a career in wildlife.He had also worked as a counsellor helping people with HIV/AIDS. Tala donates a large part of its profits to a nearby orphanage.

Plants and their properties were explained to me. I was the only person on the game drive. Getting into the Land Rover is like getting onto a horse for e – not easy any more. There were raincoats and blankets in the vehicle.

At sunset we stopped at the lake and high quality refreshments were produced. I returned to the lodge to find that my picnic supper was awaiting me. Everything was contained in a smart specially fitted basket. There was an impressive array of tasty dishes and a selection of fruits in a special cool box.

http://www.strategicbookpublishing.com/TalesMyGhanaianGrandmotherToldMe.html
http://www.strategicbookpublishing.com/TalesMyGhanaianGrandmotherToldMe.html
http://www.squidoo.com/lensmasters/Donnette


Visit to Howick Falls, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

March 4, 2009

Tuesday,24th February,2009
My new friend Julie who I met when out walking last week came to take me to Howick Falls about 30 kilometres from here. She came in to meet Donnette and the two got on very well together. Julie asked how the book signing went and before I knew it to my delight she offered to introduce me to Wycliffe school where one of her granddaughters goes.
Julie has a nice car and is an admirably careful driver. On arrival at Howick Falls it was raining. The way to the Falls is lined with tourist stalls and shops. I took a few photos of the waterfall which is an impressive 95 meters high. The view is spectacular. I learnt later that no one goes anywhere near the Falls after dark as people have been thrown over the Falls.
As the rain made prolonged viewing of the Falls rather uncomfortable Julie and I opted to visit Howick Museum. This is a typical local museum with great emphasis on worthies of the past. Apparently electricity has been produced from the Falls since the early nineteenth century and continues to do so. Howick was also a great centre for the production of rubber. The old buildings are still standing.
There was a display of traditional medicine which was accompanied by a photograph of a herbalist of Indian ancestry. Julie knew him and said how sorry she was that she couldn’t take me to meet him because he lived in a Pietermarisburg area which is now too dangerous to visit.
The curator came out and I had an interesting conversation with her about the recording of Zulu stories and traditions. Apparently the museum is financed by the municipality and has little money.
He rain had stopped and the sun came out so we went back to the Falls to take a few more photos. After that we went and wandered around a second hand bookshop and an old building that now houses a number of antique shops.
After this we headed back to Pietermaritzburg and had a coffee before going to Wycliffe School. This is a girls boarding school founded early in the last century. The extremely attractive buildings are sited in beautiful grounds which house tennis courts and a huge swimming pool. The inside of the buildings rivals any of the girl’s boarding schools in England. Pupil’s art work of an exceptionally high quality adorned the walls.
The very polite pupils were mainly “white” with a sprinkling of “black” faces. The teachers were all very outgoing and friendly and Julie and I were handed over to the Librarian. She was immediately receptive to the idea of my doing a reading and will be in touch. Many of the girls come from outside South Africa from countries such as Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Julie is a delight. She is bright, intelligent and we have much in common. We are planning further outings.
http://www.strategicbookpublishing.com/TalesMyGhanaianGrandmotherToldMe.html
http://www.dance-to-health-help-your-special-needs-child.com

Valentine’s Day in Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa

February 28, 2009

14th February,2009
The family gave me a lovely figure of a woman holding a pot as a valentine’s gift. We went to a garden centre cum children’s play park which had a miniature train and a gem stone mining area for the kids. When it came to paying the telephone lines counrywide were down and banks couldn’t process credit cards. Shops were letting good customers take their goods home and asking them to come back to pay later.
No matter how efficient a person is business efforts are sabotaged by power outages and breaks in internet or telephone services. Things happen due to storms and lack of maintenance.
On the way back there was a road block with about forty police people. We were waved on to be questioned by a female policeman.

16th February,2009
This afternoon I went for a walk along Donnette’s road. I greeted everyone I met along the way. I said “good afternoon” to a lady of Indian ancestry and she started a conversation by remarking on the weather. We chatted a bit then she said she’d walk along with me so she changed direction. Apparently her late father had been a political activist in the apartheid period. He spent many years in England in exile. She had until recently been very involved in looking after her grandchildren and was clearly feeling a bit at a loose end. She wants to take me to the Howick Falls and museum next week. She described our meeting as “fate” because she usually doesn’t go for walks.

http://www.strategicbookpublishing.com/TalesMyGhanaianGrandmotherToldMe.html
http://www.dance-to-health-help-your-special-needs-child.com