Nelson Mandela’s favourite stories
Re-issued to commemmorate Madiba’s 100th birthday on 18 July 2018. Consulting editor: Linda Rode. Art director: Ann Walton.
Thirty-two African folk tales from all over the continent (though mostly the southern area), retold by a host of South Africa’s leading storytellers and illustrated by many of our leading artists. These names include Pieter W Grobbelaar, Gcina Mhlophe, Phyllis Savory, Hugh Tracey, Annari van der Merwe, Cicely van Straten; together with full-page artwork by such as Jean Fullalove, Diek and Piet Grobler, Natalie & Tamsin Hinrichsen, Nicolaas Maritz and Véronique Tadjo.
The Foreword contributed by Nelson Mandela himself stresses how stories go out from the storyteller, grow wings, and returned enriched by new details. The wide geographical spread is sound evidence of the range of styles – and the mixture of fun, fantasy and moral enrichment – and each story is headed by its ‘provenance’. Most come from the oral tradition of Africa, so often with animals as the characters, and such morals as: If you are not strong, you must be crafty. Here is “The Mantis and the Moon” with which Marguerite Poland won a Percy FitzPatrick Award and gave new life to children’s publishing in South Africa.
There must be a collection of African stories in your home, in your child’s classroom, in your public library. This is one of the very best: authentic, full of variety, glowing with colour on quality paper. I can think of no finer volume with which to close off the final issue of Bookchat. (The fact that Madiba Magic contains one story retold by your editor is purely coincidental!)
Review by our Book Editor, Jay Heale