A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

literature
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

THE ADVENTURES OF PHEPA AND ITUMELANG (article first published : 2007-12-21)

Anyone who has read and enjoyed – how could you not? – Mary Clanahan’s first published children’s title Nama Kwa’s Garden will delight in her second story, The Adventures of Phepa and Itumelang illustrated by Marjorie van Heerden.

The story is set on the plains with flat-topped trees catching the light of the rising sun. A herd of elephants waits on the command of its matriarch, Limkile, who proclaims that the day will be hot and they must drink their fill from the river.

There is dissension in the ranks from crotchety Lefeela who is full of her own importance and takes every opportunity to show off her long tusks while undermining Limkile’s authority. However, Limkile has no time to dwell on Lefeela as she has her two young twin calves to cope with.

Like all youngsters, Itumelang (or Tume, for short) and Phepa, are full of nonsense and forever getting into trouble. After their scary encounter with a leopard, Limkile moves them away from the river and the adventure begins. Along the way, they encounter an irritable tortoise; surprise a porcupine which reacts by shedding a quill into Tume’s trunk; admire a cheetah and her cubs, and gaze in awe at a dung beetle at work. Limkile introduces them to ground hornbills and they watch a secretary bird hunt a snake. A short-sighted rhino thunders out of the bushes, mistaking the calves for warthogs.

Back at the herd, Lefeela is flexing her muscles, debating the effectiveness of Limkile’s leadership and irritating the others to the extent that they leave her and head off in Limkile’s direction, However, things are not right. The wind has changed and they can smell danger. But will they be in time to avoid it?

Mary Clanahan is a microbiologist by training. Her storytellinjg began with her own daughters who persuaded her to write them down for her grandchildren, now scattered around the world, to ensure that they too learn about Africa. Through the storyline of The Adventures of Phepa and Itumelang, she has woven environmental as well as educational messages through Limkile’s teachings to her calves. Marjorie van Heerden’s illustrations are a delight and highly dramatic in the final stages of the book.

The glossary contains the meanings of the names of the animals and their language of origin as well as their correct pronunciation. There is also a explanation of words used in the story that young people may not be familiar with, such as “alpha”, “haunches” and “scorcher”.

The Adventures of Phepa and Itumelang is published in hardcover by Struik and retails at R99.95 ISBN 1 77007 211 X. It is also available in Afrikaans as Die Avonture van Phepa en Itumelang ISBN 1 77007 423 6 – Caroline Smart




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart