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Monday, December 1, 2008


Charming children’s book to be launched at Essenwood Market on December 6.

Pocket Jack, a new novel for children by local director / theatre personality / Musho! Festival director Emma Durden, will be launched at Essenwood Saturday morning market on December 6 at 10h00.

Children (boys and girls – but especially boys) are invited to come to Essenwood Market on Saturday morning “Dressed for Adventure” (as a superhero, pirate or favourite adventure hero!). The author will be reading from the book, and participating children will be encouraged to go on their own adventure throughout Essenwood Park together with Emma Durden and fellow adventure hunters! Maynards Fruity Jelly Beans will be on hand to provide tasty adventure sustenance and props for the adventurous!

Pocket Jack is aimed at children ages 6 to 10. It is great as a bed-time story for parents to read, at a chapter a night, or as a self-read for more confident young readers. Pocket Jack is written by Emma Durden (who grew up in Plettenberg Bay) and illustrated with a selection of delightful pen drawings by Durban-based artist Peter Bircham.

Pocket Jack is part travelogue, part adventure story, and fully South African in its tale. Jack lives in a world of books and dreams. What he wants more than anything else in the world is to be able to travel, to get onto an aeroplane and fly to all the strange and exciting destinations that he reads about. He spends his school holidays sitting at the airport where his parents work, watching the planes taking off and landing and wishing he was on one of them.

Then one day he meets Madala, an old man with warm eyes and a wonderful smile. More than that, Madala seems to be magic, and he thinks he has a way to help Jack ... some magical beans that shrink him to the perfect size to fit into a pocket.

And so begins Jacks first adventure, a trip to Plettenberg Bay. With Madala’s help he slips into the pocket of the Jacket-man and goes to see the sea. Being only a few centimetres high makes him vulnerable to danger, and he has a close call with a cat in a cupboard and then with an ominous octopus.

The first in a series of books, Pocket Jack is a magical travel book for children. Full of fun and adventure, it encourages children to see beyond the limits of their own lives and to explore the wonder of the world around them.

Pocket Jack is published in paperback by Act Two, and publication was made possible by the generous grant from the Centre for the Book’s Community Publishing Project. Recommended retail price ranges from R65 to R100 (incl VAT). ISBN 978-0-620-42191-1

For more information on distribution and availability, please visit

The Essenwood launch will take place from 10h00 until 11h00 on December 6. It has been made possibly by the generosity of Jennet Brown and the staff of the Essenwood Saturday morning craft market, together with Maynards as well as the Maynards Fruity Jelly Beans.