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Thursday, November 10, 2016


Mr Hare Meets Mr Mandela is one of the last stories Chris van Wyk wrote before he died and it originally appeared in the Sunday Times Storytime: 10 South African Stories for Children.

Illustrated by Paddy Bouma, the story deals with Mr Hare who finds a R200 note on his doorstep. When he turns the note over he sees Mr Mandela’s face and decides to brave the big city of Johannesburg to return it to Mr Mandela. But Mr Hare cannot read and he comes across many people along the way who want to get their hands on Mr Mandela’s money. Mr Hare also cannot work out why the note keeps changing colour!

Chris van Wyk was a much-loved South African poet and writer who was born in Soweto in 1957 and passed away on October 3, 2014.

In 2009, he abridged Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, to create a picture book (also illustrated by Paddy Bouma) for young children. He also authored numerous books for children throughout his life and was a strong advocate of reading for young and old.

Van Wyk was always at pains to express the humour and the sadness of life through his stories, and was determined from an early age to become a writer. His dedication to his craft and his activism continued from his early days at Sached (South African Committee for Higher Education), as the editor of the Ravan Press literary journal Staffrider, and as a full-time writer, all the while continuing to publish his works and speaking to readers around the country

Paddy Bouma was born in Cape Town and trained as a painter and printmaker at UCT, where she was awarded the McIver Scholarship, and at the École nationale superieure des Beaux- Arts in Paris as a bursary student of the French government. She taught Lithography and Illustration at the University of Stellenbosch from 1971 to 2006 and has exhibited on numerous occasions. She has illustrated a large number of picture books that have been published internationally, including van Wyk’s adaptation of Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom. In 1986 she was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal. She lives on a small farm in the Jonkershoek Valley, Stellenbosch

Mr Hare Meets Mr Mandela is published in paperback by Jacana. ISBN 978-1-4314-2438-2. Price R120.

978-1-4314-2439-9 Mr Hare Meets Mr Mandela (Afrikaans)
978-1-4314-2440-5 Mr Hare Meets Mr Mandela (isiXhosa)
978-1-4314-2441-2 Mr Hare Meets Mr Mandela (isiZulu)