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Friday, May 26, 2017


The Elders at the Door is created by UKZN Pietermaritzburg graduates, sisters Maryanne and Shayle Bester, with Maryanne creating the storyline and Shayle doing the illustrations.

Early one morning three tired, dirty, hungry elders – Blessing, Wisdom and Love – knock on the door of a family home. The family wishes to invite them in but they can only choose one visitor to enter their home. Which of the three do they pick? This fable is told across the continent and belongs to all of Africa and its people. Although the setting and characters are quintessentially African – from the rhythms of their speech to the patterns on their clothes – the message is universal.

This is a book for every child and family. Well-written and beautifully illustrated, this book will have children wanting to read it over and over again. This story originally appeared in the Sunday Times Storytime: 10 South African Stories for Children in 2014.

Maryanne and Shayle Bester grew up on a Free State farm, where their father farmed cattle and sheep. They both graduated from the University of Natal (UKZN) in Pietermaritzburg, Shayle majoring in Fine Arts and Maryanne in Dramatic Arts. Together they run a company as decorative painters and illustrators, specialising in children’s art. Their previous works include The Cool Nguni, Why Dog is Afraid of Storms, I Know That!, Three Friends and a Taxi, The Long Trousers, The Missing Ball and Mealies and Beans. They won the Exclusive Books IBBY SA Award for The Cool Nguni and the Sappi Isiqalo Book Competition run by Centre for the Book for Three Friends and a Taxi.

The Elders at the Door is published by Jacana in paperback. Price R95. ISBN 978-1-4314-2273-9

It is also available in Afrikaans – 978-1-4314-2529-7 IsiXhosa – 978-1-4314-2530-3 IsiZulu – 978-1-4314-2531-0