Monday, 30 January 2017

Here is wishing you a wonderful New Year, full of energy, new inspiration and happiness! 2017 is the Chinese Year of the Fire Rooster and their new year started on 28 January.

According to legend, the Lord Buddha summoned all the animals to wish him goodbye before he departed the Earth, but only twelve animals came to bid him farewell. He rewarded them by naming a year after each one in the order that it arrived. Hence the first year belonged to the Rat, then came the Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Boar. This formed the basis of the twelve animal signs of the Chinese Zodiac. The animal ruling the year in which a person was born has a major, profound influence on his or her life.

About this year, 2017, the year of the Fire Rooster, the Chinese say that people will be more polite and less stubborn, but at the same time they will also have a tendency to complicate things. It will also be a year governed by orientation towards progress, honor and maximum integrity.

Happy, happy New Year!

Sunday, 29 January 2017

I have been so busy working on books locally and internationally that I have rather neglected this blog for a while. At last I have now managed to update my bibliography with information about books that I have illustrated and which were published during 2015 and 2016. Do go and have a look at  - I have also updated my CV and you can see that at

* Now I'd like to share with you some of the illustrations from these latest published children's books:

The Willy Nilly and Thumper series: 

The Adventures of Willy Nilly and Thumper
Book Four – Charlie, the Cross-Eyed Crocodile  [Willy Nilly Stories LLC; USA (published  2017)]

The Adventures of Willy Nilly and Thumper
Book Three – Stella Star   [Willy Nilly Stories LLC; USA (published December 2016)]

The Adventures of Willy Nilly and Thumper
Book Two Hermit’s Last Hairs   [Willy Nilly Stories LLC; USA (published May 2016)]

The Adventures of Willy Nilly and Thumper
Book One The Lost Treasure of Mount Methuselah   [Willy Nilly Stories LLC; USA (published May 2016)]

The Storiemuis (Afrikaans for "Story Mouse") series:

Storiemuis  (Book 5 and Book 6)  [Human and Rousseau - South Africa (published 2016)]

Storiemuis  (Book 3 and Book 4)  [Human and Rousseau - South Africa (published 2016)]

Storiemuis  (Book 1 and Book 2)  [Human and Rousseau - South Africa (published 2015)]

SeaStories (English) and Stories van die See (Afrikaans) [Protea Books - South Africa (published 2016)

Monday, 27 May 2013

Grandma Lim's Persimmon - launch at AFCC 2013

AFCC - Asian Festival of Children’s Content is taking place at the moment (25 – 30 May 2013) in Singapore
AFCC is a festival that brings together content creators and producers with parents, teachers, librarians and anyone interested in quality Asian content for children around the world.
I attended last year and did two presentations and some masterclasses in illustration. Unfortunately I was unable to go again this year - mayby I can manage to go next year!

Today, 27th May, at the AFCC, Sanita and my book is going to be launched! Wish I was there.
Sunita - Good luck and thank you for asking me to illustrate your book and Thank you too to
Linda Lingard of Yusof Gajah Lingard Literary Agency in Malaysia!

Details of launch...

Grandma Lim’s Persimmon
Sunita Lad Bhamray, Marjorie van Heerden
Date:    27 May 2013, 5:45pm – 6:15pm
Venue:    The Plaza, NLB

Grandma Lim has a persimmon tree. One day she sees the biggest and most beautiful persimmon on the tree. She decides to save it for her granddaughter. But the persimmon went missing after a storm blew it off the tree. That’s when a centipede, a spider and a cat got involved to save the day.

About the Author:
Sunita Lad Bhamray is an educator by profession and a writer at heart. She believes that stories have a strong influence on children’s development. After a successful start with ‘Triumphs on the Turf’, her book on horse racing, she has written a number of stories for children and dedicates them to her students who have inspired her.

 About the Illustrator:
Marjorie van Heerden is an award-winning illustrator from South Africa. From an early age she loved drawing and today her illustrations have appeared in more than 120 children’s books. She has been published as illustrator and / or author in 35 languages around the world.

More illustrations from the book

Sunday, 17 February 2013

I have not been updating/loading talks and articles I wrote/presented the last few years - but at last I did - go to to read the five articles/talks I posted - or just click on the link in the sidebar - enjoy!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Thursday, 24 January 2013

We won the 2012 M.E.R. Award!

Marjorie van Heerden, Michelle Cooper, Dan Sleigh, SA Partridge, SJ Naude, Michiel Heyns and Anton Harber


A highlight for me last year was in June, when author Alex D’Angelo and I won the M.E.R. Award (one of the Media24 Books Literary Awards) for the best illustrated children’s book published in South African during the previous year (2011) – we won the award for Goblin Diaries: Apprenticed to the Red Witch, published by Tafelberg Publishers (SA). This was the second time I have had the honour to be awarded this prestigious award, the first time was in 2008 when it went to Wendy Hartmann (as author) and me (as illustrator) for Nina and Little Duck, published in 2007 by Human & Rousseau (SA).

I was completely shocked and, of course, speechless.  As a result, my thank you speech was: "Thank you!"

So here is the speech I should have made that night, the people I should have said that "thank you" to:

To my husband, Johann: Thank you for your love and encouragement. And your help. Without you I would not have had the guts to become a writer and an illustrator. And to continue creating book after book  for more than three decades.

To Alida Potgieter, the editor who gave me my very first illustrating job, and who also became my friend: Thank you for believing in me and launching me on such a wonderful journey. 

To Alex d'Angelo, for writing this exciting, imaginative story. I really enjoyed illustrating it.

To Michelle Cooper, for asking me to illustrate Alex's manuscript. Thank you.

To the Media24 Literary Awards committee and the judges: Thank you so much for your appreciation and for honouring me (a second time!) with this award - It is really a very special honour. I am passionate about my work. But we writers and illustrators mostly work in isolation. And while working long, solitary hours to try and create something magical for the children, one becomes so involved and so focused that, eventually, you have a problem really judging your own work. So, to receive an award such as this, to publicly receive such recognition from specialists such as yourselves, means a lot. It really does. Thank you so much.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Goblin Diaries - shortlisted for the 2012 MER award

Goblin Diaries by Alex D’Angelo, and illustrated by me, Marjorie van Heerden published by Tafelberg in 2011 has been shortlisted for the 2012 MER award Media24 Books Literary for best illustrated children’s book & Youth Books. These  prizes are awarded annually for works published in the previous year and aim to acknowledge and applaud excellence in local literature (South Africa).

Goblin Diaries: Apprenticed to the Red Witch
Author:Alex D’Angelo
Illustrator: Marjorie Van Heerden
Tafelberg (Pty) Ltd
ISBN: 9780624052890
Price (incl. VAT): R 105.00
Format: Soft cover, 128pp, colour cover and b/w illustrations inside