Wednesday 25 June 2008

Nina and Little Duck - 2008 M-Net/Via Afrika Literary Award Winner!

Saturday June 14th brought a huge surprise! My friend Wendy and I were awarded the M.E.R. Prize for the picture book we did together. I'm still trying to believe it... Read below.

Nina and Little Duck - 2008 M-Net/Via Afrika Literary Award Winner!

The M.E.R Prize for best illustrated children’s book was awarded to Wendy Hartmann (author) and Marjorie van Heerden (illustrator) for Nina and Little Duck published by Human & Rousseau (SA) in 2007 (also available in Afrikaans as Nina en Eendjie).

ABOUT THE PRIZE: The M.E.R. Prize was established in 1983 and is awarded annually by M-Net and Via Afrika to the best illustrated children’s book published during the previous year. The only condition is that the books must be aimed at younger readers and that the authors and illustrators must be South African citizens. The award is named after MER (ME Rothman) for her ground breaking work in the field of children’s literature. No distinction is made between English and Afrikaans books.

Nina, Simon, and Mr and Mrs Rajah, together with their cat and dog, all live on a quaint little street where shops and houses are built right next door to each other. Mr and Mrs Rajah own a shop on this street. Their house is part of the shop. Next to it is an entrance to the garden where they store a few things. It is charming, just the kind of place a duck would love to make a nest.

Nina and Simon spend a lot of time playing close to Mr and Mrs Rajah’s house and shop. They often stop for a chat and sometimes go into the garden to play games. Little Duck also spends a lot of time in the street and around the shop. After a long search, she recently moved into the Rajah’s garden to raise her family.

And this is where the adventures of Little Duck and her ducklings, Max, Molly and Martin really start. The text is supported by humorous and charming rhymes and illustrations that warm the heart and tickle the tummy.

Nina and Little Duck (English) - ISBN 978-0-7981-4824-5
Nina en Eendjie (Afrikaans)
- ISBN 978-0-7981-4825-2
Written by Wendy Hartmann and illustrated by Marjorie van Heerden
Published by Human & Rousseau Publishers (SA) [Aug 2007]
Format (soft cover): 280mm x 215mm; 64 pages
Readership: Toddlers, Read aloud & New Readers
Copies can be ordered from: or

Sunday 8 June 2008

Klara, my grand daughter, is now 10 months old - I bought her a hippy jacket to keep her warm this coming winter!!! She crawls very fast and stand up holding on to stuff and now and then she lets go to test standing alone - and she does for two seconds! - She smiles when she sees me!!!! AND she loves books!!!!

Back after a long silence!

Hi - apologies for the long silence - the first six months of this year was crazily busy but I'm back - I've done 4 books (all educational readers) since the beginning of this year, now busy with a book for Shuter Publishers (SA) - a fun scary fantasy story - here are some of the roughs. During these last months I also organised, with the help of only 3 other people, a SCBWI writers and Illustrators' retreat at a natural warm water spa - It was a wonderful success... I was exhausted afterwards - but happy!
Some good news!!!! I've been asked to illustrate the winning book of the Macmillan writers competition - Long Juju Man by by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu ( I'm very excited and will be starting on it soon.