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African Orchestra (The)
Wendy Hartmann; illustrated by Joan Rankin

published 2017 • 8.5" x 10.75" • 32 pages • full-color throughout
ISBN 9781566560481 • hardback • $17.95


“In the beginning, when all things began,

these were the sounds which were music to man.

‘Cicadas, crickets, beetles and frogs
Seedpods, cocoons, hollowed out logs
Crackling fires, the patter of rain
Thundering hooves on the African plain
Birds in the air, in the trees—on the land
Wind in the grass through the leaves—over sand.”

With magical illustrations from Joan Rankin, and poetry from masterful storyteller, Wendy Hartmann, The African Orchestra lyrically captures the magic of the African sounds of nature. From the clicking of crickets to the crackle of the fire, follow the journey that celebrates these sounds, in the rhythm and music of Africa.

Wendy Hartmann is an award-winning South African author of more than forty children’s books. They range from concept and counting, beginner readers, high interest/low vocabulary readers to picture books. Her books have been selected for honor’s lists and nominated for awards for writing and illustration. Wendy lives in Table View, Cape Town. She is married and has two daughters. In her spare time, she paints and has taken part in numerous exhibitions and has works in private collections internationally.

Joan Rankin has illustrated over thirty books for children. She received the South African HAUM Daan Retief Prize for children’s book illustration in 1986 and the Katrine Harries Award for Children’s Book Illustration in 1991. She has illustrated numerous books on the McElderry list, including A Frog in the Bog by Karma Wilson and Off to First Grade by Louise Borden. Joan recently won the MER Prize for best illustrated children’s book for Just Sisi/Net Sisi written by Wendy Hartmann.

Advance praise for The African Orchestra

“Wendy Hartmann has a musician’s ear for words and Joan Rankin’s pictures sing with color and expression.”
—Niki Daly, author-illustrator of Jamela’s Dress and Not So Fast Songololo

“What a joyous introduction to the natural sounds that become music. The book is as rhythmic as a song, the rhymes perfect, and I want to sing it aloud.”
—Jane Yolen, author of Owl Moon, How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight, You Nest Here with Me, and others

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