Alan Durant, author
Alan Durant writes fiction for all ages, from preschool prose to poetry for adults. His picture books include Burger Boy. Alan lives in Brighton, England.
Read more about Alan.
Dale Blankenaar, illustrator
Dale Blankenaar has illustrated about thirty picture books and won several international awards, including the IBBY Honour list and the Publishers Choice Award at the 201 7 Shanghai International Book Fair. Dale lives in South Africa.
Read more about Dale.
- Coming soon!
From South African, an animal retelling of the “Stone Soup” folktale. The stranger in this version is Noko, a porcupine. Having traveled without food “through the Valley of a Thousand Hills,” he arrives in a village hungry. When the villagers refuse him food, he creates a “thick and rich” soup with nothing but hot water and three of his own quills—and, of course, all the other ingredients that the villagers contribute. Impressed by Noko’s claim to have fed this soup to the king, they fork over carrots, mealies, beans, spinach, and more. The king, not present but imagined, is a lion; the villagers are Meerkat, Warthog, Rabbit, and bunches of others. The setting, called a village, is both bustling and ambiguous—an amalgam of village, forest, and jungle. The scenes are intensely crowded and bursting with energy; both animals and backgrounds are styled in two dimensions, so everything overlaps on one plane. These animals aren’t living in a specific static location so much as a world of bright red, yellow, blue, green, black, and white shapes and patterns. Occasionally an element seems industrial, such as small rounded rooms connected by ladders and tunnels that evoke factory pipes, but it’s not definite. Flap copy says that illustrator Blankenaar took inspiration from African sources ranging from broad to specific: “Tanzanian artwork, the wood sculpture of Western Africa, and the costumes and masks of the Bwa people of Burkina Faso.” Visually dynamic.
ISBN: 978-1-63289-923-1 EPUB
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Page count: 40
91/2 x 101/2