Nothando’s Journey by Jill Apperson Manly, Illustrations by Alyssa Casey

Nothando's Journey by Jill Apperson ManlyNothando’s Journey is an exquisite children’s book about Nothando, who lives in Swaziland in Southern Africa. Nothando is getting ready for the Reed Festival, a right of passage of dancing and celebration in front of the King and Queen, and she’s worried about the performance and new responsibility. As she travels through the hills with her brother, she learns contentment and courage from all the wild animals, which prepares her to perform in the festival. Nothando’s Journey is a culturally-rich and artistically-mesmerizing story that kids will most certainly want to return to again and again.

While Nothando’s story is an inspiring one, what makes the book really leap out is the quality of illustrations. In an age of so much computer illustration, Nathando’s Journey is tactile and three-dimensional, using a variety of media, including ripped paper, twine, cloth, and collage to be one of the more expressive children’s books you’ll find. Each page is a unique work of art. That may sound like awfully high praise, but it’s true – this is a book full of immense care and artistry. Here is a taste from the illustrator’s website:

Nothando's Journey

Children’s books are not always easy to get right, but this is a professional book in every way, striking a perfect balance of tone in the prose, and eye-grabbing illustrations. This sweet and enriching book for children truly deserves a lot of attention.

Illustrator’s Site