Meet Jafta, a little boy living in an African village sharing the universal joys and sorrows of childhood. Jafta was born after prize-winning author, Hugh Lewin, was released from prison after a seven-year sentence for his opposition to apartheid. With exquisite poignancy he describes the life of separation Jafta experiences growing up without his father. Later in the series, we learn of Jafta's experience of love for his mother and we share the tenderness and celebration of Jafta's father's homecoming.
The stories live and breathe, beautifully rendered by the lyrical artwork of Lisa Kopper.
The Jafta Series first appeared in 1981 to worldwide acclaim. It has been published in the USA, the UK, France, Japan and Spain and many more countries and has been translated into Swedish, Danish, Finish, Dutch, isiZulu, isiXhosa and Portuguese.
"My mother is like the sun because she lights up the dark corners.
My mother is like a willow on a riverbank because she comforts and provides shade for her children."
Jafta describes his mother by comparing her to the earth and nature. He starts his descriptions with sunrise and goes through his daily tasks until bedtime. Jafta's love for his mother is present in every step of his day.
About the Author
Hugh Lewinwas jailed by the apartheid state for seven years. After serving the full term he left South Africa on a "permanent departure permit" in December 1971. Ten years in exile in London were followed by ten years in Zimbabwe. During his time in exile he wrote and published the Jafta Series so that he could share the beauty of his homeland with his children. In 1992 he returned to South Africa and became director of the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism in Johannesburg. He is the author ofBandiet out of Jail, winner of the 2003 Olive Schreiner Prize andStones against the Mirror, winner of the 2011Sunday TimesAlan Paton Award. He worked for theNatal Witness,DrumandGolden City Post.
Lisa Kopperis a published author and an illustrator of children's and young adults' books. Some of the books she is credited for includeStarting School(My First Time),Staying Overnight(My First Time),Going to the Dentist(My First Time), andStories from the Ballet, as well as theJafta Series.
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