MARJORIE VAN HEERDEN's 2016



From the first week of 2016, the Chinese year of the Monkey, Marjorie was already at her desk working. She had worked through the 2015 Christmas holidays and completed the final illustrations of the first two books in the The Adventures of Willy Nilly & Thumper book series in the first quarter of 2016. 

The highlight of Marjorie’s 2016, however, was in May, when she flew to Texas, invited and hosted by the author Jim Henry, for the official launch of the first two Willy Nilly and Thumper books.

The Adventures of Willy Nilly & Thumper (Book One):
The Lost Treasure of Mount Methuselah





The Adventures of Willy Nilly & Thumper (Book Two): 

The Hermit’s Last Hairs





The Midland County Centennial Library in Texas, USA, broke an attendance record for author-related events on Saturday, 14th of May 2016, with the release of Book One and Book Two in the new children’s book series, The Adventures of Willy Nilly & Thumper by Jim Henry with Jimmy Patterson and illustrated by Marjorie van Heerden. Attendance for the day totalled 2,229, far exceeding the library’s average of 750 visitors on a Saturday during this time of year. The book launch party featured workshops, storytelling and giveaways for families. It also included book signings, readings, face painting, balloon animals, hot dogs, and complementary book bags for the first 300 guests. Lines stretched through the library with patrons waiting as long as 90 minutes for book signing. (see: https://willynillyandthumper.com/news-events/)


This Saturday launch day at the library was one of many events, parties and other activities, related to the Willy Nilly & Thumper books, that took place during the week that Marjorie spent in Midland as Jim Henry's guest.

 Jimmy Patterson, Simone Kaplan, Marjorie, Paula and Jim Henry

  Jim Henry and Marjorie.

   Marjorie & Simone Kaplan.

   Book signing - Jim Henry, Marjorie and Jimmy Patterson.

   Jim Henry.

       The launch of the Willy Nilly & Thumper books at the Midland’s Library.

In the second half of the year, after the launch of the Willy Nilly & Thumper Books One and Two, Marjorie started illustrating the next two books in the series. 

The Adventures of Willy Nilly & Thumper (Book Three): 
Stella Star


Stella Star was published on the 5th of December 2016.





The Adventures of Willy Nilly & Thumper (Book Four): 
Charlie, the Cross-Eyed Crocodile


Charlie, the Cross-Eyed Crocodile is scheduled to be published early in 2017.



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As in 2015, while working on these American publications, Marjorie was also doing illustrations for Storiemuis (“Story Mouse”), the series of Afrikaans children's books written by Leon Rousseau and published by Human & Rousseau Publishers in Cape Town - sadly Leon died during the year. As before, the next four books in the series were illustrated by three illustrators, Marjorie, Karen Ahlschläger and Johann Strauss.

During 2016 Storiemuis, Books Three, Four, Five and Six were published.



 StorieMuis Book Three & Book Four
 






 StorieMuis Book Five & Book Six








In 2016 Marjorie was once again, for the eighth consecu­tive year, invited to present the 5-day Children’s Book Illustration Course at the Centre for Comic, Illustrative and Book Arts (CCIBA) at the Stellenbosch University’s Department of Visual Arts. This forms part of a series of creative workshops offered by the university during the Spring Break.

Marjorie continued as Co-RA for the South African chapter of the SCBWI, but because of her work load during 2016 she was not able to be as active as usual. Dr Elaine Ridge (the other Co-RA) and their committee members picked up the slack. Marjorie did, however, present a 2-day intensive workshop on How to Draw Children, for members of  SCBWI (SA).
 
2016 was definitely a very busy year but Marjorie is ready for 2017, the year of the Rooster.

 


MARJORIE VAN HEERDEN’s 2015  

For Marjorie 2015 was an even busier year than 2014. A large part of the year was spent conceptualising and designing the visual look and feel of an American series of children's books by Jim Henry of Texas, USA. All the individual books in the series are published under the umbrella title The Adventures of Willy Nilly & Thumper. Marjorie finished the rough illustrations of the first two books in November and started their final illustrations in December of 2015.
Book One: The Lost Treasure of Mount Methuselah and Book Two: The Hermit’s Last Hairs are both scheduled to be published in the first half of 2016.


Here are some of the rough illustrations for The Lost Treasure of Mount Methuselah (Book One):













Here are some of the rough illustrations for The Hermit's Last Hairs (Book Two):
















While Marjorie was working on these illustrations for the first two books, the texts for Book 3 and Book 4 were already being finalised in Texas, to be ready for illustration in the second half of 2016 - Marjorie will start on the rough illustrations for these two books as soon as she has completed the final illustrations for the first two.

Some background notes: The Willy Nilly stories have been made up and told in Jim Henry’s family for three generations. Like his grandfather and father before him, Jim continued the tradition by telling bedtime stories about the adventures of Willy Nilly first to his three children and later to his eleven grand­children. Now, together with New York editor Simone Kaplan (previously editor at Henry Holt and at Harper Collins NY), Jim is in the process of publishing  a selection of these stories.
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While working on these American publications Marjorie was also doing illustrations for Storiemuis (“Story Mouse”), a series of Afrikaans children's books written by Leon Rousseau and published by Human & Rousseau Publishers in Cape Town. Marjorie is one of three illustrators, together with Karen Ahlschläger and Johann Strauss, commissioned for the first two collections of stories and poems. She completed her final illustrations for Book 1 and Book 2 in 2015 and they were published in October of that year.

 

Here are some of Marjorie's illustrations for Storiemuis (Books 1 and 2):




Books 3, 4, 5 & 6 are in the pipeline. Marjorie will be doing those illustrations in 2016, again together with the two other illustrators, Karen Ahlschläger and Johann Strauss.
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Marjorie also illustrated a book by South African author Wendy Maartens. It is a collection of stories, all related to the sea and to be published in both English (as Sea Stories) and Afrikaans (as Stories van die See) in 2016.




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In 2015 Marjorie was once again, for the seventh consecu­tive year, invited to present the 5-day Children’s Book Illustration Course at the Centre for Comic, Illustrative and Book Arts (CCIBA) at the Stellenbosch University’s Department of Visual Arts. This forms part of a series of creative workshops offered by the university during the Spring Break.
Marjorie continued as Co-RA for the South African chapter of the SCBWI. Together with Dr Elaine Ridge (the other Co-RA) and their committee members she organized a variety of workshops, talks, get-togethers and review sessions for local children's book writers and illustrators. This year they organised a writers’ retreat and invited Alan Durant, well-known British children’s book writer, as the guest presenter.
Marjorie completed the rough illustrations for two children's books and the final illustrations for four more during 2015 - indeed a very busy year...

2016 is the year of the Monkey - Oh dear, Monkeys always seem to be so very, very busy and extremely active!