Adults barred from Desmond Tutu’s book launch

2014-03-16 06:00

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Adults will not be welcome when Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu reads from his new children’s picture book at a Cape Town library later this month.

The event will mark the South African launch of Tutu’s Let There Be Light, which chronicles God’s creation in a swirl of bright illustrations by famous American children’s author and artist Nancy Tillman.

The book’s pages are covered in playful drawings of ­giraffes, lions and meerkats, children of different races, and horizons covered in stars, clouds and flowers.

“It’s going to communicate goodness, laughter and joy – all the things we long for, things that are often in short supply,” said Tutu.

The 82-year-old icon was busy this week, as usual.

On Tuesday, he attended the launch of Alex Boraine’s latest book What’s Gone Wrong? in Cape Town.

Read: Alex Boraine: Cyril Ramaphosa is a ‘more acceptable’ face of the ANC

Speaking at Boraine’s launch, Tutu said: “It’s up to us not to allow our country to go to the dogs.”

But at the launch of Let There Be Light on March 25 at the Central Library next to Parliament, adult issues will be left at the front door.

In fact, adults will only be allowed at the event in a supervisory capacity.

Andrea Marchesi, the publicity manager at Jonathan Ball Publishers, said: “This particular launch is for kids only. The format is a traditional story time where the archbishop will be reading to children, mostly from disadvantaged schools.”

Tutu said: “This book will make children say: ‘God’s creation is beautiful and people are beautiful.’”

Let There Be Light was launched in the US and UK late last year, where it garnered glowing reviews.

“Using Archbishop Tutu’s lyrical text and Tillman’s remarkable illustrations, Let There Be Light brings the story of creation to life for readers young and old,” reads a review on

In an interview, Tillman said: “I’ve always admired Nelson Mandela and the archbishop for what they did in South Africa, for how they always spoke about forgiveness. It was just a no-brainer.”

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