A richly illustrated children’s book

2013-05-08 00:00

CHILDREN should read, and read books with a local flavour. How many times have we all heard that said, by parents, teachers and publishers? But when it comes down to the nitty gritty of getting good books out there and into children’s hands, problems begin to arise.

“You would think it was vital for local kids to be reading local books,” says author and illustrator Jeremy Grimsdell, who has self-published his latest book, The Rhino at Rhino Rock. “But it’s always a struggle to get published. It’s a small market and publishers are wary of taking on new books.”

Grimsdell is not new to the business: he has both written and illustrated four children’s books — all for mainstream publishers — as well as regularly illustrating work for other authors. And he knows only too well that success depends on the effort the publishers put into sales and promotion.

The Rhino at Rhino Rock is a charming tale of a little boy and his game ranger father, who set off one afternoon to look for a rhino. On their way to a good lookout spot, they see other creatures, and some they don’t notice see them. And they do get to see their rhino.

Richly illustrated with Grimsdell’s delightful and detailed watercolours, the story offers a bush experience to children who might not otherwise get one, as well as appealing to those who have visited game reserves.

British-born Grimsdell trained as a biologist and originally came to Africa to do research, and although it was not the plan, he has been here ever since.

“I’ve tended to concentrate on African animals for my work, and there’s not much on them for children. There’s quite a bit of cartoony stuff, but not much that’s naturalistic.”

Grimsdell reckons the book should have a market overseas as well, and with rhinos so much in the news, he is probably right. The book has been produced by local printers, The Picture Box, and is available in both hard and soft cover versions.

But right now, Grimsdell faces the task that daunts self-publishing authors: getting his book out there. While technology has advanced and made it much easier to produce a book, selling it is another matter, and Grimsdell admits it is the part of the process that he finds the most daunting.

As he says: “I like doing the thing, but wish someone else would take over the other side and sell it.”

Ideally, he would like to find a publisher who would take over the distribution of The Rhino at Rhino Rock, but for now, he will do the rounds of local bookshops, and maybe do school visits. For those, he takes along a board, and draws for the children, something that always goes down well.

• Copies of The Rhino at Rhino Rock are available from Bookworld at the Cascades Centre, Grimsdell at bevan ce@mweb.co.za or from the printers, The Picture Box, at www.printvision studio.com

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.