Hi, I’m Charlotte. I am the author of the Flip, Flippie and Friends Series and I spearhead the developmental collaboration. Developing this series in South African Languages has become my vocation. It brings together everything that I am passionate about – children, education, people and South Africa – all with a twist of joy.
I work with two talented illustrators. Riaan Retief and Lindsey van Heerden. Riaan roughs out the sketches bringing joy and magic to the characters while Lindsey works on the colour, depth and adds delightful detail. (Check out Lindseys other work at www.behance.net/lindsv161edc2.)
Joanne Webster, my business partner brings it all together designing each book and working to accommodate the languages page by page. My family (son, Siyahluma Ewins and his grandmother, Ntombokuqala Bantatwa) are my on-going source of inspiration and courage on this path.
We are proud and grateful to have Xolisa Tshongolo as part of the team. Xolisa is an isiXhosa author who is most respected in his field and he sits on the PanSALB in the Eastern Cape. Xolisa edits and advises on the isiXhosa publications but as importantly, he assists with wise perspective and appropriate direction around complex calls we are often faced with as we venture forward.
The journey with the South African language adaptations is complex and challenging as there is much debate and ongoing discourse around the subject in general. Furthermore, when I ask people – and I have asked many in a variety of contexts – whether they would like a gift of children’s books in their mother-tongue, 80% of the time they request the English books as a preference. I always, however, send them both the English editions, as well as titles in their mother-tongue and I encourage them to use and enjoy the books in their own language.
I sincerely believe that we, as publishers, have a responsibility to our children to promote South African languages and mother-tongue learning in every way we can and to persevere despite the challenges. The children for whom these books have been created deserve rich and engaging experiences in the language that they relate to. I have made friends with many people along the way who share this value and they are excited by the books in their respective languages and what they have to offer.
I am seriously blessed. I travel this fantastic country and meet incredible people with a common interest wherever I go.