Children's Fiction

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Delannoie, Johan

The Adventures of Themba and Bizza series



The Enchanted Country
Illustrated by Delannoie. The Adventures of Themba and Bizza series. Johannesburg, South Africa: JMT Delannoie, 2000, 2003. 36 p. ISBN 0-620-29484-1. Ages 10 and up.

The Seven Mthombothi Beads
Illustrated by Delannoie. The Adventures of Themba and Bizza series. Johannesburg, South Africa: JMT Delannoie, 1999, 2003. 36 p. ISBN 0-620-28353-X. Ages 10 and up.

Bizza's Revenge
Delannoie, Johan, and Julio Moles. Illustrated by Delannoie. The Adventures of Themba and Bizza series. Johannesburg, South Africa: JMT Delannoie, 2003. 36 p. ISBN 0-620-30249-6. Ages 10 and up.

The Flight of the Princess
Delannoie, Johan, and Julio Moles. Illustrated by Delannoie. The Adventures of Themba and Bizza series. Johannesburg, South Africa: JMT Delannoie, 2005. 36 p. ISBN 0-620-34082-7. Ages 10 and up.

The Golden Scepter
Delannoie, Johan, and Julio Moles. Illustrated by Delannoie. The Adventures of Themba and Bizza series. Johannesburg, South Africa: JMT Delannoie, 2003. 36 p. ISBN 0-620-31590-3. Ages 10 and up.


Language: English


Publisher: The JMT Delannoie


Summary
All five books in The Adventures of Themba and Bizza series are comic books. They narrate the adventures of Themba, a thirteen-year-old boy who lives in Soweto; however, he is different from other teenagers. He owns a magical necklace that can take him 150 years back to the Zulu lands, where he lived (in the past) with his family in a harmonious community. In Soweto, Themba meets Bizza, another boy his age, who is mischievous but well meaning. Themba and Bizza go back to the time of the brave Zulu warriors and their wise chiefs. They have breathtaking adventures that include deities and magical powers. In Themba’s own words:

I’m a typical adventurous kid, although my 7 beads give me a bit of an edge; they allow me and my friends to travel to amazing worlds: lands of ancients myths, civilisations and warrior cultures, of mountains, valleys and shores resplendent with wildlife, forests and reefs…and the occasional demon and sorcerer. I was given these beads 140 years ago, when I was thirteen, and I’ve remained 13 ever since. You would think we’re inventing all these stories, and I admit that we give them a little push of the imagination. But some of the things we encounter are more than just fantasy: back in time lays a realm more fantastic and exotic than anything you’ve ever seen. (www.themba.net/Characters)


Commentary
The adventures are well written, and the graphic representations are as accurate and respectful as they are beautiful. The historical background has been researched with the aid of historians and anthropologists. The stories have expressions and greetings in Zulu, with glossaries on the last page.

All the books in the series will be published in Zulu in 2006. The translations will reflect the many variants of the Zulu language, taking into account how it was spoken in the past and its contemporary usage.


 

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