Illustrated by Jean Fullalove. Lansdowne, Cape Town: Juta Gariep, 2002. 16 p. ISBN 1-86903-337-X. Ages 2-5.
Languages: English, Afrikaans, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, SeSotho, SeTswana, SePedi
Publisher: Juta & Company Limited
In 2002, the Centre for the Book in Cape Town launched its Isiqalo / First Words in Print project with three titles: Khushu Khushu, Horns Only, and Abongi’s Journey. Each title was produced by a professional publishing house. Sponsorship guaranteed a sufficient print-run to cover the printing cost, and these copies were then distributed free of charge. Further sponsorship from Sappi (a leading paper manufacturer) in 2004 enabled the publication of two additional titles. The “First Words in Print” project was (and still is) extremely well researched, and each book is a high-quality publication. The project was awarded the IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award in 2004. To date, a total of 160,000 books have been given to selected needy areas and early childhood organisations.
Khushu Khushu is the evocative sound (in the Zulu language) of a train, isitimela. This is one of the seven rhymes presented here, each in a different African language, with English translations provided at the end. Jean Fullalove’s colourful, uncluttered illustrations capture the flavour of nursery rhymes.