Although the concept of a uniquely South African Animal Alphabet is one that I have been mulling over for many years, it was only last year that I managed to gather-myself-towards-myself sufficiently enough finally create it.
Sharing my deep-rooted passion for this country's extraordinary wildlife was an obvious driving force behind the project. My love for reading was another. In this 2018 article by Mail & Guardian, they refer to a study which tested reading comprehension of learners in their fourth year of primary schooling. The study found that 78% of South African pupils at this level could not read for meaning... The hope that my South African Animal Alphabet might inspire just one child to learn to read was what really got me fired up about it all.
So where does one start with a project entailing 26 super detailed, whimsical illustrations that should at least to some degree be educational? At the beginning, of course!
"A is for Aardvark" was a concept that immediately captured my imagination. These incredibly strange, quirky creatures are worth learning about! As you can see from my illustration, they are nocturnal, have super long, sticky tongues and their favourite treat is a termite cocktail (ah-hem).
Without further ado, take a look at how the letter A developed over time:
See the South African Animal Alphabet here: