On the very tip of Africa you will find what may well be the tiniest and mightiest floral kingdom in the world. This kingdom (about the size of Portugal) rivals the Amazon rain forest for the density of indigenous plant species! In the book “Come Walk in the Fynbos With Me,” a child and an adult set off on a walk through this extraordinarily diverse biome, commonly called the fynbos (fayn-boss). Along the way the twosome discover the bizarre shapes, flashes of brilliance, and peculiar habits of the flowers nestled in the scrubland. They cross the paths of birds, bugs, snakes, animals that inhabit and help sustain the fynbos kingdom.
This book is sure to enchant an inquisitive youngster and the curious adult too. The art will be displayed as part of a special exhibit of Lynne and John M.T. Seitzer’s illustrations now through December - the Seitzers are the artists of the month at the Southport Memorial Library through the end of the year.
This special exhibition is also in conjunction with a book reading by the author, Susan Schadler, at the Library on Thursday, Nov. 14 from noon to 1:30 p.m., and during the Library’s annual Holiday Gift Show in December. Seeing the actual paintings (much larger than the book) in person will add another level of enjoyment.
Lynne and John’s lush artwork accentuates the depth of age appropriate information provided by Schadler. Both the front and back endpapers are loaded with fun facts and sketches of the creatures and plants mentioned throughout the book.
The process for writing and researching this book “Come Walk in the Fynbos With Me” began in South Africa. Some years back, while Susan was stationed in Cape Town, she hiked extensively in the region with fynbos conservationist Frank Woodvine. Awestruck by the exotic yet understated beauty of the fynbos, Susan began thinking about how few children (or adults) in the world would ever have a chance to see, feel, and smell the unassuming beauty of the fynbos. She decided to write a book to take readers on a walk through the fynbos. To bring about her vision for the book, Susan invited the artists to join her research there. With Frank and Susan, John and Lynne hiked, explored, and photographed many areas of this Cape Floral Kingdom - and fell in love with the fynbos.
Back in the States, Susan developed a language outline for her story and the Seitzers worked hand-in-hand to concept the book. The following year was devoted to interpreting the selected aspects of the fynbos into forty 18-inch x 24-inch oil paintings. Thirty-four images were decided upon for use in the book. Over several months the story was honed and the images were synced with the story. These moved on to the editors, publishers, and designers at Beavers Pond Press, reaching the printers and fruition in the summer of 2018.
Schadler and the Seitzers’ won the 2019 Next Generation Indie Book Award for Picture Books for Children. Next Generation Indie judges described the book as “A total delight!,” The book also received recognition as a 2019 finalist in the Eric Hoffer Book Award for Children’s picture books.
Come hear it.
Come see it.
Come journey through the fynbos ... at the Southport Memorial Library, 1032 Hendricks Hill Road, with Susan, Lynne and John.