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Juan and the Praying Mantis

Publisher: Turksvy Publikasies
Price: R200
First edtion, first print, 2021, 35 bl.


The twins, Juan and Lienke, live in one of South Africa’s most beautiful coastal towns, Melkbosstrand, on the West Coast of South Africa. Nature’s cycles intrigue them – not the ebb and flow of the ocean, but also of the life cycle of the animals living in their garden. One day Juan came across one of the most beautiful insects he had ever seen in the garden – a praying mantis he called Annelien. He decided to keep her as a pet in his bug-box. Later he caught another praying mantis as a friend for Annelien and decided to call him Marius. However, nothing he planned for his two pets worked out. Nature will not be dictated, he discovered.

About Thana de Clerk

Thana de Clerk (1967) is an organisational psychologist and coach. Her love for her nephew and niece inspired her to write Juan and the Praying Mantis. It is her first children’s book and based on the true story of a little boy and his beloved pet. Thana grew up and matriculated in Durbanville, close to Cape Town. In 1991 she completed her master’s degree in Industrial Psychology at Stellenbosch University. In 2003 she received her doctorate from the University of Johannesburg. Thana and her life partner, Marius Scholtz, live in Stellenbosch and Prince Albert.

About Jan Vermeiren

Jan Vermeiren (1949) was born in Belgium. He studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Mechelen and Antwerp. He continued his studies in Belgrade, then Yugoslavia, and later at the National Higher Institute for Fine Art in Antwerp. During his first exhibition in South Africa he met Kristien. They fell in love and in 1977 started their life together in Cape Town. Over the past 45 years Jan has made a valuable contribution to South African art with his unique Flemish approach. Jan created the illustrations for Juan and the Praying Mantis during a visit to Antwerp towards the end of 2021.