Hello dear Readers,

Today I am reminiscing over my very first picture book, which I made in 2008 & 2009.
It is called My Bantu Blankie.

My sister went through a very traumatic incident when she was 6 years old. Her father, in a fit of rage, threw her blanket out of a train window, never to be recovered. Yes, I cringe too, still.
There is nothing more comforting than a little blankie. And in my family we needed all the comfort we could get. In one moment, the only thing my little sister could hold onto, was gone.

I felt compelled to heal her somehow, so I decided to write the story and illustrate it with real-people collages. It took me home to South Africa after many years of absence. I took all the photographs of the African landscapes, the tribal peoples, the children, the animals, the fauna and flora. The myriad objects. Six weeks, it took me.

Then I returned to my home in Los Angeles to take the pictures of the lead characters in the book. After which, I began the months-long assemblage of the characters against their authentic South African backgrounds.

I decided to publish this book myself and not waste years of waiting on a traditional publishing house. Through tough trial and error, I became an expert on the self-publishing process. It has lots of pitfalls, believe me. But my motto and mantra became excellence, nothing less. And I persevered on my journey through scammy self-publication houses and marketers to finally create my own publishing studio: Darling Child Books. At least I could trust myself not to cheat me. I redesigned the cover of My Bantu Blankie with an authentic Bantu tribal blanket as the background.

I also added a character to the story – an invisible friend. Every child should have one; his/her guardian angel to protect them against life, or at least comfort them when things get tough.

With this book I hope to (in a very small measure) heal my beloved sister, and help her understand that there is always someone to look over her, albeit invisible. Our imaginations are an open window to the spiritual realm, and it is just as real as this physical one.

I am happy and very pleased to say that, despite this terrible incident, my sister has grown into a fine woman, compassionate, kind and extremely loving. Can you believe it?!

With Love,
Coco Mary


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *