Sleep Well, Siba and Saba
Written by Nansubuga Nagadya Isdahl and illustrated by Sandra van Doorn
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Nansubuga Nagadya Isdahl
Nansubuga Nagadya Isdahl was born to Ugandan parents in Cambridge, MA, USA. After receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and a Master’s Degree in Diplomacy, she eventually landed in Kampala, Uganda to work in international development. For over ten years, Nansubuga has worked in international development in East and Southern Africa. In her current role as a technical writer and editor, she produces a range of written work for international organizations such as the UN and the World Bank. Having lived in seven countries across three continents, creative writing has always been her way to re-connect with her cultural heritage. Nansubuga is currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa where she resides with her husband and daughter, Nsaba. Sleep Well, Siba and Saba is her first children’s book.
Sandra van Doorn
Sandra van Doorn was born in a small medieval town somewhere in France. After graduating and obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in International Trade and Marketing, she embarked on a voyage of discovery and travelled the world. She went on to study photography, which led her to attend art classes at Emily Carr University in Vancouver where she wrote and illustrated her first book, published that same year. Consequently, she decided to pursue a career as an illustrator so that she could spend as much of her time as possible in imaginary worlds. When she is not drawing you can find her lost in a book, trying to play the piano or jogging along the beach. She is currently based in Australia where she lives with her husband Edward and her invisible dog, Caramel. You can find out more about her work at www.sandravandoorn.com.
I grew up in a home in which my parents spoke their native tongue, Luganda, to each other. I could for the most part understand Luganda, but I never developed proficiency in speaking the language. Despite this incomplete grasp, I always thought the language’s cadence and tonality were exceptionally beautiful. The sound of Luganda being spoken has always remained one of my most pleasurable childhood memories. My experience with the language was also an early lesson in embracing the beauty of something that extended beyond my full knowledge and understanding. When I was pregnant with my first child and began to look for children’s books about Uganda that I could read to her, I couldn’t quite find the book I wanted. I was inspired to write this book so that when my daughter was born, I could share with her the beauty of the country and the many things that I loved about it. In addition to that, I wanted to capture my memories of the sounds of Luganda, but within an English language context. The settings in the book, so breathtakingly illustrated by Sandra van Doorn, portray many of the places in Uganda that hold special meaning for me–from Ssese Islands and Sipi Falls to the Mountains of the Moon. The “s” sounds in the book reflect my nostalgia for the mellifluous qualities of Luganda. All of this is within the context of the special nature of Siba’s and Saba’s dreams–which are ultimately meant to explore the unimaginably wonderful pleasures that can be found when we allow our experiences, if even inexplicable or incomplete, to be greater than what we ‘know ‘or ‘understand’.
Author: Nansubuga Nagadya Isdahl
Illustrator: Sandra van Doorn
Release date: 28th March 2017
Page number: 32
Age range: 4-8
ISBN (paperback): 978-1-911373-10-0
Product dimensions: 24cm x 24cm
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