​​© Copyright - Happy Artworks Studio

Written by Mikaela Keen, & illustrated by Melany Pietersen. 2013


Publishers: Meridian Publishers

Country: China

ISBN: 978-7-5133-1349-0

 The Black Backed Jackal 

About the book

This beautiful African folktale  was published in Beijing by Meridian Publishers and Star Press, China.


The book is part of a set (10 books) called "Fairy Tales of the World".

Behind the Scenes

"Here you will find a selection of presketches and visual reference material used in the making of the book.  


I literally did 100's of presketches and paintings for this project, and selected only but a few for the final product.


I was particularly intrigued by the magical, mysterious, and childlike characteristics of Bushmen art.


I wanted to capture the essence of this.


Working on this project has given me a  new appreciation for the indigenous people of South Africa, and their contribution to the world of storytelling."





About the Author

Mikaela has been a teacher for many years in both South Africa and in China. She also has a love for children and an interest in storytelling. She has been studying Chinese for many years, is a qualified teacher in Childhood Education, as well as in the field of English and Mandarin language teaching. She has recently received a scholarship to do her Masters in Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages at Renmin University, Beijing.



About the Illustrator

Melany Pietersen is an internationally published artist currently residing near Cape Town, South Africa. Her unique and vibrant art has been on exhibit around the world, and as an active member of the Society for Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators, she has attended numerous international workshops and conferences. In 2009 Melany co-founded Happy Artworks Studio, a collective of professional artists specializing in children’s book illustration.