Friday, 9 December 2011

More Hopping Around

In the second posting, I mentioned some quirky facts about each one of us, and lately I realised that Julia has an especially strange one. She gets energy from lack of sleep. True story. A couple of weeks ago she rocked up at the office announcing that she hadn't slept a wink the previous night. I was scared on account of her abundance of energy, but our gentle leader predicted that she would crash at some point. This did not happen - quite the opposite, in fact.

Later that same day, we were brainstorming creative ways to recycle and somehow we got onto making airships from of old cereal boxes and what not. Our leader even built a wind-tunnel around our fan so our inventions could be tested. Not showing any signs whatsoever of burning out, Julia built a piece of re-enforced cardboard (as our leader described it), which earned her second place in both practicality and design. I submitted two entries, one getting first prize and one getting last prize, both for practicality. Our leader built a hot-air balloon type with a plastic bag, winning in appearance but lacking practicality. It just spun around in the wind-tunnel like clothes in a dryer. The result of this merrymaking? Issue 2 of Supernova presents a fantastic idea of how to recycle this festive season -not by building airships though.

Some time after this fun afternoon, Julia and Andy scooted over to a press event which launched the Dow Chemistry Lab at Sci-Bono. Here is what Andy had to say: 'Len Davids, the Deputy Director General of the Gauteng Department of Education; Sazi Lutseke, the Managing Director of Dow Southern Africa and Michael Peter, Chief Operations Officer of Sci-Bono Discovery Centre emphasised the importance of the laboratory for both school pupils and teachers alike. The aim of the laboratory is improve the quality of science in Gauteng with a learner education programme that allows hands-on experience. By acquiring skills through experiments, Davids sees the lab as a unique space that will “turn science in Gauteng around and contribute to scarce skills that are much needed”'. They had a blast.

Speaking of a blast, last week Julia and I went to the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Center. It's a really wonderful haven for these endangered animals. The most striking aspect was their option of adoption (there is a photo on the previous page). The gist of it is that you pay a sum to the center and then, depending on the package you bought, you metaphorically adopt a cheetah. They assign your donation to a specific creature, and you can then phone in to check up on your adoptive pet, or visit it. The center also hosts some other animals, like honey badgers and blue cranes, making it an even more impressive initiative! My favourite moment of the day was stroking the ambassador cheetah, Byron - words cannot describe what that felt like. 

This, dear readers, is why its fun to work at a kids magazine!

And finally, Supernova issue 2 came out! It's great, featuring all sorts of articles; Scuba Diving, Cuisine Culture Shock, Saving Chimpanzees and Fifty Years of Fashion Fads. Email if you'd like to buy a copy (R32) or subscribe for a year at only R185 - a great idea for a christmas gift!

Well now. Today we hope to do more airship building with some of the new interns; they are pretty creative, so the outcome will be interesting.

Watch this space!

Hopping Around

So, busy times yet again! Before I let you dive into the crazy life we lead at BK Publishing, here is a taster - some photies that show you what we've been up to...

Julia and Andrea attended the Launch of Dow Chemistry Lab at Sci-Bono...

And Julia and I hanged out at the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Center...

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Photo's from Reach for a Dream

It's been a while...

Wowee. What a hectic couple of weeks we've had! Just as one problem is fixed, out pop another one to bite your shin. Supernova is finally at the printers, after much trouble - which I will not trouble you with. None the less, it looks fantastic. If I was a kid, this would be number one!

A while ago our crazy editor Andrea Vermaak and photographer Laura Donaldson joined Reach for a Dream volunteers Christel Kotze and Annerie Bosman on an origami outing to Springvale Primary School in Centurion. Cheryl Gibbs, a teacher at the school, coordinated the event. She showed the children from Reach for Dream how to fold their own different origami forms, such as tumblers, a boat and a fox that could be used as a finger puppet. Each child also was given a booklet that includes other origami forms for them to try and fold. Andy and Laura even participated -though they refused to present their designs to us... Reach for a Dream is close to all our hearts here at BK Publishing and we encourage all to get involved in any capacity that you can in helping to inspire hope, and enable children with life threatening diseases to have some fun!

Today however, we decided to have five minutes of fun. It's recommended. The ladies in the office bought some lunch (and we found out that Andy likes to dip fries in ice cream... that tends to happen when you've lost your marbles) and then we felt inspired to play a trick on our gentle leader upon his return to the office. Needless to say, we were ready; Andy was in position, and Julia and I managed to stop sniggering. But, while buzzing open the gate, I hit my foot and yelped out in pain which awakened laughter in Andy and our leader missed the trick completely. An epic fail. Julia was the only one who remained composed. 

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Meet the Team!

Well today is tediously boring - for the purpose of reporting at least. We are all here in the office doing admin, posting prizes to kids who won competitions in the first issue of Supernova and  working a million-and-one miscellaneous other tasks that need to get done. What can I say, life here is pretty exciting, but you do get these magically average days. So, to keep our readers up-to-date, here is a brief introduction to the team, and a random fun-fact about each of us:

At the top of our hierarchy resides Benoit, he is the Publisher, CEO, head designer and our gentle leader. I have never seen him sit on a chair like a normal person.
Next we have Andrea, the Editor of Supernova, contributor of some articles and all-round smiley kiddie in the office. Andy is VERY clued up on Scotland.
Then there's Julia, who does the Marketing and Advertising Sales. She the voice of reason in our lives, and she buys us lollipops! Win!
Finally, there's me. Mari. I am a Publishing Intern / Sales Representative...and your narrator.

I just finished our Christmas catalogue, which I will post for you guys to look at. Take note of two things:
1. Give yourself an early Christmas present, and buy one of our fantastic publications.
2. I drew the elves myself.

Julia just finished putting together some tips on water conservation for JoJo Tanks, it's shocking how much there is that we can all do to contribute. We should all do more to conserve water, and recycle for that matter. The boss-man is big on recycling, so we all try to keep up with his ways.

Well that's my bit for the day. Tomorrow, we construct the Nova-Rabbit!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

What we're all About

So back in 2006, BK Publishing was born. Publisher Benoit Knox started the company in his second year of studying Publishing at The University of Pretoria. He started out with a magazine; A Look Away. It was a quarterly magazine which showcased South African Arts and Culture and ran for about five years. That wasn't the only thing that BK Publishing had going though...

In 2009, Metz and Bop and the Big Library Theft was published. The book is made to inspire kids of all ages to take up reading through a series of short stories which all contribute to a larger story, depicted in comic-book format. Too much fun, right? Right. BK Publishing went on to turn this into a social entrepreneurship project, getting people to sponsor books and then taking them to underprivileged kids.

Then in 2011, Shaggy was published. This book consists of fourteen short stories written by Anton Krueger and Pravasan Pillay. Politically incorrect, dry and sarcastic, this book caters to a very specific niche market. Trivial to important people, important to trivial people, Oscar Wilde would have loved it I think.

But that's not all. I have saved the best for last! In September this year BK Publishing launched a brand new, game changing kids magazine: Supernova. Fully hand illustrated, Supernova is a magazine for curious kids from ages 9 to 14. Educators find it quite helpful in the classroom too. Check out the website if you don't believe me:

Well, that's it for now. In this industry we never sleep, and there is always something to report, so watch this space...