The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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Saturday Spot: Vumile and the Dragon… And a GiveAway!!!

June 11th, 2012 · 44 Comments

If there is one thing that many South African’s miss when they are on the far side of the world is our weird and wonderfully beautiful natural heritage. You can not buy the smell of our vynbos plants anywhere!!! Well it is not often you find a story that is homegrown… a totally South African story immersed in a totally South African garden, filled with all our local wildlife and plants. You can see all the birds and critters that we see in our own hedges and take a wander through a little bit of home.

Vumile and the Dragon001

I was so lucky to be invited to the launch of a new and fabulous book that my children related to and loved instantly!!! Let’s meet the author, Claerwen Howie, she told us the dramatic story of a chameleon she found in her garden and taught to eat flies… one dreadfully stormy night she was so worried that her little Chloe had been washed away that she dash out the next morning to search for her…


She searched and searched and then discovered that Chloe had had a clutch of teeny tiny baby chameleons. Yes the dragon in the story is indeed a chameleon… and you know how we love and adore chameleons. There is indeed something quite magical about them!!!


So back to the book launch: It was held at the Everard Read Gallery…


There were hoards of Cape Town’s Glitteratti present…


And Tony… I have no idea who he is but he desperately wanted his photograph taken!!!


Meet the author, Claerwen Howie and the illustrators, Lisa Strachan and Meg Jordi:


They all sat together and signed their way through our books…


All the while we nibbled on the most delicious snacks…


Seriously yummy!!! Who can resist a fine pate!!!


Little pastries…


One of the sponsors was Jordan Wines, who were instrumental in getting this book off the ground, if you would like a quick visit to a wine estate in the country… then take a look around the Cape countryside.


Meet their mascot…

And more about the story: Joe and Katie visit their granny in the country and Vumile the local boy has so looked forward to their visit… the boys play lots and lots of soccer while Katie wonders if her granny’s black cat will lead to something magical. Of course she discovers the chameleon, who is naturally called Chloe, after the author’s own chameleon… And the story of Chloe continues…


Here’s a taste of the stunning line drawings…


Such a South African stoep… wouldn’t you want to have tea and milk tart there? We all wanted to take visit to this house in the country!!!


And doesn’t that look just like a Granny to you!

That’s not all there are some stunning color illustrations too. Look at the glorious detail in the color plates…


At the back of the book there is some information on the Cape Dwarf Chameleon and there are illustrated lists of beasts and plants that you can hunt for within the book…


While we were lucky enough to be gifted a copy of the book for our shelves we were also gifted with a signed copy of the book for our readers… yes… that would be all of you. Another GiveAway in our Book Fair leading up to Cape Town’s Book Fair next weekend.

Se7en's Book Fair004

This GiveAway works in the usual way, we will give you a whole week to comment until the close of play on the 17 June 2012, We will draw and publish the winner on the 19 June 2012 I won’t respond to your comments as I do on our other posts because I don’t want to be included in our own giveaway.

Our GiveAways are open to everyone: If you have won a GiveAway before never fear – enter away. And all our GiveAways are World-Wide – so no excuse – leave a comment and enter away!!!

Now I know not all of you can be winners but more than a few of you would like to own a copy of this book… it is hot off the press and not yet available via our normal online shopping routes… so here is a page with a contact address for you:


There you go… a lovely local book… comment away!!!

Thank-you so much to Hippo Communications for the invitation and for organizing the books for our GiveAway.

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Tags: GiveAways and Swaps · Outings · Saturday Spot

44 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Karen M // Jun 11, 2012 at 1:50 am

    What a beautiful book! I would love to add it to our family library.
    Thanks so much for the chance to win a copy!!

  • 2 3GoatMom // Jun 11, 2012 at 3:39 am

    This looks wonderful. My kids would love to check it out. Please include us in the drawing.

  • 3 Valerie // Jun 11, 2012 at 3:43 am

    How fun and so pretty!

  • 4 Krista // Jun 11, 2012 at 4:14 am

    What fun! We’d love to win a copy!!!

  • 5 Margie // Jun 11, 2012 at 7:12 am

    Love to see great South African books with local fauna and flora. Count me in!

  • 6 Shells // Jun 11, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Wow looks great – please count us in!

  • 7 Jo // Jun 11, 2012 at 9:28 am

    We love chameleons too! It sounds like a lovely book.

  • 8 aunty muffin // Jun 11, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Looks lovely!

  • 9 Cheryl // Jun 11, 2012 at 11:04 am

    What an absolutely beautiful book! I love that it is from South Africa. How could I resist! Thanks for the chance.
    Cheryl´s last blog post ..No need to fry!

  • 10 deb // Jun 11, 2012 at 11:20 am

    wow – looks like such a beautiful book to get lost in.

  • 11 ellen // Jun 11, 2012 at 11:29 am

    My boys love chameleons ! They would really enjoy this book :o)

  • 12 Sally // Jun 11, 2012 at 11:35 am

    We are South Africa mad and love to read everything we can get our hands on. One day we hope to get over to visit.

  • 13 Susan // Jun 11, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Sounds wonderful!! Thanks for the chance!
    Susan´s last blog post ..fútbol

  • 14 Wendy Meijer // Jun 11, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    looks absolutely wonderful, we would love to win a copy 🙂
    Wendy Meijer´s last blog post ..Cultural Exchange… parcel from Catalunya

  • 15 Cara Kapp // Jun 11, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Please count us in! Would love to have this book.

  • 16 Beth_N // Jun 11, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    great giveaway 🙂 count me in

  • 17 Melanie Grant // Jun 11, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    You do get out and about! What a wonderful book, it looks like a real favourite.
    Melanie Grant´s last blog post ..A Page for My Children (and yours if you like)

  • 18 Pam // Jun 11, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    The book looks fab–now we all want a chameleon!.

  • 19 Kimberly // Jun 11, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Yes, I’d like a visit to that country house! Lovely!

  • 20 Brenda // Jun 11, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Oh yes, count us in, too! What beautiful illustrations!

  • 21 Erica // Jun 11, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    My kids are so keen for anything that reminds them of our time in South Africa. Please include us in the drawing for this lovely book!

  • 22 Granny Ant // Jun 11, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    How lovely to see a totally South African book for a change. Wonderful story, and beautiful illustrations. Loved the little squares full of information at the back of the book. Very handy to take on a nature walk too Well done all of you.

  • 23 Katherine Aitken // Jun 11, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Just gorgeous. How wonderful, please count us in!

  • 24 Tammy // Jun 11, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Awww this looks stunning, love the illustrations. We have had Cape Dwarf chameleons in our garden twice!

  • 25 Kim Allen // Jun 11, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Wow, this looks like a fantastic book. We would love to read this one 😉

  • 26 Willemijn // Jun 11, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    going to try again!
    Thanks, Willemijn

  • 27 Rikki // Jun 11, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    This looks like an amazing book!

  • 28 Beth S // Jun 12, 2012 at 1:24 am

    This looks like a wonderful, gorgeous book!! Thanks for the drawing!

  • 29 Aimee // Jun 12, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    This book looks so great! We’d love to read it.

  • 30 Paige // Jun 13, 2012 at 3:46 am

    We would love this book!

  • 31 whit's end mom // Jun 13, 2012 at 5:31 am

    We aren’t from South Afric, but rather Michigan, USA, but we would love to learn more about South Africa, and books are loved in this house.

  • 32 Kim // Jun 13, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    This books looks like a wonderful one! We’d love to read it together!

  • 33 Anna // Jun 14, 2012 at 5:36 am

    I must say this looks like another book we really must read!

  • 34 Se7en’s Brilliant Book Fair… » se7en // Jun 15, 2012 at 3:49 am

    […] Vumile and the Dragon, a story with a local flavor, a GiveAway – closing date: 17 June 2012. […]

  • 35 Jaime // Jun 15, 2012 at 5:16 am

    Beautiful! You always inspire me to take my children out and do things with them, not just mope around the house! Thank you!

  • 36 Lopke D // Jun 15, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Looks FAB! x

  • 37 Se7en + 1 Things to do at Kirstenbosch’s Winter Wonders Program… And a Fantastic GiveAway for Cape Town Readers. » se7en // Jun 15, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    […] will be reading her book: Vumile and the Dragon.. which we are giving away on our blog right now, just follow the link and leave a comment. 10:00 am daily in the […]

  • 38 Julia // Jun 15, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Yes please??

  • 39 Bronwen Hurt // Jun 16, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    It was such a happy evening, with a wonderful buzz created by Claerwen, Lisa and Meg, and all the people who helped put the event together. The book is charming, and has been so much admired by those to whom we have given copies. Well done, everyone!

  • 40 Cheryl // Jun 16, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Seriously looking at coming to SA in the next year and would love this book to help introduce us to the colours and words of your beautiful country!

  • 41 Rikki // Jun 16, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    What an awesome looking book!

  • 42 Saturday Spot: Se7en + 1 Things Spotted at the Cape Town Book Fair 2012… » se7en // Jun 17, 2012 at 8:59 am

    […] our very own book: Vumile and the Dragon, which we are giving away this […]

  • 43 We Are Guest Posting on Whip Up Today… You have to look… » se7en // Jun 18, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    […] Vumile and the Dragon, a story with a local flavor, a GiveAway – closing date: 17 June 2012. […]

  • 44 A Heap of GiveAway Winners… » se7en // Jun 21, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    […] Vumile and the Dragon, a story with a local flavor, a GiveAway. […]

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