We are so excited to be part of the Read the World Book Club. This week the book club is visiting Africa and today the tour is virtually stopping by, and visiting us in South Africa. We thought we would like to write a post welcoming all the folk visiting our blog from Simple Homeschool today… and include a collection of South African books for children.
Let’s begin by introducing you to Sunny South Africa…
South African Places to Visit
- Se7en Brilliant Things to Do in Cape Town…
- Wild life in Cape Point Nature Reserve…
- Se7en Free Outings in Cape Town.
- Se7en Budget Outings in Cape Town.
- Hiking Table Mountain with Kids…
- Se7en Priceless Outings in Cape Town.
- The Great Kalk Bay Round-Up.
- Se7en’s Trans-South African Road Trip…
And the se7en + 1th
South African Flavours and Food
- Yuppie Chef’s Enkosi Cookathon – A Week of South African Recipes.
- Se7en + 1 Review Justin Bonello’s Latest Cook Book: Roadtripping in Southern Africa.
- Se7en Reviews: Simply Delicious’s Cook Book Review and Bunny Chow…
- Se7en and the South African Braai.
- Se7en Make Bobotie and Yellow Rice in Se7en Steps.
- Se7en Make Buttermilk Rusks.
- Se7en Make Koeksisters and Donuts.
- Marvellous Milk Tart in Se7en Steps…
And the se7en + 1th
South African Activities For Kids
- Se7en + 1 Tips for Creating Nature NoteBooks With Kids…
- Learning How to be Citizen scientists in the National Botanical Gardens.
- Se7en’s Rainbow Nation on the Crafty Crow.
- Se7en Build A Township.
- Ndebele Huts to Hats in Se7en Steps.
- Madiba Magic … Silk Shirts.
- Se7en Create Bead and Wire Flowers.
- Beastly Bushveld Bunting in Se7en Steps.
And the se7en + 1th
Se7en of the Best South African Story Books for Kids
- Nelson Mandela Long Walk to Freedom, is a picture book and the true story of a man with a heart for freedom… I have a feeling that you would want to read and learn about this great man alongside your kids. This book has beautiful illustrations and the story captures the essence of the man. If you are looking for an easy chapter book on his life, then choose The Children’s Madiba. This is a biography that your children can read on their own and get a sense of the man that he was.
- Anything by the Bester sisters is just fantastic… she grew up on a farm in South Africa and the main characters in their books are a type of cattle, called Nguni cattle. These cows and their unique colours are quintessentially South African. The stories tend to have lots to learn in them… life lessons and practical lessons. For example in the long trousers a young nguni cow needs help to shorten his trousers before a large family wedding… everyone is too busy to help him, so he leaves his trousers on the table and goes to bed. The next morning everyone gets up and seeing his trousers shortens them for him… of course by the time the he puts them on for the wedding… they are way too short!!!
- If you are looking for a lovely South African picture books then look no further than Niki Daly. He consistently has produced beautifully illustrated picture books with poignant tales that stir the imagination. Our favourite character of his is by far Jamela who is just the sweetest little girl, and the scrapes she gets into often have a cultural twist to them.
- Famous South African Folk Tales: Folk tales are a great way to provide a background to South African culture. The stories are short two to three page at most, with lots of fun illustrations. While I usually read through this book to my younger children I will often find it has been taken off the shelf by my older kids for a quick read. Stories Gogo Told Me: The author of this book spent several months touring Southern African villages, looking for the village storyteller, usually a grandma, known as Gogo. The stories are often tall tall tales, with animals as the main characters… they are fun and include a number of life lessons in them, as folk tales tend to do.
- The Monty Stories: are about a mongoose that lives in Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens… the stories revolve around Monty and his animal friends, al local birds and animals. They venture out into local natural sites and have an adventure or two along the way. All the way through the stories a nature facts are woven into the plot… there is lots to learn about Cape plants and animals, and this is a lovely way to present them. You can download activity sheets for each book and though they aren’t available on Amazon you can buy, download a pdf version from the publisher.
- Seekers of the Lost Boy is a novel for middle schoolers and a great family read a loud, because there is a lot to talk about. It is the story of a homeschooling family in Cape Town who discover an old bottle on the beach that contains a message. The children who live in a post-apartheid South Africa, go on a quest to find out the story behind the message and in doing so take a look back in history. My children are interested in history but I have said it before and I will say it again – there is a gap in our local history that understandably for very painful reasons folk just don’t want to talk about. I love books like this one that bring history to life and open it up for our children to read about and understand.
- The Diary of Iris Vaughan is a book that was read to me as a child in our last lesson of the day… imagine hot, dusty afternoons waiting for the bell to ring and your feet slipped out of their shoes swinging under the bench. This book is hard to come by and most likely out of print, but it is a part of my childhood and describes almost exactly the world that my grandmother would have lived in. It is a diary written by a very literal 11 year old girl, and it is life as she saw it in South Africa before the Anglo-Boer war. It is hysterically funny, and very very South African. It is not easy reading, because it is full of her spelling mistakes and such… but if you do discover it, read it to your kids: It begins… “Today is my birthday. I am going to write a diary a dirt a diary Book. Pop told me I could. He gave me this fat book. It was a government book, but it is mine now. I shall write here in the loft and hide my book in the old box with straw where no one can see it. Everyone should have a diary. Because life is too hard with the things one must say to be perlite and the things one must say not to lie. This is something I can never get right. If you say you are an ugly old man. that is bad manners. and if I say you are not an ugly old man I am telling a lie and not speaking the truth… “
- And then Jock of the Bushveld, forget the movie… it doesn’t even come close to the book. This is the story of the life of a hunting dog, Jock, the runt of the litter, during the Transvaal Goldrush and one for older kids to read. The era of pioneering in South Africa and the dog and his transport rider owner find themselves in many exciting scrapes and adventures, and their survival a harsh, tough and uncompromising world. There are long portions of descriptive writing describing the environment and wildlife around them… there are lots of details and stories within stories. This is not an easy read, I would read it in small chunks to my children, that being said the author did write it as a collection of stories he told at bedtime to his children, so chapters are pretty much complete stories.
Previous Posts our Read the World Book Club Series
You are welcome to join the club… and if you do post on instagram use the #Giveyourchildtheworld