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

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.

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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.

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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.

44 Replies to “Saturday Spot: Vumile and the Dragon… And a GiveAway!!!”

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

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

  4. What an absolutely beautiful book! I love that it is from South Africa. How could I resist! Thanks for the chance.

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

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

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

  10. 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.

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

  12. 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!

  13. 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!

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