So as homeschooling South Africans I am always looking for great Afrikaans resources to read with my kids. I am sharing this collection of fun books that we have been reading for school this year. Massive thank you to Lapa-Uitgewers and Penguin Random Kids South Africa for gifting us these books for review purposes.
My Hart is Oppi Plaas
This is essentially a colouring book of the very best learning variety. Each double page spread has a farm-animal idiom and then a whole lot of facts boxes about the farm animal in the idiom. For example: “Ou bokke pluk die hoogste doring peule.” That literally means that the oldest goats eat from the highest thorn branches.
And then the page is packed with all sorts of funny facts about goats: Did you know that there is a legend that goats discovered coffee. Did you know that goats sneeze to warn their friends about danger. They really don’t like water, they are extremely bright and curious. When the thought of reading a big fact “text book looking book” to your students, this is really light relief… my kids looked forward to our idiom of the week… This books gets a FIVE STAR rating from my kids, definitely one of our “Best Books of the year.”
Die Beste Raaisleboek
This is a puzzle book, it starts off with really easy puzzles: picture crosswords, word mazes and so on and then progresses onto coded crosswords, word searches and a South African favourite: Die Blokraaisel. It is large format, black and white on newsprint type paper.
It is richly illustrated and there is plenty of space around each puzzle to “think” on the page. This is great way to learn, while playing… word games are fun in any language, but the fact that my kids are getting some Afrikaans vocabulary in at the same time is a win-win for me.
50 Beste Baybelbrein Blokkies
With a similar format as the previous two books but this is using Bible stories as the theme… so crosswords, word searches and blokraaisels… middle grade level and older.
This is a really fun way to learn and something to slip onto our school reading pile and something for my kids to puzzle over and enjoy.
These are easy reading chapter books, richly illustrated, large print and two or three pages per chapter. Let’s meet the family: Mila is your typical school girl, with a brother she really doesn’t like much – well boys in general, and a very interesting new neighbour. Her brother Jannus is her mother’s favourite, he is grubby, stinky and well… a boy. He also has a pet mouse. The neighbours have adopted a girl called Annabel, and they have lost their pet cat, which was also called Annabel. Annabel and the cat had striking similarities, there must be something going on… Mila is determined to find out just what it is.
Kattemaai: Die Bure se Nuwe Dogter
A few weeks ago the neighbour’s cat, Annabel, went missing and it seems she has been replaced by a girl. Mila is very curious to meet her new neighbour and she wants to become friends. Anything to avoid spending time with her brother… but there is something strange about this new neighbour. Not only does she look very like the cat that they owned but she has extremely cat like behaviour. This is a fun read, definitely sparked interest with my kids, who were keen to learn more.
Kattemaai: Annabel gaan Skool toe.
In this story, Annabel decides to go to school with Mila, and things get quite interesting really quickly… Annabel put her hand up and asks if she may go to the cat tray instead of the bathroom, and the teacher is on high alert. This term they have a substitute teacher and she is part of a group looking for people that may not be quite people… Mila has to ask Janus for help and he inadvertently sets the school on fire and saves the day. Mila and friend, Annabel are safe and happy and life goes on – hopefully for the next instalment of Kaattemai.
This Brilliant Series…
These three books are perfect books for middle school language learning… they are each an eclectic collection of stories, fables, poems and drama. The best thing about them is that each book has a QR-Code and you can listen to the stories. For my English speaking children this is pure gold, to hear the Afrikaans spoken, as they read and follow along… to hear the correct pronunciation. The stories are fun, it’s a great mix. We especially enjoyed the poetry and the drama… this is a great way for a classroom teacher to cover all sorts of stories, stories from around the world, stories from olden times, stories by popular South African storytellers. My children enjoyed the three dramas/plays at the end of the books the most, this was a great way for them to discover how to read a play together.
Blinkertjies in Pa se Baard
Die Skool Vir Rampspoedige Talente
The Vegan Vampire
Tokkelossie en Ander Dol Gedoentes
There is so much to love in this book… fast, fun and funky Afrikaans poetry that my kids have thoroughly enjoyed. This book is really a celebration of all sorts of Afrikaans of poems to make the brain jump and spring and turn about.
Poems about learning, poems about gruesome beasts, creepy creatures. The illustrations are absolutely fantastic and totally, totally make the book. The Afrikaans level is in places a stretch for my kids, which is great… they need to be stretched (!) but because it is presented in such a joyful manner they don’t seem to notice.