Proudly South African children's books

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Here's a selection of children's books that received our "Proudly South African" seal of approval, including Imvubu the Happiest Hippo, Factopedia and Helga’s Big Splash

Imvubu the Happiest Hippo
If you are familiar with the Beautiful Creatures music, you’ll instantly recognise the song around which this story is told. Sarah is a little girl who grows up on a game farm in Africa and she writes stories about her animal friends. Only an imaginative little girl could tell the story of the dancing Imvubu (he could move to the rhythm before he could swim) and Imvubu’s dancing steps are so easy to follow, your little one will soon be “boom, boom, booming” along. Illustrator Sandy Lightley did a wonderful job, using bright colours and giving the animals life-like expressions.
By Ed Jordan and Alan Glass, Published by Beautiful Creatures (R80)

Jungle Beat goes Wild
Jungle Beat is a South African award-winning animated series of different animals and the situations they encounter. These books aim to entertain, inspire and ignite children's curiosity and love for animals. They will love to read and hear the amusing stories as the animals travel through South Africa. Squeeze into a hot air balloon with Monkey and his friends in the Kruger National Park, slip and slide with Tortoise in the Magaliesberg and bungee with Bee of the Bloukrans Bridge. Included is a DVD with four of the stories.
By Brent Dawes and Jason Olivier, Published by Pearson Education South Africa (R99.95)
Silly Mr Harper
This is a collection of three short stories about Mr Harper and the trouble he has with his hair (Mr Harper is going bald), going on a picnic (he just can’t seem to find the right spot) and baking a cake (needless to say, more than one attempt was needed). But thanks to some clever and attentive children who come up with bright solutions, Mr Harper’s problems are solved. The stories are bound to have your child laughing out loud and they are written in rhyme, which makes reading for young ones so much fun. Email for orders.
By Nikki Jacobs, Published by Brainwave Projects (R45)
A Magical Day for Dreaming
All the stories featured in this book are based on the real life experiences of Reach for a Dream’s incredible dream children. The organisation fulfils the dreams of children who have been diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses. Jay Jay the magic clown is no ordinary character – he knows how to make even the most fantastic dreams come true. Whether it’s a puppy of your own or a bicycle, being a princess for a day or becoming a real fire fighter, Jay Jay knows just how to turn wishes into realities.
By Lara Rosmaring and Sandy Lightley, Published by Penguin Books South Africa (R75)
Factopedia is a book of lists about South Africa and the world. It is crammed with fascinating facts about the universe; the earth; plants; animals; the body and health; food and drink; politics; law and order; business and wealth; technology and the internet; literature; arts and culture; entertainment and sport. Factopedia will tell you all about the highest, the lowest, the oldest, the largest, the richest, the longest, the brightest, the first, the hardest, the most frequent, the highest-scoring, the best-selling and the most expensive of just about everything under the sun.
By Helen Lewis, Published by Zebra Press (R190)
Surfing Sally
Surfing Sally is a story inspired by life at the south-western tip of Africa. Both the author and illustrator, Wendy McKeag, live there, sandwiched between mountain and sea on the Cape Peninsula. This story is for anyone from age two to 100 who appreciates the delights of our natural world. For Sally, surfing is the best way to enjoy life. She and her two salty dogs live in a cabin near the beach, and when the ocean calls, the trio sets off to enjoy a day at the seaside. This is truly a magical story about the excitement of being in nature and surfing.
By Mary Duncan, Published by Milkwood Media (R83)
Helga’s Big Splash
This is a delightful story about Helga the Hippo who lives happily on the banks of a river in Africa. Every morning, Helga totters off to the river, jumps high in the air and with a “kerploosh” lands in the water. She splashes water all over her animal friends, and this is fine on a hot summer’s day. Then one cold morning, Helga’s enthusiastic dive into the water is met with nasty words from her friends. Find out how Helga deals with this sudden animosity and how in accepting herself, everything turns out for the best.
By Matthew Kalil and Archie Collier, Published by XLibris (R93)
Feeling Sheepish
Sandy Mitchell is a writer and illustrator who lives with her family in Kalk Bay in Cape Town. Sandy loves sheep hence the story about Gertrude the sheep that cannot stop wondering about 
the way people talk about sheep. With 
sayings like “the black sheep of the family”, 
and “just like sheep”, she feels it might be
 better to go and live with the farm family. But soon the novelty wears off and when 
Gertrude gets stuck in a compromising situation, who will save her? Feeling Sheepish is a heart-warming tale about standing out and fitting in. 
By Sandy Mitchell, Published by XLibris (R130)
Wake Up! Topple Down Town
This inspirational story promotes healthy life choices for children. The twins – Super and Duper – set out on an heroic and determined quest to revitalise and motivate their falling-apart neighbourhood, which has lost its heart and soul. It’s an engaging story packed with energy, hope and motivation. The book comes with an interactive audio CD, which creates atmospheric sounds and songs to sing along to.
By Vaughn Hay, Published by Topple Down Town Entertainment CC (R65)


Anonymous wrote 8 years 37 weeks ago

During a recent trip to Cape Town, my 6 year old daughter fell in love with South Africa! Thank you for the book list!!

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