Local is lekker, especially when it comes to our local children’s books. Whether it’s a giraffe learning yoga, a gang of hadedas facing off against the guinea fowls, or a pink rhinoceros, there really is something for every young reader to enjoy from the latest local children’s books from Penguin Random House.
Which is your favourite?
I See a Rhinoceros, Elaine Macdonald/Vanessa Mearns (ages 3 to 6), R90
I See a Rhinoceros is a fun book that features bright, colourful illustrations and promises to be an entertaining choice for storytime. Rhinoceros has turned pink and the animals are worried. Upon some investigation they discover Rhinoceros loves to eat different types of pink food including strawberries and cherries. The rhyming story will captivate your children and the illustrations will make them giggle as poor Rhinoceros discovers his pink colour and sets out to change his habits so he can return to being grey.
You can read my review here.
Yoga for Giraffes, Carly Tod (ages 3 to 6), R95
YOGA for Giraffes is a fun book that will not only make your children giggle but also inspire them to get up and moving to do some of the entertaining yoga poses featured in the book. Sindile the giraffe stumbles upon a yoga class at a game lodge and is instantly intrigued. After noticing it helps his sore neck he is motivated to hold a class for all the other animals too. He sets out to give each pose a name, all of which will have your children laughing at both the name and the sight of a giraffe doing different yoga poses dressed in his own yoga gear. Your children will enjoy the rhyming verse and are guaranteed to enjoy trying the different poses included at the back of the book too.
You can read my review here.
Jungle Beat: The Movie (ages 6 to 9), R150
This illustrated storybook of the movie will be enjoyed by those kiddies who have seen the movie, but it’s also a fun picture book to enjoy reading even if you haven’t seen it yet. The story centers around Fneep, a small alien who comes to the jungle to conquer the planet. The animals are excited to learn they can now talk, assisted by Fneep’s translation device. It’s a story of friendship and love, and will make your children giggle as the animals embrace their new voices.
The Big Bird Battle, Megan Furniss/Tanya Dunstan (ages 5 to 8), R100
We had lots of fun reading this story about a turf war between the Hard Hadedas and the Foul Guinea Fowl gangs. The two gangs challenge each other daily over the rights to a local park, but just as things are coming to a head a pair of Egyptian Geese arrive to stake their claim to the park too. The rhyming story and fun illustrations will have your children giggling as The Big Bird Battle unfolds.
Taka Learns to Fly, Irene Berman/Joanna Cooke (ages 3 to 6), R90
We loved this story about a mother ostrich who takes in a lost egg and raises the strange chick as her own. Taka tries his best to fit in with the other chicks, but he struggles to give up on his desire to fly. The ostrich family is in real trouble when a drought leaves them with no water, and Taka must now convince them to let him fly to seek water. It’s only when he saves them that they realise Taka is actually an eagle. The rhyming story paired with the beautiful illustrations will make this a popular choice for storytime.
Solomon the Lion, Kristina Jones (ages 0 to 3), R140
Solomon the lion is like every other lion, except that he can’t fall asleep. He tries to sleep like other animals do – in a nest like a stork, in the water like a hippo, and even standing like a zebra. But nothing works for this poor young lion, until he realises that it’s not where you sleep but who kisses you goodnight. This sweet story will be a hit with young readers who will enjoy looking at the wild animals and beautiful sunset in the book and identify with how important a goodnight kiss is.
The Boy and the Tree, Marleen Lammers/Anja Stoeckigt (ages 5 to 8), R120
A beautiful inspirational story about a boy finding adventure where he least expects it. Filled with lovely illustrations and a strong message about how you don’t need the newest toys to be happy but that you can use your imagination and have fun playing outside. Your child will enjoy joining the magical tree and the boy as they head off on different adventures to space and strange lands in this rhyming story.
Lina, the Duiker and the Dragonfly, Lisa Steyn (ages 6 to 9), R100
Lina sets out with her grandfather into the forest to search for healing plants for a hurt animal. Along the way the pair meet up with a game warden who has found poachers’ snares. While they go to look Lina must stay behind, but her attention is soon attracted by a dragonfly who leads her to a little duiker caught in a snare. Perhaps Lina can talk to animals as her grandfather does. A contemporary story inspired by cultures of South Africa that have deep connections to the land and nature.