Features, Reviews

Top children’s Afrikaans picture books

Over the past year we have been fortunate enough to add a few new Afrikaans picture books to our bookshelf, giving us the wonderful opportunity to read together in a second language. It goes without saying that these books are a must-have if you are an Afrikaans family, but they’re also a fantastic way to broaden your understanding and new learn words if you are not first language Afrikaans.

Children's Afrikaans Picture Books

I would encourage you to read to your child in Afrikaans, it will give them familiarity with the language and stand them in good stead for when they start to learn it at school. As an added bonus some of the onomatopoeic words sound even better in Afrikaans!

Living in South Africa we can experience so many languages and cultures, so come on and embrace this and add an Afrikaans book (or two!) to your bookshelf.

Diereverkenners: Tobie die diepseeduiker

Diereverkenners: Tobie die diepseeduiker is a picture book by Sharon Rentta which has been translated by Jaco Jacobs. Tobie is a young tiger who dreams of exploring the ocean and who sets out to discover the wonders of the deep. It’s a fun story that teaches children about having the courage and determination to follow their dreams. The illustrations are bright and beautifully detailed, with the labelled under the sea animals giving your budding explorers the opportunity to learn the Afrikaans words for many different animals.

You can read my full book review here.


Suidooster-Draak is a heartwarming book that embraces the adventure and imagination of childhood while celebrating the friendship and love between a child and grandfather. The pair set out to explore, despite the stormy weather they are off to hunt storm dragons. The story is brought to life through the delightful repetition of phrases and loud onomatopoeic chants, with the unique watercolour illustrations bringing even more colour to an already inspired adventure. The special relationship that exists between these two shines, and the wonderful way in which he fuels her imagination is a highlight of the book. It celebrates the importance of a grandparent in a little one’s life and serves as a reminder for us to both embrace and encourage the vibrant curiosity and playfulness of a child.

You can read my full book review here.

Moenie die Melk Vergeet Nie

Moenie die Melk Vergeet Nie is a wonderful story by Jaco Jacobs that will captivate young readers with beautiful illustrations to bring the imaginative tale to life. The story begins with Mamma sending Mila and Pappa to the shop to buy milk. They certainly don’t expect a pretty ordinary task to become the beginning of an awesome adventure, where they will ride on a unicorn, fly in a spaceship and even meet one or two dragons! With unicorns, spaceships, dragons and even superheroes your child will love listening to this story and it even has a fun snakes and ladders game in the book to enjoy!

You can read my full book review here.

Ons is Een

Ons is Een by Refiloe Moahloli is a book that celebrates our differences and similarities, offering the opportunity to discuss valuable lessons with our children in a gentle way. You’ll meet many diverse children as you read the story, with each spread highlighting how we may look different and sound different but how our hearts are the same. It is in its diversity that the book truly shines, not only are the children featured from different ethnicities, but some have disabilities such as being deaf and blind. I love how our national anthem is used to highlight this diversity, and of course the last page of the book featuring Nelson Mandela really puts the focus on the spirit of ubuntu.  This book is a great way to teach kindness to your children, and to show them how their actions can affect others.

You can read my full book review here.

Padda se Groot Avontuur

This brightly coloured book with peep-through holes, beautifully shaped pages and a surprise foldout page will delight young readers. You’ll be able to follow Frog as he sets off on a holiday, excited to see the world he journeys around and through, over and under on an adventure that leads him to some exciting and even scary places. It promises to make story time interactive and fun – with little hands encouraged to explore, curious children will enjoy this playful story.

Krok en Dil

Krok and Dil are friends, but they often disagree – on what to eat, on when to laugh, and even on what to wear. These three short stories are perfect for beginner readers; told through fantastic comic style strips, the friendship between Crocodile and Pickle is guaranteed to make you and your children laugh out loud!

Vat 5!

This book includes five illustrated stories by five different Afrikaans authors. Simon finds himself bored on a rainy day, but that changes as soon as bouncing bunnies invade his house in Haasmoles. Meet the cutest crocodile Cheeky in Parmant, who journeys through the forest with all the animals wanting to hug and tickle him but he has an important lesson to share that he’s in charge of his body. Not all grannies are storybook grannies with grey hair and old-fashioned glasses, so get ready to meet lots of different grannies in Die coolste ouma op aarde. Karla doesn’t like to wash or brush her hair, and her mom eventually gives up but Karla changes her mind after a small man decides to hold a party in her hair in Karla Krullebol. Prinses Mossines is a touching story about a young girl named Dina who is watching the sparrows build a nest and escapes from her parent’s arguments by pretending to be Princess Sparrow.

Thanks to Penguin Random House and Pan Macmillan for adding these picture books to our bookshelf. 

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