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Book Reviews : Raising a Reader with 4 local South African books we love!

Teaching a child to read ,opens up an entire new world. Part of our bedtime routine is reading a book to Emily. It’s a wonderful time for us to relax and enjoy some quiet time together. It is National book week, here are four books that children will love. I find it easier to select a book based on reviews from other parents.

4 Local South African Children's Books , we love.

The Four books we are reading and can recommend are ; A Little Horse Called Pancakes, The Door in the Garden Wall, The Brave Turtle and Ubuntu – Summer of the Rhino.

All of these books are by South African authors , publishing houses and contain local story lines that will feel relevant to your child.

A Little Horse Called Pancakes

Written by : Candice Noakes-Dobson

Illustrated by : Wendy Paterson

Published by :

Where to buy book :

A Little Horse Called pancakes

A Little Horse Called Pancakes is a local icon in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town. Pancakes is a mini celeb and is a fixture at the SARDA Constantia Christmas Market.

Emily is horse crazy and a bit of a wild child!

This book is delightful from the lovely story of the bond between little Annabel and Pancakes, to the illustrations which are endearing.

We are currently collecting the series of books.

The proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to The South African Riding for the Disabled Association (SARDA).

The Door in The Garden Wall

Written by : Doug R Dunn

Illustrated by : Bradford Marshall

Created by : Characterful

Where to buy book:

I found out about Characterful on Instagram!

Characterful is a company that makes Personalised children’s books that bring your child’s unique character to life. What is amazing is the books are customisable, they can insert your childs name , city (town you live in) and an avatar that looks like your child. This is the perfect gift!

There are other books in the Characterful series and more on their way. The Door in The Garden Wall is about a child who is afraid, they go through a door in the garden wall and go on a big adventure, proving that the child is incredibly brave.

Emily absolutely loved having a book which had her name in it. She was ecstatic to be the hero in her own book!

The Brave Turtle

Written by : B.D Harris

Illustrated by : Megan Bird

Published by : Imagnary House , in association with Sea Rescue South Africa

Where to buy book:

The Brave Turtle is the story of Sam (a little girl) who is saved by Neville( the brave turtle). Sam wakes up with a start with her home filling up with water. Neville saves Sam from her sinking home, going on a magical journey together across oceans and meeting interesting creatures while trying to find Sam’s parents.

After reading this book Emily and I visited the Two Oceans Aquarium to find out more about Turtles and the other sea creatures we met in this book. To find out more about sea turtles and conservation visist

This book is inspired by the National Sea rescue Institute. Profits from this book will be donated to the NSRI.

Ubuntu – Summer of the Rhino

Written by : Julia Johnson

Illustrated by : Bug Fawcett

Published by : Media Publishing

Where to buy book: R350.00 on, also available on Amazon

This book has a special place in my heart. I was brought up on a Nature Conservancy in the Limpopo province of South Africa. Conservation has deep routes in my family and a topic I am passionate about.

This book had me in tears. Older children will have questions regarding the content, which would be a great way to introduce the concept of Wild Life Conservation.

Page from Ubuntu - Summer of the Rhino

The book follows the adventures of Thembile, who with her Ranger father find a Rhino Calf “Ubuntu”. Ubuntu’s mother has sadly been killed by poachers for her horn (ivory). Thembile and her father rescue the rhino calf, however Raising and nurturing a rhino is extremely expensive! With medical bills piling up Thembile and her father have to make a plan to be able to care for Ubuntu till he is able to be released back into his natural habitat.

Follow this important and uniquely South African story of the Rhino Calf Ubuntu, his strong connection to Thembile and how he a small Rhino Calf got the message of Rhino Conservation onto International Shores.

15% of sales from Ubuntu go to the Rhino Revolution Rehabilitation Centre

Find out more about Rhino Revolution here:

This National Book week, share the love of reading with Exclusive Books and Bargain books .

#BUYABOOK Campaign with Bargain Books and Exclusive Books.

As a part of the initiative you can help to promote reading through National Book Week sa and the #BUYABOOK campaign.

Buy a book (or two) from either Bargain Books SA or Exclusive Books for only R20.00 to donate . These books will be donated to Adults and Children who don’t have access to books

#raiseareader #nbw2020 #passporttotomorrow #bookreviews #childernbookreviews #SAbooks #goodreads #BUYABOOK

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