Language: English

The Rythm of the Rain

The Rythm of the Rain

Something that I used to dread as a teacher was THE WATER CYCLE. It seemed to be featured in every primary school Science syllabus, gaining a little information each time. I wish I had been able to access The rhythm of the rain, by Grahame Becker-Smith in those dim and distant days. This is the …

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Book Heroes – Book Dash

Book Heroes – Book Dash

My favourite kind of people are the ones who say they are going to do something, ignore the muttered voices saying it isn’t possible, and then go right ahead and do it. Book Dash people are that sort. One Hundred books owned by every child under five is a serious undertaking. Some people raised their …

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Talent Competition

Talent Competition

Now for something completely different! Talent Competition, written and edited by Michelle Holloway, is a talent competition all on its own. Absolutely beautiful artworks (much more involved than ‘illustrations’) and charming text will enthrall listeners (read aloud) as well as readers of all ages. We will be using it with our CBN children and asking …

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The tiger who came to tea

The tiger who came to tea

The tiger who came to tea, written and illustrated by Judith Kerr, it was a favourite when she told it to her children. ‘Talk the tiger,’ her small daughter would command. And she did. So much so, that when the children went to school and she had more time, she created this picture book beloved …

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Sophiatown

Sophiatown

This very brief look at a troubled time in South Africa’s history would be a great introduction to forced removals and the way in which people lost their homes and cultural landscape. The archive photographs with simple captions provide a platform for discussion and further research. Highly recommended for 8-years and up.

Precious Places

Precious Places

Precious Places We don’t have enough books about the place that landscape has in our lives – neither the landscape of Home, nor the landscape of Away. We are grounded in the places we know and there is a place for books like this, that remind children how important it is to look around them. …

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Digging for Gold

Digging for Gold

Digging for Gold was written by Karoline Hanks. It is a book in comic form and was illustrated by Nanda Soobben and Zayne Nakamura. It was published by Cambridge University Press in their Rainbow Reader series. This book tells a story that was repeated many thousands of times in South Africa and other places where …

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The Journey

The Journey

Misizi is a boy who leaves his family in a rural area near the Kruger National Park to go and help his father’s brother and his family. He never goes home. Only years later, after he has been part of the struggle for democracy in South Africa and travelled and studied abroad, does he go …

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One country, many lands

One country, many lands

For grown-ups Part of a truly excelent series of readers that introduce children to hundreds of important ideas. Well written and produced – they really work in our workshops. For children This book is non-fiction (not a story) and it looks at the many different aspects of South African landscape. In non-fiction, the illustrations (pictures) …

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Awesome Nature

Awesome Nature

Non-fiction is sometimes the way to a reluctant reader’s heart – and the excellent series of Rainbow Readers, published by Cambridge University Press is a perfect place to find appropriate and exciting books for Grades 1 – 7. CBN will be featuring many of these books (and the fiction in related subjects) during the next …

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Kubi the Star

Kubi the Star

Kubi the star – a summary of a slightly longer book. This story was written for children in Ghana, but it could be the story of a child anywhere who suddenly became … a star. Kubi was not good at schoolwork. His reading was bad, and his sums were worse. ‘What am I going to …

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Nyambura waits for the bus

Nyambura waits for the bus

Most journeys in Africa are also made by children – though they get little recognition of this. Some charming stories of journeys do appear in books, like the read-aloud for younger children Nyambura waits for the bus, by Cath Alexander with delightful illustrations by Catherine Groenewald. The text is engaging, the story simple (Nyambura waits …

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Hooray Thoko by Niki Daly

Hooray Thoko by Niki Daly

Any book by Niki Daly is going to be good. We knew that! And his series of books about little Thoko and her adventures at home and school are utterly captivating. Here is a sample. ‘Friday was always the big day of the star awards. So far, Thoko had earned a yellow star for her …

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My forever friend

My forever friend

The theme of ‘Postcards of me’ is where we encourage children to share information about themselves with other children. The activities, compiled by CBN’s Lisa Witherden, can be found at: Lockdown Learning Programme Book One – Activity One: Postcards from me CBN has had great success with the activity for today – making self-portraits. We …

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Surprise! Surprise!

Surprise! Surprise!

That fine author Dick King-Smith assured me that pigs are the most intelligent of all domesticated animals. Niki Daly’s latest picture book is a total delight and certainly features pigs. It must be mighty hard to think up a new twist with which to end a book, but Niki has done it and I’m not …

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An African Mother Christmas

An African Mother Christmas

An African Mother Christmas by Gcina Mhlophe I truly love this book. In the fourteen years since it was published (By Maskew Miller Longman in their Stars of Africa series) I have shared it with countless children – and they love it too. This is a real book of Africa, a story of real children …

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The Best Bear in All the World

The Best Bear in All the World

Four new stories, one for each season of the year, written by Paul Bright, Brian Sibley, Jeanne Willis & Kate Saunders, with illustrations by Mark Burgess (Egmont 2016) If you enjoyed the original Winnie-the-Pooh stories (now 90 years old!) here are four new ones. Meet Christopher Robin rehearsing his words for St George in his …

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The Detective Dog

The Detective Dog

A brand new, bouncing picture book about Detective Dog Nell who has an unerring nose for lost items. ‘Nell shared her house with a person called Peter, A very nice child, though he could have been neater.’ The verse text ripples along enjoyably while Sara Ogilvie’s whiffling pictures follow a delightful story which includes masses …

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Nicholas and the Wild Ones

Nicholas and the Wild Ones

Every child is hesitant at entering at new school – amongst the worries has to be: are there any school bullies? For Nicholas, there are. The one who drops on people, the one who steals school lunches, and the Mega Gross one as big as a wrestler (who happens to be a girl). This is …

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The African Orchestra

The African Orchestra

This brilliant new picture book is not a story. Instead, it is an exploration of the sounds of Africa through verse text and glorious illustrations. Starting with the natural noises of insects, creatures, wind and water, adding in African musical instruments, and ending with “the song of the stars”. It reads aloud superbly alongside pictures …

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