Madiba for kids

That my children are better than me is a fait accompli.

Sometimes - and it happens a lot these days - when the harsh realities of life stare me in the face, I look at their angelic faces and envy them their trouble-free lives.

When I take them to my mother's and they ask which of the two bedrooms was mine and I answer in the negative, they give me the incredulous look you'd reserve for a lunatic.

Now added to all the pluses of their privileged young lives, my brood and their peers are soon to have an abridged version of Nelson Mandela's seminal Long Walk to Freedom especially made for them.

The picture book, by Chris van Wyk, will be released globally this month. In South Africa it will be available in all 11 official languages and in Portuguese.

Van Wyk is best known for his childhood memoirs Shirley, Goodness and Mercy, published in 2004.

Publishers Pan MacMillan remind the young generation of prospective readers that the book tells the story of Madiba's life "from his carefree days as a village boy, to his unflinching leadership of the ANC and through the long years in prison to his eventual freedom and extraordinary elevation to President of South Africa".

Madiba in their lifetime ...