International Children's Book Day: 4 local authors to read to your child
International Children's Book Day is celebrated on April 2. This year, take the opportunity to inspire a love of reading in your children, while celebrating indigenous languages. We put together a list of South African authors to add local flavour to your storytime.
Soweto-born Mapule Mohulatsi is completing a Master’s degree in African literature at the University of the Witwatersrand. Her debut children’s book Mizz President follows young Lerato, who must run the country for a day after the president and his cabinet fall ill. The book engages children in politics and Mohulatsi hopes it will inspire them to see anything is possible, no matter who you are.
Lebohang Masango, a feminist, poet and writer, was one of the 25 young southern African women selected to be part of the inaugural Zanele Mbeki Fellowship in feminist leadership. She is the author of Mpumi's Magic Beads, which is available in nine of South Africa’s official languages. According to Masango’s website, it is “a delightful story about friendship, self-esteem, discovery and beautiful hair in the big city of Joburg”. Her more recent book The Great Cake Contest is about a little boy who loves cake and attempts to bake the best one for a contest.
Tracy-Lee Easthorpe is an accountant, a single mom and a bibliophile. Her first children’s book Obnoxious Naledi and the Poppysmic Fairy is a story about self-love and authenticity that follows feisty six-year-old Naledi, who wants to be seen and heard, but goes about it in an obnoxious way. This is the first in a series of books with a common theme - an unusual English word in the title. Easthorpe hopes to spark curiosity about words and a love for reading through her work.
Johannesburg-based Refiloe Moahloli is an information systems and corporate telecoms professional who became a full-time writer. She is the author of the successful classic South African children’s book How Many Ways Can You Say Hello? The book follows Sara’s adventures during her first day at school, where she finds out there is more than one way of saying hello – and wants to learn them all.
Join Ethnikids (ethnikids.co.za) at Soweto's oldest library on April 6 where they will be celebrating indigenous languages, local authors and creating a reading nation at this historic monument. It's free for all and we'll be giving books to kids.