Last Saturday Ginny and I got to do some exciting stuff. We went to an Indie Pop-up Book Fair at the Alklantrant Library in Pretoria. Ahem… I’m not exactly an indie girl myself, because my Sibo Series are published by Lets Look Publishers, but Ginny writes other stuff (Dog’s blogs, Imaginaeries and The Kindness Book) that she does publish herself, so she asked if she could take me along too.
It was such fun meeting all the other people who write South African children’s books. There was quite a selection. One young lady, Pamela Ngubeni, has written a little pocket-sized book about being bullied and what to do if you are. She herself was bullied when she was younger and she has risen above the situation and gives talks in schools now too.
A fabulous book by Soraya Hendricks, called ‘The Legend of the Gilded Scroll’, covers the topic of stranger danger. It’s an awesomely illustrated fantasy story that incorporates the topic in an exciting manner.
There were the Sir Chocolate stories for kids (that include recipes) by Robbie and Michael Cheadle.
and a series of Akiki books by Fatuma Abdulla that had a lovely doll (from the illustrations) that was also for sale.
Yet another remarkable book called ‘Be Amazing’ by Doloros Oldjohn, was all about being different, making a difference, having respect, going the extra step and being nice whilst you go about it.
‘Liam goes to the game reserve’ – written by Christina van Straaten is a delightful story that introduces wild animals in their natural habitats to children. It’s a hardboard book – durable and easy to keep clean and great for small kids.
Cora Groenewald, author of Salome and Gogo visit Soweto (also available in Afrikaans) was there too.
If you like adventure novels with a twist then Everdeen Brickwood’s books are for you.
There’s a series by Jann Wereatunga that involves a pirate parrot called Polly (also a puppet) having all sorts of adventures (with life lessons), where you can use your imagination and draw your own pictures in the books, instead of the books having ready-made illustrations.
Sandy van Zyl has a series of beautifully illustrated books ‘The Travel Buggz’ that are based on the adventures of the author and her two children when they went travelling around South Africa.
Martie van der Walt, a first time author had her stand next to ours with a delightful Afrikaans book -‘Kiekie en Wiekie, Die avonture van twee kroonkiewiete’. These were stories told to her by her father, that she has recorded so that the tradition can live on for future generations. The illustrations in the book were just lovely.
The lady who organised the pop-up book fair, Sabine Lehmacher (JOE), has a book called ‘The Moonling’. It’s a story that she found when she was sorting out her late mother’s possessions. Her mom had written it in the 1950’s already. Sabine’s family members have spruced it up and illustrated it and it’s now a fabulously relevant book (involving a moonling and an earthling) instead of being a few bits of papers hidden away.
Ginny’s stand was obviously in the kids section, but she stole away and snuck downstairs to the adult section for a few minutes – and got bust when Uncle Pete and Sharon from Lets Look Publishers popped in to visit!
There were not only children’s books at the book fair, but all sorts of other interesting titles – poetry, novels, science fiction, horror and autobiographies too. To name a few, Karen Coomber has written ‘100 Minutes of Grace‘ – a book about a mother’s road to recovery (she tragically lost her daughter in an accident). Whilst there were many books that took her fancy, she ended up buying Adam Alexander’s ‘Garage Band’, which she has yet to read.
A couple of interesting talks were also thrown in for good measure.
There’s going to be another pop-up book fair in September, so if there’s anybody out there who has published a book(s) – shout and we can put you in contact with Sabine.
Thanks very much to the Alklantrant Library for hosting the pop-up book fair (to make it worth their while – 10% of all the proceeds of the books sold went to the library).
Read more people!