The Bok Who Lost His Spring by Marleen Lammers 

Published by Penguin Random House, for kids aged 3-5 years

In a Nutshell

A springbok loses hope when he discovers he just cannot jump – his defining and crowning feature. After sharing the loss of his spring with the other animals, they rally around him and help him strategize alternative ways to regain joyfulness and feel worthy of being noticed. 

Book Club Notes

The events in the story will keep young readers compelled. Lammers provides easy to learn and apply tips on how to transform obstacles into opportunities to learn and grow through the lens of a loveable springbok. The camaraderie of the fellow animals provides a valuable lesson for children to support their peers even when they lack certain skills. 

Wild is the Wind by Grahame Baker-Smith

Published by Templar books, distributed by Jonathan Ball Publishers, for kids aged 4-10

In a Nutshell

Young Cassie observes the migration of swifts while floating across the sky in her hot air balloon. The swifts must learn to navigate the elements, especially the wind, in order to fly across the world to nest. 

Bookclub Notes 

Baker-Smith conveys the magical habits and migration journey of the swifts through a child’s eyes in colourful language and riveting fascination. The author adds an element of adventure as the swifts learn to navigate through the raw elements of nature – specifically the wind.  He vividly describes how the wind interacts and changes nature which has an impact on the journey of the swifts, creating an absorbing and memorable tale. 

The Wildest Dog and Other African Tales by Avril van der Merwe 

Published by Penguin Random House, for kids aged 4-8 years

In a Nutshell

The Wildest Dog and Other African Tales is a compilation of 6 stories featuring animals who are endangered or at risk – cheetah, hippo, rhino, hyena, pangolin and lion. Each story has a life lesson weaved into it. 

Book Club Notes

Avril van der Merwe weaves a web of communal compassion, giving the animals very human characteristics and manners that would appeal to a child’s sense of humour and tug at their heart strings. Each story imparts fundamental lessons of self-worth, mindfulness and compassion towards others, while still being relatable to children. The illustrations, by Heidi-Kate Greef portray each animal vibrantly and friendly to further enhance the message. 

I Really Want to Share by Simon Philip and Lucia Gaggiotti

Published by Templar books, distributed by Jonathan Ball Publishers, for kids aged 3-6

In a Nutshell 

A little girl must learn to share when she becomes a big sister to a baby brother, even if she doesn’t really want to. After talking to her grandfather she discovers the joys of sharing. 

Book Club Notes

A hilarious story which identifies with children’s’ struggles when it comes to sharing. The main character, a little girl who’s a little self-centred is easy to identify with, especially for kids who are about to become brothers or sisters. The illustrations set the backdrop for the narrative and give vibrancy to the characters, inviting the young readers to bond with them and learn the lesson of sharing alongside them. 

Black Dog by Levi Pinfold

Published by Templar books, distributed by Jonathan Ball Publishers, for kids aged 3-6

In a Nutshell

legend says that a glimpse of a black dog will set terrible events into motion, so when a black dog visits the Hope family, they get scared. 

Book Club Notes 

Black Dog shares how the power of imagination can become real facts. It is a story of fear and how to overcome fear as demonstrated by the youngest of the family, a little boy called Hope. It teaches children about courage and facing your fear, which may just well turn out to be a friendly fluffy little dog.  

The world of African Wildlife by Owen Hendry 

Published by Penguin Random House, for kids aged 4+

In a Nutshell

The world of African Wildlife is a safari guide for children that teaches them about Africa’s wildlife. It is packed with interesting facts, activities and provides insight into the wild and how animals survive in their natural habitat. 

Book Club Notes 

This is a must have guide for any child who loves animals and for any family who enjoys visiting the game reserve. From dos and don’ts of visiting a game reserve, to the big 5, tree life, bird life and even tracking tips – it has everything you need to learn about Africa’s wildlife. The pictures and illustrations help provide context and can be used to spot animals on a game drive. While it’s a kid’s books, it’s also a book adults will find handy and interesting. 

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