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22 Apr 2016 00:00
City rooster, by Claudia Eiker-Harris
Read to me: City Rooster(Also available in Afrikaans as Die Eerste Stad-Shaan) by Claudia Eicker-Harris,
illustrated by Juan Carlos Federico, published by Penguin Random House
When the city begins to intrude on
the farm Mr Doodle, the rooster,
decides it’s time to move on. But
who will wake the family if he
leaves? In an attempt to find his
replacement he holds auditions.
Applicants turn up in their flocks
— loeries and owls, barbets, cuckoos and finches — but none of
them succeeds in waking the farmer
and his family effectively.
comes Harriet the hadeda.
Tweens: Jamie and the horse show(By Helen Brain & Nicky Webb; illustrated
by Rico Schacherl)
Which preteen girl hasn’t longed for
her own horse and the glamour of riding it to victory in a horse show?
When I was growing up, all these
things happened in England. This
entertaining story is set in South
Africa, though the formula is the
same — rivalry, tears and, finally,
a happy ending. With cartoony
illustrations by Rico of Madam &
Eve fame, it’s bound to be a winner
among the nine-to-12 set.
Young adults: Diamond Boy(By Michael Williams; published by Oxford)
The story of 15-year-old Patson and his family, who are caught up in
the horrors of illegal diamond
mining the Marange diamond
fields in Zimbabwe, is not for the
It exposes readers to some of
the worst traits of the human spe-
cies — but also to some of the best.
Fast-paced, graphic and often violent, it is a page-turner.
I was a bit put off by the fact
that it doubles as a learners’ guide,
with pointers to aspects of style
and plot and notes on the meaning of some of the more difficult
words, but it is obviously intended
as a set work—and a worthy one it will be.
Young adults: Meeting Shaka and Mzilikazi 3(Published by Heritage)
As offerings in the Our Story series,
these books are intended to tell
“the stories that were and still are
not told or taught in our schools”.
It’s a great idea but the telling
is not gripping and, with their
sepia tones and stylised illus-
trations, I’m not sure they will
appeal to the first additional language learners at whom they are
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