Read of the Week

How many ways can you say hello?

Refiloe Moahloli

Landy and the Apple Harvest, Fender and the Cliff Rescue and Landy at the Factory

Veronica Lamond

Random House

Surprise! Surprise!

Niki Daly

Six Blind Mice and an Elephant

Jude Daly


Reviewer: Lauren O’Connor-May

Children’s books that come with a CD of the story is always a bonus in my book because it means that the books can read themselves.

The CD that comes with How many ways can you say hello? is a double bonus because the book teaches children how to say Hello in all eleven South African languages, nine of which I can’t speak so therefore don’t know how to pronounce.

My children enjoyed and related to this book even though I thought they would get bored with how little story there is.

Nevertheless, it has been requested for rereading multiple times.

There is something very charming about the books Landy and the Apple Harvest, Fender and the Cliff Rescue and Landy at the Factory that are not too cutesy, nor too rugged but strike a nice endearing balance.

The books, about live jeeps, their owners and pets, are the three latest in an outdoorsy adventure series. I haven’t come across the earlier titles but there seems to be a common thread of rescue themes and friendship.

I think outdoor adventurers would especially enjoy these books.

The book Surprise! Surprise! was written by one half of the award-winning writing couple, the Dalys.

Penned by husband Niki, the book was, by far, the one my children enjoyed the most among those I recently took home for review – and I thoroughly enjoyed it too.

It’s the quirky kind of story that rolls off one’s tongue while reading because, while the language is simple enough for children to understand and enjoy, it also has just the right dash of poetry.

But I really don’t know if my children noticed how good the writing is because for the most part they were too busy laughing and I too had to stop at least once during reading to compose myself before I could continue.

The other half of the award-winning writing couple, wife Jude Daly, has penned the reworking of an old Indian fable, Six Blind Mice and an Elephant, and given it an updated ending.

This book is an imaginative sensory story that explores how three blind mice encounter different body parts of an elephant from their limited experience – much to the amusement of the elephant himself. At the back of the book is a bit about the background of the fable and why Ms Daly chose to change the ending.