national Arts Festival Banner

Friday, August 28, 2015


Instructional but also very entertaining publication. (Review by Keith Millar)

My South African ABC is a very attractively presented book aimed at children from three to six. It has 48 glossy pages filled with fabulous, brightly coloured, illustrations by the talented Sandy Lightley.

Not only does the book serve the purpose of teaching the ABC but is also an illustrated guide to the wonderful diversity of places, animals, flora and fauna and objects found in our country.

Gone is the staid A is for Apple, B is for Ball and C is for Cat. In their place are fun ideas such as A is for Aardvark, Avocado or Aloe - B is for Bakkie, Boabab or Boerewors and C is for Cango Caves, Crocodile or Cheetah.

Each letter of the Alphabet offers a whole selection of illustrated ideas to highlight the particular letter. The illustrations are all beautifully drawn and brightly coloured with primary colours predominating.

The book will work on different levels depending on the age of the children reading it. I had the pleasure of going through it with a three year-old grandson. He took great delight in showing off to Grandpa how well he knew his ABC. Then, although mostly missing the link, he identified a surprising number of the illustrations such as elephants, crocodiles, dinosaurs and giraffes.

Each section also poses a simple question to the reader. These are based on one of the illustrations.For example, the reader is asked - What is the tallest animal in the world? Or what is the national flower of South Africa? All the answers to this fun quiz are given on the last page of the book.

There is also a Parent’s Guide which gives brief descriptions of many of the key activities and places of interest included in the book. Address and contact numbers are also provided in case one wants to take it a step further and visit some of the major sights and attractions.

My South African ABC is a delightful publication. Not only is it instructional but also very entertaining – and how better to learn something than by having fun at the same time.

I am sure this book would be a very welcome addition to any youngster’s collection.

My South African ABC, illustrated by Sandy Lightley, is published by Struik Travel & Heritage. ISBN 9781775842545. Recommended retail price R120. – Keith Millar