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Reviva shows us her not-on-paper African tales for story time

Saturday, September 29th 2012 at 11:00 AM

After years of working within the established educational and trade children’s book establishment, Reviva Schrembrucker have decided to explore a new avenue. She is still passionate about creating reading material for young people but who says it has to be on paper between two cardboard covers? Making an e-books means having control of the process from start to finish. It means not having to compromise on your particular vision. It means you can reach people everywhere.

A trip in 2011 to Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland in a 1988 model Land Cruiser with a tent on its roof provided me with a wonderful opportunity to make books. Books that portray the genuine lives of children in those countries. Books that celebrate their life styles and their environment.

Where are the Zimbabwe Ruins in our children’s books? Where are the streets of out-of-the-way towns and cities? Where are the small details that take the generic, arm’s-length “this is how they live” representations to a different level? African children texting from the Zimbabwe ruins, African children playing chess, African children at restaurants. And these are not privileged children but children from working class homes.

Now we have them! On CD-rom three books on the Children of Southern Africa. A lovely reading experience for all.

Please join us as Reviva will show us her great stories today!


Open Book Youth Programme: Emily Gravett is in the House

Saturday, September 22nd 2012 at 11:00 AM

So we have loved her books and every year there is another one that makes us go ooh and aah, well today you can meet the creator of great books such as Wolves, Meerkat Mail, Odd Egg and the much adored Monkey and Me! Emily Gravett will be reading at our storytime event today as she is currently in town for the Open Book Festival. What a treat for us!

She will be reading her brand new book, Matilda’s Cat, which we are all very excited to see for the first time!


Open Book Youth Programme: How to write for Tweenies: Niki Daly and Elizabeth Wasserman

Wednesday, September 19th 2012 at 2:30 PM

What a treat we have for you today! Two amazing authors, Niki Daly and ElizabethWasserman will be in conversation about writing for that in between age, too old to be a kiddie, too young to be a teenager. They have both successfully written for this age group, Niki with his Bettina Valentino and now his hilarious, Operation Itchybum and Elizabeth with her Speurhond Willem and the new Anna Atoom series. They will talk about where they find their inspiration, what keeps them writing, what to do if you want to write for this age group. And how do we keep the young ones reading in these stuck in the middle years. Don’t miss it!


Open Book Youth Programme: Linda Fellowes at Central Library

Wednesday, September 19th 2012 at 10:00 AM

Linda Fellowes is a storyteller with a heart for animals and wanted to write books for a younger audience so that they could understand what was happening to animals. She has tackled the penguins that were hurt in the oil spill, sharks, a crazy baboon named Eric, and her latest offering is Ithemba (meaning hope) the Rhino, to tell about the plight of the rhinoceros that are currently being hunted so viciously in our country. She loves living by the sea.

There will be books on sale, iThemba the Rhino, Peter, Pamela and Percy the Penguins, Nicole the Shark and Eric the Baboon – do bring some money along and get a signed book as some of the proceeds go to different foundations who support the various animals.


Open Book Youth Programme : Children’s Books vs Books for Children

Tuesday, September 18th 2012 at 5:30 PM

More and more we see books that look like children’s books, but the content is aimed at an adult audience. More and more people without children are buying children’s books and seeing them as art books. What really constituted a children’s book, must it be one with bright pictures or one with a moral lesson? Please join us for an excellent discussion with an amazing panel. We will have illustrators, Emily Gravett, Alex Latimer and Paddy Bouma in discussion with the Book Lounge’s Verushka Louw keeping them for drawing too many pictures.

If you are interested in illustration or a children’s book fan, this is the talk for you!


Open Book Youth Programme: Helen Brain at Central Library

Tuesday, September 18th 2012 at 10:00 AM

The well-loved author of books such as Fly Cemetery and Will and Jo has written a new book called Princess Talia and the Dragon and this morning she will be talking about this book and her writing at the Central Library,  in the children’s section. It should be a great hour to be inspired by a great author.

T his is the story of how Princess Talia saves the kingdom from a very angry dragon.  The dragon has landed on the roof of the palace and refuses to leave. The king tries everything to get rid of the fierce dragon, but to no avail. Princess Talia is not afraid and speaks to the dragon. He confesses that he cannot leave because he can’t see properly and is afraid that he might land on something less appropriate than the roof of a palace. Princess Talia lends him her glasses (wearing glasses was a curse one of the bad fairies put on her when she was born) so that he can see properly to fly away. She is the hero and all the little girls in her ballet class, that used to make fun of her, now also want to wear glasses. 


Open Book Youth Programme: Sindiwe Magona at Central Library

Monday, September 17th 2012 at 3:00 PM

A treat for all the city dwellers! Today from 3 – 4pm the legendary Sindiwe Magona will be telling stories at Central Library in the children’s area. It is always so special to see her in action as she is a small bundle of energy on two legs!

Copies of her book, Ugly Duckling and Best Meal Ever will be for sale if you wanted to get a signed author copy.


Pre-Order special offer on the forthcoming brand new Joseph Anton: A Memoir by Salman Rushdie

Sunday, September 16th 2012 at 10:17 AM

On 14 February 1989, Valentine’s Day, Salman Rushdie was telephoned by a BBC journalist and told that he had been ‘sentenced to death’ by the Ayatollah Khomeini. For the first time he heard the word fatwa. His crime? To have written a novel called The Satanic Verses, which was accused of being ‘against Islam, the Prophet and the Quran’.

So begins the extraordinary story of how a writer was forced underground, moving from house to house, with the constant presence of an armed police protection team. He was asked to choose an alias that the police could call him by. He thought of writers he loved and combinations of their names; then it came to him: Conrad and Chekhov – Joseph Anton.

How do a writer and his family live with the threat of murder for over nine years? How does he go on working? How does he fall in and out of love? How does despair shape his thoughts and actions, how and why does he stumble, how does he learn to fight back? In this remarkable memoir Rushdie tells that story for the first time; the story of one of the crucial battles, in our time, for freedom of speech. He talks about the sometimes grim, sometimes comic realities of living with armed policemen, and of the close bonds he formed with his protectors; of his struggle for support and understanding from governments, intelligence chiefs, publishers, journalists, and fellow writers; and of how he regained his freedom.

It is a book of exceptional frankness and honesty, compelling, provocative, moving, and of vital importance. Because what happened to Salman Rushdie was the first act of a drama that is still unfolding somewhere in the world every day.

We are offering 20% off all pre-orders received before the 17 September publication date. The published price will be R295, but we are offering it for just R236. Please mail us on, and we will send an invoice.

Open Book Youth Programme: We love you, Mr Gum!

Saturday, September 15th 2012 at 3:00 PM

Andy Stanton has become a hero of young readers, when he created the terrible Mr Gum. We all have our favourite characters we love to hate and have found ourselves giggling away as we read yet another one of his great stories.

This afternoon we will be reading some bits of Mr Gum and there will be a quiz to see how well you know everyone in that crazy town!

All fans of Lamonic Bibber write down this date. Or don’t. Whatever. Try to at least take a bath before you show up.


Open Book Youth Programme: Zoe and Beans Story Time

Saturday, September 15th 2012 at 11:00 AM

Our Open Book Youth Programme starts toda and what better way, than to read you stories about two great new characters, Zoe and her dog, Beans. They get into trouble every now and again without meaning to and are the best of friends.

Do join us for a fun morning of reading and making a gift for your best friend.