Nal’ibali hosts kid’s book author

2016-02-18 06:00
 Fun, games and lots of laughter as childrens books author Julia Donaldson and husband Malcom sang with the children during the visit.  PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

Fun, games and lots of laughter as childrens books author Julia Donaldson and husband Malcom sang with the children during the visit. PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

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Julia Donaldson, a children’s books author from the United Kingdom made a visit to one of Nal’ ibali’s Grow Smart reading clubs in Philippi on Saturday.

And in true African style, Donaldson was welcomed with song, dance and some running around by the kids.

The author visited the club as part of her trip around the country, which will see performances in a number of theatre shows based on her award-winning book, The Gruffalo.

Donaldson is a 2011-2013 UK Children’s Laureate, a laureate is person who has been honored for achieving distinction in a particular field.

Children from the club, which is based in a small shack in the Wood Bay area in Philippi were treated to a sing along song from her first book called A Squash and a Squeeze.

Nal’ibali is a national reading campaign whose aim is to promote reading for enjoyment with over 800 reading clubs across the country.

During the visit, the youngsters were engaged and took part in the program and her publisher, Pan Macmillan also donated books to the club.

“This morning has been one of the most amazing and memorable experiences of any book tour I have been on.

It was so valuable to see what the children do at the Nal’ibali reading clubs and to not only share my stories, but to join in on their songs and games too. The children were so responsive!” said Donaldson.

Carole Bloch, Nal’ ibali founder and Executive Director of PRAESA (the Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa) said that a playful environment was pivotal for the learning process of young children. “Young children have thirsty imaginations and playful spirits. As they experience the rhythm and repetition of language in a captivating story with vivid illustrations, like the ones Julia Donaldson writes, you can’t stop them from joining in and wanting more.

They become so emotionally involved that without even noticing, they’re learning all kinds of literacy lessons,” she said.

“Story play offers children holistic language experiences,” adds Bloch.

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