Local children's book about SA languages wins Book of the Year

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How many ways can you say hello?
How many ways can you say hello?

Molweni! Sawubona! Avuxeni! Dumela! Hello! 

How many ways can you say hello? 

South Africa's 11 official languages and vast cultural differences are a source of great pride, and now a local children's book has taken a creative and relevant spin on celebrating South Africa's diversity.

How many ways can you say hello? won the overall prize for the SA Book Awards Book of the Year 2021, receiving the most bookseller votes from a long list of contenders. 

The fictional children's book was written by Refiloe Moahloli and illustrated by Anja Stoeckigt, and features a young girl by the name of Sara who doesn't understand what the other children are saying on her first day of school.

ALSO READ | I'm the Colour of Honey (Available for download in English, isiXhosa and isiZulu)

Using bright-coloured illustrations and charming rhyming verse, the story follows Sara as she navigates this language barrier and is encouraged by her teacher to explore the different ways one can say hello. 

The story, which was published in 2017, provides a unique opportunity for South African children to learn more about South African languages and to appreciate the beauty in diversity. 

For adults who are unsure about how to pronounce 'hello' in all official languages, there is a CD of text narrated by the author herself to guide authentic pronunciation.

How many ways can you say hello? is available for purchase online and in bookstores nationwide.


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