Literacy development and, reading and writing cultural practices thrive on a mix of original writing and translations in relevant languages. Here are some stories for you to share and enjoy.

Abantakwe bakwaKhalipha-Ngonyama

The children’s novel, The Brothers Lionheart, by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren, has been translated into IsiXhosa by Xolisa Guzula. PRAESA’s partnership with The Astrid Lindgren Company and the Swedish Arts Council has made it possible to offer this exciting novel free for download.

About the story: There’s no one Kwanda loves more than his older brother, Yona, who is brave, strong, and handsome – everything Kwanda believes he is not. Kwanda never wants to be parted from him. But Kwanda is sick, and knows he’s going to die. To comfort him, Yona tells him stories of Nangiyala, the wonderful place he’ll be going to when he dies, and where he will wait until Yona is ready to join him there. Then the unthinkable happens . . . Yona is killed in an accident. Heartbroken, Kwanda longs for the day he’ll be reunited with his brother. When the time comes, he finds Nangiyala just as wonderful as he’d imagined. But, Nangiyala is under threat. The cruel Tyhoboz’iintlanti is trying to claim it for himself – and on his side he has Kahla, the fire-breathing dragon who is feared throughout the land. Kwanda and Yona must lead others in the battle to save Nangiyala …

16 little books for little hands

This pan-African set of books for children aged 0–6 years was written and illustrated by authors and artists from across the continent. They were originally available in the official languages of the African Union (Arabic, English, French, Kiswahili, Portuguese) and 15 other African languages (Afrikaans, IsiXhosa, IsiZulu, Siswati, IsiNdebele, Sesotho, Sepedi, Setswana, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Twi, Amharic, Cinyanja, Kinyarwanda and Mandingo).  

Download and print these little books – as well as the bonus books, Brown, Red and Yellow – in a variety of South African languages for free!

    Bheka ukuthi ngubani okuthandayo! • Look who loves you!

    This bilingual children’s book in IsiZulu and English demonstrates how love, care and play are important in helping the young child deal with grief and loss. The activities depicted in the pictures show the many ways in which young children can be comforted, loved and valued.

    Umvundlana • The little hare

    This bilingual children’s story in IsiXhosa and English helps sick children understand that they are not alone and that someone will help to ease their discomfort and fear. It reminds them that there are people who love and value them.

    Kimi’s cat: Read with me

    Follow along and listen to this delightfully animated story. Adults and children can join in and read the story in any of South Africa’s official languages. A story-sharing demonstration video provides an example of how to share storybooks with young children.

    Story-sharing demonstration: Ntombizanele Mahobe. Kimi’s cat was produced for PRAESA by The Wendy Production House, with funding from The Little Hands Trust and Sifunda Kunye.

    Click on the icon in the top right corner of the video screen to choose a video to watch from the playlist.

    Stories and rhymes in IsiXhosa and English

    Enjoy this collection of translated rhymes and little stories in IsiXhosa and English with young children. Engage with the ‘moving pictures’ along with the beautifully spoken and written words to enjoy a meaningful early literacy experience together. Read along with the voice you hear and point to the words on the screen to help your child connect spoken and written language.

    IsiXhosa translations and voice: Xolisa Guzula and Ntombizanele Mahobe. This resource was a collaboration between Moving Picture Books and PRAESA, with funding from The Calabar Foundation.

    Note:  Unfortunately the first video has a problem with the sound – please continue to one of the other videos.

    Click on the icon in the top right corner of the video screen to choose a video to watch from the playlist.

    Ik ken jou, jij kent mij • Knowing you, knowing me • Ek ken jou, jy ken my • Yazi mda, ndazi wena

    This multilingual children’s book, developed in a collaboration between the Regional Integration Centre Foyer Brussels (Belgium), the University of Antwerp and PRAESA, is in four languages – Dutch, English, Afrikaans and IsiXhosa. It is about two countries on two continents, in one world. Most of all, it is about six children and an ostrich called Molo.

    (Large file size: 50Mb)