Last year I signed up to participate in Book Dash, a 12-hour book making marathon featuring teams of writers, editors, illustrators, and designers gathered together to create brand new relevant children’s books for young South African readers. The books are free to download and print, and are distributed for free to kids across the country.
Its a great initiative. Book Dash believes that every child should own one hundred books by the age of five. So far, over 1 million children’s books have been printed in all indigenous languages. I’ve been wanting to take part for ages.
I partnered with illustrator Heather Jenkins to create Mama, what’s for lunch? – a story about how creativity and imagination can bring wonder to the lunch table. This colourful, magical story is perfect for readers five and under, although Heather’s stunning illustrations can be enjoyed all on their own.
Because we were in the middle of lockdown, the event took place digitally. The organisers did an incredible job wrangling everyone together to keep to the 12-hour timeline. Their sage words of advice to me was “Trust the process,” and amazingly, everything came together on time.
I loved being part of the process of creating local stories for young readers who will be able to delight in seeing themselves on the pages of their favourite books.
You can download Mama, what’s your lunch? for free here.
The book is also available in other languages here.