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Little Hands

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Archive for the ‘South Africa’ Category

Nicholas Ashby’s formative reading experiences

Time Pips by Nicholas Ashby Far beyond the edge of Africa and once upon a time before he dreamed he’d live in Taiwan, Egypt, Los Angeles and Cape Town, and long before he wrote his acclaimed debut novel Time Pips, Nicholas Ashby had little hands and this is what he read … (more…)

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Mariama Ndoye’s formative reading experiences

Mariama Ndoye reading

Il était une fois dans Rufisique…Once upon a time in the historic port city of Rufisque, in an era before the Senegalese publishing industry blossomed, and long before she earned her Doctorate in French Language Arts, became a spokesperson for the upliftment of African women, and authored several books including Sur Des Chemins Pavoisés, Soukey and Comme Du Bon Pain ,Mariama Ndoye had little hands and this is what she read … (more…)

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Young readers, new book lovers and maybe some future authors at Ndodeni and Stepmore

Lynn Stefano from the Family Literacy Project wrote to Carole and sent these photo’s of young readers with their Little Hands books.

Rotary sponsored 650 sets in Zulu earlier this year.

These little packs of 16 books, just big enough to comfortably fit into a child’s hands, are the result of a Pan African project, with the books being translated into many African languages. We distributed 650 to our child-to-child groups, adult groups, and home visitors. The home visitors will add the books to their home visiting kit which they use when interacting and playing with and reading to vulnerable children in their communities. The adults take their books home to read with their families, and the children take them home for themselves. (more…)

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Patricia Schonstein Pinnock’s formative reading experiences

Pookie and PatriciaThe Tale of Two Travelers says: Hill and Vale do not come together, but the children of women and men (good and bad) do. And once upon a time not so far away in the land called Zimbabwe, before she was inspired by colour, fabric, food and magic to expose the horrors of war, genocide, religious intolerance, and our destruction of the earth in her internationally translated novels like Skyline, A Time of Angels, The Apothecary’s Daughter and, most recently, The Master’s Ruse , before all that, Patricia Schonstein Pinnock had little hands and this is what she read … (more…)

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Sibongile Xamlashe’s formative reading experiences

Sibongile reading to her son Chumani Once upon a misty time, when Mpumalanga province was known as Transvaal, long before she was promoting the love of reading and exposing children to literature in isiXhosa and English, Sibongile Saraphina Xamlashe had little hands and this is what she read…

Sibongile’s earliest memory of books and reading:

I grew up alone at home, but my uncle’s wife looked after me as if I was her own, in fact I did not know that she was not my real mother up until the early nineties.
I came across books at home while we played with older children who went to school. They taught us stories, rhymes, songs like: (more…)

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Good Heavens! By George! Thank you!

Thank you very much George EllisGood Heavens! Little Hands! Books! Blogs! Teapots! The laws of Physics, explain much, but do not give a realistic description of causality in the truly complex hierarchical structures and the outcomes of intentional design such as BOOKS! This is what I read this morning in George F.R. Ellis’s essay Physics, Complexity and Causality, published in Nature (June 2005). I highly recommend the article as it is a short, but fascinating and inspiring peek into the mind, work and universe of very generous George Ellis. It is one of the five hundred other published articles by George Ellis, Distinguished Professor of Complex Systems in the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics at the University of Cape Town. (More are listed on George’s web page, which will surely cause you to say: Good Heavens!)

Thank you very much George, for the 83 boxes of Little Hands books you donated for the children of Luvuyo orphanage.

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Squeals of delight over first books… could we readers, writers and book lovers around here at Book SA give 83 children at Luvuyo Orphanage a box set of books each?

I write to thank you for the “Little hands” books that you so kindly donated to Carolize Jansen for use at the Luvuyo Orphanage and Child Care Centre, in Soshanguve, where I do voluntary work under the auspices of the Union of Jewish Women in Pretoria.

It was with great joy that the children held their first book in their little fingers.

Looking at the pictures and merely turning the pages were new experiences for the pre-schoolers.


For the past year,my mission has been to focus on the educational aspect of the Day- Care Centre. I have started a variety of activities for the children who have enjoyed playing with play dough, bean bags, balls.We sing, read and dance together. Sometimes we paint or make necklaces out of macaroni.The Centre has very few books and your donation of the “little hands” books brought squeals of delight!


It was obvious that some children had never held a book before and we had to explain how to hold it and turn the pages.How heartwarming to see their joy!We give the children a party at the end of each year where all the children and helpers are given presents.


It would be great to give each child his own book as part of his Xmas gift. Most speak Tswana, but North Sepedi would be fine too.

This letter and the photographs were sent by Hilary Jocum to Carol Bloch at Little Hands. Carol thought the idea of giving each child a set of Little Hands books for Christmas would be truly wonderful, so she emailed back to enquire how many children six years and under are at the Orphanage and Day Care Centre. Lindiwe Nokwali, the director of the Luvuyo Orphanage confirmed that there are 83 children 6 years and younger.

The Little Hands box of eight books costs R120, half a box costs R60. If everyone at Book SA gave half a box and sent this link on to three bookish colleagues outside of Book SA who might consider giving the other half of a box, then I’m sure that between us, without too much difficulty we could give 83 children a lovely box set of books each…

You could pledge a half set or a full set to one of the 83 children, by adding your name in the comment field at the end of the blog and making a payment of R60/R120 to the Little Hands Trust before 21st November:

Standard Bank Rondebosch, Plusplan account number 274909294
Swift code: SBZA ZA JJ
Branch Code: 025009

(If you make a donation for books for Luvuyo, please remember to add your name to the comments section below or, if you prefer to be anonymous, please email Carole Bloch, so that she can keep track of the donations meant for Luvuyo specifically.)





I’m very glad to say that thanks to everyone who donated a box or two or more of books, the 83 children of Luvuyo Orphanage will each receive a box of books at their end of year party.

Hilary from the Jewish Women’s Union, posted this note below:

“Dear Carole and all you generous donors
A HUGE thank you for enabling me to share the joy of reading with the little ones at Luvuyo! I am indeed overwhelmed by your response!It is great to know that there are so many caring people! Will send more photos to show the children’s reaction.THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!”



some of the new brick houses in VrygrondVrygrond is possibly the oldest informal settlement in the Western Cape. Originally the Trek fishermen who made their living from the sea, settled in the area and built homes of tin, wood and boards near the beach. Today, many, perhaps even the majority of Vrygrond residents have no regular work. Until a few years ago, Vrygrond had no electricity, no sewage, no running water. 21 public water taps served over 1,000 homes and toilet buckets were emptied once a week by the Council. Recently things have been improving in Vrygrond, brick houses have been built and there is now a wonderful community library.

At present the population is roughly half Afrikaans and English speaking, and half Xhosa speaking.

Educationalists have established that the effect of the economic and social deprivation in places like Vrygrond is that the children are between 2 and 3 years behind their appropriate age levels.

The library has become a resource more for the children of Vrygrond than anything. This was to some extent dictated by the nature of the community; very few adults in Vrygrond have the desire to read books. And the low literacy levels do not help. So the library has become a place used by school-going children. Many come there to have a quiet place to do their homework. And Elizabeth has built on this by holding reading classes where she and older kids assist others to read. In addition she has helped form a group of Vrygrond teenagers, called “Generation for Change” who use the library as their centre for community activities. This is not a library where silence often reigns!

The Vrygrond Community Library was also thrilled to hear they would be receiving some sets of Little Hands books. The Little Hands books very generously donated by Liz Page from IBBY International, and Penny Hochveld from Exclusive Books will go to this library.

The Vrygrond library has almost 2000 memebers. The ages of the young members range as you will see from attached photo (taken of some young members last week when they were being taught about a nativity play that they are participating in for Christmas), but according to the librarian, none of the children read that well.

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Sven Eick’s formative reading experiences

Once upon a time not very long ago, before he dreamed of being a ryhthm guitarist in the coolest band on earth, before he ended up writing the satirical thriller Apetown, Sven Eick had little hands and this is what he read … (more…)

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Emma van der Vliet’s formative reading experiences

There was once a wonderland time long before Past Imperfect, when Emma van der Vliet had little hands and this is what she read …

Emma’s earliest memory of books and reading:
I read voraciously and omnivorously as a child. Books fuelled endless fantasy games of “lost in the wood” and formed the basis of many of the “plays” that my friends and I inflicted on our parents on a regular basis. (more…)

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Pamela Jooste’s formative reading experiences

In high and not so far-off times at the Queens Hotel in the Cape Town habour, before Dance with a Poor Man’s Daughter, Frieda and Min, Like Water in Wild Places, People Like Ourselves and Môrester, before she dreamed she would be a multi-award-winning author, Pamela Jooste had little hands and this is what she read …

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