Welcome to The Book Tree, where readers and writers are grown and books are loved and shared.
The Book Tree is the realisation of a lifelong passion for children’s books and reading. By Grade 3 I had moved school four times and it was in the Seapoint Public Library and the Rondebosch Public Library that I found a world of friends, adventure, escape, laughter and mischief waiting for me.
Words became my career and I’ve worked for many years in the magazine industry, and even longer as a freelance writer, copy editor and content creator. I am also author of Thato’s Birthday Surprise and The Great Tidy Up, two books created through Book Dash which distributes books to disadvantaged schools.
The Book Tree is on a mission to excite children about reading, to help parents on this path and to get books into the hands of children throughout our country.
I am also curator for the Children’s and Teen programmes of the annual Kingsmead Book Fair. This year I’m excited to once again be running the KBF Young Writers’ Competition. This is a wonderful opportunity for children age 6-18 to practice their skills and get professional feedback on their writing.
Grow your children into readers – it will change their lives.
My favourite childhood 'books'
There are so many special books that accompanied me through my childhood years, but at the beginning were comics. We had a huge bag full of them, which we lugged everywhere, at the laundromat, on the beach, at a restaurant, on my bed with a tin of condensed milk (1970’s child ). Read more about why comics are a great springboard to building reading skills. (Pictured: my daughter reading my old comics)
Artwork by Maria Lebedeva
Kingsmead Book Fair
As the curator of the Kingsmead Book Fair’s (KBF) Children’s and Teen programme, I get to have the most fun reaching out to authors and their wonderful books to be featured in the programme. We have flown in authors such as Andy Griffiths, Fleur Hitchcock, Kiara Nirghin, Heather Morris and Rutendo Tavengerwei and we give a platform to the best local authors too. Over the years, KBF has become a much-loved event on South Africa’s literary calendar, for authors and eager readers alike.
In 2019 we had over 4000 people attending. After two years of Covid we are so happy to be back in person. Look out for the 2023 lineup here, and check out highlights from KBF 2019 and the virtual KBF 2021. Follow on instagram: @kingsmeadbf and Facebook: @kingsmeadbookfair
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Check out some of our latest posts
Guest book reviews
We review a wide range of the best books for children and teens from age 0-16. And we fit in a few parenting books too! To become a guest reviewer join The Book Tree Club here.
Book theme: Writing Skills
We’re currently focusing on writing skills. Read about one of the best books for young aspiring writers here.
What reading stage is your child at?
It can be tempting to push your child to read bigger books but make sure they have mastered each stage before they move up. Confidence and enjoyment are key. Find out how to gauge their reading stage here.
The Book Tree Values
The Book Tree is committed to raising readers who see the world in all its multicoloured splendour. We celebrate diversity. We look for books that allow all children to see themselves and feel at home in the world. We are constantly learning and striving to understand privilege and prejudice. We take our place in the room with humility and, when needed, silence, so that we may listen and learn to do better.
”Behind every children’s book is a vision of childhood: a shared understanding of what growing up is all about.”