We are SUPER excited about our book launch which took place on Thursday, 23 February 2017!!! We launched the afrikaans translation of "How to be a Super Bear" at Delft South Primary School. What a day :) Thank you to all who supported us on this journey!
The children's book, "How to be a Super Bear" by British author Bruce King, is aimed at anyone between the ages of 4 and 94. This children's book aims to reinforce family values and boost self-esteem and self-image so that individuals can reach their full potential and lead fulfilled lives.
With this in mind, A Reaching Hand, an NGO that supports informal community projects in impoverished underserved communities, decided to translate the book into isiXhosa and Afrikaans and africanise it so that it becomes more relatable to the children of the communities that it serves. This admirable endeavour provides a reader-friendly look into a world of fantasy, but not without valuable lessons learned.
Reading in early literacy learning can be seen as fundamental - especially considering the role and importance of emergent literacy. The focus of this book is to afford ways to enhance key and appropriate literacy development practices among children through reading and by unpacking the rich and complex wealth of African languages through beautifully told stories of the author.
When looking at literacy through the eyes of multilingual African communities, it is evident that socio-economic influences, the level of literacies and the lack of good and relatable reading materials often have profound harmful effects in developing and sustaining a much needed reading culture among younger children in local communities.
For many of us, having grown up in such communities around Cape Town, the lessons learned from the books often paved ways of instilling a sense of youthful wonder. Yet, it equally assisted us in developing a richer vocabulary in our mother tongue and in different languages; employing a wider and more active use of these languages learned, even when crossing cultural worlds far apart from our local community. Reading afforded us ways to escape even in the most dreading of circumstances; shaping our ideas and often helping us hang onto the thread of infinite imagination.
This book is designed for parents, teachers, administrators and caregivers; hoping to encourage a renewed and awakened interest in reading in Afrikaans, and showcases its linguistic and literary beauty to audiences worldwide. This translated and africanised edition adds to the goal of creating an active reading culture among African children, while developing, nurturing and embracing our child-like sense of African wonder.
The translation of this book from English to Afrikaans would not have been possible without a great deal of help from many people, especially our donors who made the free distribution of this book possible through their generous contributions.
The management of A Reaching Hand, Karin Hoole, Charlene Blacker and Beverley Johannessen, thanks everyone who embraced this project and contributed their time and effort towards translating this amazing book into afrikaans and africanising it.
A very special thanks to Lize Venter-Horn, a professional translator, who through her expertise and by immersing herself into a child’s world, makes it possible for every African child’s ears to be filled with the wonderous stories of Grandpa Super Bear. This allows them, just for a brief moment, to lose themselves in splendid wonder of becoming a super bear and forget about the difficult lives they endure daily. The enthusiasm and endless time she poured into getting the book ready for all the little special bears is deeply appreciated and applauded.
A special thanks to Jacques Avril Du Toit (UNISA Western Cape), who during the last phase engaged himself with editing and proof reading the final draft so that a fine-tuned children’s book could be published for its readers.
A heartfelt thanks to Björn Waenerlund for bringing Grandpa Super Bear to South Africa and his involvement with the initial translation into isiXhosa.
Thank you Charlene Blacker for continuing to bridge the cultural divide, making it possible for an Afrikaans translation to be brought to the eyes and ears of Afrikaans speaking South African children. A warm thanks to our very appreciated Project Manager, Beverley Johannessen, for doing the entire running around to getting the book printed.
Daniella Fronga, illustrator, thank you for transforming the illustrations so that African children may lose themselves in the characters of the book.
Lastly, I wish to thank Bruce King, the author of the original English book. Thank you for generously giving us permission to distribute this book in both isiXhosa and Afrikaans and for being a Grandpa Super Bear who seeks to inspire and motivate children from all over the world to grow up to be the very best they can be.
The dedicated support from all of you made distribution of this book possible as part of an edu-package to underprivileged children in impoverished communities in South Africa.