Thursday, September 10, 2009

Long Walk to Freedom - for Kiddies

Pic courtesy Debbie Yazbek/Nelson Mandela Foundation

I love the idea of this!

As someone still making their way through the 600-odd pages of the insightful Long Walk To Freedom, I like that it's now been abridged to be accessible to children too. After all, as I've said before, Nelson Mandela is the biggest celeb of them all, so it's great to know that youngsters can learn about his roots, his early life and how he made it through 27 years of imprisonment. Author Chris van Wyk (Surely, Goodness and Mercy) did the abridging and Cape Town-based artist Paddy Bouma did the illustrations.

There's another book as well - Nelson Mandela's Favourite African Folktales - that's also currently out. A beautifully-illustrated look at some of those classic stories Madiba likes children to hear. Famous actors from around the world have added their voices to the recording of the stories - Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, Whoopi Goldberg, Hugh Jackman, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Helen Mirren, Charlize Theron and many others. It also has a special message from Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and original music by Johnny Clegg and Vusi Mahlasela. A must-add to any child's book collection.

As for my reading, Long Walk to Freedom sits on my bedside table as I collapse into bed, night after night. Perhaps I should take a weekend out in the bush and just finish it. Otherwise I might just have to get myself a copy of the kiddies version too.

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