Books: the best gift ever

Blog, On reading

Over the past few years, I’ve written three children’s books for Book Dash. All with the aim of putting good quality local books into children’s hands so that every child can own a hundred books by the age of five.

One of these books, The Best Thing Ever, was inspired by my son, who on a country walk in Ireland one year, collected a pocketful of rocks and used them to create a beautiful sculpture.

The story of Muzi, who also goes on a trip away from home and makes something special with the items he collects on the way, has captured the imaginations of young children in South Africa and abroad. It has been translated into 13 different languages and brought joy to kids in countries as far afield as India and Korea. All because the story has been generously gifted to children, either by Book Dash itself, other literacy organisations like Shine and Wordworks or online via the Book Dash app or Storyweaver. The book is completely open source and costs nothing to print, translate or distribute.

Recently I went to the Book Dash offices to stock up on more copies of this title and got more than I bargained for. I received a pile of letters and drawings from children who have received this book for free. What struck me was the children’s absolute appreciation for the gift of a book. Some of these kids had never owned a book before.

In a country like South Africa with such dire literacy stats, the Book Dash model is a necessary intervention.

So if you’re at a loss for what to get your loved one for Christmas, consider a donation to this wonderful organisation on their behalf. It will bring the gift of storybooks to little people who can’t afford to buy them and that, in my opinion, is the best thing ever!

Read The Best Thing Ever for free here.

Written by Melissa Fagan, freelance content writer and editor

I help traditional and digital publishers deliver engaging and informative content that resonates with their readers. Internationally qualified writer and editor with 13 years’ publishing experience.

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