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Take a look at in-depth pieces and powerful narratives from some of South Africa's best literary minds and critical thinkers, as well as the latest Nal'ibali news and updates. 

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Nali'Bali in the media

Instil wonder through reading

Posted on
March, 14th 2013
Socrates said all thinking begins with wonder. So how do we develop a sense of wonder in children? By reading wonderful stories to them. Tomorrow is World Read Aloud Day – a day to celebrate reading aloud to children. But there is work to be done before all children can expect the regular delight of a skilled reader who breathes life into a story. Reading (and learning...
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Here’s a piece of common sense familiar to most of us adults (well, at least those of us who have ever watched an episode of the Dr Phil show on TV):  you can’t keep doing the same thing continuously and expect to get different results. So, if you’re faced with a huge challenge like improving literacy levels in South Africa, you clearly can’t be doing...
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The simple, profound thing we all can do

Posted on
February, 27th 2013
In this society, which urgently needs to educate citizens to be articulate and literate, there is something simple but profound we can all do – we can tell and read stories to children. Far from being a luxury, the story habit establishes in children the sturdy bedrock on which to grow the power of empathy and an educated mind. It starts with enjoyment. Take Tara: Tara’s...
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Putting books in the hands of children

Posted on
February, 14th 2013
On a hot, dry February day, in a heat that would normally make the most attentive     student lethargic, a Grade 4 class is rapt. Seated cross-legged on the floor, their  mouths agape, eyes bright and never wavering, they focus intently on the woman turning the pages of ‘Jack’s Tractor’ by Thomas Taylor. Throughout the story, they repeat sounds and words back at...
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New Year reading resolutions

Posted on
January, 29th 2013
Do you make resolutions at the beginning of each new year? Many people’s resolutions involve giving up something they enjoy to improve their lives. But that’s where reading resolutions are different – they are simply about doing more of what you enjoy! Try our suggestions below to make reading and stories a part of your family’s everyday life! And download our Story Power Pacts for you and...
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Stories travel – by word of mouth and in writing. Stories for children have been adapted over time from adult stories, often by translators, who have been responsible for crafting and shaping stories to suit their audiences across time and space. Think of Aesop’s Fables, told by Aesop, a slave and storyteller in Ancient Greece in the 5th century BC. Aesop’s Fables moved across continents for centuries,...
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When did you last share a story? Was it this morning, when you told a neighbour about what happened yesterday in the check-out queue at the supermarket? Was it yesterday, when your daughter brought home a history project about the first democratic election in South Africa and asked you what you did on that day? Was it last weekend, when you and your friends...
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A simple reading plan shows the way

Posted on
December, 5th 2012
Recently I visited Pratham, a large non-profit organisation that promotes reading across India. I was intrigued by their claim that they could get young children to learn to read within six weeks and that they could help those lagging behind to catch up. If we could do the same, I thought, we could begin to overcome one of the biggest challenges to education in South Africa –...
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One could have easily mistaken the adult reading workshop for a pre-school class as grown men and women jumped up and down, sang and performed theatrics – all in the name of promoting literacy. The Nal’ibali regional training workshop hit the Grahamstown area at the weekend as part of a national drive to get children and adults reading for enjoyment in a bid to inspire...
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The retelling of the classics

Posted on
December, 4th 2012
In the May issue of Fairlady we featured a great article entitled ‘Good books bad feelings’ that posed the question whether you should read scary or sad books to your children. Now we take the question a bit further. Should children’s books also have a distinct African flavour? What if Snow White was living with seven dwarfs somewhere in the Lesotho mountains and what if Rapunzel...
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