Celebrating Little Characters, and the books that bring them to life

12 June 2022 - 00:00
Exclusive Books is celebrating little characters and the books that bring them to life this June.
Image: Exclusive Books/Supplied Exclusive Books is celebrating little characters and the books that bring them to life this June.

This June Exclusive Books is Celebrating Little Characters, a theme which is as much about paying homage to the array of children’s books on offer as it is about the diversity among young readers.

Neil Gaiman, the infamous author of many children’s books, with characters including the button-eyed Coraline, wrote: “We all have an obligation to daydream; we all have an obligation to imagine.” Each book we hold creates a meditation where time disappears. We are whisked away into a world where the characters come alive and peel off from their pages.

It is this daring and free spirit that is so alive in our young readers. Watch the excitement while carrying their book into bed at night, tracing the illustrations and sounding out the letters and words they know. This is the face of joy through reading.

Embracing diversity is one of the key trends in children’s publishing globally and at home; to provide growing minds with relatable imagery, narratives and storylines.

“Unlike in days gone by, children today are exposed to the complexities of our current reality – sometimes a little too much. Books and reading have always helped us understand and process the world and our place in it – and they are needed more now than ever as children navigate and grapple with issues like identity, new concepts of family, and illness. A big trend is books about kindness — since Covid, children are not seeing the world as a happy place, and cultivating kindness and happiness have become key themes, even for very young readers,” says Batya Bricker, Exclusive Books marketing, loyalty and procurement general manager.

One of the techniques for getting young readers hooked on a lifetime habit of reading is to introduce them to authors and characters they fall in love with.

The theme Celebrating Little Characters shines the spotlight on some of the unmissable characters in children’s books, which for so many of us represent our first love affair with books. These range from evergreens like Dr Seuss’ Cat in the Hat and CS Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia, or newer ones like Harry Potter, Peppa Pig, Wimpy Kid and local characters like Wanda or Shudu or Jaco Jacobs’ Minki. The power of an unforgettable character is proven in the sheer stamina of classics like Peter Rabbit, created in 1893, which continues to be in the top 100 bestsellers in SA and the world.

All children’s books will be at the front of every Exclusive Books store this June, with an online page showcasing a curated selection of bestselling children’s series. Exclusive Books wants to celebrate the almost limitless choices both stores and the website have on offer. Fanatic members will receive double points on all children’s books for the month of June. To add to the excitement, Exclusive Books has a festival programme of events around the country, bringing readers and books together in that magical meeting place – the bookshop. Don’t forget to RSVP to book your spot — we hope to see you and your little character there!

This article was paid for by Exclusive Books.

Go to exclusivebooks.co.za to book your place and see all the exciting children’s events in June.