Tag: raising readers

Oh For The Love Of Books – Giveaway For Book Lovers Day

Oh For The Love Of Books – Giveaway For Book Lovers Day

I will take any excuse to snuggle in and read a good book. August the 9th is “Book Lovers Day”, an unofficial holiday that encourages people to pick up a book (or two) and spend the day reading. Thankfully here in South Africa it coincides with Woman’s Day and we all have the day off, it’s the perfect chance to tuck into a good novel.

Book stores to me, are places of magic, libraries are historical wonders. The smell of the paper pages as you walk through the doors instantly transports me to a place of calm and peace. I used to work right above a bookstore and would go down and least 4 times a month, walking away with a new treasure to devour. I’m what you may call a compulsive reader, when I finally get a chance to sit down with a book I enjoy I am fully immersed. I must finish the entire book then and there, forgetting about any of plans for the day. My mum and sister always tease me about my taste in books. I prefer “softer” books, books that take me to a happy place and leave me feeling good. They prefer deeper sci-fi styled books, or historical masterpieces.

Becoming a mother unfortunately put my love for reading on a back burner. For the first two years I didn’t even manage to pick up a book and certainly didn’t have time to browse the book stores either. Thankfully as the boys have gotten a bit older and I have been able to carve out a little more “me time” my love for reading as reignited and hopefully I can pass that onto my boys. Growing up we had a dedicated weekly slot at school for library. In primary school this involved getting a story read by the librarian and then browsing the gigantic library to find a book to take out for the week. It saddens me to think that this may not happen when my boys.

Some of my favourite authors include Nicky Pellegrino whose tales are set in Italy, her stories are about friendship and food, passion and family secrets. JK Rowling, because… Harry Potter, enough said. Sophie Kinsella, yes, I love me a little bit of the Shopaholic series. Not only do the main character and I share a name but we also share a certain penance for our love of shopping. Lastly Lesley Pearce focuses on mainly historical adventures and crime mysterious and writes about characters that are almost impossible to care about.

If you are feeling a bit detached from the literacy world, or even want to encourage reading in your children, here are a couple of ways to reignite your love for reading:

1) Visit your local library

In Johannesburg we are blessed with beautiful local library’s that are largely forgotten about. My favourites are Olivedale and Rivonia. Sign up or dig out your library card and get reacquainted with some lovingly read and best of all, free books!

2) Reread an old favourite

The Harry Potter Series will never get old for me, neither do Nicky Pellegrino’s Italian adventures. Books like this immediately transport me to another place.

3) Visit a literacy haunt

We spent hours on a trip to Rome hunting down a Caffe Greco. It’s not only the oldest café/ bar it Roma but it is famous for being a place where authors and poets used to go and sit for inspiration. Hans Christian Anderson, the famous poet Keats, all frequented this popular coffee house. Such an incredible feeling to enjoy a coffee in the very same spot.

4) Start a book club

Whether it’s done for social needs or to reignite your passion for reading, a book club is a great way to focus your goals, swap and exchange good reads or to just catch up on good gossip.

Together with CNA, One of South Africa’s oldest and most loved Book and Stationery stores, I’ll be giving away one set of books from International bestselling author Lesley Pearse. This set of 3 includes two of my personal favourites, “Belle” and “Dead to me”


To Enter:

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Comment below on your favourite book memory.

Winners will be announced Monday the 13th August.

Winners must be residents of South Africa and not have won any other “In These Stilettos” competitions in the last 3 months.

Top Childrens’ Book Picks for Ramadan

Top Childrens’ Book Picks for Ramadan

Ramadan (a Muslim holy month of fasting, where we commemorate when the Quran was revealed), is fast approaching and I’m busy preparing myself as a working mum, for an even busier month ahead. Meal plans, activities for the children and stocking up the house. A like to create as much excitement for my boys around Ramadan as possible.

Teaching my kids to love books and reading is hugely important to me, as is teaching my children the history of Islam. Naturally in Ramadan we increase our reading a bit more, I normally put away all of their other books and we only focus on our Islamic ones. They are at that “in-between” age at the moment, where they are a little too young to start Madrasah (Islamic studies for kids) but are at the perfect age to learn about Islam and its history. I try to increase their knowledge by reading Islamic books at home and encouraging learning in everyday tasks and crafts.

Suhayla Kids is my go to for all Islamic books and educational toys. In Johannesburg I don’t particularly like driving into Fordsburg/Mayfair and dealing with parking and traffic. SUHAYLA kids is an online store and has the best, most up to date titles, follows global trends and they deliver nationwide (they have even done deliveries to Botswana). Their customer service is second to none, and Taahirah’s personalised notes and quick delivery makes every customer feel special and unique.

These books are great for Muslims and Non-Muslims alike. Teaching other children about Ramadan and why their friends families are “fasting” teaches understanding and respect. They have also been great helping my family (who aren’t Muslim) understand our traditions and celebrations more.

Here’s a list of my top picks for Ramadan:

Night of the Moon – Hena Khan

I ADORE Hena Khan’s books. She has such a beautiful, simple style of writing and this book in particular is both my boys favourite (apart from Ilyas and Duck which we will get too). Its also a great book to teach little ones about the cycle of the moon.

“The sighting of the Moon’s first crescent begins the month of Ramadan for Muslims all over the world. This vibrantly illustrated story invites children to experience the traditions of the month through the eyes of a seven-year-old girl named Yasmeen, who watches every night as the moon grows and shrinks and finally disappears. When the moon’s first crescent reappears, it’s time to celebrate “The Night of the Moon” and the gift-giving holiday of Eid – when Yasmeen has a wonderful gift in store!”

Available from Suhayla Kids for R230.

Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of colours – Hena Khan

I got this last Ramadan and we still love it.

“With breathtaking illustrations and informative text, this book magnificently captures the world of Islam, celebrating its beauty and traditions. This book uses objects found in many Muslim cultures to teach colours. With simple language suitable for even the youngest readers, a young Muslim girl and her family guide the reader through the traditions and colours of Islam.”

Available from SUHAYLA kids for R120.

Ilyas & Duck and the Fantastic Festival of Eid-al-Fitr – Omar S. Khawaja

One of the boys favourite’s (and mummy’s too). So much so that my son wanted to dress up as Ilyas for World Book Day this year.

Part of the highly-acclaimed Ilyas & Duck series! Eid-al-Fitr is here!

“It’s time to celebrate! But what is Eid all about? Join Ilyas & Duck in this fantastically delightful story as they explore the fun and excitement of Eid while learning about the charitable nature of it all. Eid has never been so much fun!”

2015 Moonbean Children’s Book Awards Silver Medal (Multicultural – Non-Fiction picture book)

Available from Suhayla Kids for R235 (and so worth it).

Hassan and Aneesa love Ramadan – Yasmen Rahim

We love this series, another one we love is the “Hassan and Aneesa go to the Masjid”.

“It’s the night before Ramadan and Hassan and Aneesa are very excited for this special month to begin. During Ramadan, they will read the Qur’an, give charity, share food with neighbours, and try to fast as their parents do.

Follow Hassan and Aneesa on the first day of Ramadan and find out why they love it when this holy month arrives.”

A steal at R50 from you guessed it, SUHAYLA kids

On our wishlist:

I haven’t got my hands on these yet but am determined to add them to our collection this year.

Its Ramadan, Curious George – Hena Khan

One of the most popular books in the UK, and proving to be so here too (Its currently sold out and on my wishlist too).

It’s the first day of Ramadan, and George is celebrating with his friend Kareem and his family. George helps Kareem with his first fast and joins in the evening celebration of tasting treats and enjoying a special meal. Then, George helps make gift baskets to donate to the needy, and watches for the crescent moon with the man in the yellow hat. Finally George joins in the Eid festivities to mark the end of his very first Ramadan.

R125 from SUHAYLA Kids for R125.

Migo & Ali: Love for the Prophets – Zanib Mian


I LOVE the fact that this book tells a summarized version of each prophet.

“This delightful hardback book, with 164 full colour pages, contains vibrantly illustrated stories of the prophets, from Adam (as) to Muhammad (saw). These stories are concise, and told in engaging, child-friendly language. A question and answer session after each story is also unique in its style, depicted as a conversation between the two lovable characters. Ali pretty much asks Migo the questions that will be on your child’s mind.”

R275 from SUHAYLA kids

Allah Tells Me – Ali Gator


This book just looks like a beautifully simple introduction of the Five Pillars of Faith in Islam.

“This book introduces young children to the 5 pillars of Islam through beautiful illustration and gentle words that will develop both a consciousness of Allah as well as a curiosity to learn more.

InshaAllah (God Willing) this book will inspire young hearts to learn about & love Allah.”

R75 From SUHAYLA kids.


That’s our top list! I would love to hear some of your favourites too. ALL of these books are easy to read with no uncomplicated language or descriptions, perfect for young minds. The bright illustrations help children remember and I cant wait to put them all out for our Ramadan book corner this year.

If you are in Johannesburg next week (3-6 May 2018), SUHAYLA Kids will be at the Eid Shopping Festival at the Dome (Stall C5). They will have a wide selection of their Islamic books, toys, decor and more, all to inspire and expand young muslims minds. Including one of our favourites, the Dua Pillow.

Keep an eye on the blog or subscribe to follow some of the cute Ramadan crafts I have planned over the next month!