Storybooks South Africa is a website for teachers, parents, and community members that aims to promote bilingualism and multilingualism in South Africa. It makes 33 stories from the African Storybook available in the most widely spoken languages of South Africa. A story that is read in one language at school can be read in another language by parents and children at home. In this way, Storybooks South Africa helps children to maintain the mother tongue in both oral and print form, while learning one of South Africa’s official languages. Similarly, the audio versions of the stories can help beginning readers and language learners make the important connection between speech and text.
All 33 stories on the Storybooks South Africa website come from the African Storybook – a groundbreaking digital initiative of the South African organization Saide, which promotes literacy for African children. The African Storybook has hundreds of stories in multiple African languages, as well as English, French, and Portuguese. The stories are openly licensed, which allows the Storybooks South Africa team to repurpose them for a South African audience. We are very grateful to the African Storybook and Saide for making the stories freely available under an open license.
The 33 stories on this site have been selected and approved by Saide out of several hundred from the African Storybook, and cover a wide range of levels, lengths, and themes. There are traditional animal fables as well as contemporary stories about city life. Some stories cover serious topics like responsibility and gender equality. Others are just written to make you laugh. We hope that the universal values reflected in the stories will resonate with children across South Africa.
Storybooks South Africa has only been possible with the help of a large number of people, including translators, readers, proofreaders, and others who have been part of the process of making these stories available. We sincerely thank all contributors for their time and effort!