Alex Latimer’s illustrations for JUST SO STORIES

How did the leopard get his spots?

Why do cats act as though they own the place?

What does a crocodile like best for lunch?

Why are rhinos so cranky?

What causes the ocean tides to rise and fall?

Who wrote the alphabet?

Just So Stories

Generations of children have grown up with the Just So Stories and have been captivated by Rudyard Kipling’s wonderful insights into the world around us – all delivered in his mesmerising, read-aloud prose.

Now these classic gems have been given a new look for a new generation. Illustrated by South African children’s book author Alex Latimer - each story comes alive with his own insights and humour.

Children are going to LOVE this book!

About RUDYARD KIPLING                       

Rudyard KiplingJoseph Rudyard Kipling (December 30, 1865 – January 18, 1936) was an English author and poet, born in Bombay, British India, and best known for his works The Jungle Book (1894), The Second Jungle Book (1895), Just So Stories (1902), and Puck of Pook’s Hill (1906); his novel, Kim (1901); his poems, including Mandalay (1890), Gunga Din (1890), If— (1910) and Ulster 1912 (1912); and his many short stories, including The Man Who Would Be King (1888) and the collections Life’s Handicap (1891), The Day’s Work (1898), and Plain Tales from the Hills (1888).

He is regarded as a major “innovator in the art of the short story”; his children’s books are enduring classics of children’s literature; and his best works speak to a versatile and luminous narrative gift. In 1907, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, making him the first English language writer to receive the prize, and he remains its youngest-ever recipient.


Alex LatimerAlex Latimer is a South African illustrator. He is the author of five picture books, The Boy Who Cried Ninja, Penguin’s Hidden Talent, The South African Alphabet(English and Afrikaans), From Aardvark to Zumaand Lion vs Rabbit. He lives in Cape Town.

Visit Alex Latimer’s blog at and follow him on Twitter @almaxlat.

  • Published by Puffin, Penguin Books South Africa
  • ISBN: 9780143538141



MampoerShort – Quiet Maverick: Tim Noakes Chews the Fat

Tim Noakes Chews the FatEveryone loved Tim Noakes, the superstar of South African sports medicine – until he lost 18 kg, an experience he used to challenge what the experts are saying about food and dieting. Is Noakes right? If so, why do other scientists hate him so much?

Noakes wrote a book last year, Challenging Beliefs, which argued that the dangers of fats are overly exaggerated; that the belief that coronary heart disease is caused by a high-fat diet is based on incomplete and sometimes flimsy research; that conventional dietary advice does more harm than good and contributes to obesity and associated illnesses.

The book was a best seller and changed the lifestyles of many. But it also caused outrage in medical circles, with petitions from prominent practitioners circulated to newspapers, warning against the dangers of taking Noakes seriously. Did Noakes get it wrong?

In the MampoerShort, Quiet Maverick: Tim Noakes Chews the Fat, science writer DARYL ILBURY investigates a man who has made invaluable contributions to sports science here and abroad, but has never been shy to stir controversy. Ilbury talks to Noakes, to World Cup winning rugby coach Jake White, to extreme sportsman Lewis Pugh and sports author Michael Vlismas to find out why this quiet maverick has risked his reputation and academic foothold. Ilbury also explains why this controversy is so complex… and why the outcome matters so much to us all. 

Daryl Ilbury - PhotoDARYL ILBURY is a former award-winning senior broadcaster and media analyst, now a journalist and regular opinion-editorial columnist with over 250 articles published in a number of leading titles including Financial Times, Sunday Times, Saturday Star, Business Day, Mail & Guardian,, Sunday Tribune, and Leadership magazine.


  • TITLE: Quiet Maverick: Tim Noakes Chews the Fat
  • AUTHOR: Daryl Ilbury
  • LENGTH: 13 900 words
  • READING TIME: ± 120 minutes
  • ISBN: 9780992190279
  • PRICE: $2.99 (at today’s exchange rate, the 27th of April ’13), about R27-25 each)
  • URL Link:



Exclusive Books Homebru 2013

Homebru 2013 CampaignThe Exclusive Books Homebru 2013 campaign – Unique Perspectives on South Africa - will take place in stores from 26 April to 21 June 2013. Homebru is a popular, well-loved and widely inclusive campaign that has launched the careers of several South African writers and has added another voice to the streets, plains and vistas of this complex and multi-cultural country.

Exclusive Books has put together a wonderful selection of unique South African perspectives in this year’s campaign. Each book offers some insight into the complex history and landscape of South Africa, contributing to the growing canon of fiction and non-fiction. Books investigating local history such as The Great Trek Uncut by Robin Binckes and Concentration Camps of the Anglo-Boer War: A Social History by Elizabeth van Heyningen stand side-by-side with a juxtaposed new South Africa in Drug Muled – The Vanessa Goosen Story by Joanne Joseph and The Things That Could Not Be Said by Frank Chikane.

A variety of Afrikaans titles are also available as part of the Homebru selection. The Afrikaans version, Dwelmslagoffer – Die Vanessa Goosen Verhaal by Joanne Joseph, Wolf, Wolf by Eben Venter (also available in English), Brand Pretorius – Aan Die Stuur by Brand Pretorius (also available in English), Man Van Min Belang by Chris Karsten, So Was Dit by Johan van Wyk, Vegter & Balling by Chris Schoeman, and Karretjiemense by Carol Campbell (also available in English) are excellent new reads in this category.

Tony Leon’s Accidental Ambassador, Nelson Mandela’s No Easy Walk to Freedom, The Great African Society by Hlumelo Biko and When Hope and History Rhyme by Amina Cachalia give a glimpse into the thoughts of some of the country’s most recognizable political thinkers. At the Fireside by Roger Webster is a brand new volume of fireside tales of people and events that have shaped our remarkable country.

Heart, Mind & Money: Using Emotional Intelligence for Financial Success by Vangile Makwakwa is a fascinating study of the link between emotions, behaviour and money designed to give you financial freedom. I’m Missing News by Katy Katopodis, the head of Eyewitness News, is an account of the pressures that see her delicately attempting to balance her dual roles as an Editor and as a mother.

Lampedusa Pie by Andrea Burgener is an irresistibly quirky collection of recipes from the famous Lampedusa pie, to roast chicken with bread sauce and Sri Lankan potato and mustard curry. Confessions of a Hungry Woman by Sam Woulidge is a compilation of 45 columns previously published in Taste magazine and a celebration of fourteen of Sam’s foodie friends. She Left Me the Gun by Emma Brockes is a narrative non-fiction of a woman’s struggle to escape her abusive father, as discovered by her daughter after her death.

The Homebru collection also includes several acclaimed fiction titles: The Spiral House by Claire Robertson, Rumours by Mongane Wally Serote, Sister-Sister by Rachel Zadok, A Hill of Fools by Mtutuzeli Nyoka, Way Back Home by Niq Mhlongo and The Imagined Child by Jo-Anne Richards.

“Homebru is such an important local campaign for Exclusive Books as a brand and also for South Africa’s  literary scene,” says Rene Brophy, Marketing and Publicity Manager at Exclusive Books. “It is our opportunity to reflect on the country and celebrate incredible local talent, both old and new. Homebru is a collection of great South African books by great South African authors”. 

Fanatics can earn bonus points to the value of R20 on every Homebru title. Visit your nearest Exclusive Books store or shop online at in order to experience these unique perspectives on South Africa.


Walk Me Home by Catherine Ryan Hyde


Carly and her little sister Jen are walking. Something terrible has happened. Something that has left Carly in charge, her faith in humanity shattered. She knows they need help. But she is terrified of her sister being taken away from her. All they have is each other.

Carly wants them to find their way back to the last person she knew she could trust – their stepfather. But Jen holds a secret about him which, if she’s telling the truth, will put them both at far more risk than they could imagine.

And so begins a journey, across hundreds of miles, which neither girl could have anticipated. It isn’t an easy one, and is often dangerous. But along the way they are also confronted with the unexpected kindness of strangers. And ultimately, should they choose to accept it, some new relationships that hold the potential to change everything…

About the Author

catherine ryan hyde

Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of more than 14 novels including Pay it Forward (which was made into a feature film starring Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt), Love in the Present Tense (a Richard & Judy Book Club bestseller), Chasing WindmillsWhen I Found You and Second Hand Heart. Catherine lives in a small town in California.

You can visit Catherine’s website -

Follow her on Twitter HERE

View her Facebook HERE

International Earth Day 2013


Today, we celebrate International Earth Day, with the focus on people, animals and places affected by climate change – and of those stepping up to do something about it.

Our air is polluted, our temperatures are rising and resources are dwindling. Everyone is talking about the dire state of the planet, global warming and greening their lives, but where do you start?

Going Green is THE book to set you on a greener path.


South Africa’s favourite weatherman Simon Gear has a solution: 365 easy-to-implement tips to help you make your world a greener place, one day at a time. This tried and tested advice is a perfect beginner’s guide to help you decrease your carbon footprint and make your environment more sustainable.

From the incredibly easy:

  • brew coffee from home (saves you time, money and a couple of trees);
  • take the stairs (and cut your chance of dying young by 15%);
  • to the intrepid and exciting: make your own wine (any sugary liquid that has been left to go off then strained to get rid of the floaty bits);
  • ride a motorbike (to get that debonair aura of bikers everywhere).

About the Author


Simon Gear is one of South Africa’s leading climatologists and is a national authority on global warming and green issues. He has become a household name in SA as the weatherman on SABC 3. He also presents the weather and gives green advice on Talk Radio 702. His book Going Green: 365 Ways to Change Our World features practical and easy to implement ideas and offers one tip for every day of the year.

Like Simon on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

I’m Missing News – Katy Katopodis

Any working mother can identify with the constant juggle of career and children, but when your business is bringing breaking news to the world, the pressures you find yourself under can be extreme.


Katy Katopodis,head of Eyewitness News, shares the stories and pressures that see her delicately attempting to balance her dual roles as “Editor Katy” and “Mommy Katerina”, often with distinctly entertaining and stressful results.

Katy has also canvassed the views and perspectives of other women who work in the media spotlight and includes their anecdotes and often moving commentary in the course of her own story.

These women contributors are:

  • Aspasia Karas
  • Debbie Yazbek
  • Devi Sankaree Govender
  • Iman Rappetti
  • Jenny Crwys Williams
  • Kate Turkington
  • Neo Ntsoma
  • Nikiwe Bikitsha
  • Petra Krost Maunder
  • Pippa Green
  • Robyn Curnow
  • Rosemary Church
  • Sophie Mokoena
  • Vanessa Raphaely

About the Author


Katy has been working with Primedia since 1996 and with Talk Radio 702 since 1997. She is an accomplished radio journalist and investigative reporter as well as a motivational speaker and media trainer. She has been the Editor-in-Chief of Eyewitness News since August 2001.

You can follow Katy on Twitter HERE

Dancing in Other Words Poetry Festival


Dancing in Other Words / Die Dansende Digtersfees is an international poetry festival, curated by Breyten Breytenbach, that will take place at Spier, outside Stellenbosch, on Friday 10 and Saturday 11 May 2013.

Eleven poets, each internationally renowned in their own right, will gather at Spier on 6 May, for one week, to explore poetry’s age-old function as “the dreaming vein in the body of society”.

The group includes Nobel Prize frontrunners, political dissidents, activists and award-winning literary figures from South Africa, the Republic of Korea, China, the USA, Germany, Holland, Slovenia and Israel.

The poets:

For booking enquiries, phone Spier at 021 809 1100/ 021 809 1946, during office hours, Monday to Friday, or email


Launch Invitation – Toni Strasburg’s FRACTURED LIVES

Fractured Lives, written by Toni StrasburgToni Strasburg is launching her memoir, Fractured Lives, which tells of her experiences as a documentary filmmaker covering the wars in southern Africa during the 1980s and 1990s, at Love Books on the 8th of May 2013 (17h30 for 18h00).

If you live in Johannesburg go along to the launch, where Toni will be in conversation with Hamilton Wende.

Book Launch invitation for Fractured Lives, by Toni Strasburg

Click on the image to see details clearly

Tony Leon – The Accidental Ambassador: From Parliament to Patagonia

About the Book


The Accidental Ambassador follows on from Tony’s autobiography On the Contrary: Leading the Opposition in a Democratic South Africa (2008) and showcases his wit and sense of humour as he takes the reader on the journey of his retirement from active political life and into public service as the South African ambassador to Argentina.

From Tony’s “Job Interview” with Jacob Zuma in Tuynhuis in 2008, to his immersion in governmental bureaucracy and a three-week crash course on “How to be an Ambassador”, to the strange stance and contradictions of South African foreign policy and life in Argentina, he shares with the reader his entertaining experiences of cultural immersion, comical anecdotes and political reflection. It provides great insight into the behind-the-scenes life of an ambassador.

About Tony Leon


Until recently, Tony Leon was the South African Ambassador to Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. Prior to this appointment he was the leader of the opposition in the parliament of South Africa and of the Democratic Alliance, in addition to being an attorney of the High Court in South Africa and a former lecturer in Law at the University of the Witwatersrand. He currently writes a weekly column in Business Day, delivers lectures and speeches to CEOs (via Future World and other platforms) and is establishing a consultancy to promote business between Africa and South America.

View Tony’s Twitter page HERE

View Tony’s Facebook page HERE

Published by Picador Africa, Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 9781770102415

Review of Stepping Out, written by Steven Boykey Sidley

Book cover for Stepping Out, written by Steven Boykey SidleyHave you ever thought to yourself, ‘Surely there is more to life than this?’ Meet Harold Cummings, the protagonist in Steven Boykey Sidley’s new book Stepping Out, who is asking that exact same question.  He has always lived on the straight and narrow path, and has never deviated by a step onto the ‘dark road’.  He is now retired, and on reflection of his life so far, he comes to two conclusions:  He is BORED!  He is BORING!

What was it all for, this living an honest, cautious and prudent life? What are his rewards?

Harold slowly starts to slide into self-destruction. And the perfect opportunity to start doing uncharacteristic things happens when his wife Millie leaves town for a couple of weeks, to look after her ailing sister.

Chapter 7 of Stepping Out had me bellowing with laughter – Harold has just dropped Millie off at the airport, and for the very first time visits a bar (still in the airport building), on his own. What transpires at the bar had me yelling in my head, and rooting for him, ‘You go Harold!  Do something that makes the adrenaline course through your body!’

But in retrospect, those weren’t wise words to be yelling to Harold.  Once he dips his toe into ‘murkiness’ there is just no stopping him.  Before you know it he is drinking too much, tries drugs for the first time, has a sexual experience with a hooker, has fisticuffs with the hooker’s pimp, and becomes entangled in the abduction of the hooker’s child.

Harold is then forced to confront his demons head on and he must find the means to reverse what he has done, and rediscover grace by making some hard choices.

When I started reading Stepping Out I thought Millie, Harold’s wife, was one of the most mindless characters I had ever read about, and by the end of the book I had a new-found respect for her. And as for Millie’s spinster sister, there is a chapter where I guffawed with laughter when she regaled certain episodes of her past with Mille – just too delightful.

Read this book, and you will experience many unexpected delights.Highly recommended.

Click HERE to visit Steven Boykey Sidley’s website.

Stepping Out is published by Picador Africa (ISBN 9781770102859).