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Unisa Press

Seedlings: English Children’s Reading and Writers in South AfricaSeedlings: English Children’s Reading and Writers in South Africa

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Published by Unisa Press, First edition, First impression


Elwyn Jenkins





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South Africa: R 220(incl VAT) | Africa: R233 | USD: $ 31 | GBP: £22 | Euro: € 30


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About the book

Elwyn Jenkins’s three previous books about South African children’s literature in English have established him as an authority in the field. Seedlings is a collection of his essays from journals and magazines on South African topics not covered in his books and includes a new study of children’s verse of the first half of the twentieth century. Chapters include entertaining, broad-ranging discussions of familiar and obscure books and writers both past and present, placing them in national and international context. His historical studies provide new insights into the cultural history of English-speaking white South Africans. Two innovative chapters examine published collections of writing by young people from the apartheid era through to the present, ending with the testimonies of young refugees. He concludes with two chapters on researching South African children’s literature


Illustrations vi
Acknowledgements vii
Introduction 1
1 Sharing our stories: South African children’s literature in English 5
2 Reading outside the lines: peritext and authenticity in South African English children’s books 14
3 San tales – again 25
4 Lessons from the honey-guide 33
5 Charles Rawden Maclean, Baden-Powell, and Dinuzulu’s beads 42
6 Two English writers in South Africa: J.R.R. Tolkien and Rudyard Kipling 49
7 The Chronicles of Peach Grove Farm: an early South African children’s book by Nellie Fincher 58
8 Is Pauline Smith’s Platkops Children a children’s book? 70
9 The fall from grace of Kingsley Fairbridge 77
10 Cigarette card albums and patriotism 96
11 Cecil Shirley, author and illustrator of Little Veld Folk 102
12 “Some far siding”: South African English children’s verse in the first half of the twentieth century 108
13 Cross-cultural misreadings: MacCann and Maddy’s Apartheid and Racism revisited 132
14 Memories of social transition in Southern Africa: Unity Dow and Kagiso Lesego Molope 152
15 Visual design in collections of writing in English by South African children 160
16 Refugee stories: The Suitcase Stories and I am an African 173
17 Sources for research in South African children’s literature in English 182
18 A survey of research in South African children’s literature 190
References 203
Glossary 222
Index 224