Children’s books written in English

Pumpkin Finds Her Queen

Pumpkin Pie was special, Pumpkin was a queen. But Pumpkin didn’t know just how special she was, it seemed. Pumpkin had a secret, something that made her sad. Pumpkin didn’t like her hair. She thought her curls were bad. Pumpkin Pie has a secret. She doesn’t like her hair at all! Her wild locks just won’t be tamed. She can’t hide her curly hair away either. Why can’t her hair just look like all her friends’ hair? But she soon discovers that her curly hair makes her unique…



My Hair

Will it be dreads or a twist out? Braids or a high-top fade? Joyous and vibrant, this captures perfectly the excitement of getting ready for a celebration, as well as showcasing a dazzling array of intricate hairstyles.

This is a glorious debut from an exciting new partnership that both emerged from the FAB Prize for undiscovered BAME writers and illustrators.


Mpumi's Magic Beads

Mpumi’s Magic Beads is a delightful story about friendship, self-esteem, discovery, and beautiful hair in the big city of Joburg. It follows the sudden adventures of Mpumi, Asante, and Tshiamo as they see the world around them from new heights and realise all of the fun waiting to be discovered outside of their classroom. This story is a great read for the whole family, especially children aged between 5 – 10 years old.


How Many Ways can you Say Hello?

Sara’s first day of school is full of surprises, but the biggest one of all is that she discovers she doesn’t understand what the other children are saying and she wonders how she will make friends. Her teacher encourages her to find out the many ways one can say hello. Language(s): English


Grandad Mandela

Seen through a child’s perspective, authored jointly by Nelson Mandela’s great-grandchildren and daughter, and published in collaboration with Mandela Legacy Media, this book brings Nelson Mandela’s incredible story alive for a new generation of children.



From Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o comes a powerful, moving picture book about colorism, self-esteem, and learning that true beauty comes from within.

Sulwe has skin the color of midnight. She is darker than everyone in her family. She is darker than anyone in her school. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey in the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything.

In this stunning debut picture book, actress Lupita Nyong’o creates a whimsical and heartwarming story to inspire children to see their own unique beauty.


Superhero Gran

All grandmothers are wonderful and the gran in this story is no exception. She might not lift buildings or go whooshing through the sky, but she can plan super sleepovers, tell super-funny stories and even put together super disguises. This gran really does have super powers!



Meet Wanda with her beautiful head of hair. She is brave and strong, but she’s unhappy because of the endless teasing by the boys at school. After a particularly hard day at school, feeling confused, forlorn, and hopeless, Wanda’s grandmother lets her in on a few secrets. Through these hair secrets and stories, she finds the courage to face her fears and realise that her hair is a crown and something to be proud of.

This book stands at the intersection of identity and beauty, celebrating how cultural pride is learned and passed on over the generations. This book encourages young children to love themselves for what they are born with, despite what society may say or think.


We are one

We may look different you and I, sound different, act different, eat different food, and live in different places but when I look into your eyes, I see myself. A comforting and lyrical book about friendship and ubuntu that celebrates both our differences and similarities. Language(s): English


Together we can!

The perfect picture book celebrating friendship, compassion, diversity, and togetherness in the world. Our friends are all different, but one thing is true, each one is quite precious and that includes YOU! Award-winning Caryl Hart and Ali Pye have created a beautifully fun-filled and vibrant picture book showing children forming friendships and displaying kindness and compassion. The perfect rhyming read-aloud with joyous illustrations, this book celebrates diversity and inclusivity throughout and highlights how important togetherness is in our world. Language(s): English


This love

It doesn’t matter who you are, join hands and stand up tall. Love is a special language that’s understood by all. This timeless book shows that love is a common language with the power to unite, wherever you come from. Language(s): English


Mr Hare meets Mr Mandela

Mr Hare finds a R200 note on his doorstep. When he turns the note over he sees Mr Mandela’s face and decides to brave the big city of Johannesburg to return it to Mr Mandela. But Mr Hare cannot read and he comes across many people along the way who want to get their hands on Mr Mandela’s money. Mr Hare also cannot work out why the note keeps changing colour! Language(s): English


Nelson Mandela Long Walk to Freedom

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela is the amazing story of a true hero of our times; his famous biography has been specially adapted for children in a beautiful illustrated picture book format. Discover how a little boy whose father called him “troublemaker” grew up to fight apartheid, become South Africa’s first black president and campaign for freedom and justice throughout the world. Adapted by poet Chris van Wyk and illustrated by South African artist Paddy Bouma, with an introduction from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Long Walk to Freedom introduces children to the life of one of the world’s most beloved leaders. Language(s): English


Hair love

Based on the Oscar winning short film! It’s up to Daddy to give his daughter an extra-special hair style in this story of self-confidence and the love between fathers and daughters. Zuri knows her hair is beautiful, but it has a mind of its own! It kinks, coils, and curls every which way. Mum always does Zuri’s hair just the way she likes it – so when Daddy steps in to style it for an extra special occasion, he has a lot to learn. But he LOVES his Zuri, and he’ll do anything to make her – and her hair – happy. Tender and empowering, Hair Love is an ode to loving your natural hair – and a celebration of daddies and daughters everywhere. Language(s): English


Perfectly different

This delightful tale, written in rhyme, is of a little boy asking his mother a series of questions about why all his friends are so different – in appearance and character. Each time his mother explains that they are all as beautiful and wonderful as one another, and perfect as they are. The subtle message is that we should embrace individuality and respect difference. Complementing the story are bright and charming illustrations from Sinan el Hallak, showing children of various genders, ethnicity and styles of dress and behaviour. Language(s): English


Skin we are in

When we meet someone, one of the things we notice is the colour of their skin. But what can someone’s skin colour tell us about them? Despite what some people say, your skin means very little! Inside we’re all the same. This book discovers why humans have different skins, and how people’s thinking has changed. Language(s): English


I have brown skin and curly hair

Everyone in this family looks different. Dad is tall and dark. Mum has light brown hair with green eyes. Some of the children have straight hair; others have curls. People regard them curiously until, one day, one of the children musters the courage to speak up proudly about her identity after she learns where she comes from and why she looks different. This rhyming picture book is about the identity crises many children face when they look different from their family members. Language(s): English


Chocolate me

A boy is teased for looking different than the other kids. His skin is darker, his hair curlier. He tells his mother he wishes he could be more like everyone else. And she helps him to see how beautiful he really, truly is. Language(s): English


Mpumi and Jabu's Magical Day!

There’s magic in the air as Mpumi and Jabu play. They sign and laugh, as they become friends. “Oh what fun!” they say. A story of friendship between a hearing girl and a deaf boy. Learning different modes/languages in order to communicate effectively. Language(s): English


The girl without a sound

As an act of restoring power and agency to young black girls in South Africa, this is a story about a voiceless girl of colour in search of a sound of her own. It provides a catalyst to remind young Readers of the power of the sounds trapped inside them. A magical story about a little girl who finds her voice after a long period of silence. Language(s): English


The girls

Four little girls meet under an apple tree and form a bond that grows as they share secrets, dreams, worries and schemes. This beautifully illustrated tale charts the girls’ lives through ups and downs and laughter and tears. Find out how their friendship flourishes as the years pass by and the girls become women. Language(s): English


Nelly and Sam Beletha

This story is about a little boy Sam and his wonderful, creative and inspiring nanny Nelly. Nelly shares ideas, local history, tradition and culture with Sam. She brings a bit of her world, words and heart into his. Sam in turn, does what all little boys do – he happily joins in the adventure. This particular story revolves around the idea of beletha – the Zulu word for carrying something on your back. By taking their dinosaurs for a picnic, Nelly teaches Sam the art of beletha and Sam comes to see that his little life is one worth carrying. This is a story of innocence, love and care that connects us across backgrounds. Language(s): English


That's my Daddy!

Daddies are brilliant! But what’s so special about yours? Is he happy, noisy and full of fun? Are his feet ginormous or really smelly? Is he a spaceman, a builder, or does he stay at home and look after you? Language(s): English

Yes Yanga!

Yanga is the 3 Tins champion in his community. His life changes completely when his 3 Tins skills are channeled into cricket. Watch Yanga’s crazy talent as it takes him from local school team to the global sporting stage as one of the stars of the South African Cricket World Cup team. Language(s): English


My two Grandads

Aston’s Grandad Roy played in a steel band and Grandad Harry played the trumpet in a brass band. Aston always enjoyed going to visit them and listen to them practise. But soon he wanted to join in. So he asked Grandad Roy to teach him to play the steel drums and then he asked Grandad Harry to teach him to play the trumpet. He loved practising both instruments. Then the school needs a band to play at the school fair, and both grandads want their own band to play. Finaly Aston had an idea – both bands join together to make one big band, and Aston joins in first on steel drums and then on trumpet. This delightful story of a mixed-race family reconciling their very different cultures is a wonderful celebration of diverse cultures. Language(s): English


Here and there

A young boy experiences the early stages of his parents’ separation and finds hope in the beauty and music of nature. This tale of personal growth provides a much-needed mirror for children in times of change and an important reminder for all that there’s beauty everywhere. Language(s): English


The South African alphabet

The South African Alphabet is not your typical ‘ABC’ book for children. It has been splendidly illustrated by Alex Latimer with illustrations on subjects unique to South Africa. Language(s): English


All are welcome

Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcome. A school where children in patkas, hijabs, baseball caps and yarmulkes play side by side. A school where students grow and learn from each other’s traditions. A school where diversity is a strength. Language(s): English


Molly mischief saves the world

Molly is a superhero. She’s super-speedy, super-strong and has laser vision. She’s Super Molly! And with great powers comes great mischief! Molly’s super powers help her to complete her chores in record time, lift the family car over all the traffic jams, rescue a stranded whale, capture criminals in the big city, and save the world from an asteroid. But will Molly finally want to go back to her old life after all that super action? Language(s): English


How lion got his roar

The other animals had no warning of danger where he was out hunting. A big meeting was called to try and solve this problem. The animals made various suggestions but none were acceptable. Then Nogwaja, the crafty Hare, came up with a clever idea. And this how it came about that today Lion has the mighty roar that befits the king of the beasts! Language(s): English


What others say

Magudulela Family


Magudulela Family

“Our family has truly enjoyed exploring each page as our children finally learn their home languages. We truly thank Origins Publishers for creating products that make learning fun for our whole family.”

Ashleigh Rautenbach


Ashleigh Rautenbach

“Origins Publishers has finally made learning new languages accessible and possible. I grew up speaking isiZulu as a child, and now I can teach my son how as well, with greater confidence because of the bilingual format”.

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