Local books for your Christmas Library

Icelanders have a beautiful tradition of giving books to each other on Christmas Eve and then spending the night reading. This custom is so deeply ingrained in the culture that it is the reason for the Jolabokaflod, or “Christmas Book Flood,” when the majority of books in Iceland are sold between September and December in preparation for Christmas giving.


When I was a child, I read the whole children’s section of the library and was eager for when I would turn 12 and be able to read more books in the Older Section. I love reading but as an adult, with many responsibilities, my reading time has been reduced and I don’t get to read as much anymore. When my daughter was young, we would read to her every night, and now she loves to read too. Reading can transport you to anywhere you want to go to. It gives insight and clarity. It is a wonderful thing to be able to read and a blessing to love to read.

Recently, I shared a video on Social Media. It spoke about a test done on trees where they were essentially given their form of adrenalin so they never ‘wintered’. These trees, that normally last 100 years, only lasted 1 year. I tried to find the original study, but I haven’t as yet. However, this concept is important. We all need some down time where we can rest and refresh ourselves. Reading is a brilliant way to do this!

Research suggests reading may help:

  • Ease stress. If worries and other emotional distress keeps you lying awake long past your bedtime, picking up a book could make a difference.
  • Improve sleep quality. A 2021 online study. . .asked 496 participants to read a book in bed before sleeping and 496 participants to not read a book before sleeping. After a week, 42 percent of the readers felt their sleep improved.
  • Relieve insomnia. Regularly getting too little sleep can have a major impact on your physical and emotional well-being. But reading, when combined with insomnia treatment, could help decrease cognitive arousal — or “de-stimulate” your brain — before bed.
  • Promote longer sleep duration. Maybe you don’t have trouble falling asleep, but you rarely get a full night of sleep. . .reading for a short time before bed may help you stay asleep longer.


Local Authors

Willow Trading SA sell and distribute books in South Africa by South African Authors. Support local Authors while also finding the perfect gifts for your family. Let’s give our families the gift of rest! Here are a selection of books which you should check out!

Such a cute book with a sweet story by Bridget Johnson. Follow Victor on his many adventures! This book is the perfect gift for the little people in your life!

Set on a farm in KwaZulu-Natal, readers are able to relate to Victor easily and share in the author’s fascination with aardvarks—nocturnal burrowing mammals that live only in sub-Saharan Africa. The Afrikaans name ‘aardvark’ translates to ‘earth pig’. The sweet illustrations throughout the book help young readers to be entertained and inspired by these stories of a brave little fellow.

This range of books is wonderful! It is available in 7 South African languages and teaches important lessons. These books are great for children aged 9-13 and would be great gifts for your tweens or to donate to a local school.

Ayanda learns how the company you keep influences your choices. Making wise decisions helps form your character and sets a clear example to your peers.

This book is the perfect gift for kids age 5 – 8 and the illustrations will keep them engaged while reading! This book is available in 11 local languages!

Sammy the sea star is a new, fun and exciting children’s book character who will be indulging us with his escapades in the ocean. Sammy will be telling us about the fantastic and interesting lives that our marine animals live and highlighting the dangers that the sea creatures face every day from humans.

These books will prepare your child for grade 0 & 1 and are available in 11 South African languages.

A uniquely South African way of preparing pre-school learners for the learning they will encounter in Grade1and beyond. Perfect for reading and learning at the library, in the classroom and at home.

Thembi goes on a lot of adventures; let your child explore the aquarium, learn more about lions and rhinos, and visit local gardens with Thembi and Themba. These books are great for tweens and come in 6 or 7 South African languages!

Manichand Beharilalis is the bestselling author of the highly acclaimed THEMBI AND THEMBA BOOKS and co-author of the AYANDA BOOKS. He also co-writes the LEARN TO READ – READ TO LEARN books in an African context for the proudly African children.

I love this book because it speaks about an area local to where we live and it is so sweet! The illustrations will keep kids turning the pages.

A Penguin Called Dave and How the Day Was Saved is a rhyming children’s story for kids of all ages, set in Boulders Beach, Cape Town, South Africa and featuring real animals and wildlife from the natural ecosystem.

These books are amazing! There is so much in each book that you almost can’t believe it! They are perfect for family who don’t live in Cape Town, or South Africa, anymore and would like to have a piece of home.

This series of four titles takes the reader on a remarkable journey through our beautiful country, uncovering as it goes, the rich tapestry of culinary creativity introduced by the different people that make up South Africa’s extraordinary gastronomic history. Jam packed with stories and recipes this box set is ideal for tourists as well as locals.

This is a book for your best friend! It is wonderfully written and will keep you entertained for hours while also providing a lot of food for thought!

Here is a book, written by a real parent, about real situations and topics that kids face, and how to turn those into growth points for our kids.Using stories and situations from her own life with her two sons, a humorous style, and a firm biblical grounding; Kona offerswisdom and insight that any parent can apply in a practical way every single day. Perfect for parents of kids between the ages of 8 – 16.

Precious Gems, are like Family Treasures. This book is a wonderful read about a mother navigating her way through her daughter’s rare illness. A superb gift to give to another mom 💕.

Gemma bravely fought a rare illness called Congenital Hyperinsulinism. She gained her angel wings on the 14th of March 2021. Her mother Debbie discovered writing as a form of therapy whilst blogging (about) Gemma’s journey. This book keeps Gemma’s legacy alive.

Making Hotdogs? Definitely a quirky book and name but I am thoroughly enjoying reading it. If you are a woman in business, this is a book you will enjoy and relate to on so many levels!

Making Hotdogs is not your normal business book. As much as it is a guide, it is also an intimate look at the life of Samantha Hogg and what it is really like to be in the PR industry, as well as what it has taken her to get to where she is!

This book is a trip down memory lane about PR, entrepreneurship, single parenthood and overcoming life’s challenges and stumbling blocks, while finding time to laugh, love and learn to believe in yourself.

This book will help you to become more authentically you and teach you to be gentle on yourself while also ensuring that you make the changes you need to make in your life.

Reading this book feels like a wise, loving friend is speaking directly to you. Packed with intimate stories from the author’s psychotherapy practice and life. This book is multi-media rich with links to video meditations, downloadable exercises, chapter summaries, and checklists that support your process of transformation.


We are giving away a selection of books from local authors! If you enter here or below by commenting and telling us what your favourite gift guide items/books are, you could stand a chance to win these wonderful books plus many more prizes which will be revealed in the next month!

Please note general competition rules apply.

Visit Willow Trading SA on Facebook to hear about more new, local books and authors! You can also visit their website: www.willowtradingsa.co.za.

All the books we have mentioned are also available from local bookshops like Exclusive Books, Bargain Books and Wordsworth Books.

4 responses to “Local books for your Christmas Library”

  1. Terri-lee Falken Avatar
    Terri-lee Falken

    I love these book choices and what an amazing selection for the whole family

  2. Doria Cucciolillo Avatar
    Doria Cucciolillo

    I love this selection of books, particularly the one “If you loved yourself, what would you do now?”.

  3. Genevieve Simpson Avatar
    Genevieve Simpson

    These books look wonderful, and books always form part of our Christmas gifts. As my children are getting older now (9 to 13), I think The Mommy Diaries looks fun and useful.

  4. The mommy diaries looks lovely. Love all of these educational and enlightening.

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