South Africa, the Culture


32 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Index
ISBN 0-86505-317-0
DDC j968.05




Reviewed by Deborah Dowson

Deborah Dowson is a Canadian children’s librarian in North Wales,


The Lands, Peoples, and Cultures Series has an established presence in
most elementary-level children’s collections. The colorful covers and
eye-catching photographs are the hallmarks of these attractive books and
ensure they won’t sit idle on the shelves.

South Africa, the Land begins with stunning imagery, a description of
natural land forms, and a map of the country. The next chapter, which
seems a little out of context, describes the history of the people and
apartheid. Other chapters focus on cities, animals, plant life, farming,
transportation, and industry. The final chapter looks at environmental
issues. The text offers concise, essential information that is
appropriate for the target audience.

South Africa, the People offers a brief overview of the settlement of
the diverse peoples that make up the country’s population. The history
of apartheid and its consequences are expressed in the most basic terms,
but with sensitivity and optimism for the future. The book gives an
impression of typical life in a city, a traditional village, and a

Diversity is emphasized in South Africa, the Culture. From beliefs and
food to traditions and language—all of the country’s diverse
expressions of culture are explored. In addition to these descriptive
passages, the book includes a few interactive activities, such as how to
make the click noise that is heard in some South African languages.

All books in the series share the same format: chapters are divided
into distinct topics that are discussed in brief paragraphs, with
difficult or unusual words highlighted in bold type and defined in a
glossary. The books have handled the issues of apartheid and diversity
particularly well. Recommended.


Clark, Domini., “South Africa, the Culture,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 22, 2024,