wanda the brave

Author Sihle-isipho Nontshokweni’s ‘Wanda the Brave’
makes for perfect read-aloud fun with your child. Image: Jenna Solomon

Inspiring role model for kids ‘Wanda the Brave’ is back!

In the sequel to children’s book ‘Wanda’, acclaimed author Sihle-isipho Nontshokweni addresses consent and protest. 

wanda the brave

Author Sihle-isipho Nontshokweni’s ‘Wanda the Brave’
makes for perfect read-aloud fun with your child. Image: Jenna Solomon

Wanda has taken South Africa by storm since the first Wanda book was published in March 2021. In the sequel, Wanda the Brave, the little girl who has now learnt to love her natural hair, must fight to protect it.  It’s a lively and timely story that’s sure to delight both children and parents.

‘Wanda the Brave’: Synopsis

Wanda’s mother encourages her to be brave when she leaves Wanda at a children’s hairdresser. Wanda is excited to try out a new hairstyle, but the hairdresser, Aunty Ada, has her own ideas about what would suit Wanda. She jumps right in and begins to relax Wanda’s hair.

Unhappy and in pain, Wanda decides to take a stand alongside her two new friends.

What follows is an upbeat story about how children can stand up and speak out for their rights.

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Is ‘Wanda the Brave’ for the child in your life?

Wanda the Brave is ideal to be read aloud for young children. Early readers may struggle with some of the varied vocabulary and longer sentences. Children who are listening to the story, will enjoy the vivid pictures in the book. Each illustration depicts the scene in detail and most span over a double page.

There’s also some catchy rhyme and song to help grab children’s attention and make for read-aloud fun.

Wanda the Brave addresses the struggle to accept one’s natural hair. It’s to be applauded for highlighting and validating this ongoing dilemma children of colour have to face, and also shows children that it’s okay to speak out when one feels uncomfortable. 

The multilingualism in the book (isiXhosa phrases and the familiar Umzi Watsha song make a handful of appearances though the text is mostly in English) is also great. It reflects the linguistic diversity of our nation and validates the experiences of multilingual children.

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More about the author and illustrators

Wanda the Brave is the creation of Sihle-isipho Nontshokweni.

Nontshokweni’s previous book, Wanda, won the Skipping Stones Honor Award in 2021. Nontshokweni is a PhD candidate at KU Leuven, Bekgium, where she researches school desegregation in post-apartheid South Africa.

Wanda the Brave is brought to life by illustrators Chantelle and Burgen Thorne. The married couple who lives in KwaZulu-Natal, boast more than 25 years of experience in illustration.

Wanda the Brave is published by Jacana Media. It retails for R134 at Exclusive Books. Exclusive Books is hosting a Wanda the Brave-themed event at Cavendish Square on Saturday 25 June.