KID LIT WEEK: The Dear Human Series by Chris Bee
This week we chatted about children’s books and reading to our kids. With that, we also assembled the Author Avengers – four local women who have taken the bull by the proverbial horns and are kicking ass in all sorts of wonderful ways. These sisters have done it for themselves, quite literally. They’re all self-published authors and continue to make significant strides across South Africa’s kid lit scene (and beyond!).
Our fourth and final Avenger is none other than Christine Bernard, otherwise known as Chris Bee (for the kiddos).
Christine is a Cape-Town-based author with an obsession for good coffee, good wine (check, check), books (triple check) and guinea pigs (we’ll accept). She's also a graphic and layout designer who illustrates on the side, but she's happiest when writing. She enjoys writing mystery/suspense and contemporary fiction (hello, holiday mom reads!) and just this month she launched her new series of books for kids, ‘Dear Human’.
Folks, this amazing lady is our people. We haven’t met her yet but, when we do, we’re giving her a massive high-five and a ten-minute hug.
Christine’s ‘Dear Human’ series of children’s books encompasses loveletters from animals to their humans. The first two books in the series, ‘Love Dog’ and ‘Love Cat’ have just this week hit the shelves and, while these books are perfect for all animal lovers, those with dogs and/or cats will absolutely adore them.
‘Dear Human, Love Cat’ and ‘Dear Human, Love Dog’ not only gave The Great Equalizer team a good giggle, but also legit brought a tear to the eye. These books are so endearing and offer a gentle reminder about the important things in life.
These 36-page stunners are available as ebooks, paperback or hardcover through Amazon, or you can buy paperbacks directly through Christine. Each book retails for R140, but you pay just R120 for every extra book you buy from Christine. She’ll charge R50 courier to anywhere in South Africa for up to 10 books.
Of course, that’s not all. ‘Dear Human, Love Guinea Pig’ and ‘Dear Human, Love Rabbit’ will be out in the new year. Sign up to receive Christine’s newsletter and be the first to know when a new release hits the shelves. PLUS, if you’ve got an animal that you’d love to see featured in the series, just pop Christine an email with your suggestion. This lady loves feedback as much as we do ;-)
As if that’s not enough, Christine is giving away a copy of each ‘Dear Human’ book (‘Love Dog’ and ‘Love Cat’) to one luck listener.
Here’s what you need to do to enter the competition: check out our social media (Facebook or Instagram) and comment on the post about the ‘Dear Human’ series. We want to hear about your furbabies! So hit us up with a love letter of your own to your pet. It can be short or long, we’re not fussy. They were your babies before you had babies, so let’s give them all a big fat shout out!
While we wait for you to spread some fur baby love, here’s a pic of the third member of Great Equalizer , our sound engineer, FeeBee.
More with Christine (an author Q&A):
What made you want to write a children’s book?
Children have a different way of looking at their surroundings, and I have always wanted to be a part of that imaginative world. Also, do we ever truly grow up? The first books I ever wrote were children's books, however I made the decision later on to write adult fiction, and those stories remained hidden on my computer. Now that I am slowly starting to get more established as a writer, I'm ready to launch my children's books. I am starting off with picture books, but I have a few for slightly older kids coming out too. It's exciting to get into the mind of readers of all ages.
What was your favourite book growing up?
I loved all the Famous Five books. I've actually decided to buy the set and reread them all over.
In the age of iPads, Netflix and fast-paced parenting, how would you ensure / do you ensure that your kids become keen readers?
I don't have my own children yet (do my guinea pigs count as kids? I think they do), but when I do, I would like to instill in them the same sort of excitement for books that my mom gave to me. She made reading fun, and I always felt like I was going on an adventure. I don't think it matters that most books can now be downloaded. What matters most is the story, not the format.
Name a must-have picture book, other than your own, that you would recommend to anyone.
Megan Andrews, a local author, just wrote a book called ‘Henry’, and I was lucky enough to see it in it's early stages. She's a fantastic storyteller, and one of my all-time favourite artists, so I think she's one to look out for.
We see you, and we salute you.
You are doing a fab f**ing job.