Puppets Return To Books Beyond Words To Warm Your Hearts With More Isotainment

With an intense cold front expected to hit many parts of the country this weekend and lockdown rules still preventing children from visiting grandparents for hearty hugs, National Book Week’s Books Beyond Words is excited to once again present Margaret Auerbach of Spellbound Puppets who returns this weekend with another heartwarming story.

With rules still in place to tackle the spread of coronavirus, Spellbound Puppets and some of SA’s celebrated storytellers have been contributing to NBW’s efforts to keep children busy, entertained and informed while in lockdown, and, in most cases, bored. 

“Our stories have opened the window to a magical world where imagination can take children places, which are otherwise off limits due to the lockdown. Moreover, Books Beyond Words has given me a chance to connect with a larger audience as well as an opportunity to contribute in some way to encourage reading,” says Margaret.

This weekend’s show ‘The Magic Ball’ will take children on an exciting puppet adventure in the forest where they will meet Forget-me-Not and her friends and help Emily find the Magic Ball when it suddenly disappears.

The weekly event hosted by South Africa’s annual reading awareness week, National Book Week (NBW), dedicated to encouraging leisure reading and promoting the importance of books, has been inviting storytellers every weekend since the lockdown began in March for a live event to tell children an interesting story, including from their own books.


NBW is a joint initiative of the South African Book Development Council (SABDC) and The Department of Sports, Arts and Culture.

“Parenting in the pandemic has been difficult. In particular, the responsibility of home schooling, or ensuring that children are completing assigned schoolwork, is a significant challenge for all parents. Our storytellers have attempted to make lockdown weekends happy for parents as well,” says Elitha van der Sandt, CEO, South African Book Development Council.

“When the lockdown was first announced, we felt for the children. Restrictions on movement is hard to fathom even for adults and it was never going to be easy for children. Books Beyond Words is a “window” for children stuck at home without the fun and frolic of school and friends. The stories beamed directly into homes on Facebook gives children an unprecedented level of interactive contact with new characters and BFFs like Shmeezle.”

During the lockdown NBW came up with various approaches to tell stories through short videos, graphics, puppet shows and in sign and indigenous languages. Parents joining the live event for the first time this weekend can binge watch over five hours of extraordinary storytelling by some of South Africa’s finest raconteurs from previous weekends on Facebook.

Join us on Saturday 13 June 2020 at 11:00am on NBW’s Facebook page for another rib-tickling story. 

Book Beyond Words 13 June 2020

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