My First Book Of Southern African Insects Book Review

Book Review: My First Book of Southern African Insects

About two weeks ago we went into one of the Outdoor Warehouse stores in Pretoria. They had a large display of books right by the door as you enter the store and my youngest zoomed into the first book that caught her eye – My First Book Of Southern African Insects.

Now I’ve written before about how my kids are really bad with books, one of my first blog posts in fact – They Break Books! Now I do have to confess I am really bad at reading to them. I actually hate it *gasp*. I can’t stand the millions of questions, having to reread pages and then they fight over who’s holding one corner or turning the page. It’s just exhausting for me. Cue major mommy guilts – yes yes, just another reason why I’m a bad mother.

That said, they are absolutely loving this book.

They are absorbing the information like sponges. They are even able to identify bugs around them and then they run to the book to find the right page. All without my help, completely unassisted. I’m so proud of them. I’m even more happy that they are loving a book that is actually teaching them something useful and educational.

Their current favourite insect from the book is the Bagworm – a hideous looking caterpillar.


The book is written by Charmaine Uys and beautifully illustrated by Sally MacLarty. It describes and illustrates 58 species of insects most likely to be encountered in Southern Africa.

Each page has the following details on it:

  • The name of the insect
  • A large colourful picture of the insect
  • An illustrated table of information showing when you are likely to see the bug (day or night); what it eats (plants, other animals, etc); and the approximate size of it when compared with an actual match stick.
  • The best part is the short concise information and description of each insect. All of which is given in English, Afrikaans, Zulu and Xhosa – how great is that?

Where To Buy The Book

The book was published by Struik Nature (an imprint of Penguin Random House (Pty) Ltd)

It retails from Outdoor Warehouse for R100.00, but I see the ebook version is available for purchase online too. Takealot is selling them for R76.

My First Book Of Southern African Insects is also available for download on Amazon Kindle for £2.99.

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for the perfect book for kids to give them useful and interesting information about Southern African Insects, then this is the one to buy. This book is perfect if your children are curious and interested in creepy crawlies, bugs and insects. I will definitely be investing in the other books in this series.

Update: This is one of the few treasured possessions that my daughters chose to bring with them when we immigrated to the UK from South Africa. There weren’t many toys and books that they were allowed to bring, but this one made the cut.

Disclaimer: Post contains affiliate links. If you buy the items by clicking through the links to Amazon I will get a small commission.

3 Little Buttons


  1. This is great. I am adding to my Takealot list now. We have funny hairy worms that are everywhere currently and my little one is rescuing them and wondering what they will turn into. This book is perfect. #globalblogging

    1. I honestly can’t believe how much my girls love this book. My youngest already knows most of them. She’s almost 4.

  2. Ooh my grandchildren love bugs. Thanks for sharing #familyfun

  3. Ha well whatever gets them reading eh. I must say reading does sound like a bit of chore, I think I’d find that exhausting too so I’m glad you’ve found a book yoh can all enjoy.,.kind of. Thanks for joining us at #familyfun

  4. Fab book for my boys. I’m happy with anything that they pick up to read, my youngest needs to read more. I think it’s there in his head but he doesn’t want to sit and read so much.
    Mainy x

  5. I must admit, reading bedtime stories is not one of my favorite pastimes. I actually hand it over to dad 🙂 … I’m so exhausted after the millionth cup of water and sing me a song etc, that I am just pleased bedtime has arrived. This does look like a darling book though! 🙂 #globalblogging

    1. I just don’t have the patience for it and the million interruptions. It’s too exhausting.

  6. My son is not a fan of insects but I think this book would help with his fear! Thanks for sharing with #GlobalBlogging

  7. Finding something that is both fun and educational is a winner as far as I’m concerned! Although that bagworm makes me grateful to be living in the UK haha. Thanks so much for sharing with #DreamTeam xx

    1. haha … hideous things crawling around here.

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