utshepo bookThe Cape Town Book Fair is coming up at the CTICC this weekend (14-17 June) and, in anticipation of the event, a publishing group called Electric Book Works contacted me (and other green bloggers, no doubt) to let me know about a ‘green’ promotion they’ll be running over the four days:

Buy 2, get one TREE

For R100, you get one copy of uTshepo Mde: Tall Enough, by Mhlobo Jadezweni, illustrated by Hannah Morris.

A second copy is then donated to a needy library, and you get a waterwise tree, which you can either take home or donate to ABALIMI to plant in a school or street, in order to transform the dune-sands of the Cape Flats into a sustainable water-wise urban environment.

uTshepo Mde: Tall Enough, is told in Xhosa, and accompanied by an English translation. This book is about the worries of growing up and belonging. The story is funny, poignant and surprising, and fuses the mythical and the domestic in a quintessentially African fairytale.”

I know very little about the book, but a quick look at its website reveals that it is a joint winner of the inaugural Exclusive Books IBBYSA Children’s Book Award, and has been selected for the international IBBY Honour List for 2008.

The cynical side of me wonders whether this is just a nifty marketing gimmick to promote the book’s sales, but does it really matter? There are certainly far worse (less eco-friendly) ways of getting a book to sell well.

It’s local, it’s green, and it promotes reading – that’s definitely reason enough for me!

PS. Check out Urban Sprout for other green initiatives at the Cape Town Book Fair.

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