A hundred books by the age of five
Book Dash is a South African social impact publisher of free books for very young children. Our vision is that “Every child should own a hundred books by the age of five”, before they enter school!
To that end, Book Dash gathers creative professionals who volunteer to create new, African storybooks that anyone can freely translate and distribute. We employ our unique, 12-hour book-making methodology to create beautiful new books in just one day! Then, we share with the world, here on our website and in physical format for children to own.
Research shows that owning books is a key factor in holistic early development and lifelong academic and economic success: the effect of owning books outweighs a child’s socio-economic status and is equaled only by parents’ level of education.
By working together to increase book ownership among young children, we could effectively disrupt a cycle of inequality for good.
Become a distribution partner
If you represent a social-impact organisation that works directly with children, you may qualify to get free or subsidised books from Book Dash.
Help us give books to as many children as possible
Grants and donations allow us to do our best work: create, print and distribute books. Join our family of donors and creative contributors as we get more and more children reading!
“Shhhh! is at the perfect level for the little ones I see: There is a dog that barks, a phone that rings, a truck that brmmms, a ball that bounces! It’s helping me both with children learning language and increasing vocabulary, but also with my non-verbal AAC users (augmentative and alternative communicators) who are non verbal but are using pictures to communicate: I can match their own picture of a ball to the ball in the story…Excellent language stimulation opportunities all round!”Jamie Sareli,
Speech Therapist at Red Cross Cerebral Palsy Unit
“We love Book Dash books! They are an amazing tool to use in a variety of ways to help focus our educational interventions more clearly to meet our desired outcomes. We use the books in a variety of ways from knowing colour and shapes to spelling and maths, while also developing comprehension, reading skills and a love of reading.”Tshepong Children’s Project
“Having books of their own at home makes children proud and encourages them to read more. The Book Dash books provided wonderful stories that children can read and understand in their own time, which helps make reading more accessible. We love this project and how happy it makes children to own their own books.”Thanda Afterschool Project,
“I decided to give this story to the world for free. I have received so much from everybody. This is my little payback.”Sindiwe Magona,
Book Dash Writer
“Visits to partners who received the Book Dash books last year are showing real evidence of progress as they deepen their literacy work and, of course, youngsters’ ownership of books.”Cecily Salmon,
The Solon Foundation
“My daughter is enjoying all the Sesotho versions of these stories, especially because she has already read them in English! Thank you Book Dash and all the phenomenal storytellers.”Kgauhelo Dube,
Book Dash Reader
“The OT department used the books to teach and engage. The books didn’t add work to their day, but energized and encouraged the patients to participate in the session. Children who visited the hospital love the opportunity to receive their very own book!”Bethesda Hospital
“Knowing that there is an African child out there who is both learning to read and appreciate themselves for who they are, is the biggest achievement of my career and I am humbled and honoured to be a part of it. ”Ndumiso Nyoni,
Book Dash Illustrator
Teams work fast to make free African picturebooks in just one day. Read them online 🖥 on the app 📲 or apply for a donation! 📚 #bookdash