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Lauren Beukes (centre) with a primary school pupil busy working on his illustration for her new children’s book. With them is a representative from Shine Literacy.

Competition to illustrate Lauren Beukes’s “beasties” book

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Award-winning author Lauren Beukes is just a few months away from publishing her newest book.

Best known for her books “The Shining Girls” and “Broken Monsters”, Beukes has gone in a different direction this time — a children’s book.

Beukes has crafted the world of Unbelievia in which a group of funny creatures live, such as break-dancing dinosaurs, carrot-juice-slurping vampire bunnies and octagon moose.

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But she wanted some help from the experts on what these creatures might actually look like. So to this end, she organised a children’s art workshop, where the little ones let their imaginations fly as they drew the beasties as they’re supposed to be.

The children from Shine Literacy, a language and literacy support organization, gathered at Prestwich Street Primary School in Green Point and had a great time with wax crayons, pencils, animal shapes to cut out with scissors and add to their illustrations, and their imaginations, on July 27th.

One of the many drawings made on day of the competition's launch

One of the many drawings made on day of the competition’s launch

The Big Issue’s Margaret Connors went along to watch and was absolutely charmed. She can’t say which creature she liked best though, and neither can Beukes, because the issue of which one/s it will be is still wide open.

That’s because there’s a great competition to find the final artwork, open to all children between the ages of 6 and 12.

Bostik has joined forces with Beukes in making this project happen. So the company’s website has a downloadable entry form with access to Beukes’s fascinating rhymes for children to read and get inspiration from.

Once the little illustrators have completed their masterpieces, their entries can be scanned and emailed to to be eligible for the draw.

The competition closes on August 20th this year and the final selections will be held soon after, in September.

The beasties that are chosen will be featured in Beukes’s book, due to be published and launched in October.

The featured illustrators will receive a copy of the book signed by Beukes, and the rest of the books will be donated to Shine Centres nationwide. The book will also be available for free download from

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All photos by Margaret Connors

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