According to her mother, Laena-Mae Turner has penned a number of books since the age of five and loves to tell stories to her friends and family.
Photo Cred: Candice Turner

According to her mother, Laena-Mae Turner has penned a number of books since the age of five and loves to tell stories to her friends and family.


Johannesburg, South Africa (06 November 2020) – An eight-year-old child, Laena-Mae Turner, from South Africa has recently been published; penning a book on the COVID-19 pandemic from a child’s perspective.

The young author, no stranger to writing and poetry, wrote the book as a way to explain that the children of the world are in a shared experience and that together they would prevail. Hope being the overall message of the book.

The beautifully illustrated book and snapshot of COVID-19, through the eyes of a child, was both written and art directed by Laena-Mae and illustrated by Botswanan-born Simon de Ruyck.

“Laena-Mae had a very clear vision of what the images would look like, and her and Simone worked so well together as they brought her vision to life,” shared her mother, Candice Turner.

According to her mother, Laena-Mae has penned a number of books since the age of five and loves to tell stories to her friends and family.

The passionate little storyteller wrote the book at the start of the pandemic when she was still seven and asked her mother to share it with her friends to cheer them up. When all the parents and children she shared it with asked her to send them more stories, and after much encouragement from other moms to send it to publishers, Turner contacted Imagnary House, who were elated to work with her in bringing Laena’s dream to fruition.

Youngest author in the country releases book filled with hope!
Photo Cred: Laena-Mae Turner

Currently, Laena-Mae is one of the youngest published authors in the country and is the youngest child globally to write and publish a book on the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I wanted to write a book for all the children across the world that would make them realise that no matter how lonely it is to be stuck at home, that we are all so brave to live in this new world,” shared the author, Laena-Mae.

“Not being able to play with our friends and stay home is only for a short while. By staying home or by wearing our masks, we are helping the world get better from this terrible virus.”

No Stranger to Isolation

Laena-Mae Turner was only a few days old when doctor’s diagnosed her with a life-threatening autoimmune disease known as Hypogammaglobulinemia. Having spent many weeks in and out of hospital throughout her life, Laena-Mae is no stranger to living in isolation.

Having survived Tuberculosis at only three years of age and multiple illnesses due to her severely compromised immune system, she is an incredibly resilient young lady, and her optimism throughout the pandemic is unfounded.

“Laena has not seen or been near children since the beginning of the year as a safety precaution, and yet, throughout the lockdown, she has shown such strength of character,” explains her mother.

“It is no surprise how children have been experiencing unprecedented levels of worry, anxiety and fear in the midst of this pandemic. While they may be silent and not communicate this with us, they still face the same fears we do. The fear of the unknown; the fear of losing someone they know. What I hope her book brings to those who read it, is a sense of hope and a shared understanding that while the world may
look a little different right now, in time, together, we will prevail. We will see our way through this, and it is both Laena-Mae and my wish, that perhaps the world will change for the better when we learn to understand and have empathy for the experience of everyone around us.”

Giving Back in Times of Crisis

A percentage of the proceeds from the book will be donated to the SOS Children’s Villages South Africa for their COVID-19 appeal. Laena-Mae has been donating her pocket money to this organisation for years and would like to offer more assistance by way of more donations.

SOS Children’s Villages supports vulnerable children, as well as fragmented families. When a child loses everything, SOS Children’s Villages is there to give them a home, a mother and a family.

Sources: Laena-Mae Turner | Inside 
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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