Picking the perfect gift for a child isn't always easy. On one hand, it's important to find something fun and interactive, but on the other hand, you may want a gift that will help your little one learn something new and discover more fascinating reasons to keep exploring. The Two Oceans Aquarium's Puppet Stories children's books tick all those boxes!

The Puppet Stories books are designed for children aged 3 to 9 years of age, each with a valuable environmental lesson aimed to help your little one better understand some aspect of our environment. All books are currently available in either English or Afrikaans, and one book has been translated into isiXhosa.

Skip the festive season madness, buy your Puppet Stories books online and collect them at the Aquarium.

What are the books about?

Each Puppet Stories children's book is based on a puppet show used as an educational aid to teach children about environmental responsibility, with lessons ranging from litter to wetlands. Although the Aquarium offers these puppet shows live every day, the books are designed to be standalone - meaning you and your child can read the book together to experience the interactive lessons.

The whole collection

Wetlands, not Wastelands joins our 6-part Puppet Stories book series. We have sold more than 50 000 copies of the Puppet Stories series over the last few years. These books are wonderful companions to our in-house and outreach Puppet Stories programme, and are especially loved by children who are familiar with the Aquarium and its creatures.

You can purchase all six Puppet Stories books here at the Aquarium or online - they retail at R55 each. Click here to buy yours at the Aquarium. Other shopping options below if you're unable to reach us.

Keep the Beach Clean is the first book in the Puppet Stories series. It follows the adventures of Sally the Seal who accidentally eats a plastic bag left on the beach by a child. Sally’s underwater friends, like Peter the Penguin and Exo the Crab, try to help her get the bag out of her throat – teaching a lesson along the way.

The second of the Puppet Stories books, I Love Turtles, follows Hatch the Turtle and the adventures he faces as a young hatchling. Throughout the book, Hatch meets a variety of other animals, like Edgar the Eagle, and he learns about the different types of animals.

Hatch also encounters marine litter and has to be warned of the dangers it poses to his species. Beauty, the child character from the first book, is once again present to teach a lesson about the dangers plastic poses to marine life.

I Live Smart, the third book in the series, follows Beauty and her new friend Geo as they visit the Two Oceans Aquarium and get to know some of the animals. These animals, like Bruce the Shark, teach the kids about the interconnectedness of nature and how their lifestyles can impact all living things.

Together with your children, you can interact with the story of Geo and Beauty as they learn about the need to live smart and conserve our precious biodiversity, energy and water, and to reduce and recycle waste where possible.

In My Wild Pets, Beauty encounters Sabah the Starfish and Hermit McDermitt, animals that have been brought from the wild to the Aquarium. Together with Geo, Beauty also meets some pet animals, like Buks the Dog, and learns the difference between wild and pet animals.

This book will help your child learn that wild animals are not pets, but that they deserve the same love and respect that we would show any animal. Lots of added “Brain Tickles” promise endless fun for you and your child.

Water Cycle Adventure follows the now-familiar character Geo and his new friend, the imaginative and story-loving Thalie, as they set off to learn about water. With the help of friends like Sunny the Sun, Fluffy the Cloud and Uncle Mthi the Big Old Tree they learn to appreciate water and make a vital discovery - that the Water Cycle and the Life Cycle are the same!

When Thalie and Geo go home, they soon see ways that the natural world affects their water at home, and how they can save water at home to help the natural world.

The final children's book in the Puppet Stories collect, Wetlands, not Wastelands explores the wetland ecosystem with Thalie and Geo. New animal friends show the children how their lives impact the environment - and how wetlands are also vital for human livelihoods.

Are there any toys associated with these books?

Yup (but you don't need them to be able to get the full lesson out of these books). Pick up a set of hand puppets if you'd like to reenact the books' lessons with your kids.

Where can I buy the books?

The full range of Puppet Stories children's books is available via our online store (you will need to physically collect your books at the Aquarium).

Want a discount? Here are a few ways to get the Puppet Stories books for less:

  • Buy a bundle (get all 6 books for just R285)
  • Members get 10% off
  • Get a Puppet Stories pack, including a book, A4 puzzle and 2x hand puppets for R200

Our Puppet Stories books are also available in a variety of bookstores:

See the puppet show

We have three puppet shows a day: 10h30, 13h30 and 15h30. 

Children between the ages of 3 and 9 will love meeting all our characters in the I&J Children's Play Centre: Geo and Thalie, Sally the Seal, Henry the Seahorse, Exo the Crab, Peter the Penguin, Bruce the Shark and Dolly the Dolphin, Tinks the Tortoise, Bella the mommy turtle, Lilly the Leopard Catshark, Whiskers the Mouse and Edgar the Eagle and many, many more…

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