“How can one book possibly be the most suitable
for all of our very diverse student groups?”

Sydwell Molosi, President, SA Booksellers Association

Last updated 12/1/2015

Independent news and reviews from the world of children's books

Editor: Mr Jay Heale

Book of the Month

Reviva Schermbrucker
(Lucky Fish Press)

A picture book illustrated with exquisite embroidery. More ...

The Latest South African
Children's books

Click on the book title to go to its review.

Picture Books

“Little Hands Books” 3 – ANIMALS / BUGS / OPPOSITES / PLAYTIME!  Text & illustrations by Jude Daly (Jacana Media 2014)

“Little Hands Books” 4 – LULU / MONDI / NOMSA / JOE  Text & illustrations by Niki Daly (Jacana Media 2014)

MONKEY’S WEDDING written & embroidered by Reviva Schermbrucker (Lucky Fish Press 2014)

Nalibali    Biblionef


Bookmark     FunDza

Quirky Opinions  Brandy

Have formed an attachment to the Arabella Merlot.
And to von Geusau chocolate.  
“When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.”


May the New Year of 2015 be good to you – as we celebrate 25 happy years of Elmer by David McKee. May our publishing world be untroubled by any unwise decisions by those in high places.


The original printed Bookchat newsletter-magazine ran from 1976 to 1997, achieving 132 issues, published quarterly. This was then its logo.

After a gap (which included the 2004 IBBY Congress in Cape Town) Bookchat began again as a website on 6 March 2008. This called for a different, more lively logo designed by Heather Moore.

With the clever, steady help of Pretext (and financial support from the Mitchell Trust in UK) we managed to settle into a monthly update. It can be calculated that, starting with those first 132 printed issues, this January 2015 issue must be something like Number 203! We missed our own 200th celebration!


… at first a book for young readers by Michael Morpurgo in Devon
… then a workshopped production by the National Theatre of Great Britain
… enriched by the horses created by the Handspring Puppet Company of South Africa


Meshack Asare is the winner of the prestigious 2015 NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature. Probably best known for Kwajo and the Brassman’s Secret.


“Preparatory to playing Pooh-sticks”
This illustration by EH Shepard sold recently for £314 500.
No, I didn’t buy it – but I do lay claim to having played the highest game of Pooh-sticks, in company with Brian Mitchell in 1988, not far from Rangdum Gompa in Ladakh, at approximately 15 000 ft.





THE FEBRUARY BOOKCHAT will contain the “Bookchat Awards” for 2014. Did you realise that over 60 children’s books were published in SA last year? (That’s in English alone.)



IFLA Conference in Cape Town, 15-21 August 2015 (your editor has been asked to speak)
35th IBBY Congress in Auckland, New Zealand, 18-21 August 2016.

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