Bookchat
SOUTH AFRICAN CHILDREN'S BOOKS

 

“Death and love are the big events people experience.
All ages are interested in them. We should not frighten children,
but they still need to be shaken up by art, just like adults.”

Astrid Lindgren, 1959

ISSUE 207
Last updated 4/5/2015

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

Editor: Mr Jay Heale

Book of the Month

RHINOCEPHANTS ON THE ROOF

Marita van der Vyver
Illustrated by Dale Blankenaar

(Tafelberg)

In Afrikaans: OLINOSTERS OP DIE DAKA reissue from 1996 with stunning new illustrations. More ...

The Latest South African
Children's books

Click on the book title to go to its review.

Fiction
ANNIE LEARNS TO SWIM written & illustrated by Katrin Coetzer (Bumble Books 2015)
In Afrikaans: ANNIE LEER SWEM
DOGTECTIVE WILLIAM IN NEW YORK by Elizabeth Wasserman, illustrated by Chris Venter (Tafelberg 2015)
RHINOCEPHANTS ON THE ROOF by Marita van der Vyver, newly illustrated by Dale Blankenaar (Tafelberg 2015; first published Human & Rousseau 1996)
 
Teenage
EVANESCENT by Carlyle Labuschagne (Fire Quill 2013)
FIREBOLT by Adrienne Woods (Fire Quill 2013)
 
Non-fiction
BOX OF ROCKS by Nick Norman (Struik Nature 2014)

Nalibali    Biblionef

 USBBY

Bookmark     FunDza

CBN  SCBWI
Quirky Opinions  Brandy

I lift a glass in appreciation to the comfortable bar lounge at the Vineyard Hotel. Many an important meeting has taken place there, often in connection with South African children’s books.

WORLD BOOK DAY: April 23

For this year’s World Book Day, the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaigns issued a special children’s literacy rights poster. Copies are available to the public for free. Contact Sally Mills: sally@praesa.org.za or www.nalibali.org

Penguin Random House celebrated with special editions of some of their best-selling picture books including the beloved Elmer, with its message “It’s OK to be different.”

An hour-long celebration at Biblionef saw over 1000 Mother Storybooks books given to children of ten Western Cape homes (orphanages), followed by a party.

Cape Town’s Central Library arranged a storytelling festival in the Company’s Garden. 800 children were entertained by such storytellers as Margaux Bergman and Dorothy Kowen. Each child received a goodie bag with a library card holder, a bookmark, a stationery item, and an Afrikaans Storietyd booklet.

GOLD MEDAL WINNER

Belated congratulations to Robin Malan, a former Chairperson of IBBY SA, for being awarded the gold medal from the English Academy of Southern Africa for “services to English over a long career in education and theatre”. Much deserved.

In his acceptance speech, he said: “I’m sure you will have noticed how often I have used the word ‘interaction’. That’s been deliberate, because that’s what has, I think, brought me to this Award, to this Gold Medal: it’s been interaction with young writers and young readers that has made me do the work I’ve done over the years. And it’s been my experience that, nine times out of ten, young people are good people; and … I don’t know, maybe seven times out of ten, young people are sensible people, even wise people.”

LATEST EDITORIAL

Having provided (last month) the outline story of the SACBF and IBBY SA, this month I have provided the story of the birth and growth of Bookchat, from newsletter to magazine to website. Click here to read all about it!

BOOKCHAT REVIEWS

The file of reviews on South African children’s books via this website goes back to 2000 – you can click on every year since. But all the reviews of earlier local books (as published in Bookchat magazine between 1976 and 1997) are unavailable. However, quite a few of those books remain in my personal collection, so I have set myself to re-review them all – to catch up with the website reviews. Not sure how this massive list will be made available: possibly through the Children’s Book Network.

BEST EVER BOOKS?

In yet another survey (commissioned by BBC World) to find the best ever children’s books, the winners were:

1 – Charlotte’s Web
2 – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
3 – Where the Wild Things Are.

150-year-old Alice came in at 4, and my beloved Winnie the Pooh at 7. Clearly weighted in favour of “classics”, there was no space for such creators as Anthony Browne or Quentin Blake. 

FUTURE DATES 

Early June – final issue of Bookchat as a website
31 July to 2 August – South African Book Fair at Turbine Hall, Johannesburg
15-21 August – IFLA Conference in Cape Town (your editor has been asked to speak)
35th IBBY Congress in Auckland, New Zealand, 18-21 August 2016

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