On this blog you will find NEWS about
writing and illustrating Children's Books, the society and its members and activities as well as links to websites and blogs about Children's Books

Book reviews on Bookchat

Once upon a time there was a magazine about South African children’s books. It was called Bookchat and it survived for 21 years. Now, after a respectful rest, it has returned in wraith-like format as a website: Jay Heale’s intention as editor is the same: to provide information and due praise for South African children’s literature. There are reviews and recommended lists and contacts to publishers and bookshops. The site is updated monthly, with such features as a “Book of the Month”, news from the book world and so on.

A new feature is the SACBIP database (of South African children’s books in print) which is intended, eventually, to hold full details of all our books. The English language books were put in first – about 1 600 of them and growing! At the moment, Jay is busy with the books available in Xhosa. As many entries as possible include details of the plot, theme, setting, etc. Various search facilities are available.

Members of SCBWI are, of course, welcome to visit the Bookchat site and the database. All for free! If Jay has missed out a precious book of yours, then please tell him so. He hopes that local publishers keep him up to date with the latest publications – but you know what publishers are like! Happy writing and illustrating to you all!

You will find Jay’s contact details on his website

About Jay Heale:
Jay is the author of many books for children and about children’s literature. He was one of the founder members of the South African Children’s Book Forum (SACBF) which is now IBBY SA. For eight years he served on the Jury of IBBY’s Hans Christian Andersen Award,, first as a jury member and then as president of that jury. He was the organiser of the 2004 IBBY Congress in Cape Town. For more visit

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