The Jay Heale Collection


CBN was delighted to facilitate the donation of the children’s book collection of our beloved book editor, Jay Heale when it arrived at Enlighten Trust in Hermanus.

Jay’s move towards retirement (but not quite retirement!) in Napier meant that his children’s books were looking for a home. The busy, popular library of Enlighten Trust in Hermanus where children and teachers browse on a daily basis, is exactly the right place for this important collection – an place where they will be used and read.

The collection contains approximately 800 books. The bulk starts from about 2005 and includes (as far as Jay can tell) a copy of every single South African children’s book published in English since then. The earlier books are just some of those available; and there are a dozen oldies (published in UK) dating back to 1900s.

Children’s Book Network is also grateful for a donation from Bookchat, Jay’s long-running print and web based periodical on children’s literature when that stopped publication in July and closed off the account where some funding remained.

The creation of Bookchat as a website was made possible by financial support from the Brian Mitchell Trust in England. The initial funding also supported the design and continuance of the database on South African Children’s Books in Print (known as SACBIP). Bookchat appeared on the Internet from March 2008 until June 2015, updated monthly. The transfer of the remaining support funds for Bookchat into a donation to the Children’s Book Network was suggested by Jay Heale and given immediate approval by Brian Mitchell himself. CBN wishes to sincerely thank him for his generosity and belief in children and books.

For those (and there are many) who will miss their monthly dose of book news in Bookchat, Jay is continuing with a monthly newsletter. To subscribe, contact him on:

For more information on Enlighten Trust, please go to:

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