Reviva Schermbrucker

Date of birth: 3 August 1954
Place of birth: Israel (immigrated to SA 1960)
Marital status: Widowed (two grown sons)
Maiden name: Jameson


1971 Matriculated with first class pass
1976 BA Fine Arts, Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia USA
(initially at University of Witwatersrand )
Examination result: distinction
1977 MA Fine Arts,University of Wisconsin, USA
1978 Higher Diploma in Education (post graduate) Secondary
University of Cape Town
Subjects: Method of History and Method of Art
Examination result: distinction

Teaching experience

1981 – 1983 Lecturer in painting, Cape Technikon, Cape Town
Temporary relief posts from periods ranging from one term to one year:
1980 – San Souci Girls High
1990 – Bishops
1991 and 1993/4 – Rustenburg Girls High
1995 – Golden Grove Primary School
Part time posts:
1984/5 Training of black pre-primary teachers (art), St. Francis, Langa
1980 Art teacher, St John’s Hostel, Cape Town
2004 Story Writing Course for Education students at University of the Western Cape


2002 to 2004 Mentoring of inexperienced children’s book illustrators for PRAESA

Experience as materials developer

1996 to 2002 (fulltime) 2002 till present (contract)
Materials developer for the Early Learning Resource Unit (ELRU)
1989 to 1999 (contract)
Workshop documentation, Primary Science Programme, (PSP) Western Cape
2000 to 2005 (contract)
Materials production for Project for Alternative Education in South Africa (PRAESA)


Anti-bias Materials for South African Children Kaapse Bibliotekaris July/August 1997
Turning Boys into Bookworms Femina June 2006Publications


Those books with an asterix were also illustrated by me.

Lucky Fish Press
2014   *Monkey’s Wedding (picture book with embroidered illustration)

Jacana Media
2003    Lucky Fish! (teenage/adult novel)
2005    *An African Christmas Cloth (picture book with embroidered illustration)
2008   The Postcard ( A story in ‘Just keep breathing’, a collection of South  African birth stories compiled and edited by Sandra Dodson and Rosamund  Haden)
2010    *Taking the Cows Home (with Lynne Lomofsky and André Laubscher)

New Africa Books,
New African Stories
2002    *Diphoofolo (multilingual rhymes)
2002    *Stars on the Dunes
2003    *What do I see that flies?
2006    The adventures of Pinocchio (co author of S. African version , illustrated by Alzette Prins)

Nasou via Afrika
Sterstories – an Afrikaans reading series, some books later translated into English and other South African languages
1994    Waiting for the bus (illustrated by Andy Stuart)
1994    It’s not, it’s mine! (illustrated by Trish de Villiers)
1994    We all draw (illustrated by Piet Grobler)
1994    Pockets (illustrated by Kobie Swart)
1994    On the See-saw (illustrated by Gus Ferguson)
1994    Shells (illustrated by Jeanette Venter)
1994    Jan loves trees (illustrated by Trish de Villiers)
1994    The black dog and the brown dog (illustrated by Susan Appleby)
1994    Fish don’t like fish fingers (illustrated by David Moskovitz)
1994    The ant family (illustrated by Wendy Conradie)
1994    When grandpa was little (illustrated by Geoffrey Walton)
1994    Hanna (illustrated by Jean Fullalove)
1994    A potato monster (illustrated by Jean Fullalove)
1994    Klara eet waatlemoen (illustrated by Stanley Hermans)
1994    Die gelukkige kreef (illustrated by Stuart Dunville)
1994    Strepe en kolle (illustrated by Kobie Swart)
1994    Egoli (illustrated by Jen Lewis)
1994    Wie se tande is dit? (illustrated by Nina Jawitz)

1993    *SWAP (Schools Water Analysis Project) educational support materials

Kagiso Publishers
1992   A Child’s Garden (gardening for children and parents)
1992   Stories South of the Sun (1 story included in collection)
1998    Give us a Clue- South African mysteries for us to solve ( conceptualisation and re-writing of history text by Graves and Mullholland)

Maskew Miller Longman
Stars of Africa reading series
2004    Say Cheese! Say Chillies! (illustrated by Sue Beattie)
2002    A Dress for Lien (photographs by Sue Kramer)
2002    The Curry Pot (photographs by Sue Kramer)
2002    A Stone for a Fish (photographs by Sue Kramer)
2003    The St Louis Steel Band ( photographs by Sue Kramer)

Shuter and Shooter
Songololo imprint
1989    Charlie’s House (picture book illustrated by Niki Daly)
2002    *The Jam Tin and the Teacup (picture book)

Jumbo Readers
2002    The Dog Man of Johannesburg (illustrations by Vian Oelofsen)
2002    Captain Mandlenkosi and the Taxi Ship (illustrations by Vian Oelofsen)
2002   Mulberries (illustrations by Vian Oelofsen )
2005    Bed Mountain (illustrations by Richard Makintosh)
2006    Boys do Cry (illustrations by Kiza Didier)

2007    *Learning our Way
2007    *Bringing Bullying out into the Open
2007    *My Home in Walmer Road
2007    *Nobody’s Doll
2013    *Toad Warriors
2013    *Martinique is Unique

Duzi Publishers
Children of Southern Africa series ( photography, text and design)
2014   *Kero and Beeby, their life in Great Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
2014   *Lindeka and Vuyane, their life in Malkerns, Swaziland
2014   *Myrtle and Daneco, their life in Kassiesbaai, South Africa
2014   *Lebohang and Polo, their life in Ha Lesala, Lesotho
2014   *Thobeka and Samukelo, their life in Yeoville, South Africa
2014   *Mauro and Adelaide, their life in Quelimane, Mozambique
2014   *Justin and Jessica, their life in Maun, Botswana
2014   *Ndapewa and Johnny, their life in Ombili, Namibia 

Cambridge University Press
2007     The Little Library
Is it safe? (illustrations by Ian Lusted)
More than sorry (illustrations by Tasha St-John Reid)
The Donkey’s Shadow and other stories (illustrations by Susie Appleby)

2009    Rainbow Readers
Food box
Ice creams( illustrated by Colette Roberts)
Eating is noisy (illustrated by Nikki Jones)
Xolile ate (illustrated by Fred Mouton)

Rubbish box
*The plastic bag
*Helena recycles waste
*The world in there
*The things you can buy!

Real life box
A boy called Noah (illustrated by Rassie Erasmus)
Cricket stars
From thought to book (illustrated Savyra Meyer)
The red skedonk (illustrated by Dylan Birkett)

Also, photographs for “Taste”, “Windows” and “Earthworms

Viva Books
1994    Joe Milkshake and the Prince of Prince Albert/Lang Pad na die Hart (a  novella for newly literate adults)

University of Western Cape, Education Department
2003    Multilingual Phonics Ability Kit (conceptualisation, design and production)
2004    *Mbali (early reader)

Western Cape Primary Science Programme
1989 till 1999    *Approximately 20 workshop reports
1994    *Information booklets for Bird packs
2000   Natural Phenomena (picture research, design and production of picture pack of  photographs)

Project for Alternative Education in South Africa
2002      Little Hands series

Red (photographs by Sue Kramer)
Yellow (photographs by Sue Kramer)
Brown (photographs by Sue Kramer)
Green (photographs by Sue Kramer)
Black and White (photographs by Sue Kramer)
Wheels (photographs by Sue Kramer)
*How many?

Early Learning Resource Unit (ELRU)

1996 till 2012
Materials produced were all conceived, written, designed and produced by me in consultation with ELRU staff. Those marked with an asterix were also illustrated by me.


Knock! Knock! (multilingual concept book illustrated with photographs)
Uthini? (multilingual, everyday sayings, illustrated by Trish de Villiers)
String Together (multilingual counting book illustrated with photographs)
Bongo at Home ( photographic picture book for children under 4)

The Keteka Series (multilingual texts, photographic illustrations of children from different communities)
Antjie (Genadendal, Overberg, photographs by Sue Kramer)
Mhlanguli (Khayelitsha, Cape Town, photographs by Sue Kramer)
Azhar (University Estate, Cape Town, photographs by Sue Hillyard)
Zimkhitha (Gobozana, Eastern Cape, photographs by Rob Pollock)
Cindy (inner city, Johannesburg, photographs by Motlhalefi Mahlabe)

Mielie Books (a series of issue based picture books, illustrated with photographs and paintings)
*At School , What if? (disability and inclusion, photographs by Wayne Conradie)
*They were Wrong! (stereotypes and prejudice, photographs by Wayne Conradie)
*Am I a Lion that Eats People? (HIV/Aids and stigma, photographs by Enver Essop)
* Waiting, Waiting, Always Waiting… (socio-economic rights, photographs by Enver Essop)

Science and Maths Books( multilingual, illustrated with photographs)
*On the Road
*Along the River
*By the Sea
*In the Mountains
In the Garden
A museum visit
*Learning at Home

Posters (conceptualisation, design, production and additional art work)

Families poster (interactive, diverse families)
Celebrate our differences, celebrate our similarities ( plus interactive questionnaire)
We count, We speak, We write, We listen (set of multilingual posters)
Roots and Wings
We all count!

Games (adapted versions of traditional card games – conceptualisation, design, production)

Snap in South Africa (photographs by Sue Kramer)
Happy Families in South Africa (photographs by Sue Hillyard)

Picture Packs (picture research, design, brief multilingual guides and production)

Vroom, vroom (transport)
Ikhaya Likhaya (homes)
Malapa (families)
Speel speel (play)
Work (occupations)

Alphabet cards

Ah-Bekutheni? ( a pack of cards with multilingual rhymes illustrated with drawings by Vian Oelofsen and photographs by Sue Kramer – conceptualisation, commissioning, design and production)

Numeracy kit

We all count! (a Foundation phase numeracy activities kit with number strips, poster, cards and teacher guide, photographs by Sue Kramer – conceptualisation, design, commissioning and production)

Training materials and guides. (text, design, production)

The Keteka Series. A Teacher’s Guide Grade R and Grade 1 (with Sue Connolly)
Chatelru, issue 8, 10, 11,*12, *13, *14, *15 ,*16, and 17 (Trainee outreach magazines, with ELRU staff)

Other materials

The Matchbox Library (A series of 30 tiny books)
All Sorts of Families, All Sorts of Songs (a tape of original songs with Chris Wildman)
Our View. Children of Cape Town share their views (a promotional supplement with Andre Manuel)

Awards for publications

1991 Charlie’s House – selected as one of the children’s books of 1991 by Bank Street College, USA.
1993 A Child’s Garden – selected as one of 1993 South African Books of the Year in Bookchat Magazine.
1997 Antjie – selected as South African Honours Books 1997
1997 Uthini? – selected as South African Honours Books 1997
1998 Mhlanguli – selected as South African Honours Books 1998
1998 Celebrate our differences, celebrate our similarities – First prize, South African Grantmakers Association (SAGA) poster competition
2001 Ah-Bekutheni? – Vivianne Wilkes award for illustration to Sue Kramer and Vian Oelofsen
2004 They were Wrong! – White Raven Award, selected for exhibition at the Bologna Book Fair
2004 Antjie, At school, What if…?, Ah-Bekutheni? and Lucky Fish!– selected for 100 SA children’s books, IBBY
2005 Antjie, They were Wrong!, Mhlanguli, Knock! Knock!, At School, What if…? and Am I a Lion that Eats People? – selected for the International Digital Library
2006 Uthini?, Knock! Knock!, Charlie’s House and Lucky Fish!, 4 out of 25 SA children’s books selected for dissemination in USA – Siyafunda, South African Partnerships
2007 Charlies’s House, The Jam Tin and the Teacup, Lucky Fish! and An African Christmas Cloth in list of best 100 South African children’s books, IBBY SA
2008 Elru’s Multilingual materials win in the language category at the Arts and Culture Annual Awards for the promotion of multilingualism
2009 Antjie winner of the ABSA Sowetan ECD award for a children’s publication
2010 Along the River voted as one of the 10 best children’s books of 2010 by Jay Heale, Argus
2012 In the Garden 1st prize ABSA South African ECD Awards in the category, publications
2014 Learning at Home Special mention ECD publications National Development Agency
2018 Ndapewa and Johnny, their life in Ombili, Namibia Honourable Mention, Namibian Children’s Forum

Career overview

2011    Breaking New Ground with Reviva Schermbrucker by Barbara Lehmann and Ruth Stone, Bookbird January  2011

2014   Breaking New Ground with Reviva Schermbrucker by Ruth Stone and Barbara Lehman in Creating Books for the Young in the New South Africa. Essays on authors and Illustrations of Children’s and Young Adult Literature Edited by Barbara Lehman, Jay heale, Anne Hill, Thomas van der Walt and Magdel Vorster


2007 to present Writing-for-Children 5 day workshop
2008 Presentation of course at University of Cape Town Summer school
2016 ‘Spicing up shared reading’, presentation to Shine volunteers


1998 Presentation at conference at Zimbabwe Book Fair
1998 Presentation to Education students, UCT in 1999(with Thikam Pillay)
1999 Talk to student teachers, Mowbray Teachers training College, 1999
1999 Focus on Youth 1999, University of Western Cape, Celebrating Diversity
2000 Invited to KAK, Oslo, Norway in 2000 to deliver talk
2004 IBBY Conference 2004, the Baxter Theatre, Cape Town, The True Picture


1997 One-man exhibition of paintings, Market Theatre Gallery, Johannesburg
2005/2006 Exhibition of embroideries from An African Christmas Cloth, Irma Stern
Museum, Cape Town
2006 Illustrations from What do I see that Flies? in the Exhibition of Original
Illustrations from South African Children’s Books in Naspers Building, June 2006
2006 Exhibition of embroideries from An African Christmas Cloth, National Library
South Africa, Cape Town campus, July 2006
2009 Illustrations for The World in There at Suidoos Festival, foyer of Nico Malan
2009/2010 Exhibition of embroideries from An African Christmas Cloth, Central Library, Drill Hall, Cape Town
2017 Domestic Associations and Domestic Excursions Solo exhibition of paintings at 6 Spin Street, Cape Town
2017 Noospheric Nights Solo exhibition of paintings at 6 Spin Street, Cape Town
2018 We 3, 2 Acres & a Donkey exhibition of large paintings at 6 Spin Street, Cape Town