Stack of children's books on wicker chair

Inspiring the next generation of readers

Welcome to The Olive Exchange, where we believe in the transformative power of storytelling to ignite a love for reading and improve literacy levels among South African children. In a country where the challenge with reading comprehension persists, our purpose is clear: to inspire young minds and foster a lifelong passion for reading through engaging children's books.

Our ambition is to become a leading publisher of affordable children's books to schools, libraries and bookstores, and a top provider of professional self-publishing services to independent authors.

Meet our founding director

Alicia English is an award-winning magazine editor, publisher and children’s book author, and holds a Humanitarian Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Roxbourg Institute for Social Entrepreneurship in Switzerland. She is a proud alumni of the Pretoria University Gordon Institute of Business Science’s Entrepreneurship Development Academy, and a Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative Women’s Livelihood Programme graduate.

Alicia launched her career in journalism in 1998 and has worked as a reporter on community newspapers such as The Plainsman, Athlone News and Southern Mail. She has 18 years’ experience as an editor, specialising in internal and external communication briefs. Her portfolio includes magazines, commemorative coffee table books, supplements, and newspapers for Prasa, Transnet, Engen, Hisense, Momentum, Bertha Centre for Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship and The Big Issue South Africa.

In 2021, Alicia was thrust into unchartered territory when she left her job as senior editor of Big Issue and Little Issue magazines to be with her children after her husband died of Covid-19. Finding purpose in tragedy, she emerged as an entrepreneur in August 2021 when The Olive Exchange launched the I Miss Daddy children’s book, which she co-authored with her 10-year-old son Matthew in memory of her late husband.

Colorful wallpaper
African School Children in the Classroom
African School Children in the Classroom
African School Children in the Classroom

Statistics are stark.

81% of Grade 4 learners and 56% of Grade 6 learners in South Africa struggle with reading comprehension.

Source: Progress in International Reading Literacy Study 2021

At The Olive Exchange, we're on a mission to change that narrative.

Our carefully curated collection of affordable children's books is designed to support educators, librarians and parents in their efforts to improve literacy outcomes for children across the country.

Affordable Children's Books and Expert

Self-Publishing Services

Proud African School Boy
Cute elementary kids in the library

Curated Collections for

Educational Excellence

Partnering with Bookstores for Community Engagement

Empowering Independent Authors to Share Their Stories

At The Olive Exchange, we understand the importance of quality literature in educational settings. Our carefully curated collection of children's books are designed to align with curriculum standards and promote literacy development in schools and libraries. From captivating picture books to thought-provoking stories, each title is handpicked to enrich classroom learning and foster a love

for reading.

Bookstores play a vital role in connecting readers with stories that inspire them. We're proud to partner with bookstores across South Africa to bring our children's books to local communities. Whether you're a bookstore owner looking to expand your inventory or a reader searching for your next favorite story, discover the magic of our stories on your bookstore shelves today.

At The Olive Exchange, we celebrate diversity and creativity in literature. If you're an independent author with a passion for storytelling, we invite you to join our community of writers. Learn more about our self-publishing services, and let us help you share your unique voice with the world.

Our services

  • Professional editing & proofreading
  • Book cover design
  • Layout & typesetting
  • ISBN/Barcodes
  • Production & print management
  • Book sales support
Handwriting text Self Publish. Concept meaning Published work independently and at own expense Indie Author Blackboard crumpled papers several tries mistake not satisfied wooden floor.
Snow Covered Trees

Author Matthew English

Nurturing child authors

In 2021, we published our first children's book I Miss Daddy, written by child author Matthew English. In 2022, we translated the book into Afrikaans, Ek Mis My Pappa. The book captures Matthew’s grief journey after losing his father to Covid-19 in 2021 and nurtures resilience and a positive self image in grieving children.

Since then, we have donated close to 2 000 copies to under-resourced primary schools in Mitchell’s Plain, Delft, Kraaifontein, Lotus River, Parkwood, Ottery, Retreat and Steenberg, under the banner of the I Miss Daddy Book Project. We have also conducted child grief awareness talks at various schools, libraries and organisations in Cape Town.

Apart from being available at selected bookstores across the country, we have also featured our books at the Open Book Festival 2022, Cape Flats Book Festival 2022, Books on the Bay Literary Festival 2023 and South African Children’s Literary Festival 2024 & 2023.

Colorful wallpaper


Also available from selected Bargain Books, Exclusive Books and Wordsworth Books stores nationwide

Books on sale
promotion 25 percent off 3d number



Also available from selected Bargain Books, Exclusive Books and Wordsworth Books stores nationwide

Colorful wallpaper

Mahalia the Rainbow Princess, R40*

Mahalia the Rainbow Princess is a delightful story filled with colour, unexpected twists and wonder.

New releases
We are thrilled to introduce our latest children s books aimed at foundation phase learners published in May 2024 Email info oliveexchange to order Excludes delivery

Bulk discounts

available to schools and

non-profit organisations.

Pay from only R10 per copy when you buy

1 000 or more books

Shanté and the Whale, R45*

Shanté and the Whale tells the story of an adventurous tween girl from Mitchell’s Plain who dreams of one day seeing a whale in real life. It takes us on her quest and misadventures to find the whales her oupa has told her about.

Self-publishing projects

Launched April 2024

What people say


As educators, we are always on the look-out for books that help learners deal with the complex emotions they experience daily. In 2021, we came across this remarkable children’s book. Along with teaching the skills of reading, the book is used to help our learners develop emotional intelligence, empathy and communication skills."


"I Miss Daddy has a way of introducing children to delicate subjects such as emotions and death. It lets children know that it is okay to grieve, even if they do not grieve like others. The book also helps parents who find it difficult to talk to their children about death."


"I have worked with The Olive Exchange for more than a year. Alicia English assisted me with my book Cape Flats: Undercover. She helped me with every stage of production, and made it easy for me to publish my book. I happily recommend the company and encourage others to support Alicia on this journey."

Colorful wallpaper

Get in touch

We would love to hear from you.


+27 81 5933 690