In Johannisburg he became the director of "Sauerkraut", a political and literary cabaret, and published a satirical magazine. His first illustrated book, "Elefanteneinmaleins", was published to widespread acclaim in 1976. Helme Heine is a very versatile artist who writes for adult readers in addition to producing works for children.
For his published works Helme Heine has received numerous awards and prizes in Germany and abroad, including the European Children's Book Award and the Grand Prize of the German Academy for Literature for Children and Young Adults in 1991. His books have been published in 30 countries around the world.
Helme Heine now lives with his wife in New Zealand.