Book Week 2019

Why do we celebrate Children’s Book Week?

Children’s Book Week happens every year in Australia. It is a time of year when we celebrate the best Australian children’s literature. Children’s Book Week is organized by the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA). The CBCA is a not-for-profit volunteer run organisation.

Who is the Children’s Book Council of Australia?

The Children’s Book Council of Australia is a group of volunteers which aims to engage the community with literature for young Australians. The CBCA presents annual awards to books of literary merit, for outstanding contribution to Australian Children’s Literature.

The CBCA was established in 1945. The first Children’s Book of the Year was presented in 1946. The prize for the winner was a potted camellia plant. Now the winner receives a monetary prize. The awards originally started with only one category.

Regarded as Australia’s most prestigious children’s literature award, the CBCA Book of the Year is presented in six categories:

  • Older Readers
  • Younger Readers
  • Early Childhood
  • Picture Book of the Year
  • Eve Pownall Award
  • CBCA Award for New Illustrator

Who chooses the winners?

There is a panel of judges. For the fiction categories there is one judge from each state and territory in Australia. For the information books, there are four judges – all from the same state. The judges can choose up to one winner per category, and two honour books (like a runner up prize). If they don’t think there are any books worthy of being honour books, they don’t have to choose any.

The books must have been published in the previous year to qualify for this year’s competition.

Who do you think enters the books? The publishers or the authors?

The publishers.

The judges must read hundreds of books, before deciding on a shortlist. What is the shortlist?  This is the smaller list of the best books entered.  The 2019 shortlist is published on the CBCA website.

Books can be entered to more than one category. For example, sometimes a book is entered within both the Early Childhood and the Picture book category.

The 2019 CBCA Book of the Year Awards will be announced on 16 August.  The theme for Book Week 2019 is “Reading is My Secret Power”.

How can you recognize a short-listed book?

If you were in the library and wanted to read a book that had been short listed, how would you find it? Look for the CBCA circle (gold, silver or bronze) on the front cover.  These listed books are a great resource for young Australians and very well received by teachers, librarians and students.

The 2019 Book of the Year Shortlist

Book of the Year: Older Readers

Author Title Publisher
Atkins, Clare Between Us Black Inc. Books
Epstein, Sarah Small Spaces Walker Books Australia
Foxlee, Karen Lenny’s Book of Everything Allen & Unwin
Gardner, Scot Changing Gear Allen & Unwin
Herrick, Steven The Bogan Mondrian University of Queensland Press
Kernot, Sharon The Art of Taxidermy Text Publishing


Book of the Year:  Younger Readers

Author Title Publisher
Dubosarsky, Ursula (illus. by Andrew Joyner) Brindabella Allen & Unwin
Marwood, Lorraine Leave Taking University of Queensland Press
Merrison, Car & Hustler, Hakea Black Cockatoo Magabala Books
Moriarty, Jaclyn The Slightly Alarming Tale of the Whispering Wars Allen & Unwin
Nugent, Carly The Peacock Detectives Text Publishing
Rodda, Emily His Name Was Walter HarperCollins Publishers

Book of the Year:  Early Childhood

Author Title Publisher
Canty, John Heads and Tails: Insects Berbay Publishingq
Guest, Patrick (illus. by Nathaniel Eckstrom) The Dress Up Box Hardie Grant Egmont
King, Stephen Michael Rainbow Bear Scholastic Australia
Lester, Alison Noni the Pony Rescues a Joey Allen & Unwin
Lester, Alison Tricky’s Bad Day Affirm Press
Riddle, Tohby Here Comes Stinkbug! Allen & Unwin

Picture Book of the Year (Coralie’s Personal Favourite)

Author Title Publisher
Blackwood, Freya (text by Margaret Wild) The Feather Hardie Grant Egmont
Greder, Armin The Mediterranean Allen & Unwin
Hurst, Elise (text by Lucy Estela) Girl on Wire Penguin Random House Australia
Ord, Mandy (text by Margaret Wild) Chalk Boy Allen & Unwin
Speechley, Michael The All New Must Have Orange 430 Penguin Random House Australia
Tan, Shaun Cicada Hachette Australia

Eve Pownall Award

Author Title Publisher
Cleave, Rohan (illus. by Coral Tullock) Bouncing Back: An Eastern Barren Bandicoot Story CSIRO Publishing
Greenwood, Mark (illus. by Andrew McLean) The Happiness Box: A Wartime Book of Hope Walker Books Australia
Rawlins, Donna (illus. by mark Jackson & Heather Potter) Waves Walker Books Australia
Ryan, Kate (illus. By Cally Bennett) Make Believe: Escher for Kids National Gallery of Victoria
Stubbs, Siena Our Birds:  Njilimurrungu Wayin Malanynha Magabala Books
Vass, Coral (illus. by Dub Leffler) Sorry Day National Library of Australia

CBCA Award for New Illustrator

Author Title Publisher
Chun, Matt Australian Birds Hardie Grant Egmont
Gray-Barnett, Daniel Grandma Z Scribble Kids’ Books
Harricks, Tannya Dingo Walker Books Australia
Langton, Allison The Singing Seal Affirm Press
Metcalf, Samantha Carmichael’s Journey Little Steps Publishing
Reiseger, Jane Red House, Blue House, Green House, Tree House! Affirm Press

YPRL has many of these books within the collection so check them out and know that your reading a wonderful piece of Australian Children’s Literature.

Children's Book Week Events at the Library

Superhero Scavenger Hunt at Eltham Library
(17-23 August) Complete in library and bring your answers to the desk for a lucky dip.

Special Storytime at Thomastown Library, Whittlesea Library

Bookmaking at Thomastown Library

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