Tuesday 3 April 2012

Big day for children's books in Australia

The busiest day of the year for me.

Today was the announcement of the CBCA (Children’s Book Council of Australia) shortlist for 2012.  This is a selection of the best children’s books published in 2011. The shortlist is comprised of six books in the following categories, Younger Reader, Picture Book, Early Childhood, Older Reader, Eve Pownall Award for Information Books and the Crichton Award, which is for new illustrators.  While the shortlist is announced today, the winners are not announced until Friday 17th August, giving schools and libraries plenty of time to get the books and read them before Book Week (Aug 18-24) that takes place the week after the winners are announced. 
While you would think because of the awards these books will be everywhere and easy to get, that is not the case.  Because these books are shortlisted every school and library in Australia will want copies of them, that is 1000’s of schools and libraries.  That's one problem, then we have the issue of those books being published in 2011, some more that 16 months ago, and that means that they may have to be reprinted…all of this adds up to what might be a long wait for some of the books.  On the flip side, because they were published in 2011, many libraries may already have copies on their shelves.

Here are some links you may find interesting.:
CBCA website: for info about the organisation
CBCA  Awards FAQ page: answers the questions of the process involved in choosing the shortlist and the criteria. 
Notable book list: the long list, from which the final books were selected.

Here are the shortlisted titles for 2012:

Book of the Year: Older Readers
Intended for mature readers

Ishmael and the Hoops of Steel  by Michael Gerard Bauer 
Straight Line To My Heart by Bill Condon 
Golden Day, The by Ursula Dubosarsky 
Dead I Know, The by Scot Gardner 
Ship Kings Book 1: Coming of the Whirlpool, The by Andrew McGahan  

When We Were Two by Robert Newton 
Book of the Year: Younger Readers
Intended for independent younger readers

Crow Country by Kate Constable
(Outcasts Book 1) by John Flanagan
Nanberry: Black Brother White
 by Jackie French Age12+
Truth About Verity Sparks, The
by Susan Green
Golden Door, The  
by Emily Rodda
 by Emily Rodda
Book of the Year: Early Childhood
Intended for children in the pre-reading to early reading stages

Runaway Hug, The by Nick Bland illustrated by Freya Blackwood
Come Down, Cat!
 by Sonia Hartnett illustrated by Lucia Masciullo
That’s Not a Daffodil!
by Elizabeth Honey
Last Viking, The
  by Norman Jorgensen illustrated by James Foley
No Bears
 by Meg McKinlay and  illustrated by Leila Rudge
Rudie Nudie
  by Emma Quay
Picture Book of the Year
Intended for an audience ranging from birth to 18 years(Some books may be for mature readers.)

Look, a Book! by Libby Gleeson and illustrated Freya Blackwood   
Dream of the Thylacine by Margaret Wild illustrated by Ron Brooks
For All Creatures by Glenda Millard illustrated by Rebecca Cool
Bus Called Heaven, A
  by Bob Graham
No Bears
 by Meg McKinlay and illustrated by Leila Rudge
 by Jackie French and illustrated by Bruce Whatley
Eve Pownall Award for Information Books

Intended for an audience ranging from birth to 18 years
(Some books may be for mature readers.)

Little Refugee, The  by Anh Do illustrated by Bruce Whatley
One Small Island by Coral Tulloch illustrated by Alison Lester
Surrealism For Kids
 by the Queensland Art Gallery
Bilby Secrets
 by Edel Wignell and illustrated by Mark Jackson
Fromelles: Australia’s Bloodiest Day at War
 by Carole Wilkinson
Playground: Listening to Stories from Country
 by Nadia Wheatley illustrated by Ken Searle
Crichton Award for New Illustrators
The Crichton Award aims to recognise and encourage new talent in the field of Australian children's book illustration
Ben and Duck by Sarah Acton
Squish Rabbit
  by Katherine Battersby
Song For Lorkie, A
  by Jennifer Castle and illutsrated by Dean Bowen
York’s Universe
  by Heidi Goh
Mozzie and Midgie
 by Doug MacLeod and illustrated by Sandy Okalyi
Grumpy Little King
 by Michael Streich
While I don’t always agree with the choices, I understand the process involved and the difficulty the judges face narrowing their selection down to 6 books in each category, when they have 100s to read and choose from.

My aim this year was to only read books published from 2012, but  I may have to make an exception to my own rule, as there are a number of the shortlisted titles I have not read, and reading them is something I have to do.  As I only have time this year to read books that I will be writing about, you may see some of these books cropping up here n the next few months.

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