'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 8 August 2010

CBCA Book of the Year Shortlist 2010 - Picture Books

Continuing on in this blog series showcasing the CBCA's 2010 Shortlisted books, I'm delighted to reveal a little more about the Picture Book category. Here you will find book covers and a synopsis or two, allowing you to revel more deeply in the talent that was shortlisted this year.
Be sure to check the other categories at this end of this article.

Isabella’s Garden
by Glenda Millard (Walker Books)
Illustrated by Rebecca Cool

Following the well known structure of The House That Jack Built, Isabella’s Garden tells the tale of growth and seasonal change, beginning and ending with ‘the seeds that slept in the soil all dark and deep’ and how they bloom and florish and ultimately lead to new growth. Told with great warmth, this is a comforting story about the cycle of life in its many forms.

Schumann the Shoeman
by John and Stella Danalis (University of Queensland Press)

For a world where nothing seems to last, here is a tale that will stay with you forever. Schumann the Shoeman is a story with sole... er soul. Gorgeously illustrated and told, this sad but magical book will charm both children and adults alike.

Mr Chicken Goes to Paris
by Leigh Hobbs (Allen & Unwin)

Mr Chicken has taken up his friend Yvette's invitation to visit Paris. As they journey together through the City of Love, Mr Chicken is overcome by the magic of all the city has to offer - and the inhabitants of this most stylish city don't quite know what to make of him. Mr Chicken will delight children of all ages.

The Hero of Little Street
by Gregory Rogers (Allen & Unwin)

Escaping from a gang of bullies, a Boy slips into a grand old gallery - the perfect hiding place, full of mystery and treasures. Enchanted by the magic of painting and befriended by a mischievous dog, the Boy ventures into the world of a famous Vermeer painting - and he and his new friend are transported to Little Street, Delft in seventeenth century Holland.

But the streets of Delft are a dangerous place for a dog, and the Boy has to use every ounce of his ingenuity to rescue his canine mate from an untimely fate on the butcher's block.Young readers will enjoy spotting much-loved characters from the previous Boy Bear books in this triumph of visual storytelling.

Fox and Fine Feathers
by Narelle Oliver (Omnibus Books, Scholastic Australia)

The forest can be a dangerous place, but deep in the centre are special spots where groundbirds can hide away. They must be forever watchful, however, for the birds of the forest floor are easy prey.
One day, the birds forget the risks and come out to play. Lyrebird, Coucal and Pitta are quickly enchanted by their own beauty and parade about, whistling and warbling, showing off to the forest’s creatures. Only Nightjar stays silent, for his feathers are dull – the same colour as old leaves – and they will not impress his friends.

On this particular day, while the birds are parading and preening and Nightjar is watching quietly, a fox has made its way to the secret place. So enticed by the three on display is the fox that he doesn’t immediately notice Nightjar’s closeness. Seeing the danger to his friends, Nightjar reveals himself and draws the fox’s attention away, leading him out of the forest. The bird’s dull feathers provide the perfect camouflage and protect him from the fox.
Though the groundbirds are safe today, this is a warning: they must be ever vigilant and look out for one another for theirs is a vulnerable existence.

To the Top End
by Roland Harvey (Allen & Unwin)

Henry, Penny, Frankie, Mum and Dad embark on their most exciting adventure yet - from Tassie to the very tip of the Top End. Travel with them on the ferry across Bass Strait to the mainland, through Kelly country, along the Murray, into the Flinders Ranges, underground at Coober Pedy, overhead at the Olgas, overland to the Great Sandy Desert, with the fishes at the Great Barrier Reef, deep into the Daintree, out to the islands, kayaking at Kakadu and finally frolicking on the beach at the very top. Then go back and see if you can find a football in the illustrations on each page. Hours of fun for the whole family.

See the CBCA website for more information on Australia's incredible children's literary talent, as well as a list of Notable Books.

CBCA Book of the Year Shortlist 2010 - Older Readers
CBCA Book of the Year Shortlist 2010 - Early Childhood
CBCA Book of the Year Shortlist 2010 - Eve Pownall Award
CBCA Book of the Year Shortlist 2010 - Younger Readers