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

Friday 17 August 2012

cbca Book of the Year announcement!

The National Library of Australia was the venue for a truly wonderful event today - the Book of the Year 2012 announcement for the Children's Book Council of Australia.

Truly, this is one of my favourite days of the year, seeing fabulous books win wonderful awards, and cheering on friends and colleagues.

The event kicked off with an intro by NLA marketing guru Maureen Brooks, followed by a truly glorious reader's theatre piece by year 3 from Canberra Girls' Grammar, who read and performed Elizabeth Honey's That's Not a Daffodil - and engaged us all in song.

As this year's Book Week theme is Champions Read, Olympic champion Petria Thomas was on hand to present the girls with 'gold medals' after their divine performance.

Storyteller extraordinaire, Mollie Bialokowsi (above right), was next with a reading of one of the shortlisted books - Sonya Hartnett's Come Down, Cat! This gal can tell a story!

Suddenly it was midday. Dr Andrew Leigh MP, Federal Member for Fraser was on hand to open the winning envelopes . . .

Andrew Leigh announces the winning books,with Maureen Brooks and Margaret Carmody looking on

I tweeted the winners straight to @KidsBookReview as the each envelope was opened - I hope you saw them! But if not, here are the winners - drum roll, please...

Older Readers Book of the Year 2012
Winner: The Dead I Know by Scot Gardiner (Penguin)
Honour: A Straight Line to my Heart by Bill Condon (Allen and Unwin)
Honour: When We were Two by Robert Newton (Penguin)

Younger Readers Book of the Year 2012
Winner: Crow Country by Kate Constable (Allen and Unwin)
Honour: Nanberry: Black Brother White by Jackie French (HarperCollins)
Honour: The Truth about Verity Sparks by Susan Green (Walker)

Early Childhood Book of the Year 2012
Winner: The Runaway Hug by Nick Bland and Freya Blackwood (Scholastic)
Honour: Come Down, Cat! by Sonya Hartnett and Lucia Masciullo (Puffin)
Honour: That's Not a Daffodil! by Elizabeth Honey (Allen and Unwin)

Picture Book of the Year 2012
Winner: A Bus Called Heaven by Bob Graham (Walker)
Honour: The Dream of the Thylacine by Margaret Wild and Rob Brooks (Allen and Unwin)
Honour: Flood by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley (Omnibus)

Eve Pownall Book of the Year 2012
Winner: One Small island: The Story of Macquarie Island by Alison Lester and Coral Tulloch (Penguin)
Honour: The Little Refugee by Anh, Suzanne Do and Bruce Whatley (Allen and Unwin)

Congratulations to these worthy winners! and to all the shortlisted and honour books, too.

I was personally thrilled for Jackie French (Nanberry is one of my favourite books of all time) and I was also thrilled with the nod for Bob Graham and his truly beautiful bus called heaven - one of my favourite picture books of the past 12 months.

CBCA President for the ACT, Margaret Carmody (above left; Julie Long is on the right, reading out the names of the medal winners!), wound up the event, with some inspiring and really emotional words about Australia, its readers and our love of- and talent for- books, particularly children's books.

She brought a tear to my eye when she thanked authors for writing what we do - and for feeling so passionately about literacy.

Did you know that Australia is one of the highest producers of children's books - even more than Canada!

As things wrapped up, local authors Stephanie Owen Reeder, Tracey Hawkins, Katie Taylor and Pauline Deeves and I headed to the NLA Bookshop where we signed books and had a chat to some book lovers.

We at Kids Book Review hope you find the time to seek out the winners and shortlisted books from the Awards. We are so proud of the extraordinary work produced in Australia - we know you will enjoy each and every page. Happy reading, everyone!

Learn more about the shortlisted and honour books here.

the shortlisted books