Congratulations to Claire Saxby, Alison Lester, Morris Gleitzman and Melanie Prewett on your Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Award wins and to Ursula Dubosarsky for being inducted into the Speech Pathology Australia Hall of fame.
Seadog by Claire Saxby took seven years in the making. Based on her own beloved pooch and its quirky ways, Seadog drew giggles from the toughest of critics: Grade One students from North Melbourne’s Errol St Primary School.
Alison Lester’s tale of adventure to Antartica, Sophie Scott Goes South is based on her own journey, travel diary and the emails she sent to children while she was travelled south on an Icebreaker in 2005. Every page of this tale is filled with unexpected experiences and sensory details that bring Sophie’s journey to vibrant life.
Morris Gleitzman’s passion is to give voice to children who might not otherwise be heard. With After, he has once again nailed it with a riveting tale of children who struggle to come to terms with a war they did not cause but which they are trying to survive.
Melanie Prewett and her mother Maggie’s Two Mates is based on two very special boys in their lives who have grown up together and share the best of fun in Broome.
All these stories have been chosen for the way each ignites the imagination, introduces new concepts and vocabulary and promotes oral language, from questioning and predicting to problem solving and discussion about and personal reactions and emotions.
Ursula Dubosarky’s passion for all things to do with Children’s Literature has earned her a place in the Speech Pathology Australia’s Hall of Fame. She summed up so well what the Awards are all about when she spoke to the children:
‘Before I could read, others read stories to me, then I pretended to read, (sometimes even holding the book upside down!). When you have a book you really love, it gives you big feelings. I’ve never forgotten the words of my favourite stories. The words have stayed with me all my life and so have the feelings.’
Thank you to all the shortlisted authors who have filled my Christmas wish list to overflowing with beautiful books that will fill little hearts with big feelings and wonderful dreams. There will be so very much to talk about.