17 August, 2011

And the winners should be...

Tomorrow (August 19) is the announcement of the Children's Book Council Book of the Year Awards. I have reviewed each of the 6 short listed books in 4 of the categories. I didn't review the Eve Pownell awards, which is the non fiction category. Below are links to my reviews of each category and who I believe should win.

Older Readers - books for mature readers


About a Girl by Joanna Horniman

For me, this is the clear winner. Not only is it a well written story, the themes of depression and accepting difference are fantastic springboards for discussion. The main character is flawed, but is still a strong female character who is able to prove her ability to stand on her own, yet also realise when she needs to ask for help. An all round excellent book.


Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood

A book whose character shows great resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity. Not only is Six Impossible Things well written, it strikes a perfect balance between a light refreshing read with some real issues worth exploring.

The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta

I think Marchetta is a possible favourite to win the top gong. The Piper’s Son is yet another book this year with strong themes and excellent writing.

Younger Readers - books for independent younger readers


Toppling by Sally Murphy; illustrated by Rhian West James

A great book that deals with a difficult subject in a fresh new way. The verse format of the book gives the reader the ability to colour the story with their own experiences and emotions.


Violet Mackeral's Brilliant Plot by Anna Branford; illustrated by Sarah Davis

What can I say - I love Violet! Anna Branford has created a character who is smart, thoughtful and not afraid to go after what she wants. An excellent lesson in perseverance

Duck for a Day by Meg McKinlay; illustrated by Leila Ridge

Another gorgeous book about how persevering can bring great rewards. Also a lovely message about how things are not always what they seem.

Early Childhood - books for children in the pre-reading to early reading stages


Look See, Look at me by Leonie Norrington; illustrated by Dee Huxley

From the text to the illustrations, this is a beautiful, engaging picture book. Norrington has captured the voice of a proud three year old perfectly and Huxley's illustrations are, as always, great.

It's Bedtime William by Deborah Niland

Anyone who has ever had trouble getting a child to bed will love this book, as will any child who has done everything they could to stay up!

The Tall Man and the 12 Babies - Tom Niland Champion and Kilmeny Niland; illustrated by Deborah Niland

Absolute pure fun! One man and 12 babies, all called Alistair or Charlene? It can't fail to be fantastic!

Picture Books - books for children from birth to 18 in a picture book format.


Family Forest - by Kim Kane; illustrated Lucia Masciullo

The sensitive, fun way this book deals with the issue of blended families is what has drawn me to it. I love the fact that everyone in this family - brother, sister, half sibling, step sibling, mum, dad, step parent - blend together to form this incredibly wonderful forest for the child to grow in.

Mirror- Jeannie Baker

Jeannie Baker is just simply a quality illustrator. Her ability to tell a story using just pictures is remarkable. The duality of Mirror leads the read on such a wonderful journey, pointing out differences while highlighting the similarity of childhoods the world over.


Shakespeare's Hamlet by Nicki Greenberg

Anyone who can make classic Shakespeare appealing and easy to read and understand is brilliant in my book.

So there are my picks! Can't wait until tomorrow to see if the judges got it right!