Our new website

Please note that this website is no longer in use.

Our new website can be accessed by selecting South Australia from the Branches tab on the national CBCA site www.cbca.org

The CBCA AGM in Melbourne

The State and Territory Presidents and Directors of the CBCA National Board met for the AGM in Melbourne.

The AGM presents an important opportunity for Branch Presidents and Directors to share ideas and make decisions that guide the development of the Children’s Book Council of Australia.

Professor Margot Hillel OAM was confirmed as the National Board Chair and Julia Davenport welcomed as the new Deputy Chair.

Margaret Hamilton AM, who resigned from the National Board at the AGM, was also celebrating her 56 years of service to the CBCA. Margaret has experience as a librarian, editor, reviewer, bookseller and publisher. She shared some fabulous stories at the dinner prior to the AGM.



Short List announced!

So the 2017 Short List has been announced! Check it out on the CBCA website and see how you went predicting books that may be the winner in each category this year.  Good luck. 

If you would like to access a Power Point of the Short List to use in your worksite, please email <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

Hans Christian Anderson Award nominees

Congratulations to David Metzenthen and Jeannie Baker who have been nominated by IBBY Australia for the 2018 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Children’s and Youth Literature.

The Hans Christian Andersen Award is the highest international recognition given to an author and an illustrator of children's books. 


Book Launch - Wombat Warrior

Author Samantha Wheeler

says I am pleased to announce that we have a lovely event planned at the Stirling Library to launch Wombat Warriors on Thursday 27th April at 11am. The folks from the Wombat Awareness Organization will be bringing along a couple of cute wombats and together we will launch my new book. Please spread the word far and wide, all welcome, I’d love to see you there! I have attached a flyer, so please spread/print/Facebook it as you need!

Reading Matters Conference 2017

The Centre for Youth Literature team has a few pieces of news that may interest you.

  • The Reading Matters conference program is now LIVE.
  • You can order your free Inky Awards bookmarks and print a longlist poster here.

For more details contact
Centre for Youth Literature
State Library Victoria | 328 Swanston Street | Melbourne VIC 3000
T +61 3 8664 7014 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
slv.vic.gov.au | readalert.blogs.slv.vic.gov.au | www.insideadog.com.au

Short List announcement coming soon!

We're excited  that the 2017 CBCA Book of the Year Short List will be announced in Adelaide on Tuesday 28 March at a celebration in St Peter's Library hall beginning at 10.00 am. If you would like to attend, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We would love to see you there.

Inky Awards

From Samantha Forge, Programs Officer, Centre for Youth Literature, State Library Victoria

We hope you caught the 2017 Inky Awards longlist announcement last week! The teen nominators have done a wonderful job whittling down their favourite books from last year to ten Australian and ten international titles, and we’re thrilled with the results.


If you missed the announcement, you can see the full list of longlisted titles here.


We’re now on the lookout for our panel of 2017 Inky Award judges – applications are open until 22 March, and we’d love it if you’d spread the message to all your teen networks. You can find the judges guidelines and application form on Inside a Dog. 


This year we again have free packs of Inky Awards longlist bookmarks (Gold and Silver) to distribute. If you would like a pack for yourorganisation, please fill in this form and we’ll post some out to you!


We also have free downloadable resources for you to use – a longlist postershelftalker and library toolkit.


Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about the Inky Awards.



VALE Dick Bruna

Dick Bruna, the Dutch illustrator and author, has died aged 89. He is best known as the creator of the Nijntje, known in English as Miffy.

The first Miffy book was published in 1955. The picture book is based on a story Bruna told his young son during a holiday, after they had seen a rabbit.

His books have been translated into more than 50 languages.

Utrecht, in the Netherlands, is home to the Miffy Museum, catering specifically for children aged between two and six.

2017 Notables announced

The CBCA Book of the Year Notables list has been announced for 2017. 

Are you curious about what is on the list?  Follow the links  below to find each list as a PDF to download.

Or follow this link to find the complete list in all categories

BOYA Short List to be announced in SA

We are very pleased that the official announcement of the Short List for the 2017 CBCA Book Of the Year Awards will be hosted by the CBCA SA branch and announced in Adelaide on Tuesday 28 March. 


History of May Gibbs Children's Literature Trust

On Monday 20th February at our AGM, Mary WIlson provided us with the fascinating history of the May Gibbs CLT.

It is always of interest to find out about like minded organisations.

Here is her speech.

                                              CBC  AGM 22/2/2107          Mary Wilson  (Patron MGCLT)        


                                     “ May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust”


The president Karen Mutton and members of the Children’s book Council of SA. Thank you so much for inviting me to speak about the May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust tonight. The Trust  has been going for nearly 18 years and has awarded over 150 Fellowships or Mentorships around Australia so it has quite a story! 


I acknowledge that we meet on aboriginal land and pay respect to the original custodians whose spiritual connection with it was and is forged through storytelling and cultural practices.


I am in awe of the collective and individual knowledge you all have about Children’s Literature and I cannot hope to match it! Tonight I am going to give you a broad sweep of  my story of the Trust, how it began ,  the inspiration behind it , what it has done, what it is doing now and  how relevant it can be in the future?


Now, how it began:


Many of you will remember the Australia –wide Campaign“Nutcote for the Nation” in the 1990’s to save “Nutcote “ for 44 years the studio/home of the  earliest  professionally trained Australian children’s author /Illustrator May Gibbs, located on Sydney harbor at Neutral Bay.


Many of  us became involved as teachers, Librarians, writers and illustrators  and lovers of Children’s literature. The aim was to save her studio/home (designed   in 1924 by architect BJ Waterhouse) as a national treasure, to honour the contribution May had made to Australian Children’s literature over her long life (1877-1969, she died at 92,) and  for it to be  to be focus for Australian Children’s Literature and the environment. At this stage it was in the hands of developers who planned to demolish it.




My involvement began in 1989 when I was rung by Author Christobel Mattingley  to help save the Nutcote from  the developers.  Christobel told me that May had been advised to leave the little house in her will to UNICEF “ for the Children of the world” and the copyright of her work to the Crippled Children and Spastic Centre of NSW. Sadly, that adviser did not realize UNICEF sold it to developers in 1970 and planned to use the money to help children in other ways.  Christobel was contacting everyone she could think of ,teachers, authors, artists , librarians etc around Australia to alert them of the imminent loss of this significant studio /home.At time  I was past president  of Delta Foundation ,Educational and Cultural  Foundation , and we were about to hold our annual Seminar at “ Tanderra “Yankalilla  , the subject that November was to be “Children’s Literature and the Environment” . We invited Christobel to attend and speak,and  hearing the story, immediately pledged our help.


A Support group “ Nutcote forthe Nation “ was formed in SA and I became the SA Chairman with a wonderful enthusiastic group.  We immediately planned a picnic in Botanic Park and”Read Ins” for Nutcote  and an Exhibition of May Gibbs work at the State library curated by Juliana Bayfield . A little later I convened SA Friends of Nutcote and we had over 300 members!  Similar groups were formed interstate, notably in Victoria by Liz Honey and Ann James .The May Gibbs   2 Foundation was active in NSW. This campaign touched the hearts and minds of all ages around Australia.


May’s works were prolific and covered a wide range of material, from :


=Illustrations for book covers


=Posters for Mothers and Babies Health Association ,


 =Enlistment Posters and postcards sent to soldiers during the first world War            War


=Small illustrated books for children


=Over 15 Longer illustrated such as Snugglepot andCuddlepie (pub  1918) (and never out of print)


=For nearly  over 40  years from  1924 until she died,in 1969  she created 1968 Bib and Bub  Weekly  Cartoon Strips and 331 Tiggy Touchwood  strips, which appeared in the Sunday Mail,  around Australia,  and


=346 Weekly Short Stories “Gumnut Gossip- Extracts from the Daily Bark”  from which children learned to read and often made their own scrapbooks.


=Educational Publications and Correspondence courses for children in country areas.




May had a tough time as a woman from her publishers, She was paid half the amount her male counterparts received , and also as  paper was scarce, and the reproduction of her beautiful art work was not perfect which broke her heart. Those amongst you here would understand this agony!


The hallmarks of her work were enduring, her botanical accuracy, her humour often satirical, her care for children as she raised issues affecting their welfare, her concern to protect the environment,  where through imagination she made the bush come alive, and her concern for literacy. Her social commentary meant she informed readers of contemporary issues affecting their lives, with great humour and compassion. She was a significant figure in the lives of man ! 




I have drawn the broad canvas of her work just to show you how prolific and powerful an influence she was in her lifetime , for which she was awarded an OBE.


I can recommend two beautiful books” Mother of the Gumnuts “ by Maureen Walsh (pub1985) and”May Gibbs,More than a Fairytale” an artistic ,life by Robert Holden and Jane Brummitt(pub 2011) which contain  a great deal of information.




 There was a dramatic moment when it looked as though Nutcote would be lost.


A fire mysteriously broke out in the underground laundry overnight. Fortunately the next door neighbour, a Mrs Devine noticed smoke and by Divine intervention  literally ,Nutcote was saved!  The North Sydney Council then decided to back the campaign , and paid the residue of the $2.86m owing to the owners.


 But fundraising had to continue to restore“Nutcote”, to maintain it and run programs to make it viable. So the Mayor Ros Crichton set up The Nutcote Trust with  members drawn  from  NSW and interstate , SA, Vic ,Queensland ,ACT . This was when Hon Ian Wilson, Jeff Prentice, Ann James and others were appointed to reflect the Council’s and supporters’ national approach  and to raise the money from Governments and private donors.  But there was still had a long way to go before it could be opened to the public.


As the restoration was carried out and we furnished Nutcote with May’s desk, folio cabinet , wardrobe( sold at auction after her death), and collected  other furnishings like an old telephone ,wireless  ,blue and white china and kitchen and laundry  equipment , the garden  around the existing  banksia tree was replanted,    we could see how much inspiration May drew from Nutcote and daily life around her, as she worked in the garden ,walked her Scotty dogs  and rather dangerously  drove her open Dodge car”Dodgem” out into the bush. She also drew on memories of childhood in the bush in South Australia and Perth, the sea voyage out from England, and current events such as wartime rationing, collecting pots and pans to help the war effort, the radio broadcasts of cricket and current affairs, and  observing people’s attitudes , and foibles!




Facilities for visitors had to be planned.Then a 3 storey apartment block came up for sale over the road from Nutcote, overlooking it to the Harbour Bridge . There was great excitement. It was  fraction of the cost of a new building and the integrity of” Nutcote” and the fragile gardens  could be preserved. This building could provide an off -site Education Centre and wet area for workshops for children on the ground floor, the middle floor would be a changing Exhibition area for May’s works and that of contemporary writers and illustrators , and the top floor would be a writers –in- residence apartment for creators of children’s literature, and administration office . May’s garage could now be converted to a shop, tearooms and toilets . It was an ideal set up.




In 1994 restoration was completed and Nutcote was opened to the public.The


Committee of the Nutcote Trust knew that no Museum could exist on entrance money alone,and that an Endowment Fund would have to be created. So in 1998 the May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust was formed through the Nutcote Trust  to work with it  to attract visitors and inspire  ongoing  funding,  to make Nutcote a viable educational, artistic and environmental Centre, and for exhibitions and activities to honour May Gibbs . Ann James on the Board   gave the advice to Ian as Chairman and Jeff Prentice as Deputy that the greatest gift to support the creativity of contemporary writers and illustrators,  was Time . Children’s literature was at the bottom of the pile in attracting Government funding.Picture books in particular fell between being literature and art quite ignoring its impact as visual literacy! It was decided to raise money for Fellowships and Mentorships  and to create partnerships to support Nutcote.


Delta Foundation in South Australia raised money for a “May Gibbs   Nutcote Fellowship “and Elizabeth Hutchins was selected to take up the first residency. She relished the chance to work with children in this setting and to experience some of the magic of May Gibbs and her studio home,and to attract visitors .




Sadly some outside the Committee of the Nutcote Trust thought the programs should focus only on May Gibbs and the house as a Museum.They persuaded the new Mayor to appoint councillors to take over the Board,  and not to continue its Education Centre and Writer –in- Residence programs .




This was a hard time for the interstate trustees,who had worked  so hard to set Nutcote up to be viable,and to honour its objectives to the many supporters around Australia ,who had raised money for it to be a National Treasure.




However there have been some great advantages in what happened next!


IanWilson(Chairman)  and Jeff Prentice ( Deputy) and interstate supporters decided to continue with the May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust to  continue to offer Creative time Fellowships and Mentorships  to Australian Children’s Authors /Illustrators nationally and to keep May Gibbs ‘ name before the public throughout Australia. )The aim was  to fundraise  to purchase studio apartments in each state if possible,  and for support groups  to be  created  in States  around these apartments.




The inaugural fellowship was shared by Ann James from Victoria and Tania Cox


from Ayr, Far North Queensland in 1998. They took up residence at Kathleen Lumley Post Graduate College in North Adelaide. On 16th March during the Adelaide Festival of Arts ,the  Trust was officially launched in the Adelaide Arcade with over 140 people in attendance. The Children’s book “Baby” written by Queensland author Tania Cox illustrated by Ann James   published by Working Title Press was also launched that evening.


The second May Gibbs Fellowship was accepted by Shaun Tan from Perth. Shaun illustrated John Marsden’s book “The Rabbits” published by Lothian Books which won the CBCA Picture Book of the year Award in 1999.Shaun took up his residential Fellowship in May at  the University of Melbourne working  with students  in the Department of Language , Literature and Education.


The Third May Gibbs fellowship was  accepted by Bronwyn Bancroft the Aboriginal artist , book illustrator and textile designer from Sydney who stayed it Dromkeen Riddell’s Creek in Victoria.




There was great excitement as by this time enough money had been raised to purchase the first studio Apartment in South Australia at  2/232 Osmond Tce Norwood,a suburb of Adelaide! May Gibbs arrived in Australia in 1881 in the Hesperus at the age of 4 with her mother and brothers. They eventually settled in Queen Street Norwood where there was a well, fruit trees and bushland Later May settled in both Perth and Sydney. It seemed so appropriate to have a studio  close to May’s early childhood home!


The Fellowships and financial support became very successful and gradually over the years  the Trust was able to purchase an apartment in Melbourne , Canberra and Brisbane, and award regular Fellowships nationally. The support groups were wonderful.


A special feature of the Trust is the establishment of Program Committees consisting of  professional volunteers in Adelaide , Melbourne Canberra Brisbane and Sydney. Initially each State program committee had a chair which liased with, our first National Program Chair , Elizabeth Hutchins  in Adelaide.


 Now the National program Chair is your talented Julie Wells and we are thrilled  Julie will be able to bring you up to date with how that Committee operates.


The first Program coordinator was Nan Halliday and much loved. She set the tone of professional and warm organizing of fellows. Sally Chance has been in that role for 6 years and has built on Nan’s expertise in her own engaging way . She will be leaving us this year to further her studies and we will miss her very much.


 The Trust has 40 Volunteers across Australia and I am sure that those who have taken responsibility will affirm that their involvement with the Trust has added to their own personal and professional development.




 As I said, Ian Wilson was the First  and Founding National Chair with Jeff Prentice Deputy.Dianne Gray followed him. A lawyer and grandmother, her professional and steady hand and delightful personality as Chair, kept the Trust true to its values.


Now the Chair is Elizabeth Clare, former President of Adelaide Rotary, who has a very able Board consisting of Dianne Gray ,Fij Miller,  and Sally Chance


 The support groups are amazing and generous.


They meet and greet the fellows and keep an eye on them sometimes run them around, and arrange the fundraising at which Fellows give their time to and meet donors,  and speak about their work. Alle Goldsworthy is the current SA Chair,


Judy Russell the Brisbane Chair, and she and her committee  meet and greet and take fellows to Rothbury on Ann Studio in Brisbane, and arrange the fundraising speaking events. Virginia West is like Mother Earth to Fellows in Canberra ,now helped by Harriet Gray , who settle Fellows in The Liversidge Apartments  in the  gardens of the ANU.  Dr Belle Alderman who runs the Lou Rees Collection is generous with her time with fellows in Canberra .




Successes: Over the years, through the provision of physical space, the Trust has given authors and illustrators active and practical assistance in their


creative work,  and partnerships  have been made with Universities, Libraries , schools to maintain the human interface .  Apartments have been purchased in Adelaide , Melbourne ,Canberra and Brisbane, and in SA partnerships with Seymour college through the Von Crompton fellowship , Scotch College through the Iva Bridgland Fellowship.and Victor Harbor school. Over the years it has had partnerships with  Univerities of Melbourne  , Flinders ,and  Brisbane  and Melbourne and Brisbane Libraries, and the Canberra Museum.The Trust has no government support . It is registered  as a charitable organization so donations are Tax deductible. It is not backed by any one publisher, nor has it vested interests. It has the welfare of the creators of children’s literature and children it serves at heart.


- Quotes from Diary Entries from Studios :(See website  www.maygibbs.org.au)


Liz Honey( Vic )Adelaide


John Nicholson  




Pam Rushby-ACT


Lorraine Marwood- Brisbane. “Starjumps”(Verse Novel, won PM Literary Award)


Many Fellows have won awards or been short listed and two, Boori Pryor and Leigh Hobbs have been appointed Australian Children’s  Laureates to inspire children and families  to read and be literate. I often think of early fellow  Sofie Laguna at the studio, who wrote “ My Yellow Blanky” (now a Miles Franklin Award Winner, for “Eye of the Sheep”).




On going .  


 There are always changes and opportunities presenting themselves to the Trust. Whether it is a change of residential accomodation or partnerships or personnel bringing their skills ,or changes in technology , and we welcome this . The bottom line is the welfare of Fellows, and the  children and families  with whom their  work brings them into contact.


The last latest development for the Trust   is the Ian Wilson Memorial   Fellowship for an emerging writer or illustrator.  We are thrilled that Georgina Chadderton is the first recipient . She is from Adelaide but will take up residency at The Burrow in Norwood in March and work on her Graphic novel”Oh Brother” about growing up with a brother with autism. I have invitations here if any members of the CBC would like to hear her speak at our next function at the Burnside Library in Thursday 16  March 6.30 to 8pm in conversation with Greg Holdfield.


How relevant is the Trust and how will it be in the future? . For this I go back to May Gibbs. For me she is the touchstone of inspiration for the Trust.


How effective her creative output was, her experiences coming from UK to make her home  in Australia. She saw the patterns and beauty of nature and was a keen observer of life around her.I invite you to revisit her life and work!


Hallmarks of her work:


Her environmental awareness and  botanical accuracy


Her social commentary


Her concern for literacy


Her humour


Imagination and empathy


 Care for children


She faced fears  


Lifted spirits


Informed and delighted  adults and children at the same time.


Children hear it in your voice and see it in your eyes and gestures as you read to them.These are all powerful attributes of storytelling and poetry and art ,which are evident in the work of our Fellows and will be always relevant.




I hope this has given you my bird’s eye view  of the aims  and work of the Trust.




I will finish now by quoting Dr Belle Alderman in Canberra in her  CBC of Australia Oration in 2003, who said,”The May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust is the latest example of innovative and creative ventures to support Australian authors and illustrators and so to bring them into contact with their Community”.


Her testimony and that of the Fellows and the schools and libraries, Universities  teachers, children, and parents and everyone who meets our Fellows  keeps the Trust alive and going!


Thank you so much for listening . We would welcome anyone to join our activities so do contact us if you would like to.


www.maygibbs.org .au(Website)




Refs:    MGCLT Website ,and Diaries.


           Australian Children’s Literature-Finding a voice”,JeffreyPrentice (pub2016 Braidwood press)   




Delivered at Black Friars School Library Prospect SA.




2017 year of events

The CBCSA planning day has produced a fabulous range of events for 2017.

These include an Author breakfast, Story time in Rundle Mall and the most popular event - Picture This!

Visit our events page to download the calendar and stay up to date on event information as it comes to hand.

Greeting Cards For Sale

We have obtained permission from Freya Blackwood to offer her sets of beautiful greeting cards for sale.


They are gorgeously illustrated and are blank inside, making them suitable for any occasion.


$35.00 per set of 8, includes GST, postage and handling. Limited stocks available. Place your order here.


From The CBCA National Board

Well, here we are at the final Board Bulletin for the year. And what a year it has been as we celebrated the 70th year of the Awards throughout the year. What an achievement for a volunteer organisation to have been going for so long and to have achieved so much.

It’s been another busy and exciting year for the Board and, I know, for the Branches too.

Some national highlights were the presentation of the CBCA Book of the Year Awards in Sydney by His Excellency the Governor-General and Lady Cosgrove and the wonderful conference held in Sydney in May.

Congratulations to the Tasmanian Branch for their successful renewal strategy. We were all delighted to see that that branch will continue to promote the work of the CBCA in that state and the Board looks forward to working with the new team there.

Some exciting new partnerships are being developed and one of particular note is that with the National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature. This is formalising our long-standing cooperative ventures with the Centre and we have always been grateful for their report. Among other things, they provide storage and curation for the artwork from the CBCA Children’s Book Week merchandise.

Reading Time has also had a busy and exciting year and we have all enjoyed reading the myriad reviews on the site. Coming up from now on, you’ll see a great new segment on ‘the best of 2016’ where reviewers list some of the books they have most enjoyed in 2016. These can be picture books, YA, fiction, Information books, adult - they are all going to be there. So have a look - and if you haven’t signed up to receive the weekly newsletter, do so - and you’ll no doubt find something new that you would like to read over the summer break. Great idea, Tina!

Thank you to everyone for their work this year. It’s been busy, exciting and productive.

With my very best wishes to you and your families for a safe and happy Christmas and a relaxing, bookish break. I look forward to working with you all again in 2017 as we continue our goal of ‘engaging the community with literature for young Australians’.

Margot Hillel

Help us select the theme for Book Week 2018

All financial members have been invited to take part in a collaborative exercise to select the theme for  Book Week 2018.

There have been many wonderful suggestions and many of these were very popular.

The 10 most popular have been included in a survey.

Financial members are invited to vote for their top three themes.

Please note the closing date for the survey: November 30, 2016.

The link for the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BookWeekTheme2018


Book Group Report for November

On the 21st November CBCSA Book Group met at the Holdfast Hotel, Brighton Rd Glenelg at 7pm and they discussed the following books. Any one is welcome to come and join in the ‘show and tell’ sessions.


Ducks away by Mem Fox

Age 2+  This is a delightful counting book. This would be good for reader’s theatre.


Twig by Aura Parker

This book has beautiful end papers and involves a Stick Insect starting bug school.  She needs help from other bugs to help her be noticed and fit in with others. Counting is involved and there are insects to find in the illustrations.


 The Patchwork Bike by Maxin Beneba Clarke.

Set near the No-Go desert the children make their own fun by inventing and constructing their bike from bits and pieces.  The illustrations involve looking from different perspectives.


Little Why by Jonny Lambert

Age 2-5. A baby elephant queries everything he sees and is told to ‘get back in the line’. This is a useful book for exploring description and the use of adjectives.  The final theme is about accepting yourself.


The fabulous friend machine by Nick Bland.

Age 4-7.  a chicken discovers a machine which helps her make friends. The language is good but not the rollicking rhyme we are used to from Nick. However this is a cautionary tale about the use of a mobile phone.


Home in the Rain by Bob Graham

This is another gentle depiction of family life where a mother and daughter are travelling home on a wet day. As they sit in the car n the side of the road the little girl thinks about the arrival of her new baby sister.


Where’s Dad hiding? by Ed Allen

Age 3+ Fun illustrations for children to explore and find Dad.


Blue sky, Yellow kite by Janet A Holmes

Age 3+ This is a book which explores emotions. Our reader found it puzzling that the main character, a girl, didn’t speak. Why this is could be a discussion point.



Fenn Halflin And The Fearzero by Francesca Armour-Chelu

Age 9-12.  This is the first book in a series which although a scene setter has plenty of action to keep you reading.  As sea levels rise there is conflict over dry land and Fenn with his secret past needs other child survivors to help him escape those that seek to harm him.


The secret cooking club by Laurel Remington

Age 10+  There are multiple storylines in this book about  Scarlett whose mother writes a cooking blog. Scarlett doesn’t enjoy unwanted attention this causes and discovers the kitchen of her elderly neighbour where she begins to bake.



Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

Age 14+ Rachel is back home working in the bookstore while grieving for her brother.  She looks to the books and their notes from readers to overcome her grief.


Love, Lucy  by April Lindner

Age 13+ Lucy is a dancer who battles her father’s expectations and when on a summer holiday in Italy she falls in love with Jesse.


 The one memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr ( released in January 2017)

Flora has anterograde amnesia where she can’t remember anything day-to-day. Then a boy kisses her and she remembers it. Then begins an obsession with finding him because he may be the key to solving her problem.



 How to find love in a bookshop by Veronica Henry

This is a book with multiple story lines about Emilia's fight to keep her bookshop alive, the customers whose lives she has touched - and the books they all love.


The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende

This is a multigenerational love story. Alma is evacuated from Poland to America in WWII where she falls in love with a Japanese gardener. After the events of Pearl Harbour Ichemei is interned but they manage to reunite secretly time and time again.  Decades later a care worker in Alma’s nursing home and Alma’s grandson discover the love story.


I found you by Lisa Jewell

This is a romance/mystery page-turner. It involves two women, twenty years of secrets and a man who can't remember.


Falling: a love story  by Jane Green

This is an easy to read romance by the author of Saving Grace.


The fence  by Meredith Jaffe

Moving to a new suburb where fences are rare and erecting one for privacy and to keep children in is just asking for trouble. This social satire of suburban neighbourly conflict is an interesting read.


Natural born Keller: my life and other palaver by Amanda Keller

A funny, witty book with moving moments when recounting the birth of her two sons. The behind the scenes information about her career in radio and television is told with wonderful anecdotes about the Australian household names she has worked with.



The Prime Minister's Literary Awards

A Single Stone by Meg McKinlay has won the 2016 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Young Adult fiction. This wonderful book was also recognised as an Honour book in the 2016 CBCA Book of the  Year Older readers Awards.

Inbetween Days by Vikki Wakefield was shortlisted for the 2016 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Young Adult fiction. Inbetween Days was also recognised as an Honour book in the 2016 CBCA Book of the  Year Older readers Awards.

We congratulate Vikki, a respected South Australian author. Her previous novel Friday Brown was also an Honour Book in 2013 and shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Young Adult fiction in 2013.


Prime Minister Literacy Awards - Children's Fiction

Congratualtions to Sally Morgan who has won the 2016 Prime Minister’s Literary Award  for Children's Fiction with her book Sister Heart published by Fremantle Press

Notes from the National Board


As you will remember, a decision was made at the AGM to establish two working parties and they will provide a preliminary report to the Board meeting in November. This meeting will be a strategy-planning meeting, and will take place over a day and a half in Melbourne. Collaborative work on the goals of the CBCA between Board and Branches is particularly important in achieving our goals.

I would also like to record a special vote of thanks to members of the NSW Branch, especially Gail Erskine and Felicity Jagavkar for all they did to ensure a wonderfully successful CBCA AWARDS CEREMONY. We were honoured to have His Excellency, General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AKMC (Retd) Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, and Her Excellency Lady Cosgrove, attend the Awards. His Excellency presented the Awards. It was a wonderful morning of celebration of the creative talent of Australian authors and illustrators for children and young adults.




Of great interest to all who attended the Awards was the display of historical CBCA Book Week posters organised by the NSW Branch. It provided a wonderful survey of the development and increasing sophistication of children’s literature illustration and production over the years since the inception of the Awards. It was also a fitting tribute to 70 years of the Awards.

Of course as soon as one year’s judging finishes, another starts. This year we have the new system of five judging panels and they have all been working hard reading, reporting on and discussing the books entered into ‘their’ category. The National office has been kept busy (along with everything else they do on behalf of us all) sending packages of books all round the country. The intranet site Justine Power set up has been working well as a place to exchange ideas, news and meeting dates. Justine and Rosemary Thomas have both also been working hard liaising with the judges and providing and advice and information.

The PARTNERSHIPS COMMITTEE has been very active in developing relationships with suitable organisations which will provide mutual benefits for the CBCA as a whole. This is an area which has not always been strongly promoted in the past so this is important work.

The Victorian Branch is currently considering options for the organisation of the CBCA 13TH NATIONAL CONFERENCE in 2018. A full proposal will be presented to the Board before the end of this year. We will be sure to give you definite dates as soon as they become available so that you can put a ‘save the date’ in your diaries.

Finally, I am grateful to all the members of the Board and Branches for the amount of time and dedication they give to the work of the Children’s Book Council of Australia – all, of course, done in a voluntary capacity.

Margot Hillel



We’re working with multi-award-winning illustrator Freya Blackwood on a stunning range of merchandise to celebrate Children’s Book Week 2017. With the slogan of ESCAPE TO EVERYWHERE Freya is letting her imagination run wild with lots of children having fun. Our merchandise seems to be getting better and better, so we hope the items we produce for this range will sell like hot cakes! We’re planning on the usual two posters, badges, stickers, Book Week Handbook and this year’s success story - Bunting. CBCA Branches will have first option on purchases.




Australian children’s book author and illustrator Narelle Oliver has died. This is very sad news for all who enjoy Australian children’s books.

Her books have received numerous awards including: the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Picture Book of the Year; CBCA Book of the Year for Early Childhood; CBCA Eve Pownall Award for Information Books; NSW Premier’s Literature Award for Children’s Literature; and Wilderness Society Environment Award for Children’s Literature.

Narelle was the creator of a number of picture books, including The Best Beak in Boonaroo Bay, The Hunt, Sand Swimmers, The Very Blue Thingamajig, Dancing the Boom-chacha Boogie, Home, Fox and Fine Feathers and Don’t Let a Spoonbill in the Kitchen. She also collaborated on numerous children’s books, including The Bunyip and the Night and What a Goat!



Reading Time magazine

As a member of the CBCA we have access to the wonderful weekly publication 'Reading Time'. This fantastic online journal showcases recent Australian publications and is a wealth of knowledge for teachers & librarians keen to keep abreast with current and valuable literature for their classrooms and libraries. I recommend everyone takes the time to explore this great publication and well done to the reviewers and publishers who enable this to be published weekly.

Book Group Dates for Term 4 2016

Sharing is what it is all about. This Book Group is more like a 'Show and Tell' where people talk about the book(s) they have read in the past month.  Any type of book is included. Everyone is welcome.

Venue: Holdfast Hotel Lounge Area. Pier St, Glenelg Time:7pm 9pm

Monday 21 November (Week 6) Monday 19 December (Week 10) 

School Magazine Exhibition in Canberra

For anyone heading to Canberra these holidays you might like to enjoy a special exhibition of the School Magazine.

The School Magazine, the world’s longest continuously published children’s literary magazine, is the focus of an exhibition curated by the National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature.

You will experience the memories and much-loved stories, poems, illustrations, music and crosswords. In addition, the manuscript and artwork originally published in the Magazine and now published as a picture book, 'My Dog' by John Heffernan, will be on view


Public talk:From 4.00pm-5.00pm on Friday 14 October hear Alan Edwards, Editor of The School Magazine, reveal highlights over the years.

Exhibition Venue: Civic Library, Canberra from 23 September – 21 October 2016. The exhibition will be open to the public during the Library's opening hours.


Inky Awards - Voting time

The Inky Awards shortlist was announced on the 16th of August and now we’ve hit the half way mark of voting.

We encourage teens to vote for their favourite book from the list as one lucky voter will win the entire longlist – all twenty books. 

Follow this link to register your choice












Champion Pics: Winners announced

The Champion Pics Competiton attracted a large number of entries. The creativity that linked the personal response, shortlisted book and artwork was impressive. We acknowledge all students who took part in this competition.

Many thanks must be extended to our special guest judge for this year, Vicki Waller.

Vicki is President of the Royal South Australian Society of Arts, has been a practising artist for over 50 years and is a member of the Board of the Port Community Arts Centre. Her extensive experience and knowledge were very welcome and greatly appreciated.


Our winners came from four schools.

Congratulations to these talented students:

Nathalia from St Ignatius in Norwood  (Prize donated by St George's Books)

Anela from Woodville Gardens Primary School (Prize donated by Pegi Williams Book Shop)

Eve from St Ignatius in Norwood (Prize donated by Booked at North Adelaide)

Jaime from St Mary's College in (Prize donated by Dymocks Adelaide)

The School Libraries for each school will also recieve a book bundle and a set of 4 posters that promote reading and books.

Below are some examples of the wonderful artwork submitted for the competition.





Our Book Group Report in August 2016

The group discussed a range of books when they met. Some were very well received.

Picture Books

Small Things by Mel Tregonning

An unusual graphic novel style picture book that ponders the problem of children dealing with their worries. With no text to guide the reader and sombre black and white illustrations one wonders about the intended audience.


Colours of Australia  by Bronwyn Bancoft

A beautifully illustrated book about the colours of the rainbow. Lyrical text


My Brother by Dee Huxley
Beautiful picture book about dealing with grief.


Mr Chicken arriva a Roma. By Leigh Hobbs


Younger Readers

The 65 – Storey Treehouse  by Andy Griffiths

Appealing for readers who enjoy visuals to add to the text. Notable Book 2016



Hubble Bubble: the Pesky Pirate Plank   by Tracey Corderoy

A humorous story about a grandmother witch who loves to “help” her granddaughter using magic. Mum and Dad are not impressed with Grandma’s antics. Reminiscent of that old TV show Bewitched!


Older Readers

The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon

A beautifully written book about a young sensitive boy growing up in a detention centre in Australia. He befriends a young girl who lives outside the detention centre but in many ways is just as isolated from community.


A toaster on Mars  by Darrell Pitt
Set in 2509  funny story for boys


When Michael met Mina by Rana Abdel-Fattah
Afghanistan Muslim family move from their comfortable home to a suburb close to Mina's school where Mina has been awarded a scholarship.She is in the same class as Michael, whose father believes that migrants need to enter the right way, no queue jumping and obeying Australian ways and laws. The relationship between the two becomes strained when Mina finds out about the truth about Michael's father


One would think the deep by Claire Zorn
Surfing story about a young lad whose father and mother have died and he moves in with his grandmother and aunt.
He knows little about his father and when details are revealed, it is not a pretty story. Good writing about surfing


Adult novels
Mr Mac and me by Esther Freud
WW1 is about to break out and this book is set in Eastern England, very close to France. Effect of war on the community and a family that runs the local pub. People become suspicious of others, suspecting that they might be spies. Story told through the eyes of a young boy.

The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks
The story of King David. Very close to Bible account but not a lot of originality.


News from the Board

CBCA BOARD BULLETIN, Number 10  June 2016



Many of you were lucky enough to be able to attend the National Conference held at the Menzies Hotel in Sydney. I’m sure all of you who were there would agree that it was a wonderful event. Sessions were varied and interesting; all the plenary sessions were really memorable; the trade display was fantastic and it was marvellous to have the well-stocked bookshop on-site. Thank you to all who participated for a stimulating few days.

At the conference we were able to thank those outgoing judges who were there and to welcome

some of the incoming judges. Some of the outgoing judges had served in that role for 3 years – a wonderful commitment. We thank all the judges – incoming and outgoing – for their willingness to act in this capacity on behalf of us all. The coming judging round will be the first time the new process has been used.

You will have received a feedback form in your email and we would be very grateful if you would

complete it. It is really helpful for planning for the 2018 conference if we know what worked and what didn’t work so well and if people would like to have some different sessions.

Thank you once again to the organising committee; it really was a great partnership between members of the Board and members of the NSW Branch.


A very successful AGM was held in Melbourne at the end of April. This is an important occasion for the CBCA as branches and the Board come together to discuss the work of the CBCA.As well as the formal business which needs to be conducted at such a meeting, it gives us the opportunity for strategic discussions. We were also able to attend a dinner together. Following the AGM a

Board meeting was held the next day. These face-to-face meetings are invaluable in allowing the Board to come together to plan future directions for the CBCA.

One of the decisions taken at the AGM was to establish two working parties. These would have both Board and branch representation. The future viability of the CBCA depends on financial stability and one of the working parties will consider strategies to try to ensure this. It will be led by Angela Briant, who is convenor of the Board’s Finance Committee. The other, to be led by Cam Jones, will revise the constitution.

2016 BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARDS PRESENTATION - OUR 70th. Preparations are continuing for the Awards Ceremony to be held in Sydney on Friday, 19 August at the NSW Teachers’ Federation Auditorium in Surry Hills. As some of you already know, we are honoured that the Governor-General and Lady Cosgrove have agreed to attend the ceremony where Sir Peter will present the prizes.

NEW BOARD MEMBER. Unfortunately, following the AGM, we had to bid a fond farewell to Ray Pincombe who has resigned from the Board as South Australia’s representative. All of us on the Board have appreciated Ray’s wise contributions to the work of the Board. His wide-ranging corporate and governance knowledge through his long experience in local government was invaluable.

Welcome to Linda Guthrie, who is from 24 June, South Australia’s new representative on the Board. Linda is currently a teacher-librarian in a secondary school and has previously been a teacher-librarian in a primary school so she brings a breadth of experience to the Board. We look forward to working with her.

Margot Hillel


There’s always a mixed reaction to changes of any kind. This was the case this year when the Notable Books List was released and the Short List was announced a month later at the conference. There was some criticism of this decision as it cut a month out of the time between the Short List and the Awards Announcement. On the other hand there was great excitement in Melbourne on the ‘Night of the Notables’.

Many people, especially authors, illustrators and publishers, appreciated their ‘moment in the sun’

with the Notables being celebrated nationally, especially on social media and sales were brisk on the Reading Time ‘buy now’ link. Then the announcement of the Short List at the Conference was hugely successful.

So now that both announcements are ‘in the bag’ it looks like this timetabling will be a permanent fixture. These are some very encouraging comments we’ve received: ‘Could you please pass on my comments about the timing of the Notable list this year. In the past I have focused so heavily on the Short List that I have taken little notice of the Notable list. Getting the Short List read seems to become the priority. Because the list has been released a month earlier than the Short List I find that I am now pouring over and reading this list in a way I usually only do with the Short List. It also means that I am purchasing from the whole list. It’s an excellent list and it is a shame that it has tended to be overshadowed. I understand that the timing this year was in relation to the conference, but I would suggest that the committee seriously consider maintaining this time difference. In many ways I believe it creates even more excitement and anticipation for the release of the Short List’. (Newcastle City Library)

‘I wanted to mention that the new way of announcing the Notables is fabulous and results in everyone celebrating the long list. Such a great change.’ (Susanne Gervay, President of SCBWI)

STOP PRESS! The full Notables list with Judges’ annotations has now been added to the CBCA National Website - in the Members Only section. It is also available of course in the CBCA OFFICIAL BOOK WEEK HANDBOOK. This valuable resource provides information from Shaun Tan about the iconic Australia picture books he has reference on this year’s poster, plus classroom activities and teachers’ notes.


This year’s spectacular merchandise, with artwork by Shaun Tan, received an enthusiastic and sold-out welcome when it was launched at the Conference.


Well before the announcement of the 2016 Book of the Year Awards, the Board Awards Committee is hard at work on the 2017 awards. There are now two deadlines for entries from publishers: 30 June for books published 1 January to 30 June and 30 November for books published 1 July to 31 December. Entries have already been sent to judges and they have begun reading.


It was exciting to read The Queen’s Birthday Honours List. There was John Cohen’s name: The Reverend Dr John Authur Cohen OAM - for services to children’s literature and to the community. Congratulations to John with our thanks for all the dedicated work, especially on ‘Reading Time’. Spread the word!

6. NATIONAL OFFICE. The National Office has been keeping very busy with the business of the Board, managing the estore and merchandise distribution as well as receiving and administering entries for the 2017 Book of the Year Awards. Shannon King commenced work as Awards Assistant in early March (welcome Shannon!) and has embraced her new role, cataloguing and distributing to judges the first entries for the 2017 awards. She has also offered invaluable assistance in the project management of the merchandise distribution. This year’s merchandise is distributed by the Endeavour Foundation www.endeavour.org.au

70th anniversary and CBCA Winners announced











Over one hundred members (past and current) of the South Australian Branch of CBCA attended a special morning tea hosted by the Adelaide City Council Mayor, Martin Haese this morning. The purpose was two fold -  to celebrate 70 years of The Children's Book Council of Australia and to announce the winners of the Book of the Year Award for 2016.

The event was held in the Adelaide City Library in Rundle Mall which was a fitting venue for the occasion. It was roomy and well laid out with a wonderful morning tea provided.  Other special dignitaries in attendance included The Honourable Susan Close, Minister for Education and Child Development;  Rachel Sanderson MP and Mr Alan Smith, the Director of the State Library.


Our President Karen Mutton gave a speech which outlined the importance of high quality literature and the valuable input by people involved from conception of an idea to the promotion of a book.  This was followed by the announcement of the winning and honour books for each category by our state Book of the Year Awards judge Katharine England.

To find out more go to our National website where you will find comments from our National President (Margot Hillel) and links to the winning books.


From Susan Close, Minister for Education and Child Development for 2016 Book Week.

It was a very great pleasure to welcome the Minister for Education and Child Development, Susan Close, to the 70th Anniversary Celebration of The Children's Book Council of Australia.

Please take a few moments to view this video that shares Minister Close's favourite books for children.



Book Week Celebrations are beginning

South Australian talent honoured in this year's 70th Anniversary awards include:

Vikki Wakefield for her novel In Between Days (Honour Book in the Older Readers Category),

Phil Cummings and Shane Devries for their picture book Ride, Ricardo, Ride (Honour Book in the Picture Book Category)

and  Jane Jolly and Sally Heinrich for ther picture book One Step At A Time (Honour Book in the Picture Book Category).

The Book of the Year: Older Readers



Fiona Wood

Macmillan Australia


A Single Stone

Meg McKinlay

Walker Books Australia


Inbetween Days

Vikki Wakefield

Text Publishing

The Book of the Year: Younger Readers



Morris Gleitzman

Viking Books, Penguin Group (Australia)


Sister Heart

Sally Morgan

Fremantle Press



Shadows of the Master

Emily Rodda

Omnibus Books, Scholastic Australia


The Book of the Year: Early Childhood


Mr Huff


Penguin Random House



Danny Parker (Illust: Freya Blackwood)

Little Hare, Hardie Grant Egmont


The Cow Tripped Over The Moon

Tony Wilson (Illust: Laura Wood)

Scholastic Press, Scholastic Australia

The Picture Book of the Year



Armin Greder (Text: Nadia Wheatley)

Windy Hollow Books



Ride, Ricardo, Ride!

Shane Devries (Text: Phil Cummings)

Omnibus Books, Scholastic Australia


One Step at a Time

Sally Heinrich (Text: Jane Jolly)

Midnight Sun Publishing

The Eve Pownall Award for Information Books


Lennie The Legend: Solo to Sydney by Pony

Stephanie Owen Reeder

NLA Publishing


Phasmid: Saving the Lord Howe Island Stick Insect

Rohan Cleave (Illust: Coral Tulloch)

CSIRO Publishing



Ancestry: Stories of Multicultural Anzacs

Robyn Siers & Carlie Walker

Department of Veterans Affairs

Crichton Award

The Underwater Fancy Dress Parade

Allison Colpoys (Text: Davina Bell)

Scribe Publications










Book of the Year Winners and Honour Books

Congratulations to Nicole Le Mesurier who successfully predicted the winners in two of the Book of the Year categories.







Nicole participated in CBCSA Branch event "And the Winner Is" earlier this year.  Having listened to our excellent presenters Nicole predicted that "Mr Huff" by Anne Walker would win the Early Childhood category and "Cloudwish" by Fiona Wood would win the Older Reader category.  Outstanding Nicole.  Well Done.

If you want to find out about the winners and honour books in each category follow the link below.


Roald Dahl's 100th Birthday - Competition

Follow this link to find a wonderful competition to celebrate Roald Dahl's 100th birthday.  From now until the 13th September (Roald Dahl's birthday) you will need to read at least 7 of his books and answer the online quiz questions.  Once you have completed the quizzes successfully you can download the competition entry form and have your chance to go to Brisbane to see the Matilda the Musical.


What fun!  What a great opportunity.

Order of Australia Medal

Congratulations to The Reverend Dr John Cohen OAM who received this award for services to children's literature and to the community. We thank him for all his dedicated work for CBCA, especially as long term editor of the print version of Reading Time.

John spent many hundreds, if not thousands of hours co-ordinating reviewers and their reviews, organising interviews and articles for the magazine. I am sure he will not mind me mentioning the invaluable support he also had from his wife Hilary. Thanks again for their many efforts in sustaining one of the key reasons for CBCA -  high quality reviewing of  Australian children's literature.

Celebrate Reading National Conference 2016

For those of you with a wander lust and the ability to travel west for October 28th - 29th there is conference put on by The Literature Centre in Fremantle.

The focus this year is for high schools and Young Adult readers. A scholarship is available for early career teachers but you will have to be quick to apply.

Click here for more information.

Champion Pics Competition for School Students


Champion Pics Competition for School Students

Who can enter? The competition is open to all school students (R-9) in SA.

What do entrants need to do?

Working individually, students select a shortlisted book from the Early Childhood or Picture Book Categories and create a visual presentation, no larger than A3 in size.

The presentation is an opportunity for students to show their response to literature: share their feelings and thoughts about the events and characters, or draw connections between personal experiences and the text, or reflect on the language used in the text and its influence on personal response.

Students can use any media.

When is it due?

All entries are due by Monday 15th August 2016.

The winners will be announced Friday 19thAugust 2016 at the 70th Anniversary reception..

Entry is free.

What are the Prizes?

R-2 prize: $30 Book Voucher

3-5prize: $30 Book Voucher

6-7prize: $30 Book Voucher

8-9 prize: $30 Book Voucher

Each winner will also receive a book bundle their school library.

The entry form and information can be downloaded here.

Extra information can be found in the Frequently Asked Quesitions document.

The rubric offers ideas on ways students can be successful with their entry.



United Way are passionate about all children being able to reach their individual potential and encourage all South Australians to Read Aloud to children every day.

South Australian children’s author Mem Fox is the ambassador for United We Read, a program designed to get more children school ready particularly in vulnerable areas. The key strategy promoted for pre-schoolers to develop pre-literacy skills is to Read Aloud to them.

Research shows that reading aloud to children is beneficial to children from birth and is critical to future success in education.

On Sunday the 3rd of April 2016 the Children’s Book Council of Australia (SA Branch) was invited to join United Way SA’s Disadvantaged Children’s Zoo Day to celebrate their 10th year by providing a free family fun day at the Zoo for children and their families.

Karen Mutton (President) and Linda Guthrie (Vice President) joined Peter Goers, Mem Fox and Education Minister Susan Close in reading to children at the zoo. It was a fabulous morning highlighting the importance of reading and books.


President's Report May 2016

Friday’s announcement of the 2016 Short List caused me to look back to our “And the Winner Is!” event that was held at St. Mary’s College earlier this year.  After each of our presenters had completed their talk the audience had the opportunity to nominate their choice of winner in each of the 4 categories spoken about.  This weekend, as I took the opportunity to review the entries I was delighted to notice that 9 people had nominated a short listed book in 3 different categories – this, I think, is a reflection of the high quality of work done by each of our presenters.  I wonder who will win the competition when the winners are announced.

In April I had the privilege of attending The CBCA AGM in Melbourne as a delegate representing our state.  It was a pleasure to meet with both the CBCA Board and the Branch Presidents from each state. The Branch Presidents held a meeting on Sunday morning, after the AGM, to share their ideas about engaging with their community and discuss issues that we all face.

As we lead up to Book Week our committee is finalising plans for our annual “Picture This – Art Ideas for Book Week.”  This well attended event will be held at Unley Library Community Hall, off Oxford St. Unley on Friday 24th June.  Make sure you book your place through the Try Booking link https://www.trybooking.com/KVASor by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to reserve a place for yourself and then pay on the night.

Karen Mutton

President CBCA (SA)

Picture This! Art ideas for Book Week 2016

Once again the very talented Evelynne Richardson will demonstrate and workshop her ideas for Book Week. The theme this year is Australia! Story Country.

This evening is very popular with teacher-librarians / librarians / teachers so book in early to save your place.

24th June is the date.  6pm is the time. Unley Library Community Hall is the venue.

For more information on how to book please go to our events page.

Reading to Young Children – and What Happens Next!

In recent years I’ve become rather worried about how much kids are actually reading, and what (if any) encouragement they are being given to do so.  And, before I begin, I think it might be necessary to define what I mean by ‘reading’. I do not mean consuming an endless stream of brief, and generally trivial, communications. I mean tackling texts which are lengthy, complex and subtle, and require some effort – texts which stand some chance of improving the reader’s understanding of the confusions and problems, the joys and delights of human existence and our relationship with our physical world.


But a child’s reading-life has to begin somewhere. So I was very interested in the talk given by Belinda Spry of The Little Big Book Club at our AGM back in February. As is well-known, her organization’s aim is to encourage parents to read aloud to their children in their first five years, and thus provide them with a solid foundation for formal literacy teaching later on. It’s clear enough, although not usually actually stated, that their major emphasis is on children of lower socio-economic status, whose parents might not normally do this. This was made particularly obvious by the research on which Belinda’s talk was generally based – she very kindly sent me a selection of papers later.


By-and-large I found the contents of the research fairly familiar: it has been going on for half-a-century throughout the English-speaking world, and has produced grimly consistent results: children of a lower socio-economic background start school in a state of massive deficit, and the school-experience does not improve this – in fact the gap between them and their more fortunate contemporaries widens. Perhaps the most alarming of the papers Belinda provided me with said that one recent American study had demonstrated that working-class children have 30 million fewer experiences with words than professional-background children by the age of three! (‘The Early Catastrophe’: Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley.) This, of course, suggests that government-funded early-intervention projects beginning at the age of three or four are already too late.


The obvious alternative approach: namely, to induce all parents to provide their children with experiences similar to those professional parents apparently provide ‘naturally’, is essentially what Belinda’s organization is trying to promote. I am not going to say that this won’t work. As far as I know, intervention programs over the last fifty years have largely been of a professional nature, and again, as far as I know, such positive results as they have produced have simply vanished in the early years of schooling. Perhaps intervening via parents will generate more permanent benefits, although it will obviously be a lot messier, and make it difficult for researchers to study exactly what is happening. But if we are to go down this pathway, I’d say The Little Big Book Club is going to need a lot of help!


I now want to move on, because I think the issue of ensuring that all children arrive at school with a similar range of language and literacy experiences, enormous though it is, is only one of our current problems. If children are to become readers of the sort I described in paragraph 1, they still have a very long way to go. Are they being helped much? The answer to this question should be a resounding, ‘Yes’, because surely that’s what schools are supposed to do. But my own suspicion is that it’s actually, ‘No’, in a lot of cases. I think there are two reasons for this: one is the acrimonious debate that has been going on in educational circles for something like twenty years about methods of teaching reading; the other is the equally acrimonious debate about the place of technology in education.


I think we have now all come to the conclusion that the most efficient, and generally successful, way of  teaching reading is by ‘phonic methods’ (purists will no doubt want to argue about the terminology). Personally, I rejoice at this, since it’s what I was doing in my teaching years anyway. Unfortunately, however, the alternative, and now discredited, method was generally known as ‘literature-based’. For a start, this suggests that there’s something wrong with literature. Secondly, surely it’s obvious to any teacher, no matter how devoted they might be to phonics, that the moment a child has begun to grasp how the written code works, you should start moving them away from ‘readers’ and onto children’s books of genuine literary value? My impression, however, is that this clearly sensible course of action has not appealed to the ‘experts’, and thus children’s literature is now playing only the most minimal part in the education of very many children.


Information technology has, I think, been the subject of a great deal of grand-standing in educational circles. Not so long ago we were being told that the physical book was on the verge of disappearing, the traditional school library was an anachronism, and shortly we would all be reading from screens. And in a couple of well-publicized cases large schools disposed of both their librarians and their libraries, and supplied their students with lap-tops instead.


But actually, I don’t want to debate any of that. Instead, I want to discuss how children might be encouraged to read in an entirely electronic environment. As it happens, I belong to an academic library which deals in materials which are basically very expensive, and are therefore increasingly only available by electronic means – it’s the cheapest way. So how does this library operate? For a start, it employs three highly qualified librarians, so that if you need help it is very readily available (and they never make you feel like an idiot!). Every week I receive two or three emails telling me about new acquisitions, interesting and informative blogs, reminders about how to access things, and information about how to get round the system when part of it has gone down (that was this morning!). The physical library still exists, and of course you can borrow physical books. But it is also used as a study space, a venue for the quieter sort of meeting, and a display space for works of art. And there is a regularly up-dated display of the latest e-books available.


Surely therefore, on this example, a school which no longer emphasizes the physical book should have a highly qualified librarian (with a proper work-space!) whose job it is to make kids aware of the fictional e-books available, continually up-date them on the best blogs and web-pages, and liaise with other teachers about non-fiction materials in relation to their broader studies. But I don’t get the impression that this is happening. I think that in state schools at least the common scene is that there is no teacher-librarian, very little in the way of a library budget, and a school-assistant presides over an increasingly battered collection of old books.


We are repeatedly told by the media that by international comparisons, our literacy standards are plummeting. This usually generates a good deal of hand-wringing. But nobody seems to connect this to the loss of school-libraries, the loss of librarians, and, as far as I can see, the lack of any system for encouraging children to engage in broad reading for recreational purposes. Why not? To me, it’s obvious that if kids are not reading, they will not be good readers, and therefore will do rather badly in literacy tests!


Val van Putten

And PS, if anybody is interested in a research report which relates directly to the benefits of reading aloud to pre-school children, ‘Reading to Young Children: A Head-Start in Life’ produced by the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, and available on-line, discusses this.

2016 Short List Announced

So finally it is here!

Follow this link to see the short list for 2016


And not to forget the Crichton Award Short List also announced today.

What is the Crichton Award?

In 1985, Mr Wallace Raymond Crichton left a legacy to the Children’s Book Council of Australia (Victorian Branch). 

The Branch decided to establish an award to recognise and encourage new talent in the field of Australian children’s book illustration. It was first awarded in 1988. Although administered by the Victorian Branch, the Crichton Award for New Illustrators is a CBCA National award and the results are announced with the Book of the Year Awards.

So now that you know - the Crichton Award Short Listed titles can be found here.

NSW Premier's Literary Awards Winners announced

On May 16th the winners were announced and can be found here.

The Ethel Turner Prize for Young People's Literature went to Alice Pung's book Laurinda. The winner and Short List can be found here.

The Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children's Literature went to Rebecca Young and Matt Ottley's book Teacup. The winner and Short List can be found here.

Book Group Report for May 2016


Unfortunately due to family illness I was unable to attend this gathering. However I am told that there was a good turn out of readers and they talked enthusiastically about the books that they had read.  Thank you to Vicki for compiling the list for me.


Special by Georgia Blain.

This is one for teenagers. A Futuristic tale about dystopian society


Dreaming the enemy by David Metzenthen.

Based on experiences in the Vietnam War. The main character has been conscripted but often dreams about what happened to the enemy. He tries to reestablish his life after effects  of war. Good for discussion in school.


Alice Jones:  the impossible clue by Sarah Rubin

Strong female character who uses her maths skills to solve mysteries.


The stars at Oktober bend by Glenda Millard

YA novel about a 15 year old girl, Alice who has acquired brain injury. She can't speak well but she writes beautiful poetry.


Raymie Nightingale  by Kate DiCamillo

Set in 1975 in a small American town, Raymie's life has taken a turn for the worse when her father leaves her mother for the dental hygienist. Raymie decides that she will enter the Little Miss Central America contest to get her father back. To do this Raymie takes baton twirling lessons and there she meets Beverly and Louisiana. Each girl has their own problems and secrets and the three girls spend their summer helping one another through the trials of loss. Some very funny scenes and beautiful writing. Year 5 up.




Hour of the bees by Lindsay Eagar

American. A young girl is on holiday at her grandfather’s house. The family are trying to pack up grandfather as he needs to go into a nursing home. They spend the very hot summer in a difficult situation but Carol learns a great deal about herself.

Within the story the grandfather tells the story of his young life in his village, which has a special tree that looks after everyone in village.


The lost Sapphire by Belinda Murrell

Set in Melbourne. The main character spends a holiday with Father. Grandfather inherited an old house. The girl investigates the house and finds out more about the house and the time when it was built. Time slip back to the era of the house is used.


Sister Heart by Sally Morgan

This is a sensitive story written in verse about a young girl taken from her family and moved south into a children's home.  Although written about the stolen generation, it could easily be written about any child forced from their home, such as refugees.

This book is on the Notables list for 2016.


Star of Deltora -Shadows of the Master by Emily Rodda

Start of a new series. Britta has always wanted to be a trader but her family has been sent into hiding thanks to her father's actions. Britta however gets the chance to become an apprentice on the trading ship belonging to the powerful Roslyn fleet but she must prove her wealth in difficult circumstances. Fans of Emily Rodda will enjoy this although it does read as the very first in a very long series, as it only introduces the reader to the characters with limited plot development.




Gary by Leila Rudge

The story of a pigeon who cannot fly. He falls into a basket and gets taken away from home. He uses his book of maps and travel tips to get back.

Great illustrations and a bit like Peggy by Anna Walker



The grumpy Lighthouse keeper by Terrizita Corpus

All the sea animals come to shelter with the lighthouse keeper.

Lovely use of language.



Where do teachers go at night by Harriet Cumming

A humorous picture book about what teachers do out of school



There is a tribe of kids by Lane Smith.

Beautifully illustrated book about collective nouns.



Box by Min Flyte

A very cute lift the flap book about all the things you can do with a box.




The weird and wonderful world of Words by Charles Hope.

An appealing and well presented book about words and how we use language.

Includes information longest words, origin of words, sign language, spoonerisms and the phonetic alphabet. Not too much information on each page so would appeal to younger readers and teachers who love talking about words with their students.




The dust that falls from dreams by Louis de Bernieres

Family saga for First World War until Second World War starts

Great characters including the maid. Downton Abbey style. Edwardian times


Mothering Sunday by Graham Swift

A novella about a maid and her romantic associations and how that influenced her life as a writer. Shifts between past and present. Relationships between up and downstairs.


Between a wolf and a dog by Georgia Blain

(French phrase for the time between day and night)

This is about a woman who is diagnosed with a brain tumour. She keeps this a secret from her family. Deals with family relationships, particularly with daughters. Well written with positive outcomes.


Gotham by Nick Earls

Adult writing. The first in a series of five novellas.

About an Australian author who travels to United States to interview a rock star. As he travels around with the rock star he contemplates his own life.


The Gun Room by Georgina Harding

Photographer has taken a photograph of a Vietnam soldier that becomes well known around the world. Both the photographer and the soldier are unsettled in their lives and meet in Japan. Beautifully written and sensitive portrayal of the effects of war.


The bucket list to mend a broken heart by Anna Bell (adult fiction)

A light read. When Abi gets her belongings after a break up with her boyfriend she finds a bucket list she thinks belongs to her boyfriend. She tries to win him back by completing the list.


A year of Marvellous ways by Sarah Winman

A special book set in Cornwall.


The Perfumer's Secret by Fiona McIntosh

An historical look at two famous families who create perfumes in France.


The last Dance by Fiona McIntosh

Stella is a strong intelligent young woman who is left looking after her younger siblings when her parents die. With little money for the family, she supplements her day job with work at a dance Hall. There she meets a mysterious but attractive man who encourages to find work as a governess. When Stella arrives at the grand residence where she will be employed she finds that the mystery man is the father of the two girls she will look after. Unfortunately emotions run high in the household and life becomes difficult for Stella as she falls in love with her employer.  Life is further complicated by the rise of Hitler and the need to obtain information about Germany and its plans for the future. Stella is swept into the world of espionage.

A good holiday read although some characters were very unlikable.



Book Week Merchandise

Wow! Magnificent! 

These were my first thoughts when seeing for the first time the merchandise poster which advertises what we can expect for this year. 

Designed by Shaun Tan the result is stunning don't you agree?

Keep checking the website for when orders can be made through your local branch (us) to receive a 10% discount for members.


This very useful handbook includes Short List Information and Classroom Activities.

Buying this handbook is highly recommended. It not only contains judges’ annotations for Notable Books but the Short List and information about the creators of these books. There is also valuable information about the CBCA Book of the Year Awards. Most importantly, it contains an explanation and guide to Shaun Tan’s poster and the iconic Australian picture books he has referenced in the artwork, plus Teachers’ Notes and Classroom Activities. This handbook and the exclusive information included is © copyright CBCA.

2016 Notable books announced!

The Book of the Year Notables list has been announced.

CBCA National Chair Professor Margot Hillel announced, "Once again the CBCA is excited about the diversity and quality of Australian children's books, with themes this year of war, refugees and fantasy. It’s wonderful to see more books of poetry and once again, outstanding illustrations. There were over 400 books entered this year, the largest category was for Younger Readers with 122 submissions. Clearly there is a real depth of talent producing great books for children and young people. The Children’s Book Council of Australia is delighted to be able to highlight these excellent new titles.”

There are 22 Early Childhood Books; 16 Older Reader Books; 14 Younger Readers; 15 Eve Pownall Information Books and 22 Picture Books that have been 'long listed'.

The full list can be found here.


2016 NSW Premier's Literary Awards Short Lists

These can be found at http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/about-library-awards/nsw-premiers-literary-awards

Congratulations to Jane Jolly for her Short List selection for the  Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children's Literature. This Short List can be found at http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/2016-patricia-wrightson-prize-childrens-literature



Seeing Stories exhibition

The National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature has curated a major exhibition entitled Seeing Stories, running from 29 April – 26 August in Canberra.

The John Barrow collection of framed original artworks is a visual documentary of an important period in the history of Australian children's literature. It covers the years from the 1980s through the early 2000s. 

For more information see http://www.canberra.edu.au/national-centre-for-australian-childrens-literature/news-events/items/seeing-stories-event

Not too late to book into read:MYRIAD POSSIBILITIES


The 2016 CBCA conference 'read : MYRIAD POSSIBILITIES' is  being held 20,21 May.

Still making up your mind about whether to go or not?

Have a look at the program which can be found at http://www.cbcaconference.org.au/program/  

It's not too late to book to join in the experience. Bookings close May 6, 2016 however bookings made after May 1, 2016 will incur a late Registration fee of $100.

Meet the 2016 Committee

Karen Mutton (President)

As a Primary School Teacher Librarian I see the promotion and engagement of students in high quality Australian Literature as an essential part of my role.  To help young students develop the skills to become independent readers and a love of reading is one of my passions.

While I am currently the Teacher-Librarian and a classroom teacher at Saint David’s Parish School in Tea Tree Gully I have worked at a number of different Primary Schools during my career.

I have been a member of the CBCSA branch for a few years now and have recently taken on the role of President with the intention to do all I can to continue it’s role in the promotion of literature to young Australian’s.

Linda Guthrie (Vice President and Website Manager)

A Teacher Librarian and Research Project teacher, I am actively involved in Teacher Librarian professional associations and The Children's Book Council of Australia (South Australia).

I have always had a love of children’s literature and reading, so the opportunity to be more involved in The Children’s Book Council of Australia was one not to be missed.

Through my membership I have seized the moment to build on my interests and skills, meet talented authors and illustrators, and collaborate in organising some of the marvellous events the branch supports.

Anna Angelakis (Treasurer)

Since helping at my high school library, I have always been interested in Librarianship. Working in the State Library of South Australia since 1983, I have had the pleasure of working firstly in the old Children’s Library and the Young Adult Services, and more recently in the reference area.  My interest in children’s books and young adult books led me to the The Children’s Book Council. A member since 1992, in that time I have assisted as a general committee member, Secretary and now the Treasurer and Merchandise Officer. It has been a very enjoyable and rewarding time.

Judy Miller (Secretary)

As a teenager I attended a boarding school where reading wasn’t encouraged in the boarding house.  It wasn’t until I attended a course on Children’s Literature as an adult with children of my own that I rediscovered the joy of children’s books. What a lot of wasted reading years! This led me to begin training as a teacher librarian so that I could share my love of reading and help motivate young readers. Later I was encouraged by an amazing bookseller to extend this interest by becoming a member of the CBCA. I have been associated with the committee for a while now and this year I return to the position of secretary.

Val Van Putten

I have been a member of the CBCA Branch Committee for nearly twenty-five years. In the course of that time I served as Branch President for nine years and National President for two. I edited the Newsletter for nineteen years and the now-defunct Book Week Ideas Book for twelve. I have been judge for the Children’s Book of the Year Awards, and involved with the organization of two national conferences. Out of all of this the things I enjoyed the most and am most proud of were the Newsletter and the Ideas Book.

Julie Wells

I have been a member of the CBCA for over 16 years, joining as an interested teacher and librarian.

For those of us passionate about all things to do with books and reading, CBCA is a great organisation with a wonderful history and fine reputation, and it offers us all the opportunity to spread the word to readers and promote creators!

Nola Uzzell

I have been a teacher librarian for more than 40 years in a variety of guises and schools. I am currently part of the Teacher Librarian team at Golden Grove Primary School. A major part of my teaching and learning program has always been the 'Literacy through Literature ' component, building confident and critical readers with a love of literature and I have drawn heavily from the Childress Book Council programs, resources and PD to achieve this. This year I have reduced my teaching load and had some spare time so thought I should give back to the organisation by contributing to the committee in whatever role I can be useful.


Maria Komninos

I've been a teacher for over 20 years in a variety of roles and schools.

Background in PE and science and children's literature.

In the last 10 years I have been involved in different things involving promoting authors and books. From book clubs, community TV and reviewing books.

My main love is children's literature and thought what a better way to do that but by joining the CBCA because all kids so look forward to the annual book week. And I wanted to see how we could promote reading in schools and the community better.

Katharine England

I have been accepted as one of three judges for the Older Reader category in 2017/18, the only South Australian to apply.

I have had a lifetime relationship with books: I was brought up in a very small flat and in self-defence my book-loving parents took me to a children's library at a very early age. As a teenager I worked in a fine and famous bookshop, (Clay's, now sadly no more) in Sydney's Kings Cross. I have an honours degree in English Literature from the University of Sydney and have been a book reviewer ever since I arrived in South Australia in 1968. I currently review Australian and overseas fiction and children's books regularly for The Advertiser and children’s books for Magpies. I was a CBCA judge in 1993/4 and an Eve Pownall Judge in 1997/8.  I’m really looking forward to being forced to read a whole stack of fabulous Australian teenage and YA novels, although not so much to having to choose between them!




Amazing! This was the first time I was able to get to the Book Group and what a marvellous experience it was. There were 7 participants who each brought along one or more books to discuss. Over two hours we talked about twenty-six different books. And now I have even more books that I want to add to my already long list of books to read! I spent most of the time listening and trying to take notes but have decided that Reading Time and Booktopia have very good reviews which will be more comprehensive than my hasty scratchings.

All members are welcome to come along to the next meeting of this group which is held at the Holdfast Hotel Glenelg on 9th May at 7pm.


The way we roll by Scot Gardner


Suggested for upper secondary.

The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis


The Hired Girl by Amy Schlitz


One Thousand Hills by James Roy


It was thought that this book could be read to classes with care by a sensitive teacher due to the atrocities that occurred. Students will have questions about this book.

Camel Rider by Prue Mason

A fast paced story about survival and friendship.


The yearbook committee by Sarah Ayoub

A committee is formed of students with different backgrounds to create the private school yearbook.

Similar to ‘The breakfast club’. An interview with the author can be found at


This raging light by Estelle Laure

An American teenager tries to survive without her parents and look after her younger sister at the same time as coping with normal school life.


Faceless by Alyssa Sheinmel

16 year old girl is struck by tragedy when lightning strikes her and she requires a face transplant. This is the story of her recovery and discovery of herself.



The Dreaming Tree by Jo Oliver


Includes atmospheric images of Australian Poetry.


The family with two front doors by Anna Ciddor


This story is based on the life of the author’s grandmother and her very generous and charitable Jewish family in Poland pre-war.

Teresa: A New Australian by Deborah Abela


Teresa is a 1950’s immigrant from Malta.

Shatterbelt by Colin Thiele

This book was used with good results with a year 5 class which liked the tension involved. Discussion was generated around the vocabulary.


 A soldier, a dog and a boy by Libby Hathorn


How to be famous by Michael Shalev


Reminiscent of Mo Willems pigeon books

Reflection by Rebecka Sharpe Shelberg


Each double spread shows two different meanings to the text - a modern day journey to a Remembrance Service and an historical image of war.

The Blue Whale by Jenni Desmond

A non-fiction Picture book which is useful for getting facts about whales for JP classes.


wednesday by anne bertier


This is a useful book for Harmony Day as it has the theme of playing together.

Stick and stone by Beth Ferry

Another book recommended for a friendship and getting along theme.


Bob the railway dog by Corinne Fenton


Highly recommended picture book of an historical story.  Peterborough has a bronze statue dedicated to Bob.


The Hindi-Bindi club by Monica Pradhan


The Sleepwalkers Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob


Another book about Indian migration

The Physician by Noah Gordon


Us by David Nicholls

A husband plans a trip of a lifetime to try to keep his family together. Written by the author of ‘One day’


A year of marvellous ways by Sarah Winman


By the author of ‘When God was a rabbit’.

The disclaimer by Renee Knight


A psychological thriller

Sheila: the Australian beauty who bewitched British Society by Robert Wainwright


This is the fascinating story of a little known Australian woman.


Winners of the 2015 Aurealis Awards announced

The Aurealis Awards were established to recognise the achievements of Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror writers.

We congratulate the winners.

BEST CHILDREN’S FICTION - A Single Stone, Meg McKinlay (Walker Books Australia)

BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL / ILLUSTRATED WORK - The Singing Bones, Shaun Tan (Allen & Unwin)

BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL - In The Skin of a Monster, Kathryn Barker (Allen & Unwin)

Further winners can be found at https://aurealisawards.org/

Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature

Congratulations to the winners announced on the Premier's website.


In particular - 

Tamsin Janu for Figgy in the World (Omnibus Books) Premier’s Award $25,000 and Children’s Literature Award $15,000

Darren Groth for Are You Seeing Me? (Random House Australia)     Young Adult Fiction Award $15,000

Marianne Musgrove for Blackbird     Max Fatchen Fellowship $15,000


Asian Festival of Children's Content

The National Book Development Council of Singapore is holding the AFCC Teachers Congress, happening on 28-29 May 2016.

We have been asked to pass on the invitation to teachers and educators.

For more information please go to http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=32f92d18d53b0c34edd7b9757&id=1675a8ff13&e=[UNIQID]

Getting ready for CHAMPION PICS competition?

The Champion Pics competition is open to all school students (R-9) in SA.

Working individually, students select a shortlisted book from the Early Childhood or Picture Book Categories and create a visual presentation, no larger than A3 in size.

The artisitc presentation is an opportunity for students to show their response to literature: share their feelings and thoughts about the events and characters, or draw connections between personal experiences and the text, or reflect on the language used in the text and its influence on personal response.

Information about this competition is available on our events page.


2015 Auditor's report

The 2015 auditor’s report is now available and members can request a copy via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

President's Report March / April 2016

President’s Report – March/April 2016

 Welcome to 2016, an important year for The Children’s Book Council of Australia as this is our 70th birthday.

This year, which started with our AGM, saw a number of committee members retire. Thanks must go to Tracy Glover (retiring President) and  Paula Gill (retiring Secretary). Other retiring committee members include Katharine England, Robyn Cations, Sally Bramwell and Valerie Gordge all of whom have given valuable service, with their time, effort and energy.

Katharine England, who has been appointed as one of the CBCA  Book of the Year Judges, continues her service to our organisation.

While this year CBCSA branch continues to find ways to support and engage we are delighted to welcome two new Committee members who joined us at our AGM. We look forward to the involvement of Nola Uzzell and Maria Komninos over the next few years.

Our second event for this year “And the Winner Is” event, generously hosted by Eileen McCabe at St. Mary’s College Library on Thursday 17th March was a wonderful event. 


Our presenters

·      Picture Books - Brodie Evitts, Library Officer, Holdfast Shores Library

·      Older Readers - Linda Guthrie, Teacher Librarian, Modbury High School

·      Early Childhood - Holly Marling representing Julie Gierke Tea Tree Gully Library, Early Learning Officer

·      Younger Reader - Julia Baldwin, Teacher Librarian, Westminster School

did an amazing job of sorting through the enormous number of books entered into the 2016 Book Of The Year Awards to select their own nominations in the category they prepared.  As a committee we are very aware that this is a time consuming task and wish to thank them all publically for the time and effort they put into their presentations.  Their presentations opened up opportunities for much discussion about books published during 2015.  This year, for the first time we asked the audience to predict which of the books they think will be the winner in each of the categories.  We look forward to discovering which of the books the official judges nominate.

Linda Guthrie launched CBCSA’s “Champion Pics” competition.  This is an opportunity for students in our schools to use their artistic talents to respond to this year’s shortlisted Early Childhood or Picture Books.  Full details of the competition can be found here.  http://www.cbcsa.org.au/events.

Karen Mutton

President CBCA SA Branch

The Chair of the National Board is interviewed

Margot Hillel, the Chair of the CBCA National Board was recently interviewed on Primary Perspectives.

Read more about this and hear the interview courtesy of Reading Time.


Australia's Great School Libraries - Honours List

Congratulations to the schools nominated for having a Great School Library.

Information about this campaign is found here. https://fair.alia.org.au/australias-great-school-libraries-honours-list#GSLcampaign

Vale Kim Gamble

Sydney based illustrator, Kim Gamble, died on 19 February 2016.

Kim is the award-winning artist who illustrated the the much loved Tashi books.

Reading Time has published a tribute by Anna Fienberg to the illustrator of the fabulousTashi books. It is available here.


New website for SA Authors and Illustrators

Are you looking for an author or illustrator to visit your school or library to share the joy of children’s books?

Authors & Illustrators in South Australian Schools is a new website linking South Australian literary creators with schools and libraries around the state.

The creators are experienced presenters offering engaging workshops and presentations for all ages and year levels.

Visit the site, browse the talent list and book your creator.


Remembering Gregory Rogers

Gregory John Rogers (19 June 1957 – 1 May 2013) was an illustrator and writer of children's books, especially picture books. He was the first Australian to win the annual Kate Greenaway Medal.

He is best known for his books: The Boy, The Bear, The Baron, The Bard; Midsummer Knight; The Hero of Little Street and Omar the Strongman.

In recognition of Gregory Roger’s contribution to children’s literature, the CBCA Queensland Branch aims to raise $5000 so that his name can be listed in memoriam as a Major Donor to The Childrern's Book Council Of Australia's Awards Foundation. 

The donation form to help raise funds in his name can be found here


Storylines Notable Books

The Storylines Children’s Literature Trust has announced the 31 outstanding New Zealand children’s and teens’ books selected for its Notable Books listings for 2016.

Reading time has the list here.     

2016 AGM - President's Report

2015 – President’s Report - AGM, Monday 29th March 2016

With no AGM in 2015 – due to our change in constitution moving our financial year from Sept – Aug to now a calendar year - the last AGM was held in October 2014.

During that time we have maintained a strong, passionate committee who continually strive to improve the way we as a branch engage the community with literature for young Australians – the key aim of the Children’s Book Council of Australia.

Our regular ‘And the Winner is’, Book Week Arts Ideas night and Book Week dinner as well as a collaboration with City of Holdfast Bay Council for book week activities at Mockingbird Café, Glenelg were all strongly supported by our members. 

We acknowledge and thank Mr Ray Pincombe for his representation of SA on the CBCA National board and his tireless work on the various sub committees within this board.

Soon we will be looking for a replacement for Ray - so our new committee would be happy to take expressions of interest from anyone who may wish to be considered for this role.

This year, with the change in format of the BOYA announcements, our programs will be a little different so please keep an eye on the website for details. There is also an opportunity to attend a PD day in June at the State Library and the program for this day should be out soon.

2016 also sees the bi-annual CBCA conference themed:-  Read - Myriad Possibilities in May in Sydney – the program looks great with many popular, talented authors and illustrators including SA Janeen Brian – so I encourage you to attend if possible.

I would like to thank the 2015 committee for their support and friendship. They volunteer their time and energies to ensure that the CBCA has a SA presence and despite their busy and often demanding professional roles they have taken on additional tasks as event organisers, caterers, newsletter editors, proof readers, website creators, presenters and hosts as well as committee members. 

Thank you to the teacher librarians, teachers & staff who have supported the branch during 2015 through providing venues for events & leadership in training. The collaboration between these people has been invaluable to the success of our ventures during the year.

Sadly a couple of our sponsoring book shops closed their doors or withdrew their sponsorship in 2015 however we appreciate the ongoing support of Pegi Williams Book Shop – Walkerville, Booked At North Adelaide & St George’s Books Magill and encourage our members to support where possible these wonderful shops.

I have been a committee member since 2009 and branch president since 2013 – tonight I step down from my role and off the committee with mixed emotions. I encourage our members to consider being part of this committee - new faces bring new ideas and great things can happen if there are enough people to share the load - so I hope some of you will consider bringing your talents and expertise onto the committee for 2016.

Thank you


Tracy Glover (President)

The Children’s Book Council of Australia, South Australian Branch

Authors and Illustrators In SA Schools

Are you looking for an author or illustrator to visit your school or library to share the joy of children’s books?
Authors & Illustrators in South Australian Schools is a new website linking South Australian literary creators with schools and libraries around the state. Our creators are experienced presenters offering engaging workshops and presentations for all ages and year levels. Come visit our site, browse the talent list and book your creator!

And The Winner Is!

Join us, on the 17th March for an entertaining evening where experts in the field of children's literature give us their picks of the diverse titles nominated for this year's Book of the Year Award.

  • When: Thursday 17th March
  • Where: St Mary's College Library
  • Time: 6:30 for a 7:00pm start

Booking and more details about the event can be found by following this link http://www.trybooking.com/KNMG


CBCA Conference Early Bird Deal

Early Bird Bookings for the CBCA 12th National Conference will close at COB on the 19th February.
Delegates booking before the 19th February will go in a draw to win a  double pass to the BridgeClimb.
The theme of the conference is based on the quote:
Books may not change our suffering, books may not protect us from evil, books may not tell us what is good or what is beautiful, and they will certainly not shield us from the common fate of the grave. But books grant us myriad possibilities: the possibility of change, the possibility of illumination.” Alberto Manguel.


The full program and other details can be found at the CBCA 12th National Conference website.

Bookings can be made here.



Leigh Hobbs is our new Australian Children's Laureate for 2016 to 2017.

Today was an exciting day for Leigh Hobbs. He has been announced as the Australian Children's Laureate for 2016 to 2017.

Those of us who have expereinced great enjoyment of his humour through books such as "Mr Chicken Goes to Paris" and "Horrible Harriet" are looking forward to a very special two years as he promotes the importance of reading.

Importantly for school libraries and public libraries everywhere, Leigh has said his aim is to champion creative opportunities for children, and to highlight the essential role libraries play in nurturing our creative lives.

This article in The Age has more details of Leigh's thoughts about the role of Australian Children's Laureate.


Download Leigh Hobbs' fabulous "It's Your Story" Calendar here. It has a different theme for every month of the year.

CBCSA Annual General Meeting Monday 22nd of February

The AGM of the CBCA (SA Branch) will be held on Monday 22nd of February at 6.30pm.

The venue is the meeting room at Toop & Toop, 84 King William Road, Hyde Park.

Please join us for the presentation of the Annual Report and Financial Report, and the election of office bearers and committee members.

Our special guest presenter, Belinda Spry, will then talk about the work of The Little Big Book Club, an initiative of Raising Literacy Australia.

This will be followed by refreshments.

This event is free. Please book here to assist with catering. 

We look forward to seeing you there.


2016 Australia Day Honours

Congratulations to Jackie French, Ann James and Ann Haddon on receiving a Member of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honour Awards.

The full story is available on the Australian Children's Laureate  website  (http://www.childrenslaureate.org.au/2016/01/jackie-french-ann-james-and-ann-haddon-honoured-on-australia-day)


CBCSA Annual General Meeting

The Children's Book Council of Australia (SA Branch) has a very exciting year planned for 2016.

We welcome Mrs Lan Le as our Branch Patron.

Our first event for 2016 will be the Annual General Meeting on Monday, 22nd February 2016.


The 2015 Prime Minister's Literary Awards

Who do you think will win?

The Prime Minister's Literary Awards recognise excellence in Australian literature and history.

Award categories include:

fiction, poetry, non-fiction, Australian history, young adult fiction and children's fiction.

You will recognise CBCA shotlisted titles in the list.

Young adult fiction

  • Are You Seeing Me?by Darren Groth (Random House Australia)
  • The Astrologer's Daughterby Rebecca Lim (Text Publishing)
  • The Minnowby Diana Sweeney (Text Publishing)
  • The Protectedby Claire Zorn (University of Queensland Press)
  • Tigers on the Beachby Doug MacLeod (Penguin Books Australia)

Children's fiction

  • My Dad is a Bearby Nicola Connelly and illustrated by Annie White (New Frontier)
  • My Two Blanketsby Irena Kobald and illustrated by Freya Blackwood (Little Hare Books)
  • One Minute's Silenceby David Metzenthen and illustrated by Michael Camilleri (Allen & Unwin)
  • Two Wolvesby Tristan Bancks (Random House Australia)
  • Withering-by-Seaby Judith Rossell (HarperCollins Publishers)


  • Amnesiaby Peter Carey (Penguin Books Australia)
  • Golden Boysby Sonya Hartnett (Penguin Books Australia)
  • In Certain Circlesby Elizabeth Harrower (Text Publishing)
  • The Golden Ageby Joan London (Random House Australia)
  • To Name Those Lostby Rohan Wilson (Allen & Unwin)


  • Devadatta's Poemsby Judith Beveridge (Giramondo Publishing)
  • Earth Hourby David Malouf (University of Queensland Press)
  • Exhibits of the Sunby Stephen Edgar (Black Pepper Publishing)
  • Poems 1957–2013by Geoffrey Lehmann (UWA Publishing)
  • Towards the Equator: New & Selected Poemsby Alex Skovron (Puncher & Wattmann)

Prize for Australian History

  • Charles Beanby Ross Coulthart (Harper Collins)
  • Descent into Hellby Peter Brune (Allen & Unwin)
  • Menzies at Warby Anne Henderson (New South Publishing)
  • The Europeans in Australia—Volume Three: Nationby Alan Atkinson (New South Publishing)
  • The Spy Catchers—The Official History of ASIO Vol 1by David Horner (Allen & Unwin)


  • Encountering the Pacific: In the Age of Enlightenmentby John Gascoigne (Cambridge University Press)
  • John Olsen: An Artist's Lifeby Darleen Bungey (Harper Collins)
  • Private Billby Barrie Cassidy (Melbourne University Press)
  • This House of Grief: The Story of a Murder Trialby Helen Garner (Text Publishing)
  • Wild Bleak Bohemia: Marcus Clarke, Adam Lindsay Gordon and Henry Kendallby Michael Wilding (Australian Scholarly Publishing)

A myriad of possibillities.

Books may not change our suffering, books may not protect us from evil, books may not tell us what is good or what is beautiful, and they will certainly not shield us from the common fate of the grave. But books grant us myriad possibilities: the possibility of change, the possibility of illumination.

Alberto Manguel

It is the aim of the conference committee to provide a stimulating, varied and inspiring program that will feature the best Australian children’s book creators. It will also provide a forum for discussion and debate, especially as Quality Literature is central to the Australian English Curriculum.

BOOKINGS for the 12th National CBCA Conference 2016 are now OPEN!

DATE: 20 – 21 May 2016

LOCATION: The Menzies, Sydney

Early Bird Discounts now available.

A full program and other details can be found at the 12th National CBCA Conference website http://www.cbcaconference.org.au/

Book at Trybooking:
http://www.trybooking.com/JPQF OR http://www.trybooking.com/168745


A theatre inside the book; paper engineering from the collections of the State Library of South Australia, 14th November 2015 to the end March 2016.

The State Library is creating a wonderful exhibition of pop-up books and moveable paper items from its collections. The exhibition will explores the beginnings of moveable books in academia, the history of children’s pop-up books, and the use of the moveable format across a multitude of subjects and genres including old story-time favourites, Christmas, sport, exploration, science and music. 

There are many intriguing pieces - a moveable handmade Valentine’s card made for bereaved parents, rare Don Bradman batting-action ‘Flicker’ books and a record album cover with the band members as pop-up characters. There really is something everyone can appreciate.

Other pieces in this display have been drawn from the Children’s Literature Research Collection which is one of the State Library’s most significant heritage collections. It contains over 68,000 books, 900 toys and almost 900 games. The collection has been built up over many decades by the purchase of materials and through items donated by individuals and organisations. 

*Král, Zdenek, “Magical World Made of Paper “ (Kouzelnz svety papíru ), Ahoj na sobotu, June 1988.

The feature artist is renowned Czech illustrator and paper engineer Vojtěch Kubašta (b.1914 – d.1992) whose work can be seen in the main case of the exhibit. He said of his work that he wished ‘to create for children a small theatre inside the book’*.  His signature pieces are large, brightly coloured tri-fold books with the story stapled into the centre. The great surprise is at the end, whereby the back cover folds out to reveal a gloriously vibrant pop-up, some of which stand as high as 33cms. You can spot Australian animals on Kubašta’s Noah’s Ark, a recent acquisition by the State Library and the catalyst for creating this exhibition.

The State Library corresponded with Dagmar Vrkljan, Kubašta’s daughter earlier this year. She too is an artist, living in Prague and said of her father, ‘He was such a wonderful gentleman’, and how pleased she was that people continued to take an interest in his work. This display may encourage visitors to explore the rich body of Kubašta’s work and pique interest in all kinds of paper engineering from the collections.

The free exhibition will be on public display in the Treasures Wall from Pageant Day November 14th to the end of March 2016, and online on the Treasures Wall website. For associated events and workshops, subscribe to the State Library’s What’s On e-newsletter.


NSW Premier's History Award - SA winners

Adelaide author Ruth Starke, artist Robert Hannaford and Working Title Press publisher Jane Covernton's book My Gallipoli won the $15,000 Young People's History prize in the recent NSW Premier's History Awards. Judges acknowledging that the book "treats it's young readers with respect".

A wonderful achievevent by this all SA team - congratulations..

Christobel Mattingley honoured by the University of Tasmania

The University of Tasmania presented Dr Christobel Mattingley with an Honourary Doctorate of Letters at the winter graduation in Hobart.

The university  press release states ‘Many of her books have been shortlisted, won awards, or been translated into other languages… Dr. Mattingley has also made a nationally significant contribution to the recording of Indigenous histories, most recently through her work with remote Anangu communities in South Australia ...’.

Christobel has written 50 books, 45 for children and five adult books of biography and history, as well as short stories, poetry, articles and film scripts. 

She is currently working on an art book featuring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian art (being produced by the Bible Society) with the title:  Our Mob – God’s Story.   It will be published in 2017, the bicentenary of the establishment of the Bible Society in Australia.

Andy Griffiths' 52-Storey Treehouse wins top Australian Book Industry Award

For the first  a children's book wins an Australian Book Industry Award.  Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton's 52-Storey treehouse won both the industy prize and the best book for younger readers.  The full article can be found here...Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/andy-griffiths-52storey-treehouse-wins-top-australian-book-industry-award-20150521-gh6aqa.html#ixzz3bgRw6MH1

A Notable South Australian

We congratulate South Australian author, Allayne Webster, who has won a place in the Younger Readers section of the Children's Book Council of Australia's  Book of the Year Awards Notables 2015 with her novel "Paper Planes".
"Paper Planes"is based
on the incredible true story of Jarko Dobes - a Bosnian refugee who fled to Australia during the Siege of Sarajevo. It is also available as an ebook. There are Teaching Notes available on her website.



SBS has released an interactive graphic novel

SBS has released an interactive graphic novel, in recognition of the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon and the subsequent resettlement in Australia by Vietnamese people.

The Boat, by Nam Le, tells the story of 16-year-old Mai, whose parents make the decision to send her alone on a boat after the fall of Saigon, received the Australian Prime Minister's Literary Award.

New York based Australian artist Matt Huynh, whose parents left Vietnam for Australia in the years following the fall of Saigon, has created the illustrations for the graphic novel based on Le’s book.

The interactive version of 'The Boat' (a young adult graphic novel) can be found at http://www.sbs.com.au/theboat/


The Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards

The best of Australian children's authors and illustrators shortlisted for the prestigious Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards.

For this special 70th Anniversary year, over 400 Australian authors submitted their books to be judged for this year's awards.

Barb Sampson spoke on ABC Radio about the importance of the Children's Book Council of Australia's work in helping schools, booksellers and libraries around Australia choose to inspire young readers.

You can listen to Barb talk about the awards and some of the books that have been shortlisted through the Soundcloud link below.


Visit our Member's page for details of the shortlist, and links to teaching notes, videos and links that support Book Week celebrations.

You might like to book in for our Picture This Art Ideas event. The simple and effective ideas that support every book will bring life to your Book Week celebrations.


The World Through Picture Books

The World Through Picture Books project was first  launched in 2011  with the aim of providing an annotated list of picture books from around the world. These books are recommended by librarians and the publication is supported by IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations) and IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People).

There are two exhibition collections of these books and the collections are based in the National Libraries of Japan and France. They have been shown in Japan, France, Italy and Korea and are available for loan to libraries in all countries wishing to exhibit them.

Katrina Germein Book Launch

On Monday 23rd March well known SA author Janeen Brian launched fellow SA author Katrina Germien's latest picture book 'Thunderstorm Dancing'.

The launch was attended by children, teachers & parents from St Teresa's School, Brighton and fellow SA authors - Tanya Ingram, Amanda Graham & Allayne Webster.

Holdfast Bay Library Service - Brighton hosted the event which involved children becoming the storm and acting out the various actions describe in the story as well as related craft activities. Children also enjoyed Rainbow Jelly made by Katrina for the launch.

Illustrator Judy Watson is currently at the Bologne Children's Book Fair promoting the book.

Thank goodness for the Paddington Movie!

What great fun it has been to revisit the Paddington Books, thanks to the interest generated by the recent movie. Very pleased to see this generation of readers getting as much delight from Paddington's often "sticky" adventures as when the stories were first published in 1958. Don't forget to check out the official Paddington website at www.paddington.com  It has some great information about the author, Michael Bond as well as a timeline providing information about the various Paddington publications. My Year 3 students were entranced and are still asking to borrow more Paddington titles.


Come Out Connects with Children's Literature

Come Out,  22nd - 30th May has some fantastic activities connecting with Children's Literature.

Who wouldn't want to see this:-The 26-Storey Treehouse

A Book With No Pictures You Say

Yes. The Book With No Pictures by J.B Novak only has words. They are in different fonts and different sizes - and they are hilarious.

This is the perfect book to read aloud (as long as you are prepared to use silly voices and say silly words).


The Aurealis Awards shortlists have been announced

The Aurealis Awards aim to increase the profile of Australian science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres. In 2001 the YA and children’s categories were added.

The Aurealis Awards shortlists have been announced:


The Astrologer's Daughter, Rebecca Lim (Text Publishing)

Afterworld, Lynnette Lounsbury (Allen & Unwin)

The Cracks in the Kingdom, Jaclyn Moriarty (Pan Macmillan Australia)

Clariel, Garth Nix (Allen & Unwin)

The Haunting of Lily Frost, Nova Weetman (UQP)

Afterworlds, Scott Westerfeld (Penguin Books Australia)



In Hades, Goldie Alexander (Celapene Press)

Falling Leaves, Liz Argall (Apex Magazine)

The Fuller and the Bogle, David Cornish (Tales from the Half-Continent, Omnibus Books)

Vanilla, Dirk Flinthart (*Kaleidoscope*, Twelfth Planet Press)

Signature, Faith Mudge (*Kaleidoscope*, Twelfth Planet Press)



Slaves of Socorro: Brotherband #4, John Flanagan (Random House Australia)

Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy, Karen Foxlee (Hot Key Books)

The Last Viking Returns, Norman Jorgensen and James Foley (ILL.) (Fremantle Press)

Withering-by-Sea, Judith Rossell (ABC Books)

Sunker’s Deep: The Hidden #2, Lian Tanner (Allen & Unwin)

Shadow Sister: Dragon Keeper #5, Carole Wilkinson (Black Dog Books)


The full list of shortlisted books, and information about the Awards Ceremony in Canberra can be found at the website http://aurealisawards.org/

Library Lovers' Day

Library Lovers' Day is on February 14th.

Library Lovers' Day is an  initiative coordinated by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) and aims to raise the  profile of the services libraries offer.

Library Lovers’ Day,  on February 14th,  is a chance for everyone to reconnect with their library and share the love of literature and the other services their library offers.

There are lots of ideas for celebrating Library Lovers' day on the Alia Website.

Check out last year’s successful activities at #librarylove, Library Lovers Day Facebook page,  and the Library Lovers Day Wrap up.

What do you love about your library?

Adelaide Writer’s Week 2015 for Children

Writer’s Week isn’t just for grown ups - Sat 28th February – Sunday 1st March the story tent comes alive with wonderful Australian authors, who write for children.

Come along and see:-

- Ted Prior and a Grug Puppet

- Andrew Joyner and Boris

- Chris McKimmie

- Libby Hathorn

- Sofie Laguna

- Dan McGuiness with Pilot & Huxley

- Amanda Graham

- Andy Griffith

 For more information visit the website at http://www.adelaidefestival.com.au/2015/writers_week/kids_weekend

2014 Prime Minister's Literary Awards winners

The Prime Minister and Minister for the Arts have announced the winners of the 2014 Prime Minister's Literary Awards.

Young adult fiction

The Incredible Here and Now, Felicity Castagna (Giramondo Publishing Company)

Children's fiction

Silver Buttons, Bob Graham (Walker Books UK)

Bob Graham, has donated $10,000 of his prize money to the asylum seeker resource centre in Melbourne.

Vale Dr Maurice Saxby AM 1924 - 2014

Maurice Saxby will be remembered as a champion of Australian children’s literature and a lifelong advocate for enriching young people's lives through engagement with literature. He was the first National President of the Children’s Book Council of Australia in 1958 and then a life member of the organisation.

He established the Maurice Saxby Award that honours an individual, team or organization that has displayed excellence and passion in promoting reading and/or writing for young people in NSW.

He served twice on the international juror panel for the Hans Christian Andersen medal (honouring children’s authors and illustrators). Other honours and awards include: the Dromkeen Medal (1983), Lady Cutler Award (1989), Member of the Order of Australia (1995) and Nan Chauncy Award (2002).

More can be read on the CBCA's facebook page.

The YALSA Teens' Top Ten

The YALSA Teens' Top Ten has been announced.

The Teens' Top Ten is nominated by members of teen book groups in schools and public libraries who choose their favourite books of the previous year.

Christmas Books

Are you looking for great Christmas books?

Reading Time has made this easier by compiling a great list of fabulous Christmas books that special messages of love, family togetherness, joy and of course humour. Check it out here.

The Emerging Writers’ Festival

The Emerging Writers' Festival takes place 26 May - 5 June in Melbourne next year. There is an open artist call out for writers to indicate whether they would like to be involved. If you think this might be you look for further information here or on the Emerging Writers Festival  website.

2014 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards

The 2014 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards shortlists were announced on October 19th.

Children's Fiction

Young Adult Fiction

Illustrator Prize

The Five Mile Press has announced the winner of its inaugural Illustrator Prize is Lucinda Gifford.

Lucinda will receive a $4000 publishing contract and the opportunity to work with The Five Mile Press publishing and design team.

Originally from Scotland, Lucinda currently lives in Thornbury Victoria. She holds picture book illustration as her life-time passion. Please visit her website to see the rich array of drawings and illustrations she has developed.


Our AGM was an opportunity to reflect on the successes of 2014 and welcome our new committee for the coming year.

The evening began with a presentation to the winners of the Champion Shorts Competition.


Marika Wilson (author and illustrator) then took us on a journey through the conception and delivery of her new book Come Count With Me. Marika is a very entertaining speaker and soon had the audience in the palm of her hand.


Our new committee is currently planning the events and programs for 2015. If you have any suggestions please feel welcome to email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Reading Time Subscriptions

Did you know that you can subscribe to Reading Time now that it is online (www.readingtime.com.au)?

New reviews, news articles and interviews are posted to Reading Time every week, along with extras such as the CBCA Awards Judge’s Reports and acceptance speeches from winning authors and illustrators.

Just enter your email address in the sign up for our newsletter box on the right side panel of the Reading Time site, click submit and every Friday afternoon you’ll receive all the week’s reviews and news directly to your inbox.

Reviewers Needed

Expression of Interest: Reading Time reviewers.

Reading Time is looking for more reviewers to review books – from Early Childhood through to Older Readers and Professional Development titles.

You don’t need a degree in children’s literature, or a background as a teacher or librarian. They’re looking for people who are passionate, reliable and committed to ‘engaging the community with literature for young Australians’.

If that sounds like you, and you have a few hours to spare each month please email your expression of interest to Reading Time editor, John Cohen, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Include a sample of your writing (a book review on any book you like, up to 400 words in length) and some brief information about yourself (your experience with children’s literature, which genres/categories you have the most passion for/knowledge about, etc.).

Nan Chauncy Award

Nominations are now called for the 2015 Nan Chauncy Award.

The biennial Nan Chauncy Award honours individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the field of Australian children’s literature.

The Award consists of a citation written by the judges and a commemorative plaque customarily crafted from Tasmanian timber.

 ‘The recipient must be an Australian citizen, no matter where residing, or a person who has been resident in Australia for at least five years. In the case of a person who is not an Australian citizen, eligibility shall cease at the time when the person ceases to be a resident of Australia. The recipient shall be a person who has made an outstanding contribution, over a period of years, to the field of Australian children's literature. Such a person could be an editor, publisher, teacher, librarian, bookseller, lecturer, researcher, author, illustrator, etc. Nominees must be living at the time nominations close.’ For further information, selection criteria and a nomination form, go to: http://cbca.org.au/nanchauncy.htm

Nominations close on 31 March, 2015.

AGM - Monday 27 October 2014

Talented author Marika Wilson will be our guest at St Peters College for our 2014 AGM.

Champion Shorts competition results will also be a part of this evening.

We look forward to seeing lots of our members and interested literature lovers at this event.

Jan Ormerod

Jan Ormerod

In recognition of Jan Ormerod’s contribution to children’s literature, the CBCA aims to raise $5000 so that her name can be listed in memoriam as a major donor to the CBCA Awards Foundation.

Jan Ormerod was born in Western Australia in 1946. She developed her work to become a famous children’s author and illustrator, producing close to 100 titles and winning numerous awards. She inspired a whole generation of young artists.

Her numerous books include 101 Things to Do With a Baby, Lizzie Nonsense, The Story of Chicken Licken (CBCA short list), Maudie and Bear (Early Childhood Book of the Year in 2011)and Jan’s last picture book The Swap is shortlisted in the2014 CBCA Early Childhood Category.

We now accept direct deposit donations. Donations $2 and over are tax deductible. Download the donations form here.

The CBCA permanently acknowledges Benefactors ($20,000.00 & over) & Major Donors ($5000.00 & over).

CBCA Conference

The 11th National Conference of the Children's Book Council of Australia was held in Canberra recently. It was great to have 21 SA attendees including wonderful author/illustrators Janeen Brian, Phil Cummings, Jane Jolly, Sally Heinrich and Rosanne Hawke. Many of our local members attended as did some Public Librarians and teacher librarians. It was a wonderful two days of sharing National Treasures and then a spectacular day where Jackie French opened up her home and garden in the Araleun Valley for a beautiful day of food, literature and horticulture.

The next Conference will be in 2016 in Sydney - these conferences are a wonderful opportunity to re - engage with literature and connect and network with many other like minded professionals. I would recommend it.

The year for the branch has started well with 40 people attending our 'And the winner is' evening and 30 at last nights SLASA / CBCA - SA joint event.

Our next session is our popular Arts Ideas night where Evelynne Richardson will use the book week title 'Connect to Reading' to create some wonderful art we can use with students. This will be held at Westbourne Park PS - 2 Marlborough Rd, Westbourne Park on Friday 13 June - 5.30pm for a 6pm - 8pm session. $25 members $40 non members RSVP This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I hope to see you there.

Tracy Glover

CBCA - SA President

11th National Children's Book Council of Australia conference

Last weekend I was fortunate to go to Canberra to attend this conference. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to reflect on my literature passions and meet some wonderful authors and illustrators - including Glenda Millard, Stephen Michael King, Julie Vivas, Libby Gleeson and Jackie French.

The conferences are held biannually and the next one will be in Sydney in May 2016 - worth putting on your calendar now.


Last Night's AGM

Hi everyone,

The speakers at our AGM, Andrew Joyner and Kristin Weidenbach were really inspiring. 

Andrew spoke very amusingly of his mistakes along the way to becoming such a successful illustrator. He explained that , for him, "Illustrating a picture book is solving a problem".

Kristin, who has written adult books, found her inspiration for writing a picture book in the "Peasant Prince". She also revealed some inside knowledge behind the illustrations in her first picture book.

We welcomed the new members to the committee and celebrated the return of Tracy Glover as the branch President.

It has been a fabulous year for the branch. If you have any suggestions for next year, please feel welcome to add to this blog.

Read on. :-)

Linda Guthrie

SA Branch Vice President

Champion Shorts

Hi fellow CBCA members,

This year we congratulate the winners of the 2013 Champion Shorts competition. Keely, Paris, Brooke, Scarlett and Teresa, from St Mary‟s College, Adelaide, based their entry on the book entitled „The Terrible Suitcase‟ by Emma Allen.

We greatly appreciate the efforts of all the students who entered our competition and shared their talent and inspiration.

This year saw students' entries move beyond the book trailer to give a more considered and critical response to the text they chose.

Feedback from members has been listened to. We will be launching this competition at the same time as the announcement of the 2014 Shortlisted Books. This will give students an extra term to complete their entry.

For classroom teachers this competition links directly to the Australian Curriculum English as well as the General Capabilities.

I am looking forward to the fabulous entries we will see next year.

kind regards

Linda Guthrie

SA Branch Vice President



Hello New and Ongoing members,

Thank you for joining us as members of the CBCA-SA branch.

This blog is an opportunity to  share -

-  feedback about events and PD you have attended

-  ideas for what you would like us to explore

- suggestions of PD topics you think would be valuable

We appreciate your input and I, personally, hope to get the opportunity to meet you soon at one of our upcoming events.

Tracy Glover

CBCA-SA 2013 Branch President



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