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:


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.




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