Children’s Book Council of Australia announces 2015 Book of the Year shortlist

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It’s book prize season! Seriously, there’s nothing I love more than the announcement of a literature short list.

Hot off the press are the Children’s Book Council of Australia shortlists for the 2015 Book of the Year Awards and it’s a star-studded line-up, with lots of Australia’s most well-known children’s authors nominated.

Prizes are given in five categories (books suitable for older readers, younger readers, early childhood (pre-schoolers), picture books and non-fiction). We’ll be checking out the six nominations for best picture book and the six nominations for best early childhood titles for 2015.

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In the Picture Book category the nominations include titles from much loved authors – Fire by Jackie French; My Two Blankets by Irena Kobald and illustrator Freya Blackwood; and The Stone Lion by Margaret Wild. Each of these books examines important issues in a sensitive way.

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Also short-listed is David Metzenthen’s One Minute Silence, a book fitting to commemorate the Anzac Centenary; Glenda Millard’s The Duck and the Darklings; and Trace Balla’s Rivertime. It’s not nice to play favourites but I do think that Balla’s Rivertime is an exceptional book – the story combines messages about family, the environment and believing in yourself in the subtlest of ways.

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There’s plenty of well-known authors in the category for Early Childhood as well. Start with Aaron Blabey’s funny story, Pig the Pug, and continue the animal theme with Alison Lester’s Noni the Pony Goes to the Beach. Author and illustrator Stephen Michael King has two books on the Early Childhood short list – Snail and Turtle are Friends, and the suspenseful Scary Night, a collaboration with author Lesley Gibbes.

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Jenny Hughes’ charming tale of a little girl’s independence, A House of Her Own, also made the cut.

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Rounding out the Early Childhood shortlist is Babyology favourite, Freya Blackwood, who earns a spot with her thoughtful illustrations for Go to Sleep, Jessie!, a sweet story written by Libby Gleeson.

Are any of these books already on your shelves? Which do you think might win?

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Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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