Picture Book of the Year – the 2011 contenders

It’s book award season! While book groups are frantically reading their way through the shortlists for the Orange Prize and the Miles Franklin Literary Prize, at Babyology we’re focused on the Children’s Book Council of Australia shortlists for Childrens’ Book of the Year.

The Children’s Book Council of Australia awards are the most prestigious childrens’ book awards in Australia. There are five categories encompassing picture books, young readers and older readers. We’re taking a look at the books shortlisted for the 2011 Picture Book of the Year.

First up is Mirror by Jeannie Baker. Author and illustrator of numerous children’s books, Baker uses her distinctive collages to cleverly tell the story of two little boys living on opposite sides of the world in Mirror.

Family Forest by Kim Kane is a wonderful story about modern families – some people have a family tree, others have a ‘forest’! It’s accompanied by Lucia Masciullo’s quirky illustrations.

Who can resist a donkey that enjoys long baths and is allowed to do ‘hoofstands’ in the house? Children will love the humorous tale of My Uncle’s Donkey by Tohby Riddle.

Sumptuous illustrations immediately draw you to Chris McKimmies’s sweet story, Two Peas in a Pod. Meet Marvin and Violet who have been friends since they were babies – they are like two peas in a pod until Violet moves away…

Celebrated Aboriginal artist Bronwyn Bancroft brings us Why I Love Australia, a glorious book illustrating the dramatic and varied landscapes of our continent from coast to outback and cityscape to rainforest.

Have you always wanted to read Hamlet but found it too daunting? Or a little hard to get into?! Nicki Greenberg’s version of Hamlet might just be the book for you (and your five-year-old). It’s Shakespeare staged on a page with the characters recast as ink blots. Genius.

Winners of the Children’s Book Council of Australia awards will be announced in late August, to coincide with Book Week – stay tuned!

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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