Tomorrow is the big day when the Children’s Book Council of Australia announces the winners of the Book of the Year awards. Wild Things staff have chosen the titles they think deserve to appear in the list of winning books.
My pick for Book of the Year: Early Childhood is The Cow Tripped Over the Moon. Combining a fractured nursery rhyme, counting book and a lovely tale about perseverance, I loved the unique story by Tony Wilson and the retro graphics of Laura Wood.
For Book of the Year: Older Readers I am torn between the book which I have a sweet spot for, Cloudwish by Fiona Wood, and the book I think will win because all my colleagues have loved, which is A Single Stone by Meg McKinlay.
Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars by Martine Murray stole my heart and I think it will have cast a spell over the judges as well so it should certainly win The Book of the Year: Younger Readers. Otherwise I will turn the judges into trees!
I thought The White Mouse: Story of Nancy Wake was an excellent example of illustrated narrative non-fiction, especially as it is the story of a remarkably brave young Australian woman. But I am so over the glorification of war in children’s picture books (see The Picture Book of the Year shortlist) I am hoping that Clare Wright’s highly readable, thoroughly researched and fascinating history of the forgotten women and men of Eureka, We Are the Rebels will be the rightful winner.
I do hope the Older Reader winner is A Single Stone by Meg McKinlay. It’s what a dystopian novel should be. It’s fascinating, searches for truths and has a quiet, firm and strong female main character.
I am actually a big fan of Star of Deltora by Emily Rodda in the Younger Readers section. I have to admit, I don’t think the Book Council will give Emily Rodda her 6th award for it. A young girl struggles with her family’s history and strikes out on her own, searching for a quest and adventure on the seas. It’s my favourite Rodda.
Like most Wild Things staff, I suspect (and hope) that Meg McKinlay’s A Single Stone will be chosen as the Book of the Year for Older Readers. Most of us also agree that Chris Currie’s Clancy of the Undertow deserved a spot among the shortlist (yes, we’re bringing that up again and no, we’re not biased!).
I find the Younger Readers category the most bewildering; it covers such a broad age range and a wide spectrum of reading levels and themes. It’s hard to compare Libby Gleeson’s Cleo Stories to Morris Gleitzman’s Soon! I like Molly and Pim as the book most appropriate for what I’d call “younger readers”.