The Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) has announced its shortlist of books for final judging in the 2009 Children's Literature Awards. It is a very strong list with some of Australia's long standing and successful writers and illustrators, alongside some of the rising stars in the field. For me there are a few highlights worthy of note prior to the judging.
The awards have now been announced - Read my full review HERE
Shaun Tan's Tales from Outer Suburbia is a remarkable work from a remarkably talented illustrator. It is an anthology of fifteen very short illustrated stories. Each is about a strange situation or event that occurs in suburbia - a visit from a nut-sized foreign exchange student, a sea creature on someone’s front lawn, a new room discovered in a family home, a sinister machine installed in a park, a wise buffalo that lives in a vacant lot. Central to each story is how ordinary people react to and make sense of the incidents.
I'm also delighted to see a few authors back in the list again (for some after quite a break). Notably, Morris Gleitzman listed for 'Then', Emily Rodda for 'The wizard of Rondo', Jackie French, for ‘A Rose for the Anzac boys’ and Bob Graham listed for 'How to Heal a Broken Wing'.
It's also exciting to see Aaron Blabey back again. This remarkable new talent is shortlisted for the second year in a row. His first book 'Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley' won the Picture Book of the Year award in 2008. You can read more about Blabey in my Author Focus on him (here) which I wrote just after the 2008 awards. At the time I commented that his second book 'Sunday Chutney' was even better than the first.
There are also some other interesting combinations of authors and illustrators in the list for 2009, the most notable being highly successful author John Marsden with new rising star Matt Ottley, who team up to produce 'Home and Away'. The story is about an ordinary Australian family who find themselves in the midst of a war, and end up refugees placed in a detention camp. Ottley won the picture book category in 2008 for his controversial graphic novel 'Requiem for a Beast'. You can read my review of his winning book in 2008 here.
The illustrator Stephen Michael King has been shortlisted for three books in two separate categories (quite an achievement) - for 'Leaf' and ‘Applesauce and the Christmas Miracle’ (with
Glenda Millard) in the Early Childhood category and for ‘Perry Angel's Suitcase’ (with Glenda Millard) in the Younger Readers' category. And yes, that means Glenda Millard has two books listed.
The winners and honour books in the various categories will be announced during Book Week (22-28 August).
The full shortlist
1. Older readers (Mature readers)
D. M. Cornish, ‘Monster Blood Tattoo Book Two: Lamplighter’
Anthony Eaton, ‘Into white silence’
Jackie French, ‘A Rose for the Anzac boys’
Melina Marchetta, ‘Finnikin of the Rock’
James Moloney, ‘Kill the possum’
Shaun Tan, ‘Tales from Outer Suburbia’
2. Younger readers (Independent readers)
Catherine Bateson, ‘The Wish Pony’
Sandy Fussell, ‘Polar Boy’
Morris Gleitzman, ‘Then’
Christine Harris, Ann James (illustrator), ‘Audrey of the Outback’
Glenda Millard, Stephen Michael King (illustrator), ‘Perry Angel's Suitcase’
Emily Rodda, ‘The Wizard of Rondo’
3. Early childhood (Pre-reading to early reading stage)
Bob Graham, ‘How to Heal a Broken Wing’
Stephen Michael King, ‘Leaf’
Chris McKimmie, ‘Special Kev’
Glenda Millard, Stephen Michael King (illustrator), ‘Applesauce and the Christmas Miracle’
Rosemary Sullivan, Dee Huxley (illustrator), ‘Tom Tom’
Margaret Wild, Julie Vivas (illustrator), ‘Puffling’
4. Picture Book (Birth to 18 years)
Aaron Blabey, ‘Sunday Chutney’
Kylie Dunstan, ‘Collecting Colour’
Matt Ottley (illustrator) John Marsden (text), ‘John, Home and Away’
Tohby Riddle, ‘Nobody Owns the Moon’
Greg Holfeld (illustrator), Ruth Starke (text), ‘Captain Congo and the Crocodile King’
Colin Thompson, ‘The Big Little Book of Happy Sadness’
5. Eve Pownall (Birth to 18 years – Information books)
Ursula Dubosarsky, Tohby Riddle (illustrator), ‘The Word Spy’
Mark Greenwood, Frané Lessac (illustrator), ‘Simpson and his Donkey’
Lincoln Hall, ‘Alive in the Death Zone’
Catriona Nicholls & Janet Paterson, Rod Waller (illustrator), ‘The Workboot Series - the Story of Chicken in Australia’
Jan Ramage, Ellen Hickman (illustrator), ‘Tuart Dwellers’
John Ross & Anna Booth, ‘Every Picture Tells a Story: Adventures in Australian Art’