The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book of the Year Awards were announced on the 21st August. This event always marks the beginning of Children’s Book Week. As usual, the winners and honour books are a fabulous collection. But for every book that wins or is an honour book, there are many more worthy books. Thankfully, the CBCA publishes a set of category lists for approximately 100 notable books each year. You can find the lists HERE.
This year we have superb books and memorable successes. Perhaps the stand out is the success of illustrator Freya Blackwood in winning not one but three awards. Readers of this blog will recognise that her talent was spotted long ago on this blog and that I have featured many of Freya Blackwood's beautifully illustrated books, including My Two Blankets written by Irena Kobald, which I reviewed in my last post. This of course has now been named Picture Book of the Year. Amazingly, Freya has no formal training in art and took up illustrating while she was working on The Lord of The Ring's film trilogy as an effects technician. Freya began a collaboration with well known author Libby Gleeson on the book 'Amy & Louis' that won Children's Book Council
of Australia Book of the Year in 2007. This was published as 'Half a World Away' in the USA.
As well as best picture book, Blackwood won in two other categories with Libby Gleeson. In the Early Childhood category for Go to Sleep, Jessie! In the Younger Readers category Gleeson's wonderful story and Blackwood's beautiful pencil and
watercolour illustrations are magical in 'The Cleo Stories: The Necklace and The Present'.