Welcome to the blog of the Tasmanian branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia!

Saturday 2 March 2024

Reading is Magic - CBCA Book of the Year Awards: Notables 2024

The announcement of the CBCA Notables kicks off the excitement generated each year in the build up towards Book Week and the awards announcements later in the year. Maureen Mann shares some insights into the awards and the importance of the work of the Judges in celebrating quality titles drawn from their extensive reading and deliberations. Maureen has identified some personal favourites – can you suggest others?

Did you watch the announcement of the CBCA Book of the Year Awards: Notables on Tuesday evening? 

The Notables list each year brings together the best children’s books published in Australia, according to the judges of that year. Each of the judges has read all the titles submitted to the CBCA Book of the Year Awards in their specific category. This gives them a wonderful overview of the year’s creations, an overview that no one else has. 


There are 5 categories announced in the CBCA Notable Books list. 

1. Book of the Year Older Readers. 

2. Book of the Year Younger Readers. 

3. Book of the Year Early Childhood. 

4. Book of the Year Picture Book. 

5. Book of the Year Eve Pownall (information books).  

The sixth category, CBCA Award for New Illustrator features in the Book of the Year Awards Shortlist announcement.


Why is it so important to see these lists? Notable Australian Children’s Books gives prominence and recognition to those entries for the Book of the Year Awards which display commendable standards in the criteria set down for the Awards. The list has been published every year since 1992. 


Publishing this long list gives authors and illustrators, as well as publishers, recognition for achieving a high standard as recognised by the judges. Because the list contains all commendable books, it includes all those books which will be listed on the Short List which is to be published Tuesday 19th March, 2024. The Notables list gives us, the reading public, the opportunity to focus beyond the books which are shortlisted.  This year’s list has 118 titles on it. 


I was surprised by what has been included on the list, because there are so many which I hadn’t heard of. And that stresses the list’s importance of showcasing our wonderful Australian children’s books.    

Here are a few of my favourites.


Stay for Dinner by Michelle Pereira and Sandhya Parappukkaran. (Hardie Grant, Picture Book).

This is a wonderful celebration of Australia’s cultural diversity as we see what foods 4 families serve for their main meal and how its presented and served. Reshma is surprised when she visits her friends and is needlessly nervous of their reactions when they come to her place.  


Where Will the Sleepy Sheep Sleep? by David Metzenthen and Jonathan Bentley. (Allen & Unwin, Early Childhood).

It’s a book full of tongue-twisters and quirky illustrations as the reader decides whether the current location is a suitable place to sleep. Baaah! No-o-o. Not here. Little ones will enjoy sharing the refrain.


The Power of Being Odd
by Matt Stanton. (Harper Collins, Younger Readers). 

This graphic novel surprises me because I like it so much. We see Kip and her friends explore her Imaginatorium. Going in is easy. Getting out is more of a challenge. 


How We Came to Be: Creatures of Camouflage and Mimicry by Sami Bayly. (Hachette Australia, Eve Pownall). 

This is a great book for curious readers who love nature and animals. Bayly’s illustrations are detailed and accurate, reflecting her interest in the weird and wonderful plants and animals which co-habit our world. 


If you want more information you can read the judges’ comments for all books listed. You’ll find it here Notable Australian Children's Books 2024, critiques for all 2024 Notable titles


Here is a link for the total list. Book of the Year Award Notables, complete list. Individual lists, with covers, are available:  https://cbca.org.au/notables-2024   


Happy exploring of the Notables lists. 


Maureen Mann

Retired teacher librarian and avid reader



Editor’s note: There are some great choices above – at this point Where Will the Sleepy Sheep Sleep? is one of my favourites. If you are interested in young adult readers then three titles on the Notable list that I have really enjoyed in audiobook format are: 

Isles of the Gods by Amie Kaufman. (Allen & Unwin, Older Readers)

This Time it’s Real by Ann Liang. (Penguin, Older Readers)

Eleanor Jones is Not a Murderer by Amy Doak. (Penguin, Older Readers)

No comments:

Post a Comment