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

Saturday 17 December 2016

Tassie Books for Christmas

Join Lyndon as he celebrates a wonderful source of Tasmanian fiction and a means to support local talent.

We’re one week out from Christmas, and if you’re anything like me you still have a couple of gifts to get. You forgot someone, or what you were searching for was sold out, or - worst of all - you are suffering from a terrible case of the I don’t knows.

In that instance, when crunch time arrives and browsing shops in our spacious island state suddenly feels like being trapped on a crowded train somewhere on the mainland, the Celebrate Tasmanian Books and Writing Facebook group, now known as Tassie Books This Christmas, might be a lifesaver!

Nina Matthews (2012) Flickr CC
Tassie Books This Christmas highlights the great work of writers established and emerging all around the state. What more thoughtful present than something local, that will mean an enormous amount to the recipient as they read about their home (or your home!) and will also mean an awful lot to local writers who so desperately need our support to keep doing their wonderful work? In most cases within the group you can contact and purchase from writers directly, who are happy to personally send their work to you, and often even offer an inscription or signature to go with it. There are picture books, children’s novels, non-fiction, adult fiction, coffee-table books and even anthologies. Without spinning the commercial too hard here, it really does feel like there is something for everyone being written in this place.

So if things are desperate, I recommend joining the group and taking a look. And if you’re all done with your shopping, perhaps consider joining the group anyway! After all, summer reading is just around the corner…

And all that remains is for me to say that I hope you have a splendid transition into the New Year, full of long, well-lit nights of reading.

Merry Christmas!

Lyndon Riggall
Author. @lyndonriggall
Editor's note: Seasons greetings to all our readers. We trust that the new year brings a plethora of books and favourite reads to help brighten your world.

Saturday 10 December 2016

Under my Christmas Tree

Nella provides some great titles that she bought for Christmas gifts and they should inspire, amuse and enthral kids of all ages. Some of these may not end up as gifts for others but will sit under her tree and then slip onto her bookshelf!

For younger readers
The Fabulous Friend Machine by Nick Bland, Scholastic. 
Popcorn is the friendliest chicken at Fiddlestick’s Farm, until she finds a Fabulous Friend Machine (mobile phone) in the barn.

Home in the Rain by Bob Graham, Walker Books.
As Francie and Mum drive home in the rain, Francie seeks inspiration for the name of her new baby sister.

Somewhere Else by Gus Gordon, Penguin.
George Laurent, the cap wearing duck/baker is far too busy to go anywhere with his friends. Or maybe it’s because he can’t fly. With illustrations reminiscent of Herman and Rosie, have a sneak at all the details, courtesy of the the author.
For readers 9+

Elizabeth and Zenobia by Jessica Miller, Text.

Elizabeth and her father are moving to his childhood home after her mother leaves them for a more ‘adventure-filled’ life. Zenobia, Elizabeth’s 'not-an-imaginary best friend', goes with them. Then Elizabeth stumbles on a mystery. 

A Most Magical Girl by Karen Foxlee Piccadilly Press. 
Set in Victoria London. Annabel Grey has been brought up as a proper young lady but when she is sent to live with her aunts, she discovers she’s magical.  Aided by Kitty, a street urchin, she struggles against a villain who plans to take over the world with dark magic.

The Smuggler's Curse by Norman Jorgensen, Fremantle Press.
When his mother “sells” him to the infamous Captain Bowen of the Black Dragon, Red Read’s life becomes an adventure filled with smugglers, pirates, and dastardly and murderous Dutch imperialists.  Thrilling though maybe not for the squeamish.  

Young Adults

The Bone Sparrow Zana Fraillon, Lothian.
This one has been out a while and made awards list in the UK. Subhi was born in an Australian immigration detention centre after his mother and sister fled their home country. Life behind the fence is tough and violent. One night when he can’t sleep and is wandering the camp, Subhi comes across a young girl – she has shoes, a backpack, a torch – she is from Outside.

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, Allen & Unwin.Second in the Illuminae Files. Continues the struggles of Hannah (the Captain's daughter) and Nik (criminal family) on board a space station. Sci-fi at its best. Watch the video for an intro to Book 1: Illuminae.

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley, Pan Macmillan.
After moving away and losing touch with her friends, Rachel Sweetie returns to town. She is working at Howling Books, grieving for her brother Cal, and trying not to be in love with Henry Jones.

For thriller loving adults

Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta, Viking.
Bish Ortley, a suspended policeman, finds himself the British liaison in the aftermath of a bomb attack on a bus full of students including his daughter. And there’s a link to a notorious terrorist attack of the past.

For other gift ideas, try the CBCA eStore for beautiful cards by Feya Blackwoodor support your local Tasmania authors with ideas for Christmas at Tassie books.

Nella Pickup

Saturday 3 December 2016

The CBCA Nan Chauncy Award: Call for Nominations

Call for Nominations for

From the late 1950s until the early 1970s, Nan Chauncy was one of the most esteemed children’s writers in Australia. She distinguished herself by winning the Australian Children’s Book of the Year three times, had three titles commended in the following seven years and gained international recognition, including receiving a Diploma of Merit in the Hans Christian Andersen Award (Eastman, B. 2000; Lees, S. & Macintyre, P. 1993; Niall, B. 1984).

In recognition of the writer’s significance in the history of literature for young Australians, CBCA instituted the Nan Chauncy Award in 1983. The Award is currently conferred biennially.
The CBCA Nan Chauncy Award has been created to honour a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of Australian Children’s Literature over a period of years. Such a person could be an editor, publisher, teacher, librarian, bookseller, researcher, lecturer, author, illustrator, etc.

The recipient of the Award must be an Australian citizen, no matter where resident, or a person who has been resident in Australia for at least five years.
The recipient need not be a member of a Branch of the Children’s Book Council of Australia.

Financial and Life Members of CBCA may nominate eligible people. All nominations must be on the official form, obtainable from the Children’s Book Council of Australia Branches and the National Board. Nominees must be living at the time nominations close.
Nominations close on 31 March, 2017.

If you have any queries, please write to:

The Coordinator, CBCA Nan Chauncy Award,
Level 2, State Library of Queensland,
Stanley Place,
South Brisbane. 4101.

Entry forms and advice to nominators are also available from your Branch office, the National Board and the CBCA web site:

Jenni Connor, Nan Chauncy Award coordinator
Editor's note: Nan Chauncy is dear to the hearts of Tasmanian readers and CBCA members as Chauncy Vale is located in the island state and is the source of inspiration for many of her stories. The following list of previous blog posts about Nan and this award are presented chronologically, starting with the most recent, for those who like to know more about this remarkable writer.
27 September 2015 A place to call home
30 March 2015 Nan Chauncy Award