Monday, August 30, 2010

Children's Book Council of Australia 2010 award winners

In this blog you can read about some of the winners for 2010.

1. Picture Book of the Year The Hero of Little Street
2. Younger Readers Book of the Year Darius Bell and the Glitter Pool
3. Early Childhood Picture Book of the Year Bear and Chook by the sea

There were also six honor books. This is a difficult concept to explain to our youngest students. They like the clear cut idea of second or third. In the Picture Book section Honor book Isabella’s Garden used beautiful language and joyful illustrations to tell the story of the seasons using The house that Jack built as a model. Fox and Fine Feathers was an allegory about talents. Nightjar may be plain but his skills with camouflage prove an effective way to ultimately save the lives of his companion birds who live on the forest floor.

In the Younger Readers section I have already reviewed Pearl verses the World and will write more about Running with horses soon.

In my school Early Childhood picture book was the most controversial. The youngest children really enjoyed Fearless although my observation was that only children in Grade 2 and higher really ‘got’ the jokes especially the one a few pages from the end when dad asks “Who’s a fearless boy then” and the dog replies “Is that a trick question?”. I thought the idea at the beginning of the book explaining humans sometimes have the wrong name was a little too abstract and added nothing important to the story but the illustrations and trailer were perfect.

We all enjoyed making links between The Terrible Plop and Chicken Licken and The Gruffalo. It was also good to have The Little Big Book Club to read this book because I am not sure I could have read this book quite so many times (twenty times over two weeks!).

Neither of these books received an award. The only claim to fame for Kip (Honor book) was the fun we had making the rooster noises and I think the adult view of the new house in Clancy and Millie and the very fine house juxtaposed against Clancy’s view as seen in the illustrations was again too abstract for most of my youngest students. If I had a little more time I might have linked this last book with Our House by Bob Graham. I have a copy of the DVD which is just magic and I think might have helped add a better layer of understanding to the game of imagination played by Clancy and Millie. I did use my most favourite book Clouds by Peggy Blakeley to talk about using clouds in a story. If you have ever seen this magical book look in a library grab it quickly – it is a very special with scrumptious illustrations by Kazuo Niizaka.
It has been a good Book Week but I do lament the lack of little junior novels. It seems to me in the past twenty years little chapter books for Grades 2-4 have simply disappeared from the short list. I fondly remember Thing, Berk the Berserker, Boris and Borsch, Bernice Knows best, and of course my long time favourite One Night at Lottie's House. Perhaps 2011 will include some little gems like this. I certainly hope so.

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