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'If students can't learn the way we teach, we must teach the way they learn' (Ignacio Estrada, via Tomlinson)

Winners of the CBCA awards for 2011 announced

Posted by Lisa Hill on August 19, 2011


The winners of the CBCA Book of the Year have been announced, and worthy as they are, I wouldn’t have picked any of them!

For Picture Book of the Year I prefer My Uncle’s Donkey with Family Forest coming very close behind. I’ve read these to all classes, Prep to Year 6 and had some of the best discussions of my career about these two books and their cunning illustrations.  I loved Bronwyn Bancroft’s Why I Love Australia too, although some of her poetic language was above the heads of the little ones.  Still, they made sunshine wheels about why they loved Australia, producing simple but sweet ideas about love of country, while my older students (many of whom come from refugee families) shared robust discussions about freedom of speech, equal opportunity, and the luxury of living in peace and plenty.

For the Early Childhood Book of the Year I prefer It’s Bedtime, William! Its whimsy works well with all ages too.

It’s a close run between Henry Hoey Hobson and Just a Dog, both of which would make terrific reading with senior classes while IMO the judges’ choice would probably have boys sabotaging the reading with restless squirming.  Boys being difficult when they’re not interested in a book isn’t a criteria that should over-ride merit, but I found the narrative voices in Henry Hoey and in Just a Dog much more compelling – and much more interesting.  I’m not much of  a fan of fantasy, I admit.

Ah well, to each his own, I suppose.

To see the winners, click this link: Winners of the CBCA awards for 2011 announced · Readings.com.au.

2 Responses to “Winners of the CBCA awards for 2011 announced”

  1. Raelene said

    I couldn’t agree more with Lisa’s comment about the books in the Younger Readers category. Both titles held the attention of our students, particularly “Just a Dog” with it’s “linear plot with non linear detailed diversions” as aptly described by one grade 5 boy. I think “Its Bedtime William” will last the distance with more consistent borrowing than “Maudie and Bear” due to that delightful lion, but I am happy that the latter is a worthy winner also. I must disagree with Lisa in the picture book section though. I love “Mirror”. The style of the dual story fitted so well with this year’s theme and it absolutely captivated our students with Jeannie Baker’s illustrations.I didn’t buy “Hamlet”, although I haven’t read it, but I assumed it may be too gruesome for primary school age.

    • Lisa Hill said

      There’s been a bit of fuss-and-bother about Hamlet in the paper – and of course there’s been this argument about the appropriateness of their choices before. (Including here on this blog).
      It seems to me that the CBCA needs to acknowledge that sticking to the legal definition of a child as someone under the age of 18 is what causes the trouble. I suspect that in most people’s minds, when they’re thinking in the context of the Children’s Book Council Award – a child is someone under the age of 12 or 13. Not a teenager of 16 or 17.
      So why not rebadge the awards and fix the problem? Have an award for Young Adult Picture Books. Have a Children’s Picture Book Award that’s suitable for children.
      I think parents and teachers are looking for guidance about children’s books and would have a lot more confidence in the wisdom of their judgements if the awards had common sense labels that everyone understood.

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