2017 Book of the Year: Early Childhood

In 1945, when Children’s books were few and far between, the Children’s Book Council of Australia was formed to encourage authors and illustrators to produce high quality reading material for young readers. Every year across the country we celebrate Book Week in schools, daycare centres, libraries, and other places to help make kids and parents aware of the joys of reading. It is during this week that the award winners are released for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of The Year. This year was the 76th year of these awards! Some of the previous award winners are wonderful authors such as Mem Fox, Bob Graham, and Libby Gleeson.

The Early Childhood category is for ‘outstanding books suitable in content and style for pre and beginning readers (Pre school and infants level). These include works of fiction, poetry, wordless, board and concept books. The illustration/s reflect/s all the text on the page and often do not add extra meaning to the storyline. The font size and style, rhythm and meter of the text are important. Clear design, layout and editing are also important.’ (CBCA)

Let’s have a look at this year’s honourable mentions:

Gary by Leila Rudge

Gary is a bird that cannot fly. When his friends fly off and leave him, Gary organises all this mementos into a scrapbook and dreams about the adventures the others are having. Will Gary discover that flying isn’t the only way to have adventures?

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Nannie Loves by Kylie Dunstan

Nannie loves her farm, she loves her animals, what does she love most of all?


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The 2017 Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Early Childhood Book of the Year for 2017:

Go Home Cheeky Animals! by Johanna Bell & Dion Beasley

A follow-up book to Too Many Cheeky Dogs. There are animals everywhere! The dogs aren’t really much help until the other pesky animals go too far. What happens next?

‘A funny, uplifting and beautifully written tale about family, home and place.’ Ros Moriarty, author of Listening to Country.

Johanna Bell lives in Darwin and works on storytelling projects as a creative producer and writer.

Dion Beasley is well known for his Cheeky Dogs brand. He lives in Tennant Creek, NT.


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At Angel’s Paradise Early Education Childcare Centres, we believe in encouraging early reading with fun and interesting books.