Children’s Book Council of Australia – Picture Book of the Year 2016

Here is the list of notable books for the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Picture Book of the Year. This category is notable for the illustration so each book is marked by the illustrator before the author. Some books in this category may be for older readers, be non-fiction, or for smaller children. It is advised to check the book before reading them to younger children.


The Eagle Inside by Bronwyn Bancroft, with text by Jack Manning-Bancroft
A colourful modern-day fable about Jimmy the honeyeater’s first day of flying school, evoking the feel of traditional Indigenous storytelling.

Eye to Eye by Graeme Base
Imagine you could soar high in the sky with an eagle or dive into the deep with a majestic blue whale. Come eye to eye with some of nature’s most impressive creatures as Graeme Base takes you on a richly illustrated journey of imagination and possibility.

Perfect by Freya Blackwood, with text by Danny Parker (Also Notable for Book of the Year: Early Childhood CBCA 2016)
On a perfect day, the hours stretch endlessly ahead.. Danny Parker’s evocative verse expresses the freedom of an idyllic childhood, and paintings by Freya Blackwood magically evoke the light, scents and feel of a perfect summer day.

In The Evening by Gaye Chapman, with text by Edwina Wyatt
Oscar is shy, Charlie bold. Oscar stays in, Charlie plays outside. Can they ever be friends?

Ride, Ricardo, Ride! by Shane Devries, with text by Phil Cummings
Ricardo loved to ride his bike through the village. He rode under endless skies, quiet and clear. He rode every day … But then the shadows came.

My Dead Bunny by James Foley, with text by Sigi Cohen
“My dead bunny’s name is Brad; his odour is extremely bad. He visits me when I’m in bed, but Bradley wasn’t always dead …” A hilarious rhyming tale about a zombie bunny who comes back to visit his owner.

How The Sun Got To Coco’s House by Bob Graham
The sun rises up behind a snowy peak and casts its mellow dawn light for the wandering polar bears. It skims across the icy water, touching a fisherman’s hat and catching for a moment in the eye of a whale. It beams through the trees of frozen forests and makes shadows in a little girl’s footsteps before gliding over cities, darting down lanes and waiting patiently for an old lady to open her window. The sun races through the countryside, greeting snow cats and bears. High over a desert it meets the rain in a halo of colours…The sun leaps whole countries, chasing the night, before bursting at last in a fanfare of warm golden light through Coco’s window!

Flight by Armin Greder
Tonight is the night. The family has to flee. They’ve been tipped off that the authorities are after their blood. Set in biblical times, a small family sets off across a desert in search of refuge from persecution in their own country, and an ancient story becomes a fable for our times. Their journey is beset by heat and thirst, threatening tanks and the loss of their donkey, but eventually they reach a refugee camp where they can wait in safety for asylum in another country. In this first-time collaboration between multi-award-winning author, Nadia Wheatley, and internationally-renowned illustrator, Armin Greder, words and images blend seamlessly to take readers on a journey they will never forget.

My Gallipoli by Robert Hannaford, with text by Ruth Starke
From the shores of Anzac Cove to the heights of Chunuk Bair, from Cape Helles to Gurkha Bluff, the Gallipoli Peninsula was the place where thousands of men from sixteen nations fought, suffered, endured or died during the eight months of occupation in 1915. For each of them, their families and their nurses, Gallipoli meant something different. Their voices emerge from the landscape and across the decades with stories of courage, valour, despair and loss.

One Step at a Time by Sally Heinrich, with text by Jane Jolly
Mali the baby elephant is injured in a landmine explosion, but an artificial leg enables her to walk again. Includes brief factual information about landmines.

Adelaide’s Secret World by Elise Hurst
Adelaide leads a quiet life in the midst of the city. At night she listens to the song of the stars, but during the day she watches over the others like her: the still ones, the quiet ones, those who dance and dream alone. Little does Adelaide know that her secret world will soon be transformed into something unexpected and full of joy.

Platypus by Mark Johnson, with text by Sue Whiting
Platypus leaves his burrow in the riverbank and dives into the cool green pool. It is dusk and he is hungry. Platypus is always busy, always moving, looking for his next meal. Follow platypus as he plays, swims, dives and scurries around his riverbank home.

Why I Love Footy by Tom Jellett, with text by Michael Wagner
There are a bazillion reasons to love footy! These are just my biggest ones…… There’s the big tackles and amazing marks. There’s wearing the scarf and singing the song. But whether your team wins or loses, from the opening bounce to the final siren, the very best thing about footy is that we do it together.

What’s Up MuMu by David Mackintosh
MuMu is not quite MuMu today. But with enough good cheer and fun, can her best friend Lox put things right? MuMu is not having a good day. Nothing can put things right. Her best friend Lox knows her better than anyone, but does he have enough tricks up his sleeve to put things right?

Lara of Newtown by Chris McKimmie
A funny and heart-warming story about a cat finding a home from a uniquely talented and multi-award-winning author.

Bob the Railway Dog by Andrew McLean, with text by Corrine Fenton
In the early days of the railway, when shiny new tracks were opening up vast areas of Australia, there was an adventurous dog who was part of it all. Everyone knew him. This is the true story of Bob the Railway Dog.

Suri’s Wall by Matt Ottley, with text by Lucy Estela
Suri was different from the other children and the high wall that encircled their lives was Suri’s only friend, her comfort and holder of whispered secrets. That was, until one day, when from the depths of human frailty, one small child’s voice was enough to change Suri’s view of their world inside the wall – and that which lay beyond it.

Teacup by Matt Ottley, with text by Rebecca Young
Once there was a boy who had to leave home… and find another. In his bag he carried a book, a bottle and a blanket. In his teacup he held some earth from where he used to play. This is one boy’s story of leaving his homeland, surviving a long journey by sea… and finding a safe, new place to call home..

Numerical Street by Antonia Pesenti, with text by Hilary Bell
Count as you walk up Numerical Street. Every page has a numerical treat. Get your pants altered, get your keys cut, Open the book before the shops shut. From the creators of bestselling Alphabetical Sydney comes a walk up busy Numerical Street, past its laundromats, cake shops, panel beaters and hair salons. A fresh look at familiar shops and businesses, the vibrant illustrations and playful verse of Numerical Street celebrate the jostle and chaos of suburban streetscapes.

Where’s Jessie? by Anne Spudvilas, with text by Janeen Brian
Bertie Bear was going on a long journey. He didn’t realise it would be on a camel! And he never imagined he would be having adventures on his own, far away from Jessie

Mr Huff by Anna Walker
Bill is having a bad day. Mr Huff is following him around and making everything seem difficult. Bill tries to get rid of him, but Mr Huff just gets bigger and bigger! Then they both stop, and a surprising thing happens … Gentle and poignant, affirming and wise, Mr Huff is a story about the clouds and the sunshine in each of our lives.

And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda by Bruce Whatley, with text by Eric Bogle
The iconic song about the Battle of Gallipoli, written by Eric Bogle in 1972 at the height of the anti-war movement, re-imagined by esteemed children’s illustrator Bruce Whatley.

Keep an eye out for the rest of the notable lists:
Book of the Year: Older Readers,
Book of the Year: Younger Readers, and 
Eve Pownall Award for Information Books