Children’s Book Week

17 – 24 August 2019

In August every year the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) along with libraries and schools come together to celebrate Australian children’s literature.  This year at Cockburn Libraries we will be celebrating CBCA Book Week in many ways as can be seen in Jessica’s previous post.

My favourite part of Book Week and the build up to it, are the lists of children’s books that are released.  First we get the large lists of notable books, then we get a refined list of short-listed books and finally we get the Book of the Year in various categories on the third Friday in August.

There is just so much talent in the field of children’s literature that we are spoiled for choice.  I have reviewed three short listed books below and we have reviewed many others.  My personal favourites this year include:

The Giant Book of Germs – Lorna Hendry

Make Believe – National Gallery of Victoria

Grandma Z – Daniel Gray-Barnett

Australian Birds – Matt Chun

How Did I Get Here – Philip Bunting

There is a plethora of choice; fiction, non-fiction, amazing illustrations to quality information.  The CBCA Book Week awards highlight the amazing children’s books that are being produced in Australia. 

Happy reading!

Book cover for Grandma Z
Book cover for Australian Birds



Book cover for Rainbow Bear

Rainbow Bear – Stephen Michael King

Short-listed for Book of the Year – Early Childhood

Father Bear returns to his family after a trip away, doing what many Fathers do…bearing gifts.  The bright art supplies for his children and the cheerful flowers for their Mother bring a spark of colour to an otherwise starkly beautiful landscape. 

But what’s this? Why is Father Bear waking every morning with a different bright pattern painted on his white fur? 

This book is gorgeously illustrated with the bright colours and magical patterns of the Rainbow Bear contrasting beautifully with the monochromatically idyllic environment in which the bears live.  The text uses repetitive refrains that young people will love.  It illustrates the joy of family and all families will love this book.


Short-listed for Book of the Year – Early Childhood

The Dress-Up Box is a lovely story about the power of imagination, play and change.  The Frolleys have to move house and in doing so will move away from their dear friends, the Choongs.  This is an upsetting time for the family, but through play with the help of the special dress-up box, the Frolleys get through this turbulent time.

This story explores the theme that home is where the heart is.  It is a positive and uplifting book that helps explain that although change can be scary, everything will be alright in the end.

The Dress-up Box explains community and the sense of belonging that it brings, it then demonstrates that moving from one community to another is not the end of the world and that happiness can be found wherever you find yourself.  Beautifully illustrated in a way that exudes fun and adventure, this book will be a hit with younger readers.

Book cover for The Dress-Up Box
Book cover for Girl on Wire


Short-listed for Picture Book of the Year 

Girl on Wire is a powerful book that is likely to evoke a strong emotional reaction from the reader.  It is an allegory about a young girl overcoming her fears and anxiety.  Utilising the love and support of her family and community, she finds her inner strength.

Using the metaphor of walking a tightrope through a storm, Girl on Wire explores the themes of fear, bravery and resilience.  The story is quite ambiguous, there is no definitive resolution and you may be left with many unanswered questions about the girl.

The illustrations in Girl on Wire are deeply provocative, through the story they go from being dark and ominous, to light and breezy.  Overall, this is a beautiful book.  It encourages reflection, and will stay with you long after you close the cover.



Row, row, row your boat,

gently down the stream.

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,

life is but a dream.

Rock, rock, rock your boat,

gently down the stream.

If you see a crocodile,

don’t forget to scream!

Image: Pixabay



Image – Pixabay

If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands.

If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands.

If you’re happy and you know it and you really want to show it,

If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands.


Paper Plate Dream Catcher

You will need:

A paper plate

Hole punch

Yarn or string

Feathers, beads, gumnuts or anything else that you would like to use

To make:

Fold the plate in half and cut out the centre.

Punch some hole around the inside of the remainder of the plate and three holes at the bottom to attached dangly bits to.

Have your child decorate the plate and then weave the string or yarn through the holes to create a web.

Hang feathers, beads or any decorative items from the three holes at the bottom of the dream catcher.