CBCA SHORTLIST – 2023 in the category of THE PICTURE BOOK OF THE YEAR
Entries in this category should be outstanding books of the Picture Book genre in which the author and illustrator achieve artistic and literary unity or, in wordless picture books, where the story, theme or concept is unified through illustrations. Ages 0-18 years. (NB. Some of these books may be for mature readers).
The CBCA judges say…
There is a deeper message here that is subtle and not forced. This book will open up conversations about risk taking, difference and perseverance. The story pace is perfect, and the illustrations delightfully extend the text, with expertly crafted details like the eyes of the walrus, which are so expressive. There are rich word choices for the colour names. The page filled with hats in every colour of the rainbow is wonderful and visually represents Frank’s independence, creativity and determination against the backdrop of his monotone environment. This book can be shared with younger children, but it will also generate deeper discussions and enjoyment for older students. Ultimately, it is the characters and the way the illustrations enhance their interactions that make this story shine.
Frank becomes an outcast. He keeps trying to come up with the perfect idea, but those fearful penguins just will not accept anything that Frank suggests.
Just as he is about to give it all away, Frank hears a quiet voice and his passion for creativity is reignited.
Besides the delightful narrative, the illustrations in this book are truly masterful. Avery represents the bleak polar environment with an amazing black and white palette that allows the contrast of the Frank’s red hat to really shine in a manner that is demonstrative of the stark difference of Frank’s ideas.
Written by a Perth local, Frank’s Red Hat is a wonderful book that is not only engaging at many levels, it is also memorable and fun.