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Night of Notables: CBCA longlist announced

If there’s one thing I like as much as writing children’s books, it’s seeing Aussie writers and illustrators celebrated for their incredible and varied works.

This week, the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) announced its longlist for the 2023 CBCA Notables. The list acts as the longlist for the CBCA Book of the Year Awards.

The shortlist will be announced on 28 March, ahead of the culminating event on 18 August.

Scanning through the list, titles that stood out to me include: The Sugarcane Kids and the Red-bottomed Boat by Charlie Archbold, and Xavier in the Meantime by Kate Gordon – whose book Aster’s Good, Right Things took out the Younger Readers category in 2021.

I recently read The Sugarcane Kids and really loved the atmospheric depictions of North Queensland (from the muggy weather to boggy cane fields).

Other books on my (ever-growing) TBR list are The Bravest Word by Kate Foster, Dusty in the Outwilds by Rhiannon Williams, Evie and Rhino by Neridah McMullin, and Runt by Craig Silvey.

Congratulations to all those Australian children’s authors, illustrators and publishers longlisted.

Top children’s books named in CBCA longlist

The books in each category are:

Older readers

  • Ask No Questions (Eva Collins, P&W)
  • Completely Normal (and Other Lies) (Biffy James, HGCP)
  • The Greatest Thing (Sarah Winifred Searle, A&U)
  • Interned (Pamela Rushby, Walker Books)
  • Invisibly Grace (Avery McDougall, Forty South)
  • The Killing Code (Ellie Marney, A&U)
  • Libby Lawrence is Good at Pretending (Jodi McAlister, Wakefield)
  • A Little Spark (Barry Jonsberg, A&U)
  • The Museum of Broken Things (Lauren Draper, Text)
  • Neverlanders (Tom Taylor, iillustrated by Jon Sommariva, PRH)
  • The Not So Chosen One (Kate Emery, Text)
  • The Other Side of Tomorrow (Hayley Lawrence, Scholastic)
  • Scorpion Falls (Martin Chatterton, Ford Street)
  • Slipping the Noose (Meg Caddy, Text)
  • The Stand In (Allison Rushby, Scholastic)
  • Triple Threat (Katy Warner, HGCP)
  • Unnecessary Drama (Nina Kenwood, Text)
  • The Wearing of the Green (Claire Saxby, Walker Books)
  • We Who Hunt the Hollow (Kate Murray, HGCP)
  • What We All Saw (Mike Lucas, PRH)
  • Where You Left Us (Rhiannon Wilde, UQP)

Younger readers

  • All Four Quarters of the Moon (Shirley Marr, PRH)
  • August & Jones (Pip Harry, Hachette)
  • Big Magic (Sarah Armstrong, HGCP)
  • The Book of Wondrous Possibilities (Deborah Abela, PRH)
  • The Bravest Word (Kate Foster, Walker Books)
  • Dusty in the Outwilds (Rhiannon Williams, HGCP)
  • Evie and Rhino (Neridah McMullin, illustrated by Astred Hicks, Walker Books)
  • Hedgewitch (Skye McKenna, Welbeck)
  • The Jammer (Nova Weetman, UQP)
  • The Last Light Horse (Dianne Wolfer, illustrated by Brian Simmonds, Fremantle Press)
  • Mikki and Me and the Out-of-Tune Tree (Marion Roberts, A&U)
  • Ming and Flo Fight for the Future (Jackie French, HarperCollins)
  • No Words (Maryam Master, Pan Macmillan)
  • The Raven’s Song (Zana Fraillon & Bren MacDibble, A&U)
  • Runt (Craig Silvey, A&U)
  • The Sugarcane Kids and the Red-bottomed Boat (Charlie Archbold, Text)
  • The Travelling Bookshop: Mim and the Woeful Wedding (Katrina Nannestad, illustrated by Cheryl Orsini, HarperCollins)
  • Waiting for the Storks (Katrina Nannestad, HarperCollins)
  • The Way of Dog (Zana Fraillon, illustrated by Sean Buckingham, UQP)
  • We Run Tomorrow (Nat Amoore, illustrated by Mike Barry, PRH)
  • What About Thao? (Oliver Phommavanh, PRH)
  • What Snail Knows (Kathryn Apel, UQP)
  • The Wintrish Girl (Melanie La’Brooy, UQP)
  • Xavier in the Meantime (Kate Gordon, Riveted Press)
  • Zadie Ma and the Dog Who Chased the Moon (Gabrielle Wang, PRH)

Early childhood

  • Australian Animals Indigenous Discovery Big Book (Emily Bruce, illustrated by Leanne Mulgo Watson, Learning Media)
  • Backyard Beasties (Helen Milroy, Fremantle Press)
  • Beside the Sea (Kerri Day, illustrated by Jess Racklyeft, Windy Hollow)
  • Bev and Kev (Katrina Germein, illustrated by Mandy Foot, Little Book Press)
  • Clementine’s Treasure (Annie White, New Frontier Publishing)
  • Come Over to My House (Eliza Hull, illustrated by Daniel Gray-Barnett, HGCP)
  • The Echidna Near My Place (Sue Whiting, illustrated by Cate James, Walker Books)
  • Ella and the Useless Day (Meg McKinlay, illustrated by Karen Blair, Walker Books)
  • Emergency! Emergency! Vehicles to the Rescue (Rhiân Williams, illustrated by Tom Jellet, Wild Dog)
  • Garden on Red Gum Road, The (Phil Cummings, illustrated by Danny Snell, Little Book Press)
  • How Do You Say I Love You? (Ashleigh Barton, illustrated by Martina Heiduczek, HarperCollins)
  • Jack’s Jumper (Sara Acton, Walker Books)
  • Jigsaw: A Puzzle in the Post (Bob Graham, Walker Books)
  • Lionel and Me (Corinne Fenton, illustrated by Tracie Grimwood, New Frontier)
  • Market Day (Carrie Gallasch, illustrated by Hannah Sommerville, HGCP)
  • My Shadow is Purple (Scott Stuart, Larrikin House)
  • Please Handle With Care (Coral Vass, illustrated by Tull Suwannakit, New Frontier)
  • Polly’s Grand Party Plan (Jane Godwin, illustrated by Evie Barrow, Affirm)
  • Rainbow Days (Margaret Hamilton, illustrated by Anna Pignataro, HGCP)
  • Ship Ahoy! Box Boy (Mal Webster, Windy Hollow)
  • Snap! (Anna Walker, Scribble)
  • Thank you rain! (Sally Morgan, illustrated by Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr, Magabala)
  • This Little Joey (Renee Treml, PRH)
  • Where the Lyrebird Lives (Vikki Conley, illus by Max Hamilton, Windy Hollow)

Picture book of the year

  • 11 Words for Love (Randa Abdel-Fattah, illustrated by Maxine Beneba Clarke, Hachette)
  • Accidentally Kelly Street (Briony Stewart, Affirm)
  • A Job for Kingsley (Gabriel Evans, HGCP)
  • Amma’s Sari (Sandhya Parappukkaran, illustrated by Michelle Pereira, HGCP)
  • Be Careful, Xiao Xin! (Alice Pung, illustrated by Sher Rill Ng, HarperCollins)
  • Crumbs (Phil Cummings, illustrated by Shane DeVries, Scholastic)
  • Dirt by Sea (Michael Wagner, illustrated by Tom Jellett, PRH)
  • Egg (Clare Atkins, illustrated by Harrison Vial, UQP)
  • Farmhouse (Sophie Blackall, Hachette)
  • Frank’s Red Hat (Sean E Avery, Walker Books)
  • Jigsaw: A Puzzle in the Post (Bob Graham, Walker Books)
  • Jørn’s Magnificent Imagination (Coral Vass, illustrated by Nicky Johnston, EK Books)
  • Koala Ark (Stephen Michael King, Scholastic)
  • My Strange Shrinking Parents (Zeno Sworder, T&H)
  • Open Your Heart to Country (Jasmine Seymour, Magabala)
  • Our Dreaming (Kirli Saunders, illustrated by Dub Leffler, Scholastic)
  • Paradise Sands: A Story of Enchantment (Levi Pinfold, Walker Books)
  • Piano Fingers (Caroline Magerl, Walker Books)
  • Summer Blue (Trudie Trewin, illustrated by Marjorie Crosby-Fairall, Scholastic)
  • Tiny Wonders (Sally Soweol Han, UQP)
  • The Tree of Ecstasy and Unbearable Sadness (Matt Ottley, WestWords)
  • What to Say When You Don’t Know What to Say (Davina Bell, illustrated by Hilary Jean Tapper, Hachette)
  • When You’re Older (Sofie Laguna, illustrated by Judy Watson, A&U)
  • Where? (Jordan Collins, illustrated by Phil Lesnie, A&U)
  • Whisper on the Wind (Claire Saxby, illustrated by Jess Racklyeft, A&U)

Eve Pownall Award

  • A Is for Australian Reefs (Frané Lessac, Walker Books)
  • Amazing Animal Journeys (Jennifer Cossins, Hachette)
  • Charlie’s Swim (Edith Wright, illus by Charmaine Ledden-Lewis, Magabala)
  • Come Together: Things Every Aussie Kid Should Know about the First Peoples (Isaiah Firebrace, illus by Jaelyn Biumaiwai, Hardie Grant)
  • DEEP: Delve into Hidden Worlds (Jess McGeachin, Welbeck)
  • The Echidna Near My Place (Sue Whiting, illustrated by Cate James, Walker Books)
  • Grub (Sandra Severgnini, illustrated by Sandra Severgnini, EK Books)
  • The Happiest Boy on Earth (Eddie Jaku, illustrated by Nathaniel Eckstrom, Pan Macmillan)
  • Hello Every Body! (Samantha Curcio, HGCP)
  • In An Artist’s Garden (Claire Orrell, T&H)
  • Kind (Jess McGeachin, A&U)
  • The Marvellous Manner of Water (Philip Bunting, Scholastic)
  • Naturopolis (Deborah Frenkel, illustrated by Ingrid Bartkowiak, Storytorch)
  • Oceans of Plastic: Understanding and Solving a Pollution Problem (Tracey Gray, CSIRO)
  • Off to the Market (Alice Oehr, illustrated by Alice Oehr, Scribble Kids’ Books)
  • On the Trail of the Plains-wanderer: A Precious Australian Bird (Rohan Cleave, illustrated by Julian Teh, CSIRO)
  • Opal and Dart (Vianne Brain, illustrated by Clare Bradley, Fourty South)
  • Peregrines in the City (Andrew Kelly, illustrated by Dean A. Jones, Wild Dog)
  • A Shorebird Flying Adventure (Jackie Kerin, illustrated by Milly Formby, CSIRO)
  • Votes for Women! The story of Nellie, Rose and Mary (Mark Wilson, Hachette)
  • The Voyage of Whale and Calf (Vanessa Pirotta, illustrated by Samantha Metcalfe, CSIRO)
  • Where Do Babies Come From? (Heath McKenzie, Lake Press)
  • Wild Australian Life (Leonard Cronin, illustrated by Chris Nixon, A&U)
  • Wonders Under the Sun (Tai Snaith, T&H)
  • The World’s Most Ridiculous Animals (Philip Bunting, HGCP)

Discover more information about the CBCA Awards and the 2023 Notables list over on the official website.


Published by jaynemcintyre

Writer | Reader | Jogger | Dreamer

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