Good Reading : July 2001
wordof mouth children Children’s Book Council Awards 2001 Shortlist Book of the Year: Older Readers Note: Some of these books may be for more mature readers Wolf on the Fold – Judith Clarke (Silverfish/Allen & Unwin) Dogs – Bill Condon (Hodder Headline) Thursday’s Child – Sonya Hartnett (Penguin Books) The Simple Gift – Steven Herrick (UQP) Touch Me – James Moloney (UQP) Fighting Ruben Wolfe – Markus Zusak (Omnibus Books) Book of the Year: Younger Reader Away With the Birds – Errol Broome (Fremantle Arts Centre Press) The Game of the Goose – Ursula Dubosarsky (Penguin Books) Something’s Fishy, Hazel Green! – Odo Hirsch (Allen and Unwin) Two Hands Together – Diana Kidd (Penguin Books) Nips XI – Ruth Starke (Lothian Books) Pannikin & Pinta – Colin Thiele Illus. Peter Gouldthorpe (Lothian Books) Book of the Year: Early Childhood Max – Bob Graham (Walker Books) You’ll Wake the Baby – Catherine Jinks Illus. Andrew McLean (Penguin Books) Pog – Lyn Lee Illus. Kim Gamble (Omnibus Books) Ernie Dances to the Didgeridoo – Alison Lester (Hodder Children’s Books) Nighty Night! – Margaret Wild Illus. Kerry Argent (ABC Books) The Pocket Dogs – Margaret Wild Illus. Stephen Michael King (Omnibus Books) Picture Book of the Year Note: Some of these pictures books may be for mature readers Fox – Ron Brooks Text Margaret Wild (Allen & Unwin) Rain Dance – Dee Huxley Text Cathy Applegate (Margaret Hamilton Books) Faust’s Party – Matt Ottley (Hodder Children’s Books) The Singing Hat – Tohby Riddle (Penguin Books) A is For Aunty – Elaine Russell (ABC Books) The Lost Thing – Shaun Tan (Lothian Books) Eve Pownall Award for Information Books Pole to Pole – Pamela Freeman Illus. Philip Blythe (Koala Books) Sick As: Bloody Moments in the History of Medicine – Gael Jennings Illus. Roland Harvey (Roland Harvey Books) Olympia: Warrior Athletes of Ancient Greece – David Kennett Text Dyan Blacklock (Omnibus Books) 44 Building the Sydney Harbour Bridge – John Nicholson (Allen & Unwin) Animal Food – Jane Pearson (Echidna Books) A is For Aunty – Elaine Russell (ABC Books) Mid-April brought us the 2001 Children’s Book Council shortlisted titles. Familiar and favourite authors and illustrators who have soothed, shocked and entertained with their words and images featured and I was pleased that some of my favourites were amongst the nominees including Odo Hirsch, Ursula Dubosarsky, James Moloney, Sonya Hartnett and Tohby Riddle. Who will win? We’ll have to wait until August to find out. In the meantime, the shortlist is an accessible and generally reliable means by which to choose books for young readers. But the shortlist is just that – short! Let’s have a look at what else there is on the shelves that may attract young readers. The reluctant, unenthusiastic seven to eight year old reader may well be tempted by the Too Cool series (Scholastic) of books. This eight-part series written especially for boys has sport as the common theme. Each book includes a pictorial introduction to the characters, a fiction section, a glossary and map, factual information about each sport, layout of the sporting venue, a question and answer session and a quiz. Although plot and story development may not be the series’ strong points, each title wins a thumbs-up vote for enthusiastically showcasing sporting life. The popular Solo series (Scholastic) is aimed at the five to seven year old reader. Originally published as a fiction series, a non-fiction component has been introduced covering such topics as wildlife, baby animals and travel. Familiar authors and illustrators as well as some newcomers tackle diverse themes and subject matter in imaginative and colourful ways. Simple text and large, bold print make these chapter books very accessible for the beginner reader. My favourite Solo stories are Sticky Stuff and Elephant’s Lunch, both written by Kate Walker. Sticky Stuff tells a seemingly simple story of a little girl who steps in gum on her way to school. It’s the kind of messy, silly, yukky, humour which gives five, six and seven year olds a good belly laugh. Elephant’s Lunch, illustrated by Ann James, tells the quirky tale of Clara, a little girl with a big, overactive and colourful imagination. There are regular new additions to this broad series, keeping the committed Solo followers satisfied. Definitely worth a look in.