JdM Creators on the CBCA Book of the Year Award 2024 Shortlist


We are absolutely over the moon that so many JdM creatives made the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Notables Longlist for 2024, and we extend further congratulations to those who have now been recognised on the Shortlist!

They are;

⦿ Grace Notes by Karen Comer (Lothian Children’s Books, an imprint of Hachette Australia)

◘ Judges comments: “This beautifully written debut captures all the light and shade of COVID lockdowns, exploring the wider impact of the pandemic and how it affected different age groups. As one would expect from a verse novel, the prose is spectacularly lyrical in a manner so deeply authentic to the story it is impossible to put down. Well-constructed family dynamics are cleverly revealed through the sparse writing, but it is the authentic comingof-age portrayal of protagonists Grace and Crux that is the selling point of the story. They are adorable and delightful and almost too good to be real, yet still inherently teen in their worldviews. This book is a gorgeous exploration of art and creativity from the perspective of central characters who are searching to discover meaning and purpose through both, opening thoughtful, original discussion around street art and the meaning of music that is highly suitable for the readership.”

⦿ Gymnastica Fantastica! by Briony Stewart (Lothian Children’s Books, an imprint of Hachette Australia)

◘ Judges comments: “An enticing invitation opens this vibrant picture book, as a vivacious young child confidently demonstrates their gymnastic prowess, bouncing, cartwheeling and flipping their way across the pages. Their dog, a silent but invested observer throughout, provides a lovely contrast. This book conveys so much energy and life which children will connect with immediately. The young child’s voice permeates the tight, joyful rhyming text which includes a rich assortment of verbs, nouns and adjectives. Pencil, ink, crayon, gouache, and digital illustrations are filled with zoom in action and movement matching the equally energetic text. The endpapers are perfect bookends, as twirling ribbons, held in the child’s left at the start and right hand at the end, appear to capture the story.”

⦿ Scout and the Rescue Dogs by Dianne Wolfer, ill. Tony Flowers (Walker Books Australia)

◘ Judges comments: “Realistically set during the 2019/20 bushfires, this book journeys with Scout and her dad as they deliver donations of dog food to animal shelters throughout southeastern Australia. The bushfires and the geographical details related to their travels are accurately presented. Grieving the loss of her mum, sparked by their travels, the people they meet and a school friendship project, Scout develops a website to connect shelter dogs with truck drivers needing company. Responsible internet use, described throughout the text is commendable and age appropriate. Including creative design features, this fictional narrative is heartwarming and uplifting, dealing sensitively with topics of parental loss, environmental threat, bullying and separation balanced by optimism and the love Scout shares with her father and with animals.”

EVE POWNALL AWARD for information books
⦿ Australia: Country of Colour by Jess Racklyeft (Affirm Press)

◘ Judges comments: “Presented through the lens of the colour wheel, this magnificent book takes your breath away with its visually stunning exploration of Australian landscapes, flora and fauna. The colours of Australia are magnificently celebrated as the vivid red dirt, endless blue skies, golden sandy beaches and magical green bush land are beautifully recreated. With the turning of each page the reader is presented with new delights as landscapes, animals and plants are organised in colour categories of varying hues. The text draws on scientific knowledge and research which works in harmony with the illustrations to build visual literacy and animal and plant recognition. Strong links between colour and emotion, and of the feelings associated with particular colours are explained as is the importance of caring for Country.”

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We congratulate our Notables and Shortlisted creators, and their publishers – we are so proud of each and every one of you!

Winners and Honours will be announced Friday, 16 August 2024, 12.00 PM (noon) AEST. And the Shadowers’ Choice Awards (as chosen by teen judges) will take place; Friday, 16 August 2024

Author: Karen Comer and Briony Stewart

CBCA 2024 Shortlist

JdM Creators on the CBCA Book of the Year Award 2024 Shortlist