Announcing the 2024 CBCA Book of the Year Awards Shortlist

Hot on the heels of the Notables announcement, the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) has now revealed the eagerly awaited Shortlist for the 2024 Book of the Year Awards, shining a light on the crème de la crème of Picture Books.

This year’s Shortlist takes us on a whirlwind journey through a bowerbird’s quest for blue, a giant and a girl’s battle of creativity, a lone wolf finding friendship, a child’s daydream of life as a horse, a bird with arms embracing uniqueness, and a boy’s pursuit of time. These stories brilliantly showcase the boundless creativity and vibrant imagination flourishing in Australian children’s literature.

As we edge nearer to the grand reveal of the Winners and Honours on 17 August, allow me to extend a heartfelt congratulations to the talented authors and illustrators behind this year’s Shortlist. Your exceptional work not only captivates and entertains, but also plays a crucial role in fostering a lifelong passion for reading among young Australians.



Book of the Year: Older readers

  • A Hunger of Thorns – Lili Wilkinson, A&U
  • Grace Notes – Karen Comer, Lothian
  • Inkflower – Suzy Zail, Walker Books
  • Let’s Never Speak of This Again – Megan Williams, Text
  • The Quiet and the Loud – Helena Fox, Pan
  • Two Can Play That Game – Leanne Yong, A&U

Book of the Year: Younger readers

  • Being Jimmy Baxter – Fiona Lloyd, Puffin
  • Huda Was Here – H Hayek, A&U
  • Real Pigeons Flap Out – Andrew McDonald, illustrated by Ben Wood, HGCP
  • Scar Town – Tristan Bancks, Puffin
  • Scout and the Rescue Dogs – Dianne Wolfer, illustrated by Tony Flowers, Walker Books
  • The Sideways Orbit of Evie Hart – Samera Kamaleddine, HarperCollins

Book of the year: Early childhood

  • Bear and Duck Are Friends – Sue deGennaro, HGCP
  • The Concrete Garden – Bob Graham, Walker Books
  • Can You Teach a Fish to Climb a Tree? – Jane Godwin, illustrated by Terry Denton, HGCP
  • Grace and Mr Milligan – Caz Goodwin, illustrated by Pip Kruger, Marshall Cavendish International
  • Gymnastica Fantastica! – Briony Stewart, Lothian
  • One Little Duck – Katrina Germein, illustrated by Danny Snell, HarperCollins Publishers

Picture book of the year

  • Bowerbird Blues – Aura Parker, Scholastic
  • Every Night at Midnight – Peter Cheong, Affirm
  • If I Was a Horse – Sophie Blackall, Lothian
  • Paper-flower Girl – Mateja Jager, written by Margrete Lamond, WestWords
  • That Bird Has Arms – Ronojoy Ghosh & Niharika Hukku, written by Kate Temple & Jol Temple, HGCP
  • Timeless – Kelly Canby, Fremantle Press

Eve Pownall Award

  • Australia: Country of Colour – Jess Racklyeft, Affirm
  • Country Town – Isolde Martyn & Robyn Ridgeway, illustrated by Louise Hogan, Ford Street
  • Eww Gross: Foul facts and putrid pictures – Dan Marshall, Pantera
  • Our Country: Where history happened – Mark Greenwood, illustrated by Frané Lessac, Walker Books
  • Tamarra – Violet Wadrill, Topsy Dodd Ngarnjal & Leah Leaman, illustrated by Cecelia Edwards, Cassandra Algy, Felicity Meakins, Briony Barr & Gregory Crocetti, HGCP
  • This Book Thinks Ya Deadly! – Corey Tutt, illustrated by Molly Hunt, HG Explore
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