Celebrating the 2024 CBCA Book of the Year Awards Notables


With the 2024 CBCA Book of the Year Awards upon us, excitement builds as the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) unveils its Notables list, setting the stage for celebrating the standout picture books of the year. The CBCA, a cornerstone in promoting and celebrating Australian children’s books since 1946, continues its tradition of nurturing young readers’ imaginations and supporting the incredible talents of Australian authors and illustrators. With key dates fast approaching, including the Shortlist announcement on 19 March and the eagerly anticipated Winners and Honours presentation on 16 August, the literary community holds its collective breath with anticipation.

This year is particularly meaningful to me, as I’m honoured to serve as one of the three judges for the Picture Book of the Year and New Illustrator Categories. Reviewing each submission has been a remarkable journey, allowing me to delve into the creativity, originality, and effort poured into every page of each book. The task of evaluating these works has been deeply rewarding, giving me a new level of respect for the creators behind these captivating stories and illustrations. If you’d like to learn more about each Notable book, you can check out critiques from the panel of judges including myself here.

A huge shoutout to all the authors and illustrators who’ve landed on this year’s Notables list. Your contributions stand as a testament to the quality and richness of children’s literature in Australia. As we anticipate the upcoming events in the 2024 CBCA Book of the Year Awards, let’s take a moment to celebrate the remarkable contribution these talented individuals make to young Australian readers through their engaging stories and illustrations. Here’s to a year of picture books that captivate, inspire, and ignite children’s imaginations across the country.



Book of the Year: Older readers

  • A Hunger of Thorns – Lili Wilkinson, A&U
  • Blind Spot – Robyn Dennison, Text
  • Borderland – Graham Akhurst, UWAP
  • Eleanor Jones Is Not a Murderer – Amy Doak, Penguin
  • Eta Draconis – Brendan Ritchie, UWAP
  • Grace Notes – Karen Comer, Lothian
  • I Am the Mau and other stories – Chemutai Glasheen, Fremantle Press
  • If You Tell Anyone You’re Next – Jack Heath, Scholastic
  • Inkflower – Suzy Zail, Walker Books
  • The Isles of the Gods – Amie Kaufman, A&U
  • Let’s Never Speak of This Again – Megan Williams, Text
  • Nightbirds – Kate J Armstrong, A&U
  • One Song – A J Betts, Pan
  • Picasso and the Greatest Show on Earth – Anna Fienberg, A&U
  • The Quiet and the Loud – Helena Fox, Pan
  • The Sinister Booksellers of Bath – Garth Nix, A&U
  • Stuck Up & Stupid – Kate Rice & Angourie Rice, Walker Books
  • This Time It’s Real – Ann Liang, Penguin
  • Two Can Play That Game – Leanne Yong, A&U
  • We Could Be Something – Will Kostakis, A&U
  • We Didn’t Think It Through – Gary Lonesborough, A&U

Book of the Year: Younger readers

  • Aggie Flea Is Not a Liar – Tania Ingram, illustrated by Anne Yi, Scholastic
  • Being Jimmy Baxter – Fiona Lloyd, Puffin
  • Dirrarn – Carl Merrison & Hakea Hustler, illustrated by Dub Leffler, Magabala
  • Evie Dreams Big – Matt Stanton, ABC Books
  • The Great Gallipoli Escape – Jackie French, HarperCollins
  • Harriet Hound – Kate Foster, illustrated by Sophie Beer, Walker Books
  • Huda Was Here – H Hayek, A&U
  • Meet Me at the Moon Tree – Shivaun Plozza, UQP
  • Ming and Hilde Lead a Revolution – Jackie French, HarperCollins
  • The Mud Puddlers – Pamela Rushby, Walker Books
  • Pearly and Pig and the Lost City of Mu Savan – Sue Whiting, illustrated by Rebecca Crane, Walker Books
  • The Power of Being Odd – Matt Stanton, ABC Books
  • Real Pigeons Flap Out – Andrew McDonald, illustrated by Ben Wood, HGCP
  • Running With Ivan – Suzanne Leal, HarperCollins
  • Saving Charli – Di Walk, Scholastic
  • 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
  • So That Happened… But Maybe You Already Knew That – Tami Sussman, Walker Books
  • Sunshine on Vinegar Street – Karen Comer, A&U
  • The Unlikely Heroes Club – Kate Foster, Walker Books
  • Uncle Xbox – Jared Thomas, Magabala

Book of the year: Early childhood

  • Anchored – Debra Tidball, illustrated by Arielle Li, Exisle
  • Bear and Duck Are Friends – Sue deGennaro, HGCP
  • Big Dog Is a Big Help – Sally Rippin, illustrated by Lucinda Gifford, HGCP
  • The Concrete Garden – Bob Graham, Walker Books
  • Can You Teach a Fish to Climb a Tree? – Jane Godwin, illustrated by Terry Denton, HGCP
  • Duckling Runs Away – Margaret Wild, illustrated by Vivienne To, A&U
  • Grace and Mr Milligan – Caz Goodwin, illustrated by Pip Kruger, Marshall Cavendish International
  • Gurril, Storm Bird – Trevor Fourmile, illustrated by Jingalu, Magabala
  • Gymnastica Fantastica! – Briony Stewart, Lothian
  • Hair! – Mike Dumbleton, illustrated by Lucinda Gifford, Little Book Press
  • In the Rockpool – Andrea Rowe, illustrated by Hannah Sommerville, HGCP
  • Ladybirds Do Not Go to Day Care – Ali Rutstein, illustrated by Niña Nill, HGCP
  • The Little Things – Penny Harrison, illustrated by Hannah Sommerville, HGCP
  • Nedingar: Ancestors – Isobel Bevis, illustrated by Leanne Zilm, Fremantle Press
  • One Little Duck – Katrina Germein, illustrated by Danny Snell, HarperCollins Publishers
  • Our Mob – Jacinta Daniher & Taylor Hampton, illustrated by Seantelle Walsh, Ford Street
  • Ruby’s Repair Cafe – Michelle Worthington, illustrated by Zoe Bennett, New Frontier
  • Run Pups Run – Kerri Day, illustrated by Nicky Johnston, Windy Hollow
  • Shadow Catchers – Kirsty Murray, illustrated by Karen Blair, A&U
  • These Little Feet – Hayley Rawsthorne, illustrated by Briony Stewart, A&U
  • The Trees – Victor Steffensen, illustrated by Sandra Steffensen, HG Explore
  • We’re Moving Away – Niña Nill, HGCP
  • The Wheelbarrow Express – Sue Whiting, illustrated by Cate James, Walker Books
  • When I’m Big – Karen Blair, Puffin
  • Where Will the Sleepy Sheep Sleep? – David Metzenthen, illustrated by Jonathan Bentley, A&U

Picture book of the year

  • Anchored – Arielle Li, written by Debra Tidball, Exisle
  • The Black Cockatoo with One Feather Blue – Eloise Short, written by Jodie McLeod, Wollemi Press
  • Bowerbird Blues – Aura Parker, Scholastic
  • City of Light – Mark & Heather Jackson, written by Julia Lawrinson, Wild Dog
  • The Concrete Garden – Bob Graham, Walker Books
  • Desert Jungle – Jeannie Baker, Walker Books
  • Dorrie – Tania McCartney, HarperCollins
  • Every Night at Midnight – Peter Cheong, Affirm
  • The Garden at the End of the World – Briony Stewart, written by Cassy Polimeni, UQP
  • Good Morning, My Deer! – Sophie Beer, written by Mel Amon, Scribble
  • If I Was a Horse – Sophie Blackall, Lothian
  • Ladybirds Do Not Go to Day Care – Niña Nill, written by Ali Rutstein, HGCP
  • Leaf-light – Trace Balla, A&U
  • Little Treasure – Jennifer Goldsmith, written by Chanelle Gosper, Lothian
  • The Lucky Shack – Jennifer Falkner, written by Apsara Baldovino, Working Title
  • Mizuto and the Wind – Luisa Gioffre-Suzuki, written by Kaye Baillie, MidnightSun
  • Paper-flower Girl – Mateja Jager, written by Margrete Lamond, WestWords
  • Plague – Bruce Whatley, written by Jackie French, Scholastic
  • Raised by Moths – Michelle Conn, written by Charlie Archbold, MidnightSun
  • Satin – Lorena Carrington, written by Sophie Masson, MidnightSun
  • Stay for Dinner – Michelle Pereira, written by Sandhya Parappukkaran, HGCP
  • That Bird Has Arms – Ronojoy Ghosh & Niharika Hukku, written by Kate Temple & Jol Temple, HGCP
  • Timeless – Kelly Canby, Fremantle Press
  • World – Anna Read, written by Martine Murray, Parachute Press
  • Your Head’s Not the Place to Store Problems – Stephen Michael King, written by Josh Pyke, Scholastic

Eve Pownall Award

  • All About the HEART – Remi Kowalski, illustrated by Tonia Composto, Berbay
  • Australia: Country of Colour – Jess Racklyeft, Affirm
  • Australian Animals: From beach to bush – Brentos, Affirm
  • Australian Backyard Birds – Myke Mollard, Woodslane
  • Bidhi Galing – Anita Heiss, illustrated by Samantha Campbell, S&S
  • Caroline – Mark Wilson, Windy Hollow
  • Country Tells Us When… – Tsheena Cooper, Mary Dann, Dalisa Pigram-Ross & Sheree Ford, trans by Yawuru Ngan-ga Language Centre, ILF
  • Country Town – Isolde Martyn & Robyn Ridgeway, illustrated by Louise Hogan, Ford Street
  • Democracy! – Philip Bunting, HGCP
  • Eat My Dust! – Neridah McMullin, illustrated by Lucia Masciullo, Walker Books
  • Eww Gross: Foul facts and putrid pictures – Dan Marshall, Pantera
  • The Forgotten Song: Saving the regent honeyeater – Coral Vass, illustrated by Jess Racklyeft, CSIRO Publishing
  • High – Jess McGeachin, Welbeck
  • How We Came to Be: Creatures of camouflage and mimicry – Sami Bayly, Lothian
  • Last Man Out – Louise Park, Wild Dog
  • Our Country: Where history happened – Mark Greenwood, illustrated by Frané Lessac, Walker Books
  • River to Bay: Victoria’s maritime history – Carole Wilkinson, illustrated by Prue Pittock, Wild Dog
  • Songlines: First Knowledges for younger readers – Margo Neale & Lynne Kelly, illustrated by Blak Douglas, Thames & Hudson
  • 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
  • Universal Guide to the Night Sky – Lisa Harvey-Smith, illustrated by Sophie Beer, Thames & Hudson
  • Wildlife Compendium of the World – Tania McCartney, HG Explore
  • Wildlife of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef – Myke Mollard, Woodslane
  • Wollemi: Saving a dinosaur tree – Samantha Tidy, illustrated by Rachel Gyan, CSIRO Publishing
  • The World’s Most Atrocious Animals – Philip Bunting, HGCP.
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