The Children’s Book Council of Australia: 2016 Notables List



Australia has an incredibly diverse, vibrant and fabulous children’s literary community which produces some of the best children’s books in the world and the CBCA Book of the Year Awards recognize some of this exceptional talent each year, through the notables, short lists and Book Week celebrations. The theme for Book Week 2016 is ‘Australia: Story Country’ and I have about a million ideas for this floating around in my already very crowded head! Susan from ‘The Book Chook’ is far more organised than I and you can see all her brainstorming here.

Much like stickers many of us choose our wine based on the stickers on the bottle, many of us choose books to read based on the number of stickers on a cover. The CBCA stickers carry a hefty weight in terms of literary honour, and are widely recognized by parents and children alike as they select books from their public or school library, or at their local bookstore.

The awards were established in 1946, with the first winners receiving a camellia flower, before generous donations ensured a monetary prize for each category. The CBCA Awards Foundation was established in 1995 and in excess of a million dollars has been raised to ensure the future and independence of these important awards.

The Notables for 2016 can be used as a buying guide for home, school and library collections as they are an excellent starting point for parents and teachers looking to read the crème de la crème of children’s/YA literature in Australia. With five categories of book awards, there is a book to suit children from birth to 18 years old, and their parents and teachers!  The rigorous process of CBCA judging ensures the books on the Notables list are of a high literary standard. It is important to keep in mind that the CBCA Book of the Year Awards are based on the literary merit of each book and are not children’s choice/popular awards.

Each category contains a large range of books, suitable for different age groups, and parents/teachers should assess the themes and content of an individual book before choosing it for their child or classroom.

To purchase from the 2016 Notables, click on title links below.

2016 Book of the Year: Early Childhood‘Alfie’s Lost Sharkie’, Anna Walker, Scholastic Press.

‘As Big As You’, Sara Acton, Scholastic Press.

‘Bogtrotter’, Margaret Wild, Judith Rossell (ill.), Walker Books.

‘Frog Finds a Place’, Sally Morgan, Ezekiel Kwaymullina (ill.), Omnibus Books.

‘Hop Up! Wriggle Over!’, Elizabeth Honey, Allen and Unwin.

‘I Need a Hug’, Aaron Blabey, Scholastic Press.

‘I’m a Hungry Dinosaur’, Janeen Brian, Ann James (ill.), Penguin Random House.

‘Meep’, Andy Geppert, Tiny Owl Workshop.

‘Mr Huff’, Anna Walker, Penguin Random House.

‘My Dog Bigsy’, Alison Lester, Penguin Random House.

‘Ollie and the Wind’, Ghosh Ronojoy, Random House Australia.

‘Perfect’, Danny Parker, Anna Walker (ill.), Little Hare.

‘Pig the Fibber’, Aaron Blabey, Scholastic Press.

‘Piranhas Don’t Eat Bananas’, Aaron Blabey, Scholastic Press.

‘Puddles are for Jumping’, Kylie Dunstan, Windy Hollow Books.

‘Small and Big’, Karen Collum, Ben Wood (ill.), Windy Hollow Books.

‘The Cow Tripped Over the Moon’, Tony Wilson, Laura Wood (ill.), Scholastic Press.

‘The Very Noisy Bear’, Nick Bland, Scholastic Press.

‘This & That’, Mem Fox, Judy Horacek (ill.), Scholastic Australia.

‘This is a Ball’, Beck and Matt Stanton, ABC Books.

‘Thunderstorm Dancing’, Katrina Germein, Judy Watson (ill.), Allen and Unwin.

‘Too Busy Sleeping’, Zanni Louise, Anna Pignataro (ill.), Little Hare.

‘What Do You Wish For?’, Jane Godwin, Anna Walker (ill.), Penguin Random House.Recently Updated3

‘Adelaide’s Secret World’, Elise Hurst, Allen & Unwin.

‘And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda’, Eric Bogle, Bruce Whatley (ill.), Allen & Unwin.

‘Bob the Railway Dog’, Corinne Fenton, Andrew McLean (ill.), Walker Books.

‘Eye to Eye’, Graeme Base, Penguin Random House.

‘Flight’, Nadia Wheatley, Armin Greder(ill.), Windy Hollow Books.

‘How the Sun got to Coco’s House’, Bob Graham, Walker Books.

‘In the Evening’, Edwina Wyatt, Gaye Chapman(ill.),  Hardie Grant Egmont, Little Hare.

‘Lara of Newtown’, Chris McKimmie, Allen & Unwin.

‘Mr Huff’, Anna Walker, Penguin Random House.

‘My Dead Bunny’ James  Foley, Sigi  Cohen, Walker Books Australia.

‘My Gallipoli‘, Ruth Starke, Robert Hannaford (ill.), Working Title Press.

‘Numerical Street’, Hilary Bell, Antonia Pesenti (ill.), New South Publishing.

‘One Step at a Time’, Jane Jolly, Sally Heinrich(ill.),  Midnight Sun Publishing.

‘ Perfect’, Danny Parker,  Freya Blackwood (ill.),  Little Hare.

‘Platypus’, Sue Whiting, Mark Jackson (ill.), Walker Books.

‘Ride, Ricardo, Ride!’,  Shane Cummings, Phil Devries (ill.), Omnibus Books.

‘Suri’s Wall’, Lucy Estela, Matt Ottley (ill.), Penguin Random House.

‘Teacup’, Rebecca Young, Matt Ottley (ill.), Scholastic Press.

‘The Eagle Inside’, Bronwyn Bancroft, Jack Manning-Bancroft, Little Hare.

‘What’s Up MuMu?’, David Mackintosh,  HarperCollins.

‘Where’s Jessie?’, Janeen Brian, Anne Spudvilas (ill.), NLA Publishing.

‘Why I Love Footy’, Michael Wagner, Tom Jellett (ill.), Penguin Random House.

The titles of each book takes you to the Australian based online bookstore Booktopia. You can also compare prices on Fishpond and Bookworld for Australian purchases.If you live in the US or would prefer to use Amazon click here. If you live in the UK or would prefer to use Book Depository click here. Purchases clicked through from the Children’s Books Daily site result in a small commission. Commission is used in part to maintain Children’s Books Daily and to support community groups which connect children with books.


  1. Thanks for that summary Megan. That’s an interesting story about the camellia. Was it a single flower or a potted plant? I’m guessing a single flower. But if a plant, what an interesting literary pilgrimage that would make; travelling from camellia tree to camellia tree to see the locations of winners since 1946! Ha!

    • It was a single flower Judy but now that you’ve suggested a plant how I wish I could go back to 1946 and changed that…because that would be BRILLIANT!

  2. Oh to have a copy of every single one of those! We loved the “What do you wish for?” book at Christmas time but Pax really loves “The Very Noisy Bear” too! Looking at those titles, there’s some stiff competition, I don’t envy the judges this year. Such gorgeous illustrations in so many of them! Can’t wait to hear the winner!


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