The PETAA Teachers’ Guide to the 2021 CBCA Book of the Year Awards

Watch this space for richly-resourced, high quality classroom units of work in four of the award categories, with connections from English across the curriculum, from our writers. You can also again this year view the Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) shortlist announcement video, or view the full shortlist on the CBCA website.

Become a member to access units below, and to access  CBCA Guides for other years

Webinar — what makes a good book? On 4 August, Join Karys McEwen from the Children's Book Council of Australia as she explains the Book of the Year Awards shadow judging program, which gets students involved in the process of critically viewing and selecting texts. Reserve your place now.

Book of the Year: Younger Readers

Sillhouette of a gilr and rabbit under a tree at dusk on book cover for Aster's Good, Right Things

Aster's Good, Right Things

Kate Gordon
Riveted Press

Botanical sketch with a single feather on the cover of Bindi


Kirli Saunders and Dub Leffler
Years 4–6 Unit 

A sillhouette of a girl and dog on a lookout ledge on the cover of the Book of Chance

The Book of Chance

Sue Whiting
Year 5–6 Unit 

Phantasmagorical cover of the Stolen Prince of Cloudburst

The Stolen Prince of Cloudburst

Jaclyn Moriarty and Kelly Canby
Allen & Unwin

East Prussian snow scene between trees with a mother and children on cover of We Are Wolves

We Are Wolves

Katrina Nannestad
Years 5–6 Unit 

Phantasmagorical montage on book cover of Worse Things

Worse Things

Sally Murphy and Sarah Davis
Years 5–6 Unit

Book of the Year: Early Childhood

A pink anenome and three fish in a pond on the cover of Anemome is not the Enemy

Anemone is not the Enemy

Anna McGregor
Years 1– 2 Unit

A Range of Australian Birds on the cover of Busy Beaks

Busy Beaks

Sarah Allen
Years F–2 Unit

A worried family and mischievous child in the cover of No! Never! A Cautionary Tale

No! Never!

Libby Hathorn, Lisa Hathorn-Jarman and Mel Pearce
Years F–1 Unit 

Two bears on book cover

There's No Such Thing

Heidi McKinnon
Years F–1 Unit

Happy orange dog of blue book cover

We Love You, Magoo

Briony Stewart
Years F–1 Unit

Children on the cove of Who’s Your Real Mum?

Who’s Your Real Mum?

Bernadette Green and Anna Zobel
Years F–2 Unit 

Picture Book of the Year

Illustration of a girl following a small dragon on the cover of Ellie's Dragon

Ellie’s Dragon

Bob Graham
Years 2–3 Unit

Birds in the sky on the cover of How to Make a Bird

How to Make a Bird

Matt Ottley and Meg McKinlay
Years 5–6 unit

A man and a bear in a clohting store on cover of Norton and the Bear

Norton and the Bear

Gabriel Evans
Years 2–3 Unit

Rabbit in a fox costume on the cover of Not Cute

Not Cute.

Philip Bunting
Years 3–4 Unit

Snorkling pig and child in an ocean rockpool on the book cover of The Unwilling Twin

The Unwilling Twin

Freya Blackwood
Years 2–3 Unit

Birthday cake slice and grasshopper on cover of Your Birthday Was the Best!

Your Birthday was the Best!

Felicita Sala and Maggie Hutchings
Years F-2 Unit

Eve Pownall Award for Information Books

Image of Uluru at night on cover of Azaria: A True History

Azaria: A True History

Maree Coote
Years 6–8 Unit

Drawing of Kakadu Landscape of the cover of Dry to Dry

Dry to Dry: The Seasons of Kakadu

Pamela Freeman and Liz Anelli
Years F–4 Unit

Spotted Handfish on cover of Hold On! Saving the spotted handfish

Hold On! Saving the Spotted Handfish

Gina M Newton and Rachel Tribout
CSIRO Publishing

Mathew Flinders and his cat onshore on book cover

Mathew Flinders: Adventures on Leaky Ships

Carole Wilkinson and Prue Pittock
Years 4–5 Unit

Coastal imagry framing two boys, one black one white on cover of Strangers on Country

Strangers on Country

David Hartley, Kirsty Murray and Dub Leffler
Years 5–6 Unit

Dangerous animals on the cover of the Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dangerous Animals

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dangerous Animals

Sami Bayly
Hachette Australia

CBCA Award for New Illustrators

Very large colourful monster looming over an asserive boy on cover of Go Away, Worry Monster!

Go Away, Worry Monster!

Robin Tatlow-Lord
EK Books

A worried family and mischievous child in the cover of No! Never! A Cautionary Tale

No! Never!

Libby Hathorn, Lisa Hathorn-Jarman and Mel Pearce
Years F–1 Unit 

Book title attended to by a frog, a rabbit and a robot on cover

Ribbit Rabbit Robot

Sofya Karmazina (and Victoria Mackinlay)

Boy parasailing on a dandelion onto a dogs head on cover of Seven Seas of Fleas

Seven Seas of Fleas

David Petzold
Starfish Bay Publishing

Ochre colours and black in a paining by the author of kids and a dog on a truck tray on cover of Shirley Purdie: My Story, Ngaginybe Jarragbe

Shirley Purdie: My Story, Ngaginybe Jarragbe

Shirley Purdey
Magabala Books

Child on cover holding a small blue sphere

This Small Blue Dot

Zeno Sworder
Thames and Hudson

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