2016 Winners, Honour Books and Shortlist

The shortlist of the Australian Children's Book of the Year Awards has just been announced. Have a look at the full list here. 


Book of the Year: Older Readers (some of these books are for mature readers)


Fiona Wood 
Cloudwish pb 9781743533123 $20
This book is a delight. Van Uoc attends Crowthrone Grammar where she is in the first year of the International Baccalaureate programme. However she is on a scholarship and as the only daughter of Vietnamese refugees who live in housing commission flats, she tries to keep a low profile since she feels her difference keenly from the other wealthier students.  This is the same school as provided the setting for the earlier books of Fiona Wood; Six Impossible Things and Wildlife, both of which were highly recommended.  It is fascinating to get into the minds of different students and to see students who we have already met from a different perspective.  Van Uoc struggles to reconcile her life at school with the life of her parents who gave up so much so that she would have a good education and a chance in life.  The book is written in the third person but appears to be such an intimate and authentic portrayal of this young Vietnamese woman. We feel we get to know Van Uoc as she discusses her feelings, her fantasies and her feelings of detachment from the other students.  She loves literature and art and is especially drawn to the book Jane Eyre.  Van Uoc has even adopted Jane as her hero and tries to live her life by Jane’s example and often imagines what Jane would say.  Van Uoc enjoys the challenges of her studies and there are interesting discussions of her work for the Theory of Knowledge and also of a major art project.  It is wonderful that Fiona Wood brings all this so naturally into the fabric of the book.   There is a touch of magic which is a surprise, and a beautifully depicted romance which gradually grows between Van Uoc and Billy Gardiner, one of the school heroes. This is a lovely relationship and brings changes in both Van Uoc and in Billy.  All in all this is a wonderful portrait of the difficulties facing a young Vietnamese girl trying to make her own way in a world full of challenges.  (13 – 18 years) KS

Honour Books

Meg McKinlay 
A Single Stone pb 9781925081701 $17
This is a chilling, disturbing world that Meg McKinlay has created. It is a matriarchal world where the Mothers try to appease the mountain and young girls are bound and given less food to keep them as small as possible. Seven special girls are chosen to form a line and go into the mountain’s narrow fissures and collect the harvest of mica, so necessary to provide warmth to the village and enable them to survive through the long winter. The story is dark in its depiction of a harsh and often cruel world but the reader is drawn to the main character Jena in particular, as she begins to question the Mothers and their actions. It is a gripping and well-told story. (12 – 16 years) KS

Vikki Wakefield 
Inbetween Days pb 9781922182364 $20
Publisher’s description: At 17, Jacklin Bates is all grown up. She's dropped out of school. She's living with her runaway sister, Trudy, and she's in secret, obsessive love with Luke, who doesn't love her back. She's stuck in Mobius - a dying town with the macabre suicide forest its only attraction - stuck working in the roadhouse and babysitting her boss's demented father. A stranger sets up camp in the forest and the boy next door returns; Jack's father moves into the shed and her mother steps up her campaign to punish Jack for leaving, too. Trudy's brilliant facade is cracking and Jack's only friend, Astrid, has done something unforgivable. Jack is losing everything, including her mind. As she struggles to hold onto the life she thought she wanted, Jack learns that growing up is complicated - and love might be the biggest mystery of all.


Erin Gough 

The Flywheel pb 9781742978178 $20

Publisher’s description: Seventeen year old Delilah drops out of high school when her romance with another girl goes horribly wrong and the whole school turns on her. Accompanied by her charming troublemaker best friend Charlie, Del then makes it her mission to save her dad's crumbling cafe, the Flywheel, while he 'finds himself' overseas. This hilarious and accident-prone novel is about how to be heartbroken and how to fall in love; about rising above high-school drama and wrestling with problems that are seem too big. It speaks directly to teens and assures them that they're not alone, and does it all with an abundance of heart.

John Larkin 
The Pause pb 9780857981707 $20
Publisher’s description: Declan seems to have it all: a family that loves him, friends he's known for years, a beautiful girlfriend he would go to the ends of the earth for. But there's something in Declan's past that just won't go away, that pokes and scratches at his thoughts when he's at his most vulnerable. Declan feels as if nothing will take away that pain that he has buried deep inside for so long. So he makes the only decision he thinks he has left: the decision to end it all. Or does he? As the train approaches and Declan teeters at the edge of the platform, two versions of his life are revealed. In one, Declan watches as his body is destroyed and the lives of those who loved him unravel. In the other, Declan pauses before he jumps. This is a novel that will make you reconsider the road you're travelling and the tracks you're leaving behind.

Sue Lawson 
Freedom Ride pb 9781925126365 $18
This is a very ugly depiction of the racism prevalent in country towns in NSW and elsewhere in Australia in the 1960s. At that time Indigenous kids could not swim in the local pool when whites were present, they could not go to the local school and were subject to racial taunts and vilification. Robbie is a decent kid but there are huge pressures from his friends, his father, grandmother and most people in the town to behave in the same prejudiced way. However when he gets a job at the local caravan park, he meets people who have a different attitude and when he meets and works with Mickey, a local Aboriginal boy, his confusion and unease increase as he likes Mickey but is not confident enough to go against the racism of friends and family. Events are brought to a head when the Freedom Bus comes to town bringing Charles Perkins and university students who want to highlight the racism and living conditions of Aboriginal people in NSW country towns. There are many confronting and violent scenes in this book which will shock, however the book is based on true events. The Freedom Bus and the events described occurred in 1965 and form an important part of our history. The town is fictional as are the main characters but the novel gives a very realistic impression of the tensions and hatreds that built up in these towns. This is a difficult topic but overall the characters are believable and the rising tension in the town is vividly described. Robbie matures as a person and gains strength from his experiences. At the end of the book several pages describe the events of the actual Freedom Ride and there is also a list of those who took part. (12–16 years) KS

Book of the Year: Younger Readers


Morris Gleitzman 
Soon pb 9780670078875 $20
Publisher’s description: After the Nazis took my parents I was scared. After they killed my best friend I was angry. After I joined the partisans and helped defeat the Nazis I was hopeful. Soon, I said, we'll be safe. I was wrong. Soon continues the incredibly moving story of Felix, a Jewish boy still struggling to survive in the wake of the liberation of Poland after the end of World War II. Suitable for upper primary to lower secondary.

Honour Books

Sally Morgan 
Sister Heart hb 9781925163131 $20
Publisher’s description: A young Aboriginal girl is taken from the north of Australia and sent to an institution in the distant south. There, she slowly makes a new life for herself and, in the face of tragedy, finds strength in new friendships. Poignantly told from the child's perspective, Sister Heart affirms the power of family and kinship and gives young readers an introduction to the experiences and feelings of the stolen generations. (This is a verse novel, suitable for 10-14yrs)

Emily Rodda 
Shadows of the Master: Book 1 Star of Deltora pb 9781742990620 $16
Fans of the Deltora Quest (series 1, 2 and 3) will welcome this return to the world of Del. Set a couple of decades later and aimed at a slightly older readership, it has a strong female protagonist, Britta, striving to win a competition to become an apprentice trader on the ship the Star of Deltora. Britta had always dreamt of becoming a trader like her father, sailing the nine seas and bringing precious cargo home to Del harbour, but her father’s obsession to find the fabled Staff of Tier ended badly, losing the Star of Deltora to the powerful Rosalyn fleet and bringing shame on his family. Now, against her mother’s wishes, Britta bravely embarks on a quest of her own, discovering there are dark forces watching her from afar. Great action adventure from a great storyteller.  (10-12 or 13 years) MC


Libby Gleeson & Freya Blackwood (illus) 
A Friend and A Pet: Book 2 The Cleo Stories hb 9781743315286 $17
Libby Gleeson and Freya Blackwood have collaborated on some lovely, award-winning books over the years. This is their second book in a series for young readers, and contains another two stories about 6 year old Cleo, a thoughtful, creative little girl, and her family. The first story explores themes of friendship as Cleo is bored and, finding her friends and family are all busy, she invents a friend in the mirror. In the second story Cleo longs for a pet just like Peanut, her friend Nick’s cute little puppy. Her parents are reluctant, citing the responsibilities that come with a pet, so Cleo lines a shoebox with shiny green leaves and grass and adopts five of the snails that are eating Dad’s veggies. Young readers, and their parents, will find these simple, charming stories about everyday life to be familiar and easy to relate to, and the gorgeous illustrations are an added bonus! 
(6-8 or 9 year olds) MC 
Also in this series: The Necklace and The Present: Book 1 The Cleo Stories hb 9781743315279 $17 Winner 2015 CBCA Book of the Year: Younger Readers

J.C. Jones 
Run, Pip, Run pb 9781743319222 $13

Pip is a very independent ten year old and when her beloved grandfather Sully is taken to hospital, she is determined to look after herself and steer well clear of welfare or the police.  She gets some help from friends and a loving dog and an all-knowing cat. Behind the racy action of this book, there are some very heavy issues not the least of which is the disturbing image of a ten year old girl on the streets of Sydney at night. There is much to discuss in this story which has a lot of warmth in its portrayal of Pip, a feisty spirited girl who wins out in the end.  (9 – 11 years) KS

Martine Murray 
Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars pb 9781925240085 $15
Molly’s mum knows a lot about herbs and plants but she also dabbles in strange and powerful potions. Molly loves her mum but she sometimes wishes her mum and their house were more ordinary because she didn’t want anyone at school to think that Molly and her mother were weird. However Molly likes Pim who is a bit mystifying and different and is very curious about lots of things. Pim didn’t seem to care what anyone thought of him. When Molly’s mum makes a special magical potion with disastrous results, Molly needs Pim’s help to set things right and then she comes to appreciate some of the magic of her life. (8–10 years) KS 


Book of the Year: Early Childhood (Picture Books)


Anna Walker 
Mr Huff hb 9780670078042 $25

Bill’s day doesn’t start well.  It is cold and cloudy, and he doesn’t want to go to school.  His sense of foreboding just gets stronger during the day and Anna Walker depicts this through the shadowy Mr Huff who follows Bill throughout the day and gets bigger and bigger over the next week.  It is only when Bill looks at Mr Huff and accepts him that he starts again to notice other things and people around him and then the sun shines again and Mr Huff fades away.  It would be interesting to use this book to discuss sad and happy moods with young children.  The gentle illustrations depict Bill’s sense of sadness and confusion.  (5 – 7 years) KS

Honour Books

Danny Parker & Freya Blackwood (illus) 
Perfect hb 9781921894848 $24.95

Beautiful illustrations show in such lovely detail the wonderful things these three children do on this softly sunny day.  There are no adults around and the three children happily draw on the paving, climb trees and walls, talk to the cows and play at the beach and snuggle up together at night.  The gentle rhyming text is very simple and it is the illustrations that fill in the detail of what is happening. Very young children will enjoy pointing all the different things these children do; and grandparents will delight in the simple beauty of this book.  (3 – 5 years) KS

Tony Wilson & Laura Wood (illus) 
The Cow Tripped Over the Moon hb 9781743623534 $25
Publisher’s description: 'Hey diddle diddle, You all know the riddle, A cow jumps over the moon...' But the moon is very high in the sky. This hilarious picture book recounts the incredible story of how cow would not give up and after much perseverance and some help from friends managed to succeed in making her famous highflying leap?


Aaron Blabey 
Piranhas Don’t Eat Bananas hb 9781743625781 $17
A simple rhyming picture book about Brian the piranha, who LOVES bananas and other fruit and veg. His piranha mates think he’s crazy, preferring feet, knees and bums, but pester-power wins out and they eventually agree to try his fruit platter. Just to stop his chatter. 
‘So….what do you think, guys? Is it yucky or yum?’ ‘It’s very nice, Brian……. But we still prefer bum!’ This would be a fun read-aloud and there is a message here about trying new things and accepting difference. I’m a big fan of Aaron Blabey’s books, but I must say this is not one of my favourites. (3-5 years) MC

Alison Lester 
My Dog Bigsy hb 9780670078936 $25
Publisher’s description: Meet Bigsy. He's only small, but everyone knows he's the boss. Each morning he visits the animals on the farm. Squawk, neigh, quack, moo, baa, oink, cluck, purr, ruff ruff ruff! What a lot of noise! And all because of Bigsy! From one of Australia's favourite picture-book creator, comes this energetic story about a little dog who causes a big commotion.

Ghosh Ronojoy 
Ollie and the Wind hb 9780857988485 $25
Publisher’s description: Sometimes the best things appear out of thin air. The wind blows all day on Ollie's island. There aren't many people around, but there's lots of space to play. One day the wind steals Ollie's hat. Then it darts away with his scarf. But is the wind just naughty, or is it trying to tell Ollie something?

Picture Book of the Year (These picture books may be for mature readers)


Nadia Wheatley & Armin Greder (illus) 
Flight hb 9781922081483 $26
This is a powerful story about a young middle eastern family – father, mother and babe in arms – fleeing the authorities in their war-torn homeland under cover of night. Their donkey carries the mother and child and their meagre supplies as they journey across a hostile, bitterly cold landscape, with only a star to guide them. After some hours, when the night’s bombardment begins and tanks rumble close by, the startled donkey bolts. Their journey will be even harder now and the only water they have is what the man carries in his water bag. During the second day under the hot desert sun, with only a few sips of water left, they reach a refugee camp. ‘Now the family becomes simply one among many. There is nothing to do but wait, until their cry for help is heard.’ It is a testament to the human spirit that even after a few years have passed and the babe in arms is now a young boy, he and his mother look out from the final page with hope. It is heartbreaking and bewildering to me that years have passed and their circumstances have not changed. And there are millions of people in this situation. The illustrations are dark, stark and quite bleak, appropriately so, given the subject matter. This thought-provoking picture book is suitable for primary school aged children and would be good for guided discussion both in the classroom and at home. (7-10 years) MC

Honour Books

Phil Cummings & Shane Devries (illus) 
Ride, Ricardo, Ride! hb 9781742990736 $25

The joy of a young boy riding his bike contrasts with the dark shadows appearing over the town and gradually increasing as it gets taken over by menacing foreign soldiers. The war years were long and full of suffering and his bike was taken apart and hidden away. However at last Ricardo was able to put together his bike again, though without his beloved father, and was able to ride again, hopefully into a better and happier future.  The strong realism and use of silhouettes and dark and light of the illustrations add a sense of drama and joy to the simply written text.  (8 – 10 years)  KS

Jane Jolly & Sally Heinrich (illus) 
One Step at a Time hb 9780987380951 $28
This is a striking and important book. Set in Thailand, it is the story of the love and friendship between the young boy Luk and his baby elephant Mali. The story describes the shock and horror when Mali treads on a landmine and is injured. Mali is fitted with a new leg and learns how to walk again. At that time we learn that Luk too has a prosthetic leg, from a previous landmine accident. While the book shows clearly the deadly effects of landmines, it has a very positive outlook, so important for young children. The story and the illustrations are extremely engaging and children will relate to Luk and Mali. The vitality of the illustrations brings to life the story, with its lush jungle setting and beautiful Buddhist temples. Sally Heinrich often uses borders or vignettes with a number of smaller drawings to show, for example, the different gestures of the monks as they pray or images of the countryside and its lakes and plants. At the end of the book, there is additional information about landmines, and still more information and teachers’ notes can be found on the website. Australian (4 – 8 years) KS


Eric Bogle & Bruce Whatley (illus) 
And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda hb 9781743317051 $25

The text is the well-known song written by Eric Bogle in 1971, at the time of the Vietnam War protests.  He wanted it to be an anti-war song against all wars and so thought it would have more impact if the war depicted was Gallipoli. The story tells of a young country lad who went to war, with so many others and came back terribly wounded. The disillusionment of the text is made so much worse by the brutal realism of Bruce Whatley’s illustrations of the dead soldiers in the trenches, the bloodshed and the waste of young lives. This is a devastating anti-war picture war, in such contrast to the many positive but sad memorials recently held for the Gallipoli campaign.  In this book, there is no edifying talk of heroism and sacrifice for one’s country;  all is waste and destruction. It would provide a strong contrast to some of the other very different picture book portrayals of the Gallipoli campaign.  (14 – 17 years) KS

Sigi Cohen & James Foley (illus) 
My Dead Bunny hb 9781922179593 $20 

I guess the very macabre sense of humour in this book appeals to some people, notably the judges of the CBC Awards and to the publishers.  However at Gleebooks no one appreciated this cartoon style picture book about a boy who digs up his dead bunny which then comes back, complete with authentic stink and maggots, to haunt the family.  I decided to check on goodreads and to my surprise, some of the five star reviews talked of a “cute” and “hilarious” book about a zombie rabbit.  Obviously we are on very different wave-lengths.  (9 – 13 years?) KS

Lucy Estela & Matt Ottley (illus) 
Suri’s Wall hb 9780670077755 $25

An allegorical story set in medieval times about children kept behind a high wall.  Suri feels so alone for she is much taller and very different from the other children.  However when she grows taller still, she can look over the wall and describe to the other children what she can see. She describes a wonderfully bright and colourful world and she is loved now by the other children because of  the power of her imagination and of her stories. However, it is clear from the illustrations that the world outside is not a happy place, instead it is full of destruction.  In spite of this, the final note could perhaps be interpreted as optimistic as Suri continues to tell happy stories to the children.  (8 – 11 years) KS

Eve Pownall Award for Information Books


Stephanie Owen Reeder 
Lennie the Legend: Solo to Sydney by Pony hb 9780642278654 $25
Publisher’s description: This is the inspiring true story of 9 year old Lennie Gwyther who, at the height of the Great Depression in 1932, rode solo his pony 1,000 km from his home town of Leongatha in rural Victoria to Sydney to witness the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. He captured the imagination of the nation, and his determination and courage provided hope to many at a difficult time in Australia's history. On his journey Lennie has all sorts of adventures along the way-a thief lurking in the bush in the dead of night, a raging bushfire, surprise appearances, celebrations in his honour, being the star of a newsreel, and meeting the Prime Minister.

Honour Books

Rohan Cleave & Coral Tulloch (illus) 
Phasmid: Saving the Lord Howe Island Stick Insect hb 9781486301126 $24.95
Publisher’s description: Phasmid is the amazing true story of the Lord Howe Island Phasmid, or Stick Insect. Believed to be extinct for nearly 80 years, the phasmids were rediscovered on Balls Pyramid, a volcanic outcrop 23 kilometres off the coast of Lord Howe Island, Australia. News of their unbelievable survival made headlines around the world and prompted an extraordinary conservation effort to save this remarkable invertebrate. Phasmid is a positive story about one species' incredible survival in a time of worldwide species decline.

Robyn Siers & Carlie Walke
Ancestry: Stories of Multicultural Anzacs pb 9780992583927 $20
Publisher’s description: Ancestry tells the stories of individuals and families from a range of cultural backgrounds who served with Australian units during the First World War. This image-rich publication draws on the Australian War Memorial’s diverse collection, including private records, photographs, works of art, and relics.


Peter Gouldthorpe 
The White Mouse: The Story of Nancy Wake hb 9781742990910 $27
With so many books being published on both the World wars, it is very good to see this new picture book telling the story of the bravery of the extraordinary young Australian woman, Nancy Wake. Her story is well known among my generation but not perhaps among young people of today. She was a very independent young woman and in 1934, at the age of just 22, was working as a journalist in Paris. When war came, she became involved with the French Resistance helping soldiers and refugees escape into Spain. Later when she also had to escape, she joined the Special Operations in the UK and after training, parachuted back into France to join up with the French Resistance to help sabotage German convoys, as well as bridges, roads and railway lines to help the Allied Forces advance after D-Day. Her amazing story of courage and determination is told in considerable detail in this informative picture book. The illustrations have the look of an earlier period with their use of cross-hatching and vividly portray many of the dangerous situations Nancy was involved in. Nancy Wake became the most decorated Australian woman in any war. (9 – 15 years) KS

Fiona Katauskas 
The Amazing True Story of How Babies Are Made hb 9780733333880 $20
A straightforward look at reproduction and the onset of puberty, delivered in picture book format with a sense of humour and accompanied by watercolour cartoon-style illustrations. This is a must-have for households with primary school age children and for primary school libraries. The representation of multicultural families and same sex parents on the front and endpapers is a welcome addition. Here at the Gleebooks Dulwich Hill shop, we are proud to count Fiona amongst our talented local community! 
(5-10 years) MC 

Clare Wright 
We Are the Rebels: The Women and Men Who Made Eureka pb 9781922182784 $20
Publisher’s description: This is Clare Wright's groundbreaking, award-winning study of the women who made the rebellion in an abridged edition for teenage readers. Front and centre are the vibrant, adventurous personalities who were players in the rebellion: Sarah Hanmer, Ellen Young, Clara Seekamp, Anastasia Hayes and Catherine Bentley, among others. But just as important were the thousands of women who lived, worked and traded on the goldfields - women who have been all but invisible until now. Discovering them changes everything. 


Crichton Award for New Illustrators


Davina Bell & Allison Colpoys (illus) 
The Underwater Fancy Dress Parade hb 9781925106206 $25, pb 9781925321272 $17
Alfie is a sensitive little boy who suffers from social anxiety. It’s the day before the Underwater Fancy-dress Parade and even though Alfie’s cool Captain Starfish costume is ready, it seems he’s not. He got ‘that feeling ‘, the one he gets before running races or going to parties, the one that makes him want to curl up under the blankets. He wakes after a nightmare-filled sleep with a sore tummy, and whispers to the cowboys on his wallpaper that he’s just not brave enough to be Captain Starfish. Alfie’s parents are understanding and supportive and don’t force the issue, giving him the time and space to work through his emotions. Instead of going to school Alfie’s mum takes him to the Aquarium, where a shy little clownfish resonates with him and helps him to understand his feelings. I love the gentle illustrations, with their aquatic colour palette and retro feel. (4-7 years) MC 


Kylie Howarth 
Fish Jam hb 9781760067045 $19.95
Toot is a cool little fish who likes to scat. Now, if you don’t know what scatting is, turn to the back of the book where you’ll learn that it’s a popular style of jazz singing, using sounds and nonsense syllables instead of words. As Toot cruises jauntily through the ocean with a beep-bop-bubbly booo and a scooba-dooba-diddly-dooo, the other creatures don’t get it - they think he’s too noisy and no-one wants to play. Then one day Toot finds a band to jam with in a most unexpected place – the belly of a whale! The illustrations are watery and bubbly, and this jazz-inspired picture book about finding your tribe and fitting in is also a great introduction to the joy of making music. (3-6 or 7 years) MC

Julie Hunt & Dale Newman (illus) 
Kidglovz hb 9781742378527 $25
Graphic Novel
Publisher’s description: KidGlovz is a musical genius. His gift is so precious that he's kept under lock and key. But when a young thief helps him escape, Kid must embark on a perilous journey through which he will discover the terrifying nature of his talent. A spellbinding graphic fable about friendship and freedom.
(Mandy is reading this at the moment and is enjoying it very much)

Gillian Meares & Dinalie Dabarera (illus) 
The Cat With the Coloured Tail hb 9781922077400 $20

Tim Winton describes this beautifully written and illustrated fable as a “yearning fable”.  It is a fable in which Mr Hooper and the cat with the coloured tail lead such a happy life together, travelling around in their moon-shaped ice-cream truck. They make people happy with their special ice-creams called moon-creams and they find delight in discovering the many different heart shapes they find everywhere in their travels. But something is wrong; there is a darkness in this world, a sick black heart of the world.  However, together Mr Hooper’s love and the purrs of the cat bring healing. It is a charming story, perfectly illustrated with appealing whimsical images of this magical world.  However the story has depths which are perhaps better understood knowing that Gillian Mears suffered from Multiple Sclerosis for many years and especially loved cats and heart shapes.  She died just this year.  (6 – 10 years) KS

Claire Saxby & Jeremy Lord (illus) 
Meet Weary Dunlop hb 9780857985361 $25
Another excellent addition to the Meet…. series, picture books introducing young readers to the extraordinary men and women who have shaped Australia’s history. Sir Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop was an Australian Army surgeon during World War II. After growing up on a farm, he studied medicine at Melbourne University and later attended St Bartholomew’s Medical School in London, becoming a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons. When WWII began he enlisted in the Australian Army Medical Corps, serving in Greece and Crete before being transferred to Java in Indonesia as the war worsened in the Pacific. When Java fell to the Japanese, Weary and other POWs were eventually transferred to Thailand to build the Thai-Burma Railway, and his bravery and compassion helped to save the lives and bolster the spirits of his fellow POWs. So respected was he that more than 10,000 people lined the streets of Melbourne for his state funeral in 1993. You’ll find a Timeline at the end of the book. (5 – 8 years) MC

Others in this series:
Meet Douglas Mawson by Mike Dumbleton & Snip Green (illus)
hb 9780857981950 $25, pb 9780857981967 $17
Meet the ANZACS by Claire Saxby & Max Berry (ill) hb 9780857981929 $25, pb 9780857981936 $17
Meet Banjo Paterson by Kritstin Weidenbach & James Gulliver Hancock (ill) hb 9780857980083 $25
Meet Nancy Bird Walton by Grace Atwood & Harry Slaghekke (ill) hb 9780857983879 $25
Meet Captain Cook by Rae Murdie & Chris Nixon (ill) pb 9780857980182 $17
Meet Ned Kelly by Janeen Brian & Matt Adams (ill) hb 9781742757186 $20, pb 9781742757193 $17
Meet Mary MacKillop by Sally Murphy & Sonia Martinez (ill) hb 9781742757216 $20, pb 9781742757223 $17

Ruth Starke & Robert Hannaford (illus) 
My Gallipoli hb 9781921504761 $30.00
This picture book for older readers tells the story of Gallipoli from the viewpoints of men and women who were there, and those affected by the aftermath. Each entry is prefaced by the place and the date, and the first entry is a young Turkish shepherd, Adil Sakin, tending his flock at Anzac Cove in November 1914. Army men came to his nearby village, talking about the great war, urging them all to be soldiers, and Adil pledges to fight to defend the land that has belonged to them for hundreds of years. The next entry is by Midshipman Peter Burch RN, at Anzac Cove on the night of 25 April 1915. His job was to row boatloads of Australian troops in to shore, but so many were killed before they made it out of the water. In the light of day “you could see the bodies lying thick on the beach. I never set foot on the Peninsula but this is my Gallipoli.” Entries follow, on various dates, from a Private in the Turkish Army; a nurse on a hospital ship; a Nepalese rifleman serving with the British Army; an Australian chaplain; a New Zealand Private; Turkish Lieutenant-Colonel Mustafa Kemal; Australia’s official war correspondent, C.E.W. Bean; and an Australian Aboriginal Trooper. One of the most confronting and moving entries is from an un-named soldier helping to bury corpses in the blazing sun in No Man’s Land. A brief armistice was arranged so both sides could bury their dead, then they traded cigarettes and biscuits with the Turks, returned to their trenches and resumed fighting. After the war, there is the heartbreak of the mother welcoming home her son, now missing a leg; an entry dated 1988 by the brother of Adil the shepherd as he pays his respects at the cemetery; and finally, a young woman visiting the grave of her great-grandfather at Lone Pine Cemetery in 1990. There is no glorification here, with the excellent charcoal and watercolour illustrations depicting the hardship, exhaustion and despair of battle. This book will be a valuable addition to the library and classroom, and the multiple viewpoints will prompt much discussion and reflection. (9 – 12 years) MC