As well as their annual Children’s Book of the Year Awards, this year the CBCA also ran a Junior Judges project. In this exercise, children from around Australia registered and voted for their favourites from the shortlist for the CBCA Awards. The winners (and honour books) of the junior judges award have been posted here.
Interestingly, the junior judges’ choices didn’t match the ‘real’ judges in any category. They chose:
Older Readers – Don’t call me Ishmael! by Michael Gerard Bauer
Younger Readers – The Cat On The Mat is Flat by Andy Griffiths
Picture Book – Brian Banana Duck Sunshine Yellow by Chris Mc Kimmie
Early Childhood – Chatterbox by Margaret Wild
Eve Pownall – All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome by Kathy Hoopman
I love these children’s choice type awards because they highlight and recognise the books which kids themselves love to read. And in the end, I think this list is as important as the ‘real’ list because these are the books that kids are going to pick up and read voluntarily. These are the books that kids love. And these are the books that are going to instil in kids a lifelong joy for reading.
So congrats to the books on this list and congrats to the CBCA for organising the Junior Judges project. Over 52 000 children from around Australia participated, which is just wonderful.