Best Books for Kids from Australia

2010 Winners:  Australian Children’s Book Council

These are the winners to the Australian Children’s Book Council for 2010 in the categories of Older Readers, Younger Readers, Early Childhood, Picture Book of the Year, and Eve Pownall Award for Information Book of the Year. For a complete list of winners including the books that won an Honorable Mention, please see TrevorCairney’s blog.


1. Older Readers (Mature readers, aged 12 plus)

a) Winner

‘Jarvis 24’ by David Metzenthen

Marc E. Jarvis lives a comfortable life in suburban Camberwell (Victoria). But suddenly life becomes complicated. Life is being crowded in by work experience at a used car yard, football training, and then a girl comes into his life. Electra, is gorgeous, as well as a brilliant runner. Probably out of his league, but why not give it a try. She arrives in Melbourne on a sports scholarship and sends Marc’s life into a spin. Metzenthen has written a story rich in the strength of its characters. Urban teenagers will recognise the urban places, the life and the people that go with it. The story has a good balance of humour and emotional depth. It should be enjoyed by many teenagers.

2. Younger Readers (Independent readers, 7-11 years)

a) Winner

Darius Bell And The Glitter Pool‘ by Odo Hirsch. The Bell family is in danger of losing their honourable name. Can Darius step up to the challenge and uphold it?

“The Bell family’s ancestors were showered with honours, gifts and grants of land. In exchange, they have bestowed a Gift, once every 25 years, on the town. The Gifts have ranged from a statue to a bell tower with stained-glass windows, but now it’s Darius’s father’s turn – and there is no money for an impressive gift. It looks as though a wheelbarrow full of vegetables is the best they can do. Darius is determined to preserve the family honour, and when an earthquake reveals a glorious cave, with the most beautiful minerals lining the walls, he thinks he’s found the answer…”

3. Early Childhood (Pre-reading to early reading stage)

‘Bear And Chook By The Sea‘ by Lisa Shanahan and Emma Quay

“In a follow-up to the delightful Bear and Chook, the two lovable characters continue their adventures. Bear and Chook are unexpected friends. Bear still likes adventure and Chook would still much rather have the quiet life! One day they decide to go and visit the sea. Chook is worried that they don’t know the way and will get lost, but Bear is confident they will find it just around the pond, under the bridge, through the forest and over the mountain! A wonderfully warm read-aloud story about the dreamers in life and those who wish they’d sometimes keep their feet more firmly on the ground.”

4. Picture Book of the Year (Birth to 18 years)

a) Winner
The Hero of Little Street by Gregory Rogers is book three in the ‘Boy Bear’ series and follows the two previously highly acclaimed wordless picture books ‘The Boy, the Bear, the Baron, the Bard’ and ‘Midsummer Knight‘. The Boy escapes a gang of bullies by running into the perfect hiding place – a gallery filled with mystery and treasures. The Boy befriends a mischievous dog and is enchanted by the magic of painting. He finds himself venturing into the world of a Vermeer painting and is transported to Delft in seventeenth century. But there are many dangers on these old streets and he needs to use his wits to rescue his new friend from the butcher’s chopping block. All three ‘Boy’ books are brilliant wordless tales in the same league as Raymond Brigg’s ‘When the Wind Blows‘.  Readers of the first two Boy books will enjoy looking for the characters from the previous books as they follow this new time slip adventure.

5. Eve Pownall Award for Information Book of the Year 2009 (Birth to 18 years)
a) Winner

Australian Backyard Explorerby Peter Macinnis

“Australian Backyard Explorer tells the stories of many intrepid individuals who explored the Australian continent in the first 120 years of European settlement. It includes little-known explorers as well as the old favourites, such as James Cook, Edward John Eyre, Robert O’Hara Burke and William John Wills. There are tales not only of tragedy, conflict and death, but also of loyalty, amazing perseverance and wonder over the new animals and landscapes they encountered.”

To buy or look at any book at Amazon, please click on image of the book.


By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom

1 Comment

  1. Gran

    These books look wonderful; I’ll keep these in mind for my grandchildren!

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