Arts / Book week kicks off with rollicking pirates

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St Bede’s Primary School
THE Children’s Book Council of Australia Book Week kicks off tomorrow (August 18), but to introduce it the ACT branch held an event this morning at the National Library of Australia to announce its 2018 winners and to show off some bright young talent.Hosting the announcements was chairperson of the ACT branch of the Book Council, Julie Long, who was quick to praise the record of the National Library in having published over 70 children’s books – many of the authors were there to hear what she had to say.

While other such of events were also taking place around the country today, the spotlight this morning was two performances by a lively bunch of young readers.

Travelling from Braidwood, St Bede’s Primary School presented a rollicking pirate story designed to prove that the annual theme for 2018  Book Week, “Find Your Treasure”, quotes didn’t necessarily mean gold and jewels, but could be seen in less likely places such as animals and the natural surroundings. Nonetheless the young performers from St Bede’s beads had a lot of fun with their “Treasure Island” style pirate accents.

Girls’ Grammar students
Following their performance was a staged version of Alison Lester’s popular book “The Very Noisy Baby”, which later turned out to be on the honour roll, in which the students re-enacted the basic story, complete with lots of animal sounds and very cute stuffed toys.

It was then time for the performers to change roles and assist in the presentation of the annual awards.

The “Book of The Year for Older Readers” was won by Cate Crowley, Simone Howell and Fiona Wood for “Take Three Girls”, while on the honour roll were Charlie Archbold for “Mallee Boys” and Cally Black for “In The Dark Spaces”.

The “Book of The Year for Younger Readers” was won by Bren MacDibble for “How To BEE”, while Martine Murray hit the honour roll twice for “Henrietta and the Perfect Night” and “Marsh and Me”.

“Book of The Year for Early Childhood Readers” went to Michael Gerard Bauer and illustrator Chrissie Krebs for “Rodney loses it!” In this category the honours went to Alison Lester for “The Very Noisy Baby” and Lisa Shanahan, with illustrations by Binny, for “Hark it’s me, Ruby Lee!”

“Picture Book of The Year” went to Gwen Perkins for “A Walk in the Bush”, with honours going to Freya Blackwood for “The Great Rabbit Chase” and Philip Bunting for “Mopoke”.

The Eva Pownall award for books that have the prime intention of documenting factual material went to Idan Ben-Barak with illustrations by Julia Frost for “Do Not Lick This Book”, with honours to Lorna Hendry  for “Left And Right” and Claire Saxby with illustrations by Julie Vivas for “Koala”.

Finally the “Crichton Award for New Illustrators” went to Cai Rovina for “Tintinnabula.”

Each year across Australia, the Children’s Book Council of Australia brings children and books together celebrating Book Week. During this time schools, libraries, booksellers, authors, illustrators and children celebrate Australian children’s literature and you will often see children’s book character parades and librarians creating amazing displays.

Children’s Book Council of Australia Book Week, August 18-24, details at

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