Children's Book Week 2021



Theme: Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds
Dates: Term 3: August 21-27
Artwork: Shaun Tan


To view this year's shortlist click here: CBCA 2021 Shortlist


Did you know, you can access these books through your local library? A collection of shortlisted picture books are available on Storybox Library See and hear the Children's Book Council of Australia's 2021 shortlist of picture books and early childhood books up on the big screen, read by some of our most loved authors, actors, singers, and comedians, all from the comfort of your own home. You will also be able to access free activity sheets the go along with the story.

You need to be a library member to access this free service.

 Check out our local librarians' top shortlisted picks and reviews.

Shortlisted New Illustrator

No! Never! A Cautionary Tale by Libby Hathorn & Lisa Hathorn-Jarmon, Illustrated by Mel Pearce.


A delightfully animated story of a little girl who discovers two very powerful words to say to her parents: No! Never! With expressive illustrations that resonate with little Georgie’s mischievous chaos and lively rhyming text, this is one hilarious picture book that will relate to many children and adults with a brilliant moral to the story aimed at ages 2+. This is also shortlisted in the early childhood category too!⁣

Recommended for those who like impish humour, family themes, and learning about emotions.


Shortlisted Eve Pownall Award

The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Dangerous Animals by Sami Bayly


 This beautifully detailed collection contains more than sixty of the most deadly and dangerous animals around the world. Prepare to be shocked and amazed at some of the unusual and misunderstood animals that inhabit our planet, and how these “dangerous” creatures play an important and beneficial role in our ecosystem.⁣

Recommended for those who like fascinating animals, interesting scientific facts, and zoological illustrations.⁣



Shortlisted Picture Book of the Year

Your Birthday Was the Best! by Maggie Hutching, and Felicity Sala (Illustrator). ⁣


A hilarious and charming story told through the eyes of a young cockroach as he gate-crashes a child’s 5th birthday party. A guaranteed laugh out loud and entertaining read filled with charming illustrations, a friendly cockroach protagonist, and a whole lot of humorous antics aimed at children ages 3+.⁣

Recommended for those who love comical insects, birthday party shenanigans, and bright illustrations. ⁣


Shortlisted Early Childhood

Anemone Is Not The Enemy by Anna McGregor. ⁣



This is a charming story about a lonely anemone in search of a friend, and how a symbiotic relationship works between anemone and clownfish. ⁣

Information is combined through narrative and bright illustrations to create a fun read that’s perfect to be read aloud. Make sure to keep an eye out for the little hermit crabs’ adventures along the margins! ⁣

Recommended for those who like sea creatures, friendships, and learning about the environment.⁣


Shortlisted Younger Readers

We are Wolves by Katrina Nannestad. 


This is a masterful and heart-warming tale that follows three children learning to survive in the wilds during World War II. A powerful story of survival and family that perfectly blends fiction and history together to create a sweet yet gripping novel aimed at children ages 8-12 years.⁣

Recommended for those who enjoy historical war fiction, family dynamics and wholesome endings! ⁣


Shortlisted Older Readers

When Rain Turns to Snow by Jane Goodwin


An exceptional coming of age story set in the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne about self-discovery in times of crisis and change. A genuine and compelling story, that uses relatable characters and issues in today’s society. A great transitional read for tweens going on early teens. Suitable for ages 12+

Recommended for those who like suspenseful mystery, contemporary stories, and modern family dynamics.



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