Category Archives: Book Awards

Farewell Maurice Sendak

Readers will be saddened to hear of the death of author and illustrator  Maurice Sendak, renowned world-wide for his stories including “Where the wild things are”, “We are all in the dumps with Jack and Guy” and “In the night garden”.

Where the wild things are caused a stir when it was first published, and was banned by many schools who considered the monsters too ‘scary’. Children, however, thought otherwise and the book soon became a best seller – and, co-incidentally, Max a popular name again. In 2009 the book was made into a film directed by Spike Jonze, with much of the filming done at Docklands Studios in Melbourne and in the Victorian countryside.

Sendaks books are never straight-forward, and really urge you to think beyond the illustrations to what lies beneath. His illustrating style is uniquly recognisable. He was not afraid of dark or troubling subject matter.  “I refuse to lie to children,” says Sendak. “I refuse to cater to the bullshit of innocence.”

For more information about Sendak check here. Or his views on the film of Where the wild things are here



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Filed under Authors, Book Awards, Picture Story Books

Children’s Laureate

For the first time Australia has appointed a position of Children’s Laureate to be given to a well-known and loved author of books for children and young adults. Two authors have been appointed in 2012. They are Alison Lester and Borri Monty Pryor. ACLA Board Member and illustrator Ann James says, “Alison and Boori have a lot in common … both are storytellers, and each has generations of storytellers behind them.  They share their stories in a myriad of ways – oral, performance, visual, written – and both collaborate with other artists to bring their stories alive. Both place the land as a major character in their work , and importantly, both view children as real partners in their work. They are both inspiring, creative and passionate.


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Filed under Best Reads, Book Awards

2012 National Year of Reading – Story Winners

Thousands of readers across Australia have voted for the most popular reads from each state. The finalists have just been announced:-

The Idea of Home – John Hughes

Jasper Jones – Craig Silver

Listening to Country – Ros Moriarty

Smoke and mirrors – Kel Morrison

Time’s long ruin – Stephen Orr

Wanting – Richard Flanagan

Well done, those men – Barry Heard

The white earth – Andrew McGahan


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Australian Children’s Laureate

Much-loved children’s authors Alison Lester and Boori Monty Pryor are Australia’s first Children’s Laureates! Both are talented and award-winning storytellers who bring a wealth of experience and creativity to the position – Alison as a renowned author and illustrator, and Boori as a celebrated author, performer, dancer and poet.

As the Children’s Laureates for 2012 and 2013, Alison and Boori will act as national and international ambassadors for Australian children’s literature and will separately visit every state and territory inspiring young people to tell their own stories and be part of an active literary culture for enjoyment, wellbeing and success in life.

This prestigious national honour is the culmination of the work by the Australian Children’s Literature Alliance (ACLA) to promote the transformational power of reading, creativity and story in the lives of young Australians.


Check out the Laureate website to find out more.

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Welcome back to 2012 and a fantastic year of reading. This year people of all ages and backgrounds will be  taking part in an amazing range of fun activities based around books and reading.  At Woodleigh we will be having visiting authors, competitions and quizzes, mass readings and lots of other things – keep an eye on this space.

To find out more check out the National Year of Reading website. National Year of Reading 2012

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February 9, 2012 · 12:38 am

Congratulations Shaun Tan

Popular author and illustrator Shaun Tan is to be congratulated on his nomination for an Academy Award in the category of animated short film.

He has been working on an adaptation of his picture story book  The Lost Thing.

The 15-minute film is one of five to receive nominations for the short animation category which will be announced at The 83rd Academy Awards on February 27.

Tan was born in Fremantle in 1974, and freelanced for some years from a studio in Mount Lawley.

He bagged several international art and writing awards before relocating to Melbourne in 2007.

Woodleigh School wishes Shaun Tan good luck for the awards.


Find out more at the website

Or watch the trailer on youtube

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Filed under Book Awards, Books on Film, Picture Story Books

Melbourne – UNESCO City of Literature

Melbourne’s passion for literature and books has been rewarded by The United Nations naming Melbourne as only its second City of Literature and part of its Creative Cities Network. In 2005 Edinburgh was named the first City of Literature, and Melboure, like Edinburgh, is justly proud of the culture of books and reading here. According to the bid document Melbourne “boasts more bookshops per head of population than anywhere else in the country” and also enjoys “the country;s highest concentration of community book clubs. Hopefully this award will encourage the State Government to p rovide more support to writing and publishing in the city. The government was the driving force behind the bid, and intends to fund a Centre for Books and Ideas on the Little Lonsdale Street side of the State Library. Groups such as the Victorian Writers’ Centre and the Australian Poetry Centre will find a home there.


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