Book Week 2020 is wrapping up, and what a wonderful week it’s been! Across Australia, imaginations run wild as kids and their adults decide which beloved book character to dress up as. You only have to search Book Week ideas on Pinterest to see teachers, librarians and students having fun celebrating. We had such a great week in the office dressing up in our best book-inspired outfits and sharing our favourite stories.
Book Week has been bringing children and books together for decades, and has a great history in Australia. The first Book Week was held by the Children’s Book Council of Australia, all the way back in 1945! Every year, children (and some very fun adults like ourselves!) dress up as their favourite book character. We love the opportunity to celebrate children’s authors and illustrators and the fantastic work they do to support a love of reading in Australian kids.
2020 Book of the Year Awards
There are six wonderful books recognized in the 2020 ‘Book of the Year’ awards. We’ve given you a short summary of each, but you can follow the links for each title to find out more!
For Older Readers, Vikki Wakefield’s This is How We Change the Ending takes out first place. The judges call this is a raw, gritty story with plenty of compassion that leaves the reader with a sense of hope. Recommended for ages 13-18, it contains mature themes.
The Little Wave by Pip Harry is the winner of the Younger Readers category, recommended for readers aged 8-12. Beautifully written in verse form, the book follows the stories of three very different kids as they find each other and themselves.
My Friend Fred by Frances Watts (illustrated by A. Yi) is the winner of the Early Childhood category. This delightful picture book is about a friendship between an exuberant but loveable dachshund and his more retiring, tidy housemate. Exploring themes of friendship, tolerance, and difference, this book is best for kids aged 0-7 years old.
Chris Kimmi’s I Need a Parrot wins first place for the Picture Book category, which celebrates books in which author and illustrator achieve artistic and literary unity. The judges call Kimmi’s work child-like and sophisticated at the same time. It features vivid colours, very few words and deceptively simple drawings.
The Eve Pownell award honours non-fiction books which are presented with imagination. This year’s winner was Bruce Pascoe’s Young Dark Emu: A Truer History, This book allows the reader to see Australia as it was before Europeans arrived – an understanding of the environment and its natural resources that supported thriving villages across the continent.
Baby Business by Jasmine Seymour took out the final win in the New Illustrator award category. Baby Business tells the story of a Darug baby smoking ceremony that welcomes baby to country. The judges praise Seymour’s visual style as primal and sophisticated at the same time, with a lovely connection between traditional and ethereal realism.
Free Printable Resources
Our team has created some great printable resources to help you and your child celebrate Book Week. Play ‘Book Week Bingo’ with a group, ‘Emoji and Pictionary’ and ‘Name That Character’. Click the image below to download.
We’ve loved hearing from our community about their best dress up adventures, and all the fun games, activities and competitions that they’ve been taking part in. Did you celebrate this Book Week this year? If so, let us know how!