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Premier's Prize for Writing for Children (2019-)
Children's Books (1991-2016)
Subcategory of Western Australian Premier's Book Awards
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Latest Winners / Recipients

Year: 2024

winner y separately published work icon Scout and the Rescue Dogs Dianne Wolfer , Melbourne : Walker Books Australia , 2023 26048405 2023 single work children's fiction children's 'A celebration of community, adventure, kindness and, above all, dogs! The summer holidays have finally arrived and Scout can't wait for her adventure in the big rig with Dad. They're on a mission to deliver donations of dog food to animal rescue shelters right across the state. There'll be lots of music, dad-jokes and a brilliant plan that will make sure everyone's got a friend for the holidays. There might even be a special four-legged friend in it for Scout. But Scout and her dad get more than they've bargained for. It's bushfire season and it's not just the dogs who need rescuing.' 

(Publication summary)

Year: 2023

winner y separately published work icon Wild Australian Life Leonard Cronin , Chris Nixon (illustrator), Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2022 23797200 2022 single work information book children's

'A stunning new exploration of Australian animals from the creator of the bestselling Australian Animal Atlas.

'From a leading expert and talented visual artist comes this celebration of the astounding diversity of Australia's animal kingdom.

'More than one million animal species make their homes in Australia - from the deepest oceans to the tops of mountains and the harshest deserts. But just how do they survive? Discover the remarkable stories behind some of the world's most extraordinary animals in this must-have collection for every Australian family.' (Publication summary)

Year: 2021

winner y separately published work icon A Glasshouse of Stars Shirley Marr , Melbourne : Puffin , 2021 20977819 2021 single work children's fiction children's fantasy

'Meixing Lim and her family have arrived at the New House in the New Land, inherited from First Uncle who died tragically and unexpectedly while picking oranges in the backyard. Everything is vast and unknown to Meixing and not in a good way, including the house she has dubbed Big Scary. She is embarrassed by the second-hand shoes given to her by the kind neighbours, has trouble understanding the language at school, and with fitting in and making new friends. Her solace is a glasshouse in the garden that inexplicably holds the sun and the moon and all the secrets of her memory and imagination.

'Her fragile universe is rocked when tragedy strikes and Ma Ma refuses to face the world outside. Meixing finds herself trapped within the shrinking walls of Big Scary. Her parents said this would be a better life for them all, but it feels like the worst and most heart-breaking experience of Meixing's entire existence. Surviving will take all the resilience and inner belief of this brave girl to turn their world around.

'A Glasshouse of Stars is based on the real childhood experiences of the author, brushed with a light touch of magic realism.' (Publication summary)

Year: 2020

winner y separately published work icon How to Make a Bird Megan McKinlay , Matt Ottley (illustrator), Newtown : Walker Books Australia , 2020 19897910 2020 single work picture book

'Extraordinary imagery and rich language spark the reader's imagination as they enter the creative world of a young girl.

'From award-winning author Meg McKinlay and celebrated artist Matt Ottley comes a moving and visually stunning picture book that celebrates the transformative power of the creative process from inception through recognition to celebration and releasing into the world. We shadow the protagonist as she contemplates the blue print of an idea, collects the things that inspire from the natural world to shape a bird. And breathes life into it before letting it fly free. It shows how small things, combined with a little imagination and a steady heart, can transform into works of magic.'

(Source: publisher's blurb)

Year: 2019

winner y separately published work icon Catch a Falling Star Megan McKinlay , Newtown : Walker Books Australia , 2019 14798193 2019 single work children's fiction children's

'It’s 1979 and the sky is falling. Skylab, that is. Somewhere high above Frankie Avery, one of the world’s first space stations is tumbling to Earth. And rushing back with it are old memories. Things twelve-year-old Frankie thought she’d forgotten. Things her mum won’t talk about, and which her little brother Newt never knew. Only ... did he? Does he? Because as Skylab circles closer, Newt starts acting strangely. And while the world watches the sky, Frankie keeps her own eyes on Newt. Because if anyone’s going to keep him safe, it’s her. It always has been. But maybe this is something bigger than splinters and spiders and sleepwalking. Maybe a space station isn’t the only thing heading straight for calamity.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Works About this Award

A Cause for Hope or an Unwitting Complicity? The Representation of Cultural Diversity in Award-Listed Children's Picturebooks in Australia Helen Adam , Yvonne Urquhart , 2023 single work criticism
— Appears in: Bookbird , vol. 61 no. 2 2023; (p. 48-58)

'While books can play important roles in helping children develop a positive sense of identity and of their place as equal members of society, evidence shows how the lack of diverse literature contributes to feelings of inferiority and invisibility for children from underrepresented groups as well as to a sense of superiority and normality for children from majority groups. This study reports on the representation of racial diversity in award-listed Australian children's picturesbooks in 2019 and 2020. A critical theoretical framework was employed to analyze both texts and images of ninety award-listed books. While the outcomes suggest increasing attention to diverse representation in children's literature, authentic and equitable representation falls short. Particular concerns were found regarding portrayals of First Nations people through outdated stereotypes or misinformation.' (Publication abstract)

Big Rain Still Enthralls Kids Deborah Bogle , 2013 single work column
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 9 February 2013; (p. 8)
Picturing Simple Moments Anna Walker , 2011 single work essay
— Appears in: What's on at the State Library of Victoria , Autumn 2011; (p. 20-23)
Sister's Story of Success Fiona Purdon , 2010 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 16 December 2010; (p. 64)
So Whom Are We Writing For? Mem Fox , 2001 single work essay
— Appears in: Bookbird , vol. 39 no. 4 2001; (p. 6-11)
Mem Fox attempts to answer her own question 'For Whom Am I Writing?' She concludes that she must banish the voices of critics, parents, booksellers, teachers, librarians and publishers to write simply for little children.