AustLit logo
Australian and New Zealand Division
Subcategory of International Awards Crystal Kite Award
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.


2020 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.

2018 winner y separately published work icon At the End of Holyrood Lane Dimity Fletcher , Nicky Johnston (illustrator), Wollombi : EK Books , 2018 14330976 2018 single work picture book children's

'Flick is just like any other youngster. She loves to chase butterflies and jump in autumn leaves. But life at the end of Holyrood Lane is often violent and unpredictable due to the constant storms that plague her home, causing her to cringe with dread and flee whenever they strike. Visually arresting, emotionally incisive, and ultimately uplifting, this beautifully crafted picture book provides a sensitive glimpse into one aspect of domestic violence and how it can affect young lives.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2017 winner y separately published work icon The Scared Book Debra Tidball , Kim Siew (illustrator), Sydney : Lothian Children's Books , 2017 11635995 2017 single work picture book children's

'It's story time, but this book has bad news - as soon as it realises there are monsters in it, it's too scared to tell you the rest of the story! Can you help it feel better? It needs you to rub away its goosebumps, blow away the giant butterflies in its tummy, and fan away the yucky smell the monsters have left behind. A fun and quirky interactive story, with distinctive and stylish illustrations from an innovative young illustrator and muralist.' (Publication summary)

2016 winner y separately published work icon Smile / Cry : A Beginner’s Book of Feelings Tania McCartney , Jess Racklyeft (illustrator), Wollombi : EK Books , 2016 9358290 2016 single work picture book children's

'A fun, flip-over picture book for children that reads from both front and back. Smile/Cry is a unique picture book for young kids, showcasing the full emotional range of their formative years. Readers follow three adorable characters - piglet, bunny and cat - as they react emotionally to a variety of events and circumstances from everyday life. From an 'ate all the pies' smile to an 'ice-cream plopping down cry'; from a 'cosy under blanket smile' to a 'need a bandaid quick cry', children will empathize with the tear-jerking calamity of a popped balloon or lost toy, or feel the smiley warmth of a being tickled.

'It's the little things that touch the hearts of children the most, and Smile/Cry typifies both the small joys and challenges that are the essence of childhood. Young children will respond to the soft whimsical illustrations, as they learn more about the range of their emotions – how it's possible to cry with happiness and also smile with trepidation. The clever 'flip book' format means that the 'Smile' story reads from front to back, while the 'Cry' story reads from back to front, with both delicious narratives meeting in the middle. A heartfelt picture book that will be treasured for years, Smile/Cry is perfect for ages 3 and upwards.' (Publication summary)

2015 joint winner y separately published work icon Blue Whale Blues Peter Carnavas , Peter Carnavas (illustrator), Frenchs Forest : New Frontier , 2015 8724447 2015 single work picture book children's

'Whale is sad - his bike doesn’t work. Penguin hears his friend singing his Blue Whale Blues and tries to help.' (Publication summary)

2015 joint winner y separately published work icon A is For Australia Frane Lessac , Frane Lessac (illustrator), Newtown : Walker Books Australia , 2014 7160884 2014 single work picture book children's

'What is the Fremantle Doctor? Where is Qui Qui? And why are some islands named after days of the week? You'll uncover these exciting facts when you explore the A to Z of Australia - from Bondi to Kakadu and all the way to Taronga Zoo. Discover why Australia is one of the most amazing countries in the world! ... Includes high interest facts and full colour illustrations of diverse locations throughout the country. All states represented. Indigenous content included.' (Publisher's abstract)

2014 winner y separately published work icon Hello from Nowhere Raewyn Caisley , Karen Blair (illustrator), Melbourne : Penguin Books , 2014 7314869 2014 single work picture book children's

'A moving celebration of the Australian outback and the special connection between grandparent and grandchild.

'Eve thought that living in the middle of nowhere was better than living anywhere else in the world...

'Only one thing made Eve sad. She hadn't seen Nan since they left the city long ago.

'Eve lives in a roadhouse in the middle of the Nullabor and when her Nan visits one day, Eve shows her all the things that are special about where she lives.' (Publication summary)

2013 winner y separately published work icon Zac and Mia A. J. Betts , Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2013 6106145 2013 single work novel young adult (taught in 1 units)

'The last person Zac expects in the room next door is a girl like Mia, angry and feisty with questionable taste in music. In the real world he wouldn't--couldn't--be friends with her. 

But in hospital different rules apply, and what begins as a knock on the wall leads to a note--then a friendship neither of them sees coming. 

You need courage to be in hospital; different courage to be back in the real world. 
In one of these worlds Zac needs Mia. And in the other Mia needs Zac. 

Or maybe they both need each other, always.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2012 winner y separately published work icon Ten Tiny Things Megan McKinlay , Kyle Hughes-Odgers (illustrator), North Fremantle : Fremantle Press , 2012 Z1874970 2012 single work picture book children's Tessa and Zachary have a machine that is swift and splendiferous. Every day it carries them from here to there and back again in cool calm comfort. But one morning, the machine breaks down. Tessa and Zachary are forced to venture into the world beyond its metal walls - a place of secret somethings and hidden happenings. Getting from here to there may never be the same. -- Trove
2011 winner y separately published work icon There Was an Old Sailor Claire Saxby , Cassandra Allen (illustrator), Newtown : Walker Books Australia , 2010 Z1649309 2010 single work picture book children's humour 'The tale of an old salty sailor who swallows a krill which makes him ill, and who cures his terrible bellyache by eating each animal in the sea, one after another. An hilarious new twist on There was an Old Woman who Swallowed a Fly, delightfully brought to life by Cassandra Allen.' (From the publisher's website.)
2011 winner y separately published work icon The Last Viking Norman Jorgensen , James Foley (illustrator), North Fremantle : Fremantle Press , 2011 Z1792385 2011 single work picture book children's 'Let the pillaging begin! CBC Picture Book of the Year winner, Norman Jorgensen, teams up with illustrator James Foley on this fun picture book about a boy who outwits local bullies by channelling his inner Viking.' (From the publisher's website.)
2010 inaugural winner y separately published work icon A Small Free Kiss in the Dark Glenda Millard , Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2009 Z1554038 2009 single work novel young adult fantasy 'Skip's an outsider, a quiet observer. He draws pictures to make sense of the world. He's never fitted in. So he takes to the streets. Life there may be hard, but it's better than the one he's left, especially when he teams up with old Billy. Then come the bombs which leave little Max in his care, and also Tia, the sad dancer, with her sweet baby, Sixpence. Scavenging for food, living on love and long can Skip's fragile new family hold out as war grips the city?' (Publisher's blurb)