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History

Picture Book of the Year was first offered as an award in 1955, the first time that the Children's Book Council of Australia offered more than a single award.

The award was not given in 1957, 1959-1963 inclusive, 1966-1968 inclusive, 1972-1973 inclusive, 1977, or 1981 (although there were commended books in some of these years).

Winners

2018 winner y separately published work icon A Walk in the Bush Gwyn Perkins , Gwyn Perkins (illustrator), South Melbourne : Affirm Press , 2017 11024967 2017 single work picture book children's

'Little Iggy doesn’t want to leave the house, but Grandad insists – they always have fun together. What follows is a wonderful journey in the great Australian outdoors with singing birds, wallaby surprises, secret caterpillar messages and oodles of grandad humour. Here is a story about the wonders of nature, the funny side of life and spending time with the ones we love.' (Publication Summary)

2017 winner y separately published work icon Home in the Rain Bob Graham , Bob Graham (illustrator), London : Walker Books [London] , 2016 10216550 2016 single work picture book children's

'From multi-award winning author-illustrator Bob Graham comes a tender, touching story of family life, perfect for sharing when a new baby is on the way. Francie and her mum, who is expecting a baby girl, are driving home from Grandma's in the heavy rain. When they're still far from home, they stop for a picnic. And as the car steams up, Francie presses her little finger on the window, spelling out "Daddy" and "Mummy" and leaving one space free, ready and waiting for the name of her soon-to-be sister... A beautifully observed celebration of the way inspiration can, and often does happen in the most ordinary and unlikely of places. ' (Publication summary)

2016 winner y separately published work icon Flight Nadia Wheatley , Armin Greder (illustrator), Kew East : Windy Hollow , 2015 8300096 2015 single work picture book children's (taught in 1 units)

'Tonight is the night.

'The family has to flee.

'They've been tipped off that the authorities are after their blood.

'Set in biblical times, a small family sets off across a desert in search of refuge from persecution in their own country, and an ancient story becomes a fable for our times. Their journey is beset by heat and thirst, threatening tanks and the loss of their donkey, but eventually they reach a refugee camp where they can wait in safety for asylum in another country.

'In this first-time collaboration between multi-award-winning author, Nadia Wheatley, and internationally-renowned illustrator, Armin Greder, words and images blend seamlessly to take readers on a journey they will never forget. ' (Publication summary)

2015 winner y separately published work icon My Two Blankets Irena Kobald , Freya Blackwood (illustrator), Richmond : Hardie Grant Egmont , 2014 6742932 2014 single work single work picture book children's

'Cartwheel has moved to a place that is so strange to her that she no longer feels like herself. She creates a safe place under an old blanket, made out of memories and thoughts of home. As time goes on, Cartwheel begins to weave a new blanket, one of friendship and a renewed sense of belonging. It is different from the old blanket, but it is eventually just as warm and familiar. This story is for all who have experienced change. It is about learning new ways of speaking, new ways of living, new ways of being.'

(Publisher's blurb)

2014 winner y separately published work icon The Rules of Summer Shaun Tan , Shaun Tan (illustrator), Sydney : Hachette Australia , 2013 Z1933419 2013 single work picture book children's fantasy (taught in 1 units) 'Combining humour and surreal fantasy, Shaun Tan pictures a summer in the lives of two boys. Each spread tells of an event and the lesson learned. By turns, these events become darker and more sinister as the boys push their games further and further.' (Publisher's blurb)
2013 winner y separately published work icon The Coat Julie Hunt , Ron Brooks (illustrator), Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2012 Z1857927 2012 single work picture book children's 'The Coat stood in a paddock at the end of a row of strawberries. It was buttoned up tight and stuffed full of straw and it was angry. 'What a waste of me!' it yelled. Then along came a man. 'I could do with a coat like that,' the man said. Together, swooping and swinging, they travelled to the Cafe Delitzia, and had the night of their lives.' (Publisher's blurb)
2012 winner y separately published work icon A Bus Called Heaven Bob Graham , Bob Graham (illustrator), Newtown : Walker Books Australia , 2011 Z1815865 2011 single work picture book children's

'A broken, old bus appears one morning, sad as a whale on a beach, right outside Stella's house. On the front of it, held up with packing tape, is a hand painted sign... "Heaven".

'For Stella, this decrepit old vehicle is special -this bus is "ours" - a place for everyone to be together: hold meetings, play games and share stories. But one day, the bus is towed away and Stella must fight to save not just the bus, but everything the community has worked so hard to create.' (From the publisher's website.)

2011 joint winner y separately published work icon Hamlet Nicki Greenberg , Nicki Greenberg (illustrator), Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2010 Z1727925 2010 single work graphic novel young adult

'Denmark is in turmoil. The palace is seething with treachery, suspicion and intrigue. On a mission to avenge his father's murder, Prince Hamlet tries to claw free of the moral decay all around him. But in the ever-deepening nest of plots, of plays within plays, nothing is what it seems. Doubt and betrayal torment the Prince until he is propelled into a spiral of unstoppable violence.

'In this sumptuous staging of Shakespeare's enigmatic play on the page, Nicki Greenberg has created an extraordinary visual feast that sweeps up all in its path as the drama intensifies both on stage and off.' (From the publisher's website.)

Joint winner with Jeannie Baker's Mirror.
2011 joint winner y separately published work icon Mirror Jeannie Baker , Jeannie Baker (illustrator), Newtown : Walker Books Australia , 2010 Z1712575 2010 single work picture book children's (taught in 1 units) 'This innovative picture book comprises two stories designed to be read simultaneously – one from the left, the other from the right. Page by page, we experience a day in the lives of two boys and their families. An Australian family, whose way of life strikes a familiar chord, and a family from a far away country with a way of life that differs more than one can imagine. As we read we discover the simple truth that despite these differences we are all the same. We are the mirror of each other.' (From the publisher's website.) Joint winner with Nikki Greenberg's Hamlet.
2010 winner y separately published work icon The Hero of Little Street Gregory Rogers (illustrator), Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2009 Z1592695 2009 single work picture book children's adventure historical fiction (taught in 1 units)

'Escaping from a gang of bullies, a Boy slips into a grand old gallery - the perfect hiding place, full of mystery and treasures. Enchanted by the magic of painting and befriended by a mischievous dog, the Boy ventures into the world of a famous Vermeer painting - and he and his new friend are transported to Little Street, Delft in seventeenth century Holland.

'But the streets of Delft are a dangerous place for a dog, and the Boy has to use every ounce of his ingenuity to rescue his canine mate from an untimely fate on the butcher's block.' (Publisher's website)

2009 winner y separately published work icon Collecting Colour Kylie Dunstan , Kylie Dunstan (illustrator), Melbourne : Lothian Children's Books , 2008 Z1470135 2008 single work picture book children's 'A young girl, Rose, living in the Top End of the Northern Territory, tells the story of a day spent collecting colour from the local plants and making them into beautiful baskets. Collecting Colour, featuring stunning acrylic illustrations on Nepalese paper, is a feast for the senses and is also a fascinating insight into the way of life of fibre artists, who produce beautiful, original work in sometimes difficult conditions.' (Libraries Australia)
2008 winner y separately published work icon Requiem for a Beast Requiem for a Beast : A Work for Images, Word and Music Matt Ottley , Matt Ottley (illustrator), South Melbourne : Lothian , 2007 Z1397580 2007 single work graphic novel young adult

'Requiem for a Beast is a remarkable exploration of the parallels between a young man's battle for psychological freedom and the processes that bind and blind us in society. Matt Ottley asks readers to be moved by beauty, truth and ultimately the knowledge of their own humanity. The book contains a CD of orchestral music, composed by Matt Ottley, and Aboriginal song.' (Source: TROVE)

2007 winner y separately published work icon The Arrival Shaun Tan , Shaun Tan (illustrator), South Melbourne : Lothian , 2006 Z1285263 2006 single work graphic novel children's (taught in 16 units)

"The Arrival is a migrant story told as a series of wordless images that might seem to come from a long forgotten time. A man leaves his wife and child in an impoverished town, seeking better prospects in an unknown country on the other side of a vast ocean. He eventually finds himself in a bewildering city of foreign customs, peculiar animals, curious floating objects and indecipherable languages. With nothing more than a suitcase and a handful of currency, the immigrant must find a place to live, food to eat and some kind of gainful employment. He is helped along the way by sympathetic strangers, each carrying their own unspoken history: stories of struggle and survival in a world of incomprehensible violence, upheaval and hope." (Source: Shaun Tan website)

2006 winner y separately published work icon The Short and Incredibly Happy Life of Riley Colin Thompson , Amy Lissiat (illustrator), South Melbourne : Lothian , 2005 Z1195652 2005 single work picture book children's

'This thought provoking but funny picture book will be thoroughly enjoyed by older students as they reflect on their own lives and see the contrast with the simple uncomplicated life of the sweet and endearing rat called Riley. Colin Thompson shows how Riley is born happy and is never anything else during his short life. He has enough to eat, a numerous and supportive family, all of whom are as beautiful as he is. His aspirations are always fulfilled as he is content with what he has and the way things are. Humans, however, want and think they need everything - they are never satisfied. The text presents the folly and shame of the way we live. The satire and gentle humour that the story is imbued with makes for a truly unusual picture book with many messages that are really lessons for life. Amy Lissiat's beautifully considered illustrations add a good deal to the interpretation of the text. They have been executed with a great deal of thought and add a further dimension to the story. Pupils will enjoy both the text and the illustrations and have a lot of fun talking and thinking about this sophisticated picture book that sets out so many things for consideration.' (Publication summary)

2005 winner y separately published work icon Are We There Yet? : A Journey Around Australia Alison Lester , Alison Lester (illustrator), Camberwell : Viking , 2004 Z1151755 2004 single work picture book children's

'Join Grace and her family on their adventurous and sometimes funny expedition. A warm, heartfelt story based on an actual journey undertaken by the much-loved, award-winning author and illustrator, Alison Lester.' (Publication summary)

2004 winner y separately published work icon Cat and Fish Joan Grant , Neil Curtis (illustrator), South Melbourne : Lothian , 2003 Z1050036 2003 single work picture book children's fable Cat and Fish come from different worlds - he from the land, she from the sea. But when they meet in the park one night, they like each other's looks. Cat shows Fish his world and teaches her how to climb, how to take shelter from the rain, and how to stay warm. But Fish misses the sea, so Cat takes her back and meets her friends and discovers the water world. Then the trouble starts.
2003 winner y separately published work icon In Flanders Fields Norman Jorgensen , Brian Harrison-Lever (illustrator), Fremantle : Fremantle Press , 2002 Z955057 2002 single work picture book children's

'Early on Christmas morning the guns stop firing. A deathly silence creeps over the pitted and ruined landscape. A young soldier peers through a periscope over the top of the trench. Way out in no-man's-land, he sees a small red shape moving on the barbed wire. A brightly coloured robin is trapped. One wing is flapping helplessly.

'An eloquent counterpoint to the senselessness and inhumanity of war, In Flanders Fields tells the story of a young homesick World War I soldier, who risks his life to cross the no-man's land and rescue a robin caught in the barbed wire that separates the opposing forces, dug into their trenches. This moving picture book is a plea for compassion.'

Source: Penguin Books.

2002 winner y separately published work icon An Ordinary Day Libby Gleeson , Armin Greder (illustrator), Gosford : Scholastic Australia , 2001 Z925184 2001 single work picture book children's

'The journey to school is an everyday, grey-day experience for Jack. On the way to the bus stop, however, Jack is rescued by his imagination. Bit by bit, the ordinary world is transformed into a place of wonder and infinite possibilities.' (Sourced from Book Depository)

2001 winner y separately published work icon Fox Margaret Wild , Ron Brooks (illustrator), St Leonards : Allen and Unwin , 2000 Z820936 2000 single work picture book children's (taught in 2 units) "An injured magpie and a one-eyed dog live happily together in the forest until a jealous fox arrives to teach them what it means to be alone." (Source: Google Books)
2000 winner y separately published work icon Jenny Angel Margaret Wild , Anne Spudvilas (illustrator), Ringwood : Viking , 1999 Z14917 1999 single work picture book children's "The story of Jenny as a guardian angel watching over her brother, and her journey from denial of his death, to acceptance." (Source: Trove)
1999 winner y separately published work icon The Rabbits John Marsden , Shaun Tan (illustrator), Port Melbourne : Lothian , 1998 Z139449 1998 single work picture book children's (taught in 11 units)

"The rabbits came many grandparents ago.

They build houses, made roads, had children.

They cut down trees.

A whole continent of rabbits..." (back cover)

An allegorical story using rabbits, an introduced species, to represent the arrival of Europeans in Australia and the subsequent widespread environmental destruction.

1998 winner y separately published work icon The Two Bullies Junko Morimoto (illustrator), Isao Morimoto (translator), Milsons Point : Random House Australia , 1997 Z834226 1997 single work picture book children's fable 'Ni-ou is the strongest fellow in Japan. No one can beat him. But that's not enough. When he hears that there is a strong man called Dokkoi in China, Ni-ou wants to beat him too. So he goes looking for a fight.' (Source: Back cover)
1997 winner y separately published work icon Not a Nibble! Elizabeth Honey , Elizabeth Honey (illustrator), St Leonards : Allen and Unwin , 1996 Z927102 1996 single work picture book children's Holidays at the beach mean camping, swimming, finding crabs, feeding the seagulls, walking, reading... Everyone has plans for things to do. Susie wants to catch a fish, but some people just aren't lucky at fishing. What she's lucky at is something quite unexpected and wonderful.
1996 winner y separately published work icon The Hunt Narelle Oliver , Narelle Oliver (illustrator), Port Melbourne : Lothian , 1997 Z847936 1997 single work picture book children's
1995 winner y separately published work icon The Watertower Gary Crew , Steven Woolman (illustrator), Adelaide : Era Publications , 1994 Z282128 1994 single work picture book mystery children's (taught in 5 units) On a scorching hot summer day in Preston, Australia, Spike and Bubba go for a swim in the old water tower which casts a long dark shadow across everything in the area.
1994 winner y separately published work icon First Light Gary Crew , Peter Gouldthorpe (illustrator), Port Melbourne : Lothian , 1993 Z122571 1993 single work picture book children's "A boy and his father go fishing at first light, and are brought together by the power of the sea."
1993 winner y separately published work icon Rose Meets Mr Wintergarten Bob Graham , Bob Graham (illustrator), Ringwood : Viking , 1992 Z837156 1992 single work picture book children's
1992 winner y separately published work icon Window Jeannie Baker , Jeannie Baker (illustrator), London : Julia MacRae Books , 1991 Z834244 1991 single work picture book children's (taught in 5 units) Through a house window the view gradually changes over the passage of time to show how the environment changes, not necessarily for the better.
1991 winner y separately published work icon Greetings from Sandy Beach Bob Graham , Bob Graham (illustrator), Port Melbourne : Lothian , 1990 Z830018 1990 single work picture book children's humour A young girl describes her family's camping trip at the beach and the new friends they make there.
1990 winner y separately published work icon The Very Best of Friends Margaret Wild , Julie Vivas (illustrator), Sydney : Margaret Hamilton Books , 1989 Z667924 1989 single work picture book children's "Since Jessie has never cared for her farmer husband's cat William, her difficult adjustment period after her husband's death makes William doubt if he is still welcome on the farm." (Source: Trove)
1989 joint winner y separately published work icon The Eleventh Hour : A Curious Mystery Graeme Base , Graeme Base (illustrator), Victoria : Viking Kestrel , 1988 Z846706 1988 single work picture book children's mystery

When Horace the Elephant turns eleven he celebrates in grand style by inviting his friends to a splendid party. There are games, fine music, and the promise of a magnificent feast to come. But little does Horace know that when the time comes for the birthday banquet, a most curious mystery will be revealed. None of the eleven animals is above suspicion when the clock strikes The Eleventh Hour.

Publisher's synopsis

1989 joint winner y separately published work icon Drac and the Gremlin Allan Baillie , Jane Tanner (illustrator), Ringwood : Viking Kestrel , 1988 Z846634 1988 single work picture book children's 'Drac, the Warrior Queen of Tirnol Two is fearless and as fast as the Whirlwind. She and the Gremlin of the Groaning Grotto join forces to drive the Terrible Tongued Dragon from the Mountain of the White Wizard ...' (Source: NLA).
1988 winner y separately published work icon Crusher is Coming! Bob Graham , Bob Graham (illustrator), Melbourne : Lothian , 1987 Z863339 1987 single work picture book children's
1987 winner y separately published work icon Kojuro and the Bears Junko Morimoto (illustrator), Helen Smith (translator), Sydney : Collins , 1987 Z832720 1987 single work picture book children's This story describes the hardships and sorrows of a bear hunter. Kojuro comes to regret that he must kill the bears in order to make a living. Eventually, the wheel turns and his life is ended by a bear. (Source:From the book)
1986 winner y separately published work icon Felix & Alexander Terry Denton , Terry Denton (illustrator), Melbourne : Oxford University Press , 1985 Z831094 1985 single work picture book children's
1984 winner y separately published work icon Bertie and the Bear Pamela Allen , Pamela Allen (illustrator), Melbourne : Nelson , 1983 Z667878 1983 single work picture book children's
1983 winner y separately published work icon Who Sank the Boat? Pamela Allen , Pamela Allen (illustrator), Melbourne : Nelson , 1982 Z914246 1982 single work picture book humour children's
— Appears in: Selected Picture Books of Pamela Allen 2013;
When a number of animals that live on Mr Peffer's place decide, for no particular reason, to go for a row in a boat on the bay it ends rather unexpectedly.
1982 winner y separately published work icon Sunshine Jan Ormerod (illustrator), New York (City) : Lothrop, Lee and Shepard , 1981 Z667881 1981 single work picture book children's A story without words.
1980 winner y separately published work icon One Dragon's Dream Peter Pavey , Peter Pavey (illustrator), ( trans. Francois Roche with title Le rave du dragon ) Paris : Magnard Jeuness , 1978 Z839377 1978 single work picture book children's Tells the story about a dragon who had a dream involving many animals and the mischievous tricks they play on him
1979 winner y separately published work icon The Quinkins Percy Trezise , Dick Roughsey , Percy Trezise (illustrator), Dick Roughsey (illustrator), Sydney : Collins , 1978 Z667631 1978 single work picture book children's Indigenous story
1978 winner John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat Jenny Wagner , Ron Brooks (illustrator), Harmondsworth : Kestrel , 1977 Z830203 1977 single work picture book children's (taught in 6 units)
— Appears in: The Macquarie Bedtime Story Book 1987; (p. 190-192)
'Rose and her Old English Sheepdog, John Brown, live contentedly together. They need only each other. When the midnight cat appears outside their home, John Brown refuses even to admit its existence. But he comes to realise that the cat is important to Rose and to allow it in the house, even though it makes him sad.' (From the publisher's website.)
1976 winner y separately published work icon The Rainbow Serpent Dick Roughsey , Dick Roughsey (illustrator), Sydney : Collins , 1975 Z667625 1975 single work picture book children's Indigenous story This is the Aboriginal legend of the formation of the landscape on Cape York Peninsula. Goorialla, the Rainbow Serpent, was looking for his own tribe. On his travels he formed mountains, a deep gorge, and a lily lagoon called Minalinka. Eventually he found his own people. He showed them how to make headdresses of feathers and how to dance. When a big storm blew up, all the people built shelters except the Bil-bil boys. When they sought shelter in Goorialla's humpy he opened his mouth and swallowed them. Their people followed Goorialla when he left and cut him open to release the brothers who had turned into Rainbow Lorikeets. When Goorialla woke and discovered what had happened he was so incensed his rage caused the mountain to shake and thunder. He hurled parts of the mountain all over the country to form the hills and the mountains of today (Source: book).
1975 winner y separately published work icon The Man from Ironbark A. B. Paterson , Quentin Hole (illustrator), Sydney : Collins , 1974 Z846186 1974 single work picture book children's humour The man from Ironbark, a real bushman, is visiting Sydney for the first time. He finds the rush and bustle too exhausting so he decides to rest in a barber's and enjoy a shave. The barber, 'small and flash' tries to pull a joke on the bushman but comes off second best because his victim is a man whose actions speak louder than words.
1974 winner y separately published work icon The Bunyip of Berkeley's Creek Jenny Wagner , Ron Brooks (illustrator), Harmondsworth : Longman Young Books , 1973 Z813305 1973 single work picture book children's

When the bunyip heaves himself out of Berkeley’s Creek, he has no idea what a bunyip really is! So he sets off to find out for himself.

1974 winner Mulga Bill's Bicycle i "`TWAS Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze", A. B. Paterson , 1896 single work poetry humour
— Appears in: The Sydney Mail , 25 July 1896; Rio Grande's Last Race and Other Verses 1902; New Song in an Old Land 1943; (p. 55-56) Favourite Australian Poems 1963; (p. 101-102) The Collected Verse of A. B. Paterson : Containing 'The Man from Snowy River', 'Rio Grande' and 'Saltbush Bill, J. P.' 1982; (p. 113-114) Singer of the Bush, A. B. (Banjo) Paterson : Complete Works 1885-1900 1983; (p. 258-259)

Mulga Bill’s Bicycle was written by Banjo Paterson in 1896. It was written at a time when cycling was a relatively new and popular social activity. Cycles were ridden everywhere, including in the outback by shearers and other workers who needed to travel cheaply. It tells the hilarious story of Mulga Bill, who thinks he’s much better at cycling than he turns out to be. A resounding crash sends him back to his original mode of transport – his trusty horse. Kilmeny and Deborah Niland’s delightful illustrations catch the mood and humour of Paterson’s verse with great spirit, and this book has become an enduring classic.

Synopsis of the illustrated picture book.

Source: Harper Collins

(http://www.harpercollins.com.au/9780207172847/mulga-bills-bicycle/#sm.00001nzfrcbsrdd2gtij7q97dp0qg)

For the 1973 Collins edition.
1971 winner y separately published work icon Waltzing Matilda A. B. Paterson , Desmond Digby (illustrator), Sydney London : Collins , 1970 Z944905 1970 single work picture book children's
1969 winner y separately published work icon Sly Old Wardrobe Ivan Southall , Ted Greenwood (illustrator), Melbourne : Cheshire , 1968 Z835798 1968 single work picture book children's No one wanted the dark old wardrobe except Tom, but when he got it home his parents weren't pleased and it looked as if it would have to go back to the opportunity shop - until Grandma arrived at a solution.
1965 winner y separately published work icon Hugh's Zoo Elisabeth MacIntyre , London : Constable Young Books , 1964 Z831985 1964 single work picture book children's
1958 winner y separately published work icon Piccaninny Walkabout : A Story of Two Aboriginal Children Axel Poignant , Axel Poignant (illustrator), Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1957 Z796915 1957 single work picture book children's A photographic story describing how two Arnhem Land Aboriginal children coped when they wandered away from their grandmother and found themselves lost in the bush.
1956 winner y separately published work icon Wish and the Magic Nut Peggy Barnard , Sheila Hawkins (illustrator), Sydney : John Sands , 1956 Z920821 1956 single work picture book children's
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