Brimbank lockdown blues hasn’t exhausted the enthusiasm

Brimbank Libraries has worked with an enthusiastic group of children and young people in Shadow Judging process.

Lockdown has meant we weren’t able to engage with a broader group of children in light of government restrictions that have affected our ability to run programs. However the participants who did take part really enjoyed it!

The Shadow Judges were very excited to be involved and were chuffed to have their judging results going straight to the CBCA.

We are looking forward to the announcement on Friday of the CBCA Awards Winners!

CBCA Shadow Judging Report – Picture Book of the Year
Reading Buddies at Brimbank Libraries

Library staff had initially planned to read the shortlisted books over several weeks in August with participants of the afterschool Reading Buddies Program. Due to COVID-19 restrictions and the rapidly evolving lockdown, these sessions were unable to run in library branches.

An online session on Zoom was held on Tuesday 17 August, 4-5pm. In the session children viewed the shortlisted titles on Story Box Library via the Brimbank Library website, which allowed the children to see the books in great detail. The children, library staff, and student volunteers who attend Reading Buddies at St Albans Library, participated in the session all together. The group discussed what makes a good story and the judging criteria used in awarding the best books of the year.

Your Birthday Was the Best! was declared the winner by Brimbank Libraries, with second place going to The Unwilling Twin.

Your Birthday was The Best! – Felicita Sala, text. Maggie Hutchings – First place

Your Birthday was The Best! had the children laughing from the very start of the book. One had seen a cockroach before, luckily only outside the house! The children liked this story the best of all the shortlisted books. Some of the children had read the story before and had a copy at home. Favourite elements were birthdays, because everybody loves birthdays, and how the cockroach was telling the story. The favourite illustration was the boy screaming and the cockroach mistakenly thinking he was excited.

The Unwilling Twin- Freya Blackwood – Second place

This book was a close favourite too, with some of the children having already read this story at home. The matching birthmarks of characters Jules and George made the group laugh. The illustrations in The Unwilling Twin were a standout.

Not Cute- Philip Bunting

The group commented that they liked the illustrations and colours used in the book. And they thought the Quokka was cute, even though he tried to be scary.

From one student (Yr12): I loved the whole story but I really loved the ending when the snake ate the Quokka. It showed a change in his attitude and gave me a good laugh. I also loved this story because it gave all the children a smile, which was pleasing to see. The story was simplistic and the beautiful illustrations and the layout of the book supported all of this because everything seemed to tie together very nicely. My favourite illustration from this book would have to be the final one, where the Quokka got eaten by the snake. This adds to the story because it ties everything together and it signifies how the Quokka got a little too big for its boots and had to pay the price for it. Simple storyline but it was portrayed brilliantly – funny, exciting and original. This story sets itself apart from others that I read because it used an animal that I have not heard about in a story before and it captures the true, funny and cheeky nature of a Quokka and captured it (yet again) in beautiful illustrations.

Norton & the Bear- Gabriel Evans

Several in group with siblings related to Norton’s experiences. ‘My little brother copies me.  At first it was annoying, but now we laugh about it’. Observations from the group included, ‘Norton is wrong. It is nice to share’ and how it can be like school where ‘all the girls wear the same dress (uniform) like Norton and the Bear.’ Bear’s fetching blue cape got some love too!

Ellie’s Dragon- Bob Graham

A favourite part of the story was seeing Scratch the Dragon growing up. The little girl’s birthday celebrations were another favourite part of the book too. One reader thought that being small helped children to see the magic in the story. ‘Adults can’t see the dragon because they’re too tall.’

How to Make a Bird- Matt Ottley, text. Meg McKinlay

The illustrations captured everyone’s imagination and the group loved the meaning behind the story. Comments included: ‘The girl worked very hard…I would like to make a person with my shells‘. Another, ‘I would make a cat with Lego Dots’ and showed the group a ready-made cat. Favourite elements included the part when the bird took flight, ‘If I had a superpower, it would be to be fast – fast running.’ ‘It was a very pretty book’.

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