International Children’s Book Day 2016 featuring Bronwyn Bancroft, Ursula Dubosarsky and Mark McLeod

You’re invited to attend

ONCE UPON A TIME:  A Celebration of 50 Years of IBBY Australia
Saturday 2nd April 2016 | 10 am till 2.30 pm
59 The Boulevarde (cnr Carrington St), Strathfield NSW
Santa Maria del Monte School


  • Dr Mark MacLeod addressing the topic IBBY in the Age of Globalisation
  • Bronwyn Bancroft in conversation with Libby Gleeson AM
  • Ursula Dubosarsky in conversation with Dr Robyn Sheahan-Bright

Bronwyn BancroftDubosarsky Ursula C (photo credit Vicki Skarratt 2011)

For full details see the flyer.

Bookings are now open!

IBBY condolences

To the Members and Friends of IBBY

The IBBY community is deeply shocked by the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut.  We also remember the attack at the Garissa University in Kenya earlier this year, as well as all the other bombings and indiscriminate attacks taking place around the world.

Our thoughts are with the victims and their families, and especially at this time with the members of IBBY France and IBBY Lebanon, and our colleagues in Africa.

The IBBY mission to promote international understanding is more relevant than ever.

With great sadness,

Wally De Doncker    Liz Page
IBBY President         Executive Director

International Board on Books for Young People
Nonnenweg 12
CH-4009 Basel

Entries invited for the Ena Noel Award 2016

IBBY Australia invites publishers to submit their entries for the Ena Noel Award 2016, the IBBY Australia encouragement award for literature for young people.

  • The writer or illustrator should be under 35 years of age in the year in which the work was published.
  • Only books published between 1st July 2013 and 30th June 2015 are eligible.
  • Three copies of the book must be submitted to the book coordinator.
  • The author or illustrator must be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia.

For more information see the Ena Noel Award 2016 Information for Publishers.

Entries close on  30th November 2015.

IBBY Australia Honour Books announced

IBBY Australia proudly announces its biennial Honour Books for 2016. One book is selected for excellence in Writing, one for Illustration, and one for Translation. This is the first time Australia has selected a book in the Translation category.

Every two years an Advisory Panel of three children’s literature experts makes the selection from all books published in the period. These outstanding books become Australia’s representative books in a travelling exhibition of about 150 international titles. The exhibition will be shown at the IBBY Congress in Auckland in 2016, and at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, and in many other countries.

IBBY Australia AGM – Perth 22 September 2015

You are invited to a special IBBY event and Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, 22nd September at 5.00 pm in the The Great Southern Room, Level 4, State Library of Western Australia

Grit and Gumption, Sass and Verve: Learning from Multicultural Picture Book Biographies
with Rhoda Myra Garces-Bacsal

Myra is the Coordinator of the Masters of Education in High Ability Studies at the National Institute of Education, Singapore and the Programme Director of the Asian Festival of Children’s Content in Singapore. Find out more at Myra’s website  and learn more about the range and depth of resources she has discovered.

We will welcome you with tea/coffee and finger food, discover more about IBBY Australia at our brief AGM, and be stimulated by Myra’s interesting and vibrant presentation.  RSVP Jenni  jennij[at] by Friday, 18th September. Professional Development acknowledgement available via email request. A gold coin donation would be appreciated.

Flyer for Myra Garces-Bascali presentation

Children’s books: Bridges for peace

This post by Dr Robin Morrow was originally published on the CBCA Tasmania blog and is reproduced with permission.

It was Jella Lepman who first used the phrase a bridge of children’s books. She was working with children in war-destroyed Germany, and appealed to other countries to send donations of their best books. The German children needed these imported books in the 1940s, because recently they had been fed only Nazi propaganda. Jella Lepman realised the books from other countries were forming bridges that linked their lives with those in other lands. Lepman’s work resulted in the foundation of IBBY (the International Board on Books for the Young), which flourishes today in more than seventy countries.

How do these book-bridges build foundations for peace? Readers who experience a wide and deep range of stories develop empathy – the ability to live for a while in another’s skin. One of the most valuable and practical ways to help a child become empathetic is through hearing and reading stories about diverse lives.

Babies and toddlers need books in which they recognise children similar to themselves, preferably in the child’s mother tongue. Then, gradually, books can expand the lives of their readers. Adults with influence—parents, teachers, librarians – can and should introduce books set in varied societies, in other places and times. It may be a matter of meeting Indigenous Australian lives in books, such as the outstanding picture books When I Was Little Like You by Mary Malbunka, and Remembering Lionsville by Bronwyn Bancroft; or in novels such as Crow Country by Kate Constable and Nona and Me by Clare Atkins. And books transport us to places as diverse as Morocco in Jeannie Baker’s beautiful Mirror; or Ghana in the easy-to-read adventure Figgy in the World by Tamsin Janu.

There are some excellent books about the now too-common predicament of people forced to become refugees. Australian picture books too good to miss on this topic include Ziba Came on a Boat by Lofthouse and Ingpen; Shaun Tan’s now-classic The Arrival; and the breathtaking newly-published Flight by Wheatley and Greder. My Two Blankets by Kobald and Blackwood depicts the life of a girl who has reached a country like Australia and must learn a new language, a new way of living. And no child should miss Bob Graham’s masterpiece about multicultural community-building, A Bus Called Heaven.

Another kind of ‘otherness’ that is represented sensitively in children’s books today is that of disability. Examples are Two Mates by Melanie Prewett and Maggie Prewett; and Roses are Blue by Sally Murphy (for primary age), and Are You Seeing Me? by Darren Groth (Young Adult).

And here in our Anglophone nation we can neglect the importance of translated books, ranging from the imaginative Finnish world of the Moomins to Lindelauf’s Nine Open Arms, a warm, eccentric family story from the Netherlands.

Books can make a difference in dispelling prejudice and building community: not with role models and literal recipes, not with noble messages about the human family, but with enthralling stories that make us imagine the lives of others. A good story lets you know people as individuals in all their particularity and conflict; and once you see someone as a person—flawed, complex, striving —then you’ve reached beyond stereotype (Rochman, 1993, p. 19).

There are many other wonderful books for all ages that help us ‘imagine the lives of others.’ If we work at introducing the best books to young people, we are working to build bridges for peace.

Rochman, H. 1993. Against borders: Promoting books for a multicultural world American Library Association.

Dr Robin Morrow AM
National President of IBBY Australia, Robin recently delivered the inaugural ‘Book Links Lecture’ in the Queensland State Library, entitled Reading the wider world: Books as bridges for young readers. Here she argues that book-bridges can help build peace.

Australian nominees for the 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Awards Announced

IBBY Australia Inc is thrilled to announce that Australian nominees for the 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Awards are: URSULA DUBOSARSKY (WRITER) and BRONWYN BANCROFT (ILLUSTRATOR). Both are esteemed creators with international profiles. IBBY announced the names of 28 writers and 29 illustrators from 34 countries nominated for these prestigious awards on 30 March at the Bologna International Children’s Book Fair.

Dubosarsky Ursula C (photo credit Vicki Skarratt 2011)

Photo credit Vicki Skarratt 2011

Ursula Dubosarsky (1961-) was born into a family of writers in Sydney where she graduated from Sydney University in 1982. After travel and a year on a kibbutz in Israel, she returned to Australia and published her first picture book for children, Maisie and the Pinny Gig in 1989. Then came a succession of novels for older children including The First Book of Samuel (1995), for which she wrote a sequel, Theodora’s Gift (2005). Other novels range from the fantasy of The Game of the Goose (2000) to the experimental surrealistic work Abyssinia (2001); and the historical young adult fiction of The Red Shoe (2006) and The Golden Day (2011). Dubosarsky has also produced a great range of illustrated books in collaboration with several distinguished Australian illustrators.

Over a 25-year period of continued publication, she has won nine national literary prizes, including five New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards, more than any other writer in the Awards’ history. Her books have been frequently shortlisted and Honour Books in the Children’s Book Council of Australia awards, winning the Book of the Year Award in 2011 for The Return of the Word Spy. In 2013 she was inducted into the Speech Pathology Australia Hall of Fame for services to children’s speech and literacy. Her international profile is impressive – many of her works have been published in the UK and the USA, and have also been translated into several European languages and also into Korean, Chinese, Japanese and Hebrew. She has been nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2013, 2014 and 2015. International honours include: IBBY Honour Book List 2014 and a Luchs (Lynx) Award for Children’ Literature for The Golden Day; a YALSA Excellence in Non-fiction for Young Adults Nomination 2010 for The Word Snoop; inclusion in the International Youth Library (IYL) White Ravens International Catalogue 2007 for The Red Shoe and 1996 for The First Book of Samuel. Among recent notable achievements: Too Many Elephants in the House! was chosen for Australia’s National Simultaneous Storytime in May 2014; The Red Shoe was selected for the Copyright Agency’s Reading Australia program; and a commission to create a story for national retailer David Jones’s 2014 iconic Christmas window display. Three of her books have also been adapted for theatre: The Red Shoe; The Terrible Plop and Too Many Elephants in This House!. She is one of Australia’s foremost writers for young people.

Bronwyn Bancroft

Bronwyn Bancroft

Bronwyn Bancroft (1958–) is an acclaimed Aboriginal artist. She is a descendant of the Djanbun clan of the Bundjalung nation. Born in Tenterfield, New South Wales, and trained in Canberra and Sydney, Bancroft has worked as a fashion designer, artist, book illustrator, and arts administrator throughout a long and very industrious career. Her diverse artistic practice includes public art commissions, imagery design for private commission, and both authoring and illustrating children’s books. Bancroft began illustrating children’s books in 1993, with artwork for Diana Kidd’s The Fat and Juicy Place which was shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of the Year and won the Australian Multicultural Children’s Book Award. She illustrated the third edition of Stradbroke Dreamtime (1993, 1972) by Indigenous activist and writer Oodgeroo Noonuccal. Bancroft has since contributed artwork for over 20 children’s books, including some by prominent Australian writer and artist Sally Morgan, whom she regards as a mentor and friend. These include Dan’s Grandpa (1996), Sam’s Bush Journey (2009) and The Amazing A–Z (2014). Bancroft has also created a number of children’s books in her own right, including An Australian 1 2 3 of Animals and An Australian ABC of Animals. Her art has also appeared in the publications of a number of other individuals and organisations, including as cover art for books. Bronwyn illustrated Diane Wolkstein’s adaptation Sun Mother Wakes the World: An Australian Creation Story (2004) published by HarperCollins New York, and named in the New York Public Library’s annual list Children’s Books 2004–100 Titles for Reading & Sharing. Her latest work is a collaboration with her son Jack Manning Bancroft The Eagle Inside (2015). In 1994 she was the Australian candidate for the UNICEF Ezra Jack Keats International Award for Excellence in Children’s Book Illustration. In 2009 Bancroft received the Dromkeen Medal for her contribution to children’s literature. Bronwyn Bancroft’s artistic contributions have been extraordinarily diverse and highly influential.

The winners of these awards will be announced at Bologna in 2016 and presented at the IBBY Congress in Auckland, in August that year.

For further details contact:

Dr Robyn Sheahan-Bright (Chair HCA Australia Sub-Committee)
IBBY Australia Inc c/- PO Box 329 Beecroft NSW 2119



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