Fremantle Press books honoured at national awards


Looking Up by Sally Murphy and Drawn Onward by Meg McKinlay and Andrew Frazer have been honoured as notable books in the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of the Year Awards 2018.

This is the first time new illustrator Andrew has made the list, but the fourth for Sally. It’s the seventh time for Meg, who has not one but two Notable book listings in 2018 alone and at one point had her book make the Notable list twice.

Bunbury author Sally Murphy said having your book on the CBCA Notable list was something you never got used to and always appreciated. Her story Looking Up is about a young boy, Pete, who wants a telescope for his birthday but instead ends up finding the grandpa he never knew he had. Sally said she was particularly pleased that Looking Up had made the list. ‘It is quite short for the age group and was really my attempt to make the verse novels I’m known for work as prose,’ she said.

Meg McKinlay has described Drawn Onward as positivity training for kids. While illustrator Andrew Frazer, who is also from Bunbury, said the book was about changing your view from the glass half empty to the glass half full. ‘I really wanted to honour Meg’s words and make that message as accessible as possible,’ said Andrew. ‘The lettering was purposefully designed to encourage the reader to slow down and really absorb what is being communicated. I didn’t want people to push the ejection button too early as the message written by Meg is so powerful, if we are willing to journey through the pages. Through perseverance the reader develops a strengthened inner resilience and as with the character at the end of the story, we have the great privilege of serving others through our own healing.’

Looking Up is honoured as a Notable in the Young Readers category while Drawn Onward has made the list in the Picture Book of the Year category. Both were chosen from 444 entries overall, with the most competitive categories being Younger Readers and Picture Book due to the sheer volume of submissions received.

A number of other Fremantle Press authors were also honoured. Author Dianne Wolfer, whose latest book In the Lamplight will be released in April, made the Notable list for the second year in a row, as did Kelly Canby. Kelly’s latest picture book, The Hole Story, was launched in the same week as the award announcement. Fremantle Press authors Sally Morgan and Bronwyn Bancroft also made the list.

In 1946 the CBCA established annual book awards to promote children’s books of high literary and artistic quality. They are the longest running book awards in Australia. The shortlist will be announced in Brisbane on 27 March 2018, with the winners being named during Book Week on Friday 17 August 2018. For the complete list go to the CBCA website.

Looking Up and Drawn Onward are available in all good bookstores now.


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