Two Fremantle Press titles make the CBCA Notables List

The Last Light Horse by Dianne Wolfer and Backyard Beasties by Helen Milroy have been recognised as Notable Books in their respective categories in the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of the Year Awards.

Backyard Beasties is a Notable book in the Early Childhood category. Both written and illustrated by Professor Helen Milroy – a Palyku artist and expert in child psychiatry – her book it is designed to teach us all about the croaking, barking, screeching, mewling creatures that share our homes. Also inspired by amazing animals, The Last Light Horse, written by Dianne Wolfer and illustrated by Brian Simmonds, is a Notable book in the Younger Readers category. From the waters off Gallipoli to the battlefields of France, it is the extraordinary story of Sandy, the only returning warhorse from World War One.

Dianne Wolfer, who has an illustrious career of eight CBCA Notable books and two CBCA-shortlisted books, said she was thrilled that The Last Light Horse had been listed as a 2023 CBCA Notable book alongside so many wonderful titles. She said, ‘Teachers, librarians, creators and everyone involved in Australian children’s publishing takes great interest in these awards, and I’d like to thank the CBCA for all they do to promote literacy and a love of reading. Being longlisted is a great honour, especially this year with so many beautiful books coming out in 2022. I don’t envy the judges trying to decide on a shortlist!’

The Last Light Horse is the fourth and final book in the Light series, which began with Lighthouse Girl and includes In the Lamplight and the CBCA-shortlisted Light Horse Boy. Alongside writing, Dianne has been spending many nights at the theatre as she tours with Theatre 180’s production of her amazing series.

Established in 1946, the CBCA Book of the Year Awards are considered to be Australia’s most prestigious prize for children’s literature. The shortlist will be announced on 28 March 2023 and the winners will be revealed in August 2023. A full list of the 2023 CBCA Notable books is available from the CBCA website.

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