Debut Fremantle Press creators Isobel Bevis, Chemutai Glasheen and Leanne Zilm and stalwart Kelly Canby all have books on the prestigious CBCA Notable book list

Nedingar: Ancestors by Isobel Bevis and Leanne Zilm, I Am the Mau and other stories by Chemutai Glasheen and Timeless by Kelly Canby have been named Notable books by the Children’s Book Council of Australia.

Fremantle Press children’s publisher Cate Sutherland said she was extremely proud of her list and excited to see diverse debut writers alongside established talents getting national acknowledgement. Cate said the Press had a long and fruitful relationship with Kelly Canby. She said, ‘Her creativity constantly surprises and delights with clever word play and distinctive artworks in every book’

Cate said, ‘Nedingar: Ancestors is one of a series of dual language books in Noongar and English designed to combine relatable stories and beautiful artworks with increased cultural awareness and representation.’

Sutherland said she loved working with Chemutai Glasheen on I am the Mau and other stories. She said, ‘Chemutai’s stories are influenced by her upbringing in Africa and the duality of living across cultures. Each are incredibly moving, entertaining and bring so many insights into human rights and how those rights intersect with politics, the environment, family, gender and so much more.’

Chemutai Glasheen who, as well as being a writer, is a teacher and sessional academic at Curtin University said it took decades for her to realise her dream of becoming a writer, ‘A year ago, I had a bit of a health scare and when I walked out of the doctor’s office, my mind was racing with a to-do list. One of the things that filled me with peace and contentment was that my book was getting published. My bucket list has been flexible over the years but becoming a published author has never wavered. Looking back, there is nothing I would change about the timing. I am glad I got to do it when I did. I am grateful for the journey that brought me here.’

Nedingar: Ancestors was named in the Early Childhood category, Timeless in the Picture Book Category and I Am the Mau and other stories in the Older Readers category.

In Nedingar: Ancestors, which has a QR code linking readers to a Noongar language reading, a mother explains to their child about their Ancestors who are everywhere on Country, walking with them yesterday, tomorrow and today.

I am the Mau and other stories is an enticing collection of contemporary fiction is a celebration of our ubuntu: the invisible ties that bind us all together.

Timeless, the perfect book for our breakneck pace of life, encourages families to take time and make time.

The CBCA judges’ critiques will also be available for download online. Chair of the Children’s Book Council of Australia Wendy Rapee said that discoverability of good stories determines growth in reading behaviour and the goal was to assist young people to discover good stories through strong recommendations from the judges and their own story guides (teachers, librarians, parents, community and the media).

Established in 1946, the CBCA Book of the Year Awards are considered Australia’s most prestigious prize for children’s literature. The shortlist will be announced on Tuesday 19 March 2024 and the winners will be revealed during book week in August 2024. A full list of 2024 CBCA Notable books is available from the CBCA website or you can follow the hashtag #CBCA2024 on social media.

Nedingar: Ancestors, Timeless and I Am the Mau are available in all good bookstores and online.

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