Kelly Canby shortlisted for picture book of the year

The Children’s Book Council of Australia’s 2024 Book of the Year Awards shortlist has been announced with Timeless by Kelly Canby taking its place alongside five other titles in the picture book category.

Entries in this category are for outstanding books of the picture book genre in which the author and illustrator achieve artistic and literary unity or, in wordless picture books, where the story, theme or concept is unified through illustrations.

The judges described Timeless as witty, entertaining and visually delightful, ‘Minimal but sophisticated, the well-thought-out text distils the complexity of the abstract concept it explores, cleverly playing with time related idioms and word puns. Bright, engaging illustrations, as if hand-drawn by a child, seamlessly integrate with the printed text demonstrating excellence in design.’

Fremantle Press children’s publisher Cate Sutherland said, ‘Kelly’s clever wordplay and signature art always combine to make beautiful, memorable books. We are thrilled that the very timely Timeless has been shortlisted.’

Kelly Canby said she was honoured to see Timeless on the shortlist. ‘I had a lot of fun creating this book and it thrills me to see it doing well. Thank you, CBCA and the CBCA judges, it will take some time to wipe this smile from my face!’

CBCA judges narrowed Australia’s books for kids down from 636 books in six categories to just 36 titles, which they say are the crème de la crème of children’s publishing in Australia for 2023. CBCA National Chair, Wendy Rapee, said the stories in the shortlist connected young readers to themselves and each other during a time when they feel intensely disconnected. She said, ‘This year’s shortlist lays bare what matters most to young people across Australia through a rich tapestry of genres, themes, and voices, reflecting the dynamic nature of contemporary Australian children’s literature.’

The winners will be announced during Book Week in August 2024. To read more about the shortlist – which also includes WA creatives Mark Greenwood and Frané Lessac, Briony Stewart and Dianne Wolfer – go to the CBCA website. []

Timeless is a vibrant new picture book that is all about time – making it, losing it and subverting the whole darn concept. It’s available in all good bookstores.

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