"Challenge to Change" ASLA Conference 2017 

Thank you to the wonderful ASLA (Australian School Library Association) team for an inspirational, challenging and diverse program over the past two days. The focus on reading was powerful and reassuring. The Children's Choice Literature Awards are well placed as an appealing and effective way to get students reading and critically thinking about the texts they read. The KOALA team caught up with some familiar faces and connected with some new ones too.

We were also thrilled to meet and listen to two of our 2017 shortlisted authors, Tim Harris and Will Kostakis, who spoke about creative influences and representation in their writing. Hopefully we will see them again at Awards Day in November.


Book your tickets to Awards Day 2017

Click here for details

Artwork by Isabella, North Rocks Public School


It's time to think about voting

There are a number of ways to engage your students with the voting stage of the KOALA year. Kids love this stage and the options make it fun and exciting for all age groups.

  • Online Survey - ideal for Years 3-6 who read across the categories; add the link to your website, blog, ipad shortcut; no tallying numbers
  • Paper and Postbox - create a point of interest in the Library; develops familiarity with both author and illustrators' names; great job for library monitors to sort and tally

  • Cups and Counters - heighten excitement with K-2; anonymous-secret vote! (see image)
  • Sticky Notes - display based voting; students place a post-it note on the cover of their favourite book; great for younger years; saves writing time; quick tally count

The Tally Sheet for non-online votes is due by the end of Term 3.

Happy voting!


Bring your sticky notes to life with these post-it designs. Go to Learning in Hand for instructions on how to print. 



We all know koalas have their favourite trees and yours is now The Pearltrees will give you access to all the links and resources you could possibly need to add further value and fun to the shortlisted titles. Subscribe to the collection as resources are added.

Photo from our 2017 Awards Day Hosts - North Rocks Public School

"Waiting for the KOALAwards"


focus on fiction younger readers

Alice-Miranda in China by Jacqueline Harvey

Alice-Miranda and her friends are on a school exchange in China! There’s so much to see and do, and plenty of new people to meet. Among the whirlwind of sights is a breathtaking circus show, a hair-raising feat and an encounter with a family of acrobats.

While some are having a great time, others haven’t quite landed on their feet. Throw in clashing personalities and the theft of a priceless antiquity, and sparks are set to fly. There may be more than just fireworks in store for Alice-Miranda and her friends . . .

Jacqueline Harvey’s websiteAlice-Miranda series teaching notesJacqueline Harvey interviewPRC 3-4 Booklist #3324


Billie B Brown: The Bad Butterfly by Sally Rippin and illustrated by Aki Fukuoka

Billie has started ballet classes. She is sure she'll be a great dancer! But is Billie really cut out to be a ballerina?

Billie B Brown websiteSally Rippin interview - PRC 3-4 Booklist #33005


EJ Spy School: Puppy Alert! By Susannah McFarlane and illustrated by Dyani Stagg

Emma Jacks is Agent EJ10. She goes to Spy School. EJ10 is learning how to rescue animals, but a puppy goes missing ... Can EJ10 find her?

EJ Spy School websitePuppy Alert! PreviewSusannah McFarlane interview - PRC 3-4 Booklist #4649


Ella and Olivia: The Christmas Surprise by Yvette Poshoglian and illustrated by Danielle McDonald

Ella and Olivia are sisters. Ella is seven years old. Olivia is five-and-a-half years old. They live with their mum and dad and little brother Max.

Ella and Olivia can’t wait until Christmas! But will their secret plan to open their presents early ruin the Christmas surprise?

Ella and Olivia websiteYvette Poshoglian website -


Ella Diaries: Friendship S.O.S. by Meredith Costain and illustrated by Danielle McDonald

Ella is on holiday on a luxury cruise ship. It’s going to be AMAZING! Swimming pools, shopping mall, ice-skating ... and NO school for a week! Best of all, Zoe is coming too! But when a friendship catastrophe strikes, Ella’s perfect holiday looks doomed! Can she find a new Cruise BFF? Or will this voyage be fun overboard?

Meredith Costain website - Creating the book art -  PRC 3-4 Booklist #3870


Hotdog! By Anh Do and illustrated by Dan McGuiness

Meet Hotdog, the sausage dog, and his friends!

There’s Kev, the goofy cat, who’s always dressed up in some silly costume, and Lizzie, the gutsy lizard, who eats bug burgers for breakfast!

Together they’re going on a mad adventure to help a baby bird find its missing mum!

Hotdog and his friends will go to any lengths, and dizzying heights, to find her!

But can they handle dirty nappies and karate-chopping roosters along the way?

Anh Do websiteReadingTime reviewDan McGuiness website


The Bad Guys Episode 2: Mission Unpluckable by Aaron Blabey

The Bad Guys are back with a daring plan to rescue 10,000 chickens from a high-security cage farm! But how do you rescue chickens when one of you is known as The Chicken Swallower? And watch out for the super villain who might just be the end of them!

Aaron Blabey’s websiteMeet Aaron Blabey StoryBox LibraryPRC 3-4 Booklist #3220The Bad Guys Illustration


The Gateway: Midnight Mercenary by Cereberus Jones and illustrated by Craig Phillips

It's a dark and stormy night at the Gateway Hotel, and the latest intergalactic visitor is the most terrifying yet. Why has he come? Who is he after? With their families and the hotel in grave danger, it's up to Amelia and Charlie to save the day…

Chris Morphew aka Cereberus Jones websiteChris Morphew reads Midnight Mercenary teaserChris Morphew, David Harding and Rowan McAuley interview


WeirDo: Mega Weird! By Anh Do and illustrated by Jules Faber

Life for WeirDo is mega busy! He's planning on making mega bucks from the Street Garage Sale, plus he's helping Bella write a winning song! And is that a dusty dino bone in the corner? It won't be easy ... but it will be funny!

Anh Do talks WeirDoAnh Do websitePRC 3-4 Booklist #6021


You Choose: Alien Invaders From Beyond The Stars by George Ivanoff

You see strange lights in the sky. It’s a flying saucer, just like in the movies. Inside are lizard aliens – disguised as humans. They have come to invade planet Earth! You want to resist, but your actions may lead to the destruction of humankind . . .

Do you have what it takes to save the world? Or will the aliens unleash their ultimate weapon?

A thank you from George - Studio 3 interviewStudio 3 interview 2 - The Bottom Shelf Blog