The 2005 Kids Own Australian Literature Awards (KOALA) were announced at Westmead Public School on the 31st October. It was a fabulous day especially for those children who had voted for their favourite Australian authors and illustrators and eagerly awaited the announcement of the winners. It was a close race and the winners were:
Picture Book Category Mutt Dog by Stephen Michael King; published by Scholastic
Younger Readers?Category TooCool Series by Phil Kettle & Craig Smith; published by Scholastic
Older Readers?Category The Bad Book by Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton; published by Pan Macmillan
Thanks to Scholastic Australia, Phil Kettle was able to fly in from Melbourne to accept his award in person and Pan Macmillan arranged for Terry Denton, also from Melbourne to accept the older readers award on behalf of himself and Andy Griffiths.
The Westmead Public staff and students were wonderful hosts on the day and the School Choir entertained the audience with their outstanding performance. Steven Herrick’s reading of some of his poems had everyone laughing and Bruce Whatley amazed us all with his drawing talent in between the announcements of the winners.
Many authors and illustrators were present and students from Telopea, Turramurra, Newtown and Chatswood Public Schools, Central Coast Grammar, St Martha’s Primary Strathfield, St Thomas Aquinas Primary Springwood, Mt Annan Christian College, St Luke’s Grammar Dee Why, St Josephs Primary Kilaben Bay, Our Lady of the Way Emu Plains, Loquat Valley Christian School Bayview, Pymble Ladies College and host school Westmead were delighted to meet and speak to Deborah Abela, Duncan Ball, Terry Denton, Anna & Barbara Fienberg, Steven Herrick, Phil Kettle, David Legge, Jeni Mawter, Justyn Walker and Bruce Whatley.
Terry Denton & Anna Fienberg joined Duncan Ball and Paul Jennings as KOALA legends recognising their contribution to children’s literature and children’s choice awards. Read their citations on the website.
Thirroul Public School were the envy of every other school at Awards Day when they became the proud winners of a delightful 'Diary of a Wombat' illustration graciously drawn and donated by Bruce Whatley. Cherrybrook Public School won an original illustration donated by illustrator Allan Stomann from one of the Selby books and Cranbrook Junior School won $300 worth of books generously donated by Koala Books.
Many thanks to the Westmead Public School staff and students for hosting a fabulously memorable day. A BIG thank you also to our sponsors Koala Books for their assistance with the design and printing of kits and fliers and donating book prizes and SiteSuite for designing and hosting our website. Allan Stomann’s donation of artwork from the Selby books is also much appreciated.
ABC books, Allen & Unwin, HarperCollins Australia, Koala Books, Little Hare, Multimedia Interface, Pan Macmillan Australia, Penguin Group Australia, Scholastic Australia and Walker Books also donated books to give away to lucky KOALA members.
Awards Day 2006 is promising to be even bigger and better so start planning now to be there. More information on venue and date later.
Children lining up for their favourite author's signature
Just one of the examples of the artwork created by the school
based on Bruce Whatley's "Little White Dogs Can't Jump"