Circle by Jeannie Baker

Tiny godwit birds follow ancient, invisible pathways in an infinity of sky. Flying on and on, for nine nights and nine days, flying without rest. From Arctic icebergs in the north, to tropical golden beaches in the south, across thousands of kilometres of Pacific Ocean. ‘Circle’ captures the sheer wonder of this migratory journey, reminding us of the global interdependence of nature.

The Godwit’s remarkable flight is followed as it comes full circle … back to the place where mud and sand become sea.

Jeannie Baker Website - Circle Teachers Notes - Jeannie Baker on Creating Circle (trailer) - SMH Interview with Author - Creative Kids Tales Review of Circle PRC 5-6 Booklist #34385


Do Not Open This Book by Andy Lee; illustrated by Heath McKenzie

The story begins with the character surprised that, despite the name of the book, the reader has opened the cover. He asks the reader not to turn the next page. As the book goes on, the character becomes more and more desperate, begging, pleading, threatening and sulking, before he finally reveals that if the reader reaches the final page, something terrible will happen!

Andy Lee Interview with SMH - Do Not Open This Book Teachers Notes - PRC K-2 Booklist #15977 - Book Review


Fire by Jackie French; illustrated by Bruce Whatley

One small spark brought fire awake, Winding like a small black snake, Fire flickered, fire crept, Flames snickered, bushfire leapt...Inspired by the bushfires that have affected many Australians, Fire is a moving and sensitive story of a natural disaster as seen through the eyes of a cockatoo. The fire mercilessly engulfs homes and land, leaving a devastating path of destruction.

Jackie French Website - Fire Teachers Notes - Discussion Points for Fire - Creative Kids Tales Review for FirePRC 5-6 Booklist #6166 - Kids' Book Review


Lilli-Pilli's Sister by Anna Bradford; illustrated by Linda Catchlove

An irresistible new-baby story set in the fairy world ...and with a delightful twist. Lilli-Pilli's mother is having a baby. Lilli-Pilli is sure the baby is going to be a sister. She can feel it in her wings. But when she asks around among the birds and butterflies in the forest, some of them are equally sure the new baby will be a brother - and they can feel it in their wings, too! Lilli-Pilli knows she will love the new baby whether it's a girl or a boy, and takes lots of care to find ways to make the tree-bark cradle more comfortable, but she can't help wondering ...which will it be? She doesn't have to wait long to find out!

Anna Bradford's Website - Publisher's Website - Lilli-Pilli's Sister Teachers Notes - Creative Kids Tales Review for Lilli-Pilli's SisterPRC 3-4 Booklist #5040


Mr Chicken Arriva a Roma by Leigh Hobbs

Mr Chicken has been to Paris and London, but his taste for travel is insatiable - now it's time to visit Rome, a city of ancient wonders and delicious things to eat. With his helpful phrasebook, a friendly guide and an insatiable appetite, Mr Chicken is ready for anything. 

Mr Chicken Arriva A Roma Teachers Notes - Leigh Hobbs Website - Leigh Hobbs Interview - Book Trailer Teaser - Kids' Book Review - Creative Kids Tales Review for Mr Chicken Arriva a Roma PRC K-2 Booklist #10815


Mr Huff by Anna Walker

Bill is having a bad day. Mr Huff is following him around and making everything seem difficult. Bill tries to get rid of him, but Mr Huff just gets bigger and bigger!

Then they both stop, and a surprising thing happens . . .

Mr Huff Book Trailer - Anna Walker Website - Mr Huff Teachers Notes - CBCA Reading Time Review - Creative Kids Tales Review for Mr Huff PRC 3-4 Booklist #9806 


Pig the Winner by Aaron Blabey

Pig was a Pug and I'm sorry to say, If he didn't come first it would ruin his day. From award-winning creator of PIG THE PUG comes a brand new tale about the world's greediest pug. Pig the Pug is back and this time he is being a great big cheat. Pig will do anything to win, and, if he can't, he throws great big tantrums. But when his latest attempt to beat his best friend, Trevor, backfires will Pig the Pug learn his lesson at last?

Aaron Blabey Website - Aaron Blabey Interview - Aaron Blabey Interview with Creative Kids Tales - PRC K-2 Booklist #7229


Piranhas Don't Eat Bananas by Aaron Blabey

'Hey there guys. Would you like a banana?'

'What's wrong with you, Brian? Youre a Piranha.'

Brian is a piranha. He is also a vegetarian. But do you think he can convince his family to join him?

Aaron Blabey Website - Piranhas Don't Eat Bananas Teachers Notes - SMH Aaron Blabey Reads Piranhas Don't Eat Bananas - Aaron Blabey Interview with Creative Kids Tales - PRC K-2 Booklist #5388


The Fabulous Friend Machine by Nick Bland

Popcorn is, quite simply, the friendliest chicken at Fiddlesticks farm! When she finds a Fabulous Friend Machine in the barn, she sets about making some brand new friends. But behind the screen of the Fabulous Friend Machine, maybe her new friends are not so friendly after all...

A cautionary tale from the globally best-selling Nick Bland.

The Fabulous Friend Teachers Notes - Nick Bland Author Profile - CBCA Reading Time Review - PRC K-2 Booklist #27787


What Do They Do With All the Poo from All the Animals at the Zoo? by Anh Do; illustrated by Laura Wood

What do they do with all the poo, from all the animals at the zoo?

The hippos, the tigers, the kangaroos - what do they do with all that poo? There's so much poo at the zoo...Where does it all go?

Do they mix it into chocolate ice-cream? Sprinkle it on pizza? Stir it in the local swimming pool? 

Anh Do WebsiteLaura Wood Illustrator Website - Taronga Zoo Answer to Question - PRC K-2 Booklist #5388

childrens' choice shortlist poster is out!

In partnership with YABBA (VIC) and KROC (NT), KOALA seeks to provide children a voice within the general Australian children’s book industry. Our combined efforts contribute to the annual REAL Awards (Reading and Enjoying Australian Literature). The shortlist is created in collaboration with student nominations from these states and territories.

The shortlist poster is now out! Members are sent one free and others can order 3 for $10. Email You can also download the pdf version here.

Thank you to Leigh Hobbs for donating the fabulous art work this year and to our poster sponsor Lamont Books.


Don't Call Me Bear!



It was interesting on so many levels. I loved the illustration and I’m sure everyone would agree. The books were awesome and the authors, to meet them was unbelievable.


I really like the ‘Don’t Call Me Bear’ act, it was really funny.


This ceremony was amazing. The authors were so inspiring and the stories were heart-warming and exciting.


The ceremony was amazing. I loved the authors’ stories and I love all the authors’ books.


It was the BEST ceremony. My favourite thing was the time machine stories.


I loved all the stories and I loved meeting the authors and watching live drawing.


I loved meeting all the authors and illustrators and getting their signatures.


It was a great experience for me because I love reading and I like Morris Gleitzman. It was amazing.


I loved it because I love reading. I only wish Andy Griffiths was there. I hope I go next time.


Loved the time travel stories and the cake looked delicious. I was a bit disappointed that Andy and Terry didn’t come, still it was great. I loved getting signatures; it was exciting to get books signed. It was the best.


The ceremony was so exciting. It was interesting what the authors’ stories were about: where would they time travel to? They were so inspiring. My favourite part was meeting the authors. I loved the KOALA awards and hopefully I get invited again next year.


That was the BEST, AWESOME day in my life! I hope I get invited again next year!


Best ceremony ever!!!

A Whirlwind Journey from St Andrew's Cathedral School

We had an amazing whirlwind journey to friendly Blackheath Public last week for the KOALA Awards Day and loved every second of it. 

Thank you again for making it possible for our students to share their love of reading and get up-close and personal with their heroes.

Our Stage 2 and 3 Book Club members (which have more than doubled in size from last year… word got around we go to KOALA and it’s fantastic!) were in attendance again this year and would like to pass on their thanks…

Chris from 5M wrote:

“KOALA is a very fun event.  At KOALA you get to meet authors like Morris Gleitzman, author of Boy overboard.  My favourite part was when we had the author’s answer a time travel related question because it was interesting hearing their thoughts on various historical events.”


Adriana from 4L wrote:

“The experience of seeing lots of authors was fun.  I loved this year’s KOALA awards.  When we first got there a kind lady showed us to the book store.  The school was very welcoming.  After everybody finished buying books we went to go listen to the author’s do their speeches.  Finally it was prize time.  Two of our Book Clubers Harry and Jackson got to touch Morris Gleitzman’s hand as they handed him an award.  Last of all they said if you got a gold sticker on your programme you would get an envelope and people who got a blue sticker got to get a book called Charlie and the war against the Grannies.  I won the book which I really enjoyed.  Then with a pleasant good bye from the school we left back for school.  It was another 2 hours but it was worth it!”


Rishita from 3/4O and Danielle from 3F together wrote: “We hopped on a bus and it drove for 2 hours until we reached Blackheath.  Then we bought books.  At the start of the ceremony we watched a fabulous play.  We loved the play and our favourite authors were Jacqueline Harvey and Deborah Abela.  It was so worth going.  You should go too! Even though it was a very long way away.”


Nicolas from 3F said: “I enjoyed watching all the authors doing their speeches and I liked David Legge draw the rabbit reading.”


Liam from 6W wrote: “It was a great day, and I loved hearing the authors’ answers to the question “Where would you go if you could travel through time?”  We were also lucky to win 30 books for the library.”


Daniel from 3F wrote: “I really enjoyed the KOALA awards because I got to meet authors and illustrators.  I also loved David Legge draw on the white board.”


Bronte from 5T said: “Even though it was a long 4 hour journey and we only got 2 hours at KOALA, it was worth it!”


Ollie from 3/4R wrote: “I liked the illustrator drawing the picture.”


Jo from 5T said: “I really liked the KOALA awards.  Even though it was a 4 hour journey, it was worth it. We got to see awesome authors like Emily Rodda.  It was awesome!”


Cecilia from 5T wrote: “I loved the KOALA awards even though it was a long trip at least I got to meet my favourite authors like Emily Rodda and Morris Gleitzman.”


Elle from 5/6L said: “KOALA was awesome. We saw lots of famous authors including Aaron Blabey, Emily Rodda, Morris Gleitzman and Deborah Abela.”


Ella from 3F said: “It is very fun, you can buy books and you can get your books signed.  My favourite book is Alice-Miranda by Jacqueline Harvey.  I also enjoyed the painting, it was amazing!  I love KOALA.”


Danny from 6RA said: “I enjoyed seeing all the authors.”


Emily from 3F said: “We got to buy books and the author’s even signed our books, it was very fun!  I really liked when some students from Blackheath School performed.”


Jackson from 6W wrote: “I enjoyed handing the gift to Morris Gleitzman.”


And Harry from 6RO also agreed saying: “I enjoyed giving the award to Morris Gleitzman.”


Thank you and we look forward to next year!

Svetlana Paul
Junior School and Gawura Teacher Librarian


Below are some links to help you and your students get to know the ten picture books for 2016. Download the poster here.

Green Tree Frogs by Sandra Kendell (Windy Hollow Books)

Each year monsoonal rains sweep across the Top End and the green tree frogs clamber from their hiding places to feed, breed and sing! 'Green Tree Frogs' is an affectionate celebration of these cheeky characters and of life in the wet season. It also provides an entertaining insight into the amphibious life cycle. Teaching Notes ~ CBCA 2016 Notable


Max by Marc Martin (Penguin)

Max and Bob are old friends. Max helps out in Bob's shop, and in the evenings they go fishing together. Until one summer, when everything changes . . . 
From the winner of the 2013 Crichton Award for Australia's best new illustrator comes this heart-warming story of enduring friendship.
And chips. Author Video ~ Review


Mr Huff by Anna Walker (Penguin)

Mr. Huff is a story about the clouds and the sunshine in each of our lives. Bill is having a bad day. Mr Huff is following him around and making everything seem difficult. Bill tries to get rid of him, but Mr Huff just gets bigger and bigger! Then they both stop, and a surprising thing happens . . .    

Mr Huff Teaching Notes ~ More Teaching Notes ~ Trailer ~ Story Box Library Meet Anna ~ CBCA 2016 Shortlist: Early Childhood ~ PRC 3-4 Booklist #9806


Pig the Fibber by Aaron Blabey (Scholastic)

Pig the Pug is back, and this time, he’s telling big porky pies! He ruins a wedding dress and makes a mess of the house, and each time, he blames poor Trevor for his naughty deeds. And now it’s time for his most naughty plan! Will he ever learn? Teaching Notes ~ Story Box Library Meet Aaron Blabey ~ Aaron draws Pig the Pug ~ PRC K-2 Booklist #23879


Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan (Hachette)

RULES OF SUMMER, is a deceptively simple story about two boys, one older and one younger, and the kind of ‘rules’ that might govern any relationship between close friends or siblings. Rules that are often so strange or arbitrary, they seem impossible to understand from the outside. Yet through each exquisite illustration of this nearly wordless narrative, we can enjoy wandering around an emotional landscape that is oddly familiar to us all. Videos and Teachers’ Guide ~ Story Box Library Reading ~ The App ~ PRC 5-6 Booklist #1883


The Fearsome Frightening Ferocious Box by Frances Watts and David Legge (Harper Collins)

Open the box, if you dare, But danger lies within: Beware! So taunts the mysterious and frightening voice from within a large wooden box, which we see tumble off the back of a truck, but don’t know what creature it contains. The box presents a curious mystery and challenge to both the reader and to a variety of animals that approach it, tempted to find out what is inside. Teaching Notes ~ PRC K-2 Booklist #46564


The Stone Lion by Margaret Wild and Rita Voutila (Little Hare)

Sometimes statues are granted a chance to become warm, breathing creatures. The stone lion has only one dream—to run, pounce, and leap in the park across from where he sits. But one snowy night, when a baby is abandoned at his paws, he is compelled to think differently. Teaching Notes ~ Story Box Library Reading ~ PRC 3-4 Booklist #14887


The Very Noisy Bear by Nick Bland (Scholastic)

The Very Cranky Bear and his friends are back! There’s music in the air in the Jingle Jangle Jungle! Can Bear’s friends help him find the perfect instrument to play? Teaching Notes ~ Patch Theatre Teaching NotesCBCA 2016 Notable ~ PRC K-2 Booklist #6291


Thelma the Unicorn by Aaron Blabey (Scholastic)
Thelma is an ordinary pony who longs to be more. One day, she spots a carrot on the ground and comes up with a brilliant idea! She ties it to her head, just before a skidding truck spills pink paint and glitter all over her! 
Presto! Thelma is a unicorn!
Thelma quickly rises to fame, but does she really want all the attention? Or would she be happier as her old self again? 
Teaching Notes ~ Aaron reads Thelma ~ HOT Comprehension Resource ~ PRC K-2 Booklist #1697


Too Many Cheeky Dogs by Johanna Bell and Dion Beasley (Allen and Unwin)

A heart-warming story about a bunch of naughty camp dogs and their mischievous adventures. Join them in a romp through numbers, colours and days of the week but be careful… the dogcatcher might get you!

Too Many Cheeky Dogs for Educators (video and notebook file)



Children's Choice Book Awards - The REAL Awards

In partnership with YABBA (VIC), KROC (NT) and COOL (ACT), KOALA seeks to provide children a voice within the general Australian children’s book industry. Our combined efforts contribute to the annual REAL Awards (Reading and Enjoying Australian Literature). The shortlist is created in collaboration with student nominations from these states and territories. 

The shortlist poster is now out! Members get one sent free and others can order 3 for $10. Email for details. You can also download the pdf version here.

Thank you to Andrew Weldon for donating the fabulous art work this year and to our poster sponsors YABBA and