The Children’s Book Council of Australia Book Award winners were announced last week and Shaun Tan, an amazing illustrator and author scooped one of the top awards. Shaun Tan is one of those illustrators that appeals hugely to adults as well as children and his artwork is absolutely stunning and quite surreal. My mum, who has introduced me to so many great books since I was born, doesn’t like him because he’s a little too weird for her tastes, but it is this quirkiness that really appeals to me. One of the main things I love about his illustrations is that they are quite different from book to book. His latest book, Tales from Outer Suburbia, is the book that has won the Older Readers category of the CBCA Awards and it is the best example of his different styles. It is a collection of short stories that he has written and illustrated, some funny and some slightly disturbing. Definitely check out his work, even if you don’t normally read picture books.
Although some of the other finalists in the awards did not win their category, several of my favourites got an Honour Award including The Big Little Book of Happy Sadness by Colin Thompson (in the Picture Book category) and A Rose for the ANZAC Boys by Jackie French (in the Older Readers category). You can check out all the winners on the Children’s Book Council of Australia website which also has some links to the websites of Australian authors and illustrators.