The best children’s books of 2020

Blog Image for article The best children’s books of 2020

Authors and illustrators work hard to create funny, heart-felt, dynamic and downright quirky books for kids, and since 1946, the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) has been bestowing annual Awards on the very best of these titles.

In a usual year, the CBCA Awards are announced on the third Friday of August, with Book Week starting the next day. Things are different in 2020, though, and the winners are being announced this Friday 16 October, with Book Week running from 17 to 23 October.

Here, we see which books are in the running for an Award, and how your child can embrace the fun of Book Week.

Which early childhood and middle grade books have been shortlisted?

This year’s Book Week theme is ‘Curious Creatures, Wild Minds,’ and the Awards Shortlist is bursting with interesting critters and big ideas.

There are titles for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and big kids, and to point you in the direction of some quality reads, here are the CBCA shortlisted books in three key categories:

Picture Book of the Year

Book of the Year: Early Childhood (Ages 0 to 6)

Book of the Year: Younger Readers (Ages 7 to 12)

There is a great mix here to suit different ages and interests, and if you’re looking to expand your child’s reading list, then the 2020 shortlist and previous CBCA Award-winners offer shelf-loads of inspiration.

You can buy these quality titles, borrow them from the library or swap with friends, and whichever ones you select, books are a spine-tingling way to build your child’s literacy, ignite their imagination and spend quality time together.

How can your child celebrate Book Week 2020?

The CBCA Award-winning books will be announced at noon this Friday, and there are lots of ways to celebrate Book Week.

Your local library or child’s school will have activities planned (such as a dress-up day or a virtual/live performance of The Greatest Discovery musical), and at home your child can:

  • Learn to draw a Curious Creature
  • Colour in a small or big poster, adding their own critters to the crowd;
  • Make some bookmarks by printing these designs or these on cardboard;
  • Write up a list of books to read between 17 and 23 October, then work their way through it, individually or with your help; and
  • Create a book of their own by folding some A4 pages in half, stapling them, then adding words and illustrations.

If you’re feeling very creative, you could also come up with a Book Week recipe together (along the lines of Dr Seuss’ green eggs and ham or Eric Carle’s very hungry caterpillar sandwiches), and whatever you do, books are something to be celebrated this week and all through your child’s life.

Save the date!

National Children’s Week is another kid-friendly event that will run from 24 October to 1 November, 2020.

This Week is a national celebration of children’s rights and achievements; and playgroups, child care centres, schools, libraries and other community groups have events and activities planned.

To find out what’s happening near you, click on the Children’s Week information for your state or territory here.

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