For educator and librarian use, Story Box Library (SBL) has released CBCA Book Week stories, from the Picture Book of the Year, Early Childhood and New Illustrator categories. Alongside reads by famous storytellers, CBCA Book Week story releases will also be accompanied by Auslan translations. Explore the full CBCA Book Week shortlisted titles below, or via our digital collection here.

Your Birthday Was The Best

The story of a plucky young cockroach who gate-crashes a birthday party – with hilarious results. Funny, silly and surprisingly cute, Your Birthday Was the Best! is the perfect blend of downright gross and delightfully entertaining. Written by Maggie Hutchings, illustrated by Felicita Sala and read by Wayne Hope.

There’s No Such Thing

It wasn't a hungry giant or a blood-sucking spider or a fire-breathing dragon because there is NO SUCH THING…

Is there? Written and illustrated by Heidi McKinnon and read by Captain Starlight, from the Starlight Foundation.

How To Make A Bird

Stunning imagery and moving language let imagination take flight in an ethereal primer on making a bird. Breathe deeply and take your time. The making of a bird is not a thing to be hurried.

Written by Meg McKinlay, illustrated by Matt Ottley, read by Kate Miller-Heidke for Melbourne Writers Festival.

Who’s Your Real Mum?

When Nicholas wants to know which of Elvi's two mums is her real mum, she gives him lots of clues. Her real mum is a circus performer, and a pirate, and she even teaches spiders the art of the web.But Nicholas still can't work it out. Luckily, Elvi knows just how to explain it to her friend.

Not Cute

This is the romping, stomping, chomping tale of one stubbornly adorable marsupial. But beneath its many costumes, Not Cute is a simple story about self-acceptance, listening to others, and not succumbing to your own delusions.

Written and illustrated by Philip Bunting, read by Mel Buttle for Melbourne Writers Festival.

Anemone Is Not The Enemy

All Anemone wants is a friend, but friends are hard to make when you accidentally sting everyone who comes near you.

Written and illustrated by Anna McGregor, read by Mel Buttle for Melbourne Writers Festival. 

Ellie’s Dragon

A moving story about the wonders of imagination and the nature of growing up from one of Australia’s most revered bookmakers.

Written and illustrated by Bob Graham, read by SBL Librarian Storyteller of the Year Winner 2020 and State Library Queensland librarian, Frankie Jaiyeola.

Norton And The Bear

Is imitation the sincerest form of flattery? Or is it just annoying?

This irresistible read-aloud helps children deal with the sensitive topics of conformity, individuality and belonging in an accessible, kid-friendly way.

Written and illustrated by Gabriel Evans, read by SBL Librarian Storyteller of the Year Winner 2020 and State Library Queensland librarian, Frankie Jaiyeola.

The Unwilling Twin

Like all twins, Jules and George do everything together. But after a long, hot day at the beach, even twins sometimes disagree ...

From multi-award-winning picture book creator Freya Blackwood comes a cheeky and charming story about the ups and downs of sibling love. Read by Alice Pung, for Melbourne Writers Festival.

This Small Blue Dot

With a strong message of interconnectedness, hope and empowerment, This Small Blue Dot follows a little girl exploring the big and small things in life.

Written and illustrated by Zeno Sworder, and read by Alice Pung, for Melbourne Writers Festival.

No! Never!

Georgie is a sweet little girl who always makes her parents happy... until she discovers one powerful phrase: No! Never!

Written by Libby Hathorn and Lisa Hathorn-Jarman, illustrated by Mel Pearce, and read by Michaela Banas.

We Love You, Magoo

Magoo has his own ideas about what a dog should do – in the kitchen, in the car, at dinnertime and bedtime! But there are so many rules! So many things a dog can't do. From creator Briony Stewart, read by Michaela Banas.

Busy Beaks

From author, illustrator and storyteller Sarah Allen, Busy Beaks is full of splashing shorebirds, clattering cockatoos, parading penguins and greedy galahs, Busy Beaks is the perfect introduction to Australian birds of all shapes and sizes.

Aligning with the CBCA Book Week 2021 theme ‘Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds’, and using books from our digital collection in Early Childhood and Picture Book of the Year categories, Story Box Library has designed activities for print and digital formats that are ready-made for educators and librarians. All Story Box Library CBCA story reads will also be accompanied by Auslan translations.

Click here to download the activities detailed below, in printable and digital PDF formats.

  1. Early Childhood Book of the Year: A3 printout 

For K-3 students, a printable A3 activity trail through the books, with scannable QR codes to view each story and complete the activity. After watching each story, children can rate the books and choose their favourite. 

  1. Picture Book of the Year: Choose Your Own Adventure

A choose your own adventure style activity using Google Slides. Students travel through the ‘worlds’ of the books from the Picture Book of the Year shortlist, with quiz questions and code cracking along the way. 

  1. Shadow Judging Picture Book of the Year: CBCA Judges Card

For digital or printed use and most suited to upper primary book clubbers, or public library book clubs. CBCA Judges Card are considered questions to promote deep thinking about elements of the picture books, based on the criteria of the CBCA Book of the Year judging panel.

Explore our CBCA story releases

From 8 June to mid July, Story Box Library will be releasing two CBCA shortlisted titles each week from the Early Childhood, Picture Book and New Illustrator categories. Explore more about CBCA Book Week story releases here.

Find these stories here via the ‘CBCA Shortlist 2021’ option under the Awards category in the search filter, as the stories are live on Story Box Library. Each story will come with dedicated Activity Time and Classroom Ideas resources, including CBCA Book Week resources to support the Shadow Judging initiative.

Watch our CBCA Shadow Judging video

Promoting children's literature in Australia and its local creators, we were very excited to partner with CBCA Victoria to create this Short Film, meet with the Shadow Judging panel and find out how kids can get involved. SBL will also be sharing dedicated Shadow Judging resources for all schools to use in the lead up to and during CBCA Book Week 2021.