ALIA Blog: ALIA at the CBCA 'Night of the Notables' 

Last night ALIA CEO Cathie Warburton and ALIA President Vicki Edmunds attended the CBCA’s ‘Night of the Notables’ – a celebration of the books, authors and illustrators included on this year’s CBCA Notables list.

Generously hosted by ALIA Board Member Kathryn Eyre and CBCA NSW at the St.Andrew’s Cathedral School at the Town Hall in Sydney Square, the event featured a wonderful line-up of speakers including children’s authors Kate Foster and Sue Whiting (both with Walker Books) before the announcement of the Notables list. You can see the full list here.

Amongst the listed books were Thank you Rain! By Sally Morgan and Open Your Heart to Country by Jasmine Seymour, two books from indigenous publishing house Magabala which were commissioned for our Online Storytime program. We are delighted to see the continued success of these books and to see First Nations stories widely accessible and available for readers of all ages, but especially younger readers.

One of the speakers of the night was Rebecca Young, author of The Speedy Sloth, the official book for ALIA's National Simultaneous Storytime 2023.

The Speedy Sloth, published by Scholastic, is the story of Spike, a sloth who decides against all odds to join a running race. Despite the incredulity of all those around her, Spike remains determined. It is an inspiring story about celebrating winners of all kinds…even those who don’t come in first.

"I want young readers to feel that strength through books and when they see Spike the sloth run they learn that you can try things you never thought you could” Rebecca told the audience. “Just do it in the way that's right for you and follow it through to the end."

Rebecca also spoke of the importance of libraries to her development as a writer. "Reading and spending hours in libraries as a kid expanded my world ... suddenly I saw so many possibilities.”

It was a great night with authors, illustrators, librarians, teachers and publishers all supporting each other and celebrating Australian stories.

The CBCA Shortlist will be announced on 28 March.

National Simultaneous Storytime will be held on 24 May at 11:00am. It is an annual event featuring a picture book, written and illustrated by an Australian author and illustrator,  that is then read simultaneously in libraries, schools, pre-schools, childcare centres, family homes, bookshops and many other places around the country

Photos (L - R) 

1. ALIA President Vicki Edmunds and Rebecca Young

2. ALIA CEO Cathie Warburton, Vicki Edmunds, CBCA Chair Wendy Rapee and ALIA Director and CBCA Judge, Kathryn Eyre

3. Photo of books for sale on the night