You are invited to join in a new reading challenge to celebrate Children's Book Week
Inspired by John Schu's challenge to read all the Newbery Medal winners in chronological order here's an Australian version ...
Read the previous winners of the Children's Book Council of Australia's Book of the Year Award.

The first Australian Children's Book of the Year Award was made in 1946. At that time and until 1952, there was only one award. The Picture Book of the Year Award was established as a separate award in 1952. Until 1982, there was no division between Older and Younger Readers. The Eve Pownall Award for information books was presented by Eve Pownall's family in 1988, then by the Children's Book Council from 1993. The Early Childhood Award was introduced in 2001.

Now is the time to make yourself (and your students) familiar with those previous winners.
But, like John's challenge, this is stress free. So you shape it to suit yourself and your circumstances
You could...
  • read all the winners in chronological order
  • read all the winners from one category
  • read a winner from any category for each year
  • read one winner from each decade
  • set it up so it becomes a collaborative class-based challenge
Whatever works for you and your students, if they are involved, is fine.

Share how you've shaped your challenge and who's participating so others are inspired.
Describe and track your challenge using a service such as Goodreads, Shelfari or Biblionasium and share the URL here. You may find that you've read a lot of the titles already - others might be harder to locate.
If you don't have access to a title, check Trove It provides details of the libraries who have the book in their collection. The first winner, The Story of Karrawingi the Emu is available at both the National Library in Canberra and the University of Canberra Library.
Set up a display to inspire your participants and share it here.
Compare the winners from different eras to see how writing for children has developed and publishing has changed. Discuss whether there might be a winner that is only available online and the pros and cons of such a situation.
Share your ideas of how to embed the challenge into your program.
Create a badge or a certificate to award to participants who reach their goals.

Celebrate your success during Book Week!

Encourage your staff and students to Connect to reading. Have them investigate the previous winners for the year in which they were born and then have them locate and read those. Discuss how content, presentation and so forth have
changed over time. Identify those that have stood the test of time and which are still found in library collections today. Investigate their characteristics to determine what are the essential elements that keep a book going from generation to generation.

Create a display of those modern classics that these students think their grandchildren will be reading.

Investigate the history of picture books and find examples of development and change within your collection to create a display.
At the end of this review it states, "As fascinating and rich as Children’s Picturebooks is, it suffers one conspicuous contradiction — with its concern with the format and future of the book, and its multitude of references to other books and historical materials, a kind of baked-in framework for truly networked knowledge, it would have, and should have, easily lent itself to the digital medium, where each of the dozens of books mentioned would be linked and explorable in rich media." Why not take up that challenge?

And here are some classic illustrations on a Pinterest board