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Kissed by the Moon nominated for Environment Award



Australia’s only environmental themed award for children’s literature has announced the shortlist for the 2014 award. The Wilderness Society presents the Environment Award for Children’s Literature; this year awarding prizes in two categories; ‘picture book,’ and ‘young reader’.

For the past 20 years, the award has commemorated the very best environmental literature for kids in Australia.

Previous winners of the award include celebrated Australian writers Tim Winton, Colin Thiele, Paul Jennings, Jeannie Baker and Graeme Base.

This year’s judging panel consists of environmental educators, Children’s Book Council of Australia winner Michael Gerard Bauer, and the children’s book illustrator Ben Wood.

The Wilderness Society are pleased to host this award and believe that promoting a love of nature in children is one of the fundamental elements to building a society that respects and protects our unique landscapes.

Lyndon Schneiders, Wilderness Society National Director, said  “We have not inherited this earth from our parents to do with it what we will. We have borrowed it from our children,” quoting former Australian Environment Minister Moss Cass in 1974.

“That message remains as true today as then. By recognising that the future protection of nature and our wild places rests in the hands of our children, for 20 years the Wilderness Society has sponsored this important award. As a father of two small children, my commitment to the protection of the natural world has only grown.

“The shortlisted books were selected for their ability to capture children’s imagination and inspire them, while encouraging them to treasure and protect Australia’s unique natural environment.”

The eight shortlisted books are as follows:

Young Readers’ Shortlist:

  • Girl v the World: Sophie Bennett Saves the Planet by Meredith Badger (Hardie Grant Egmont)
  • Bush Baby Rescue: Juliet Nearly a Vet, Book 4 by Rebecca Johnson Illustrated by Kyla may (Penguin Group Australia)
  • The Smallest Carbon Footprint in the Land and other eco-tales by Anne Morgan Illustrated by Gay McKinnon  (Interactive Publications)

Picture book shortlist

  • Welcome Home by Christina Booth (Ford Street Publishing)
  • The Twelve Days of Christmas Island by Teresa Lagrange (Allen & Unwin)
  • Kissed by the Moon by Alison Lester (Penguin Group Australia)
  • The Curious Explorer’s Illustrated Guide to Exotic Animals by Marc Martin (Penguin Group Australia)
  • Rainforest Lullaby by Sally Odgers Illustrated by Lisa Stewart (Scholastic Press)

The announcement date of the award is yet to be confirmed.

For further information and to request author interviews:

Rachel Edwards

P: (03) 6270 1701               T: #EACL            W:

The writers and illustrators of the eight shortlisted books are:

Girl v The World: Sophie Bennett Saves the Planet by Meredith Badger (Hardie Grant Egmont)

Young Australians Best Book Awards (YABBA) winner Meredith Badger, who is based in Germany is nominated this year’s Environment Award for Children’s Literature for Girl v The World: Sophie Bennett Saves the Planet. Badger’s work with the popular Zac Power series has been recognised with a YABBA (Young Australian Best Book Awards) award. Her eponymous character, Sophie Bennett is known for being a bit quirky in school. She loves animals and the environment but sometimes finds it hard being the one who always speaks up. She feels like she’ll never fit in.

Juliet Nearly a Vet by Rebecca Johnson, illustrated by Kyla May (Penguin)

Robina based part time science teacher, Rebecca Johnson’s Juliet nearly a Vet series has captured the hearts of young Australians. Johnson’s past experience as a wildlife carer gives her fiction a sense of realism and extra insight into the behaviour of our native animals. In Bush Baby Rescue a bushfire has struck and more and more baby animals arrive into Juliet’s mum’s clinic. They may be super adorable, but Juliet and her friends find out how much work it is to take care of bush babies. Illustrator Kyla May (WA)  is the creative director of a team of illustrators, writers, designers and producers under the banner Kyla May Productions. Kyla May Productions writes, develops and illustrates children's books including the original series 'Kyla May Miss Behaves' which is currently being developed into a TV series.

The Smallest Carbon Footprint in the Land & other Eco-Tales by Anne Morgan and Gay McKinnon (Interactive Publications)

Tasmanian author Anne Morgan has a PhD in Writing. She recently teamed up with former geneticist, glass artist children’s book illustrator Gay McKinnon to create The Smallest Carbon Footprint in the Land & other eco-tales a delightful collection of organically grown eco-tales. Anne has written 8 childrens books and a collection of poetry. She has worked in diverse roles including as a journalist, a public sector administrator and an actor. Gay is a former geneticist, glass artist as well as an illustrator. She has recently illustrated ‘When I was a girl in Sudan’ and ‘When I was a Boy in Sudan,’ published by Anzoa (Joy) Books, an imprint of the Tasmanian Writers’ Centre. Both Anne and Gay are based in Tasmania.

Welcome Home by Christina Booth

Christina Booth is a former teacher, landscape architect who currently lives in the bush just outside of Launceston with ducks, fish and a garden with fruit trees. Christina grew up in Launceston and spent most of her school holidays on the beach near St Helens on Tasmania’s beautiful East Coast. Welcome Home is illustrated and written by Booth and tells the story of a young boy and a whale as she swims into the river harbour seeking safety and a resolution to the violent past relationship between whales and man. This prosaic journey, accompanied with soft sketchy watercolour images, reveals how the past can impact our future.

The Twelve Days of Christmas Island by Teresa Lagrange (Allen & Unwin)

United States based graphic designer and illustrator, Teresa Lagrange illustrated and wrote a uniquely Australian version of the much-loved Christmas carol Twelve Days of Christmas. Her beautifully illustrated The Twelve Days of Christmas Island looks at native birds, plants and other wildlife. Christmas Island is home to hundreds of species of birds, native plants and wildlife, many of which are not found anywhere else in the world. This book is a celebration of the unique birds that live on this wild and remote island. Lagrange, who also illustrated this gorgeous book is based in the United States and has 20 years experience as a graphic designer and illustrator. She has worked for the Portland Museum of Art, University of Southern Maine, and University of Connecticut. Her combination of graphic design and illustration skills lead to unique designs utilising bold, bright colours and shapes.

Kissed by the Moon by Alison Lester (Penguin)

One of Australia’s most popular childrens authors, Alison Lester is an Australian Children’s Laureate, and her nominated Kissed by the Moon is also on the 2014 CBCA (Children’s Book Council of Australia) Award Shortlist. Alison Lester, who lives in the Victorian countryside is adored by generations of children, many of whom are now adults, reading their favourites to their own children. Her books include Noni the Pony, Imagine and Magic Beach. Kissed by the Moon is part poem, part lullaby and it celebrates a baby’s wonder at our beautiful world.

The Curious Explorer’s Guide to Exotic Animals A-Z by Marc Martin (Penguin)

The Curious Explorer’s Guide to Exotic Animals A-Zis a colourful and beautifully illustrated book of amazing creatures. From armadillo to zebras, chameleons to quetzals, these exotic animals will surprise and delight. No curious explorer should be without Marc Martin's stunning celebration of strange and beautiful creatures from all over the world. Here is a book of wonder, a unique and breathtaking treasure from one of Australia's most outstanding new talents.

Melbourne based illustrator Marc Martin has worked for The Australian Centre for the Moving Image and The Australian Financial Review.

Rainforest Lullaby by Sally Odgers, illustrated by Lisa Stewart (Scholastic Press)

Rainforest Lullaby is the companion book to the much-loved Bushland Lullaby also written by Sally Odgers who runs a small manuscript assessment business.  Sally was born in Tasmania, where she still lives and published her first book in 1977.

Both books were also illustrated by Queenslander Lisa Stewart,  who considers her job creating illustrations for children’s books to be a dream come true.