The shortlist for the Australian 2020 Environment Award for Children’s Literature has been announced. Awarded by the Wilderness Society of Australia, the award for children’s nature writing has been around since 1994. Here is the shortlist:
Eco Rangers: Microbat Mayhem by Candice Lemon-Scott; illustrated by Aśka
Explore Your World: Weird, Wild, Amazing! by Tim Flannery; illustrated by Sam Caldwell
The Fate of Fausto by Oliver Jeffers
Fauna: Australia’s Most Curious Creatures by Tania McCartney
A Hollow is a Home by Abbie Mitchell; illustrated by Astred Hicks
One Careless Night by Christina Booth
One Tree by Christopher Cheng; illustrated by Bruce Whatley
Super Sidekicks 2: Ocean’s Revenge by Gavin Aung Than
Wilam by Andrew Kelly and Aunty Joy Murphy, illustrated by Lisa Kennedy
You Can Change the World by Lucy Bell; illustrated by Astred Hicks
Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices edited by S. K. Ali and Aisha Saeed, illustrated by Iman Rasheed (9781419740831)
Edited by two award-winning Muslim authors, this collection of short stories focus upon the celebration of Eid. The stories come from a variety of Muslim sects, cultures and backgrounds, offering a beautiful look at the expansive nature of the Muslim religion. The stories keep a focus on eleven and twelve year olds, many of whom are just starting to fast and many who discover the deeper meaning of Eid as they find a path through fasting as well. The stories also deal with deep issues such as divorce, friendships, hijabs, generosity, and family dynamics. At their heart though, each one is a positive force about seeing possibilities anew, finding ways to connect with one another, and pure joy.
The different voices and perspectives here provide a rainbow of experiences for children who are Muslim to relate to and those who are not to more deeply understand this religion. The positivity is uplifting and lovely to read, particularly during a pandemic. I don’t think it could have been better timed, frankly.
A winner of a short-story anthology, take hope and joy from this book. Appropriate for ages 9-12.
Reviewed from copy provided by Amulet.