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CBCA Children’s Books of the Year 2021: Celebrate with Top Teacher!

Book Week 2021 is upon us! Aside from the much-loved costume parade, it is a wonderful time to celebrate reading in general. The CBCA 2021 list of shortlisted Early Childhood books this year are definitely worth celebrating – and we have loads of existing resources that you might like to use after reading each.





A wonderfully informative book by Sarah Allen, Busy Beaks introduces young readers to the beautiful and very unique birds found in Australia. With alluring illustrations and great new vocabulary, it is perfect for our young readers.



After reading, you might like to use some of these resources to follow up:


πŸ’› ‘Emu’sing Emu Craft: Student’s start by creating their own collage Emu’s (or other birds) and use the labels included to label parts of a bird.


πŸ’› Animal Features T-Chart: Use the blank T chart in this resource to sort creatures between those who have beaks, and those who don’t.


πŸ’› Animal Labelling Booklet: Label the parts of a bird


πŸ’› Let’s Tweet About Numbers: Use the reading of this book as a segway into assessing number knowledge!


πŸ’› Australian Animal Word Wall: Use these vocabulary cards and banner to create a display of our unique Australian animals – includes blank cards to add your own.





Who’s Your Real Mum? by Bernadette Green is a fun story, that celebrates non-traditional family structures, and focuses on the main thing that makes a family – love. This story ties wonderfully to topics in HASS and is a great opportunity to explore the family structures in your classroom.


After reading, you might like to use some of these resources to follow up:


πŸ’› Family Word Wall & Banner: Create a display of the large range of family members, including blank labels for any additions present in your setting.


πŸ’› Kinship Tree: Explore the value of Kinship and family in First Nations Australian communities by having students create their own Kinship Trees.


πŸ’› Family Structures: Create a graph of common family structures in your class with this resource.


πŸ’› Who Lives in My House?: A fun craftivity exploring who makes up our families.


πŸ’› My Family Chain: Comparing Families: This resource makes a wonderful classroom display – a great visual for comparing families.





The book No Never! by Libby & Lisa Hathorn is a cheeky tale about a young girl who was always polite until she learnt the words ‘No, Never!’. Great to read for anyone dealing with defiant behaviours or communication issues.


Anemone is Not the Enemy by Anna McGregor is a lovely story about a sea anemone who lives alone in a rock pool and just wants to make friends; unfortunately, he keeps on stinging anyone who comes near. Such beautiful illustrations will certainly capture your attention as the topic of true friendship is explored.


Use these books as a great introduction or reminder to the behaviours we like to see in the classroom and how we can be true friends to our classmates. These resources may help with these discussions:


πŸ’› Wrinkled Heart Activity: What happens when unkind words are spoken? This is a great visual for students to see the impacts of their actions.


πŸ’› We Are Bucket Fillers: This suite of resources is wonderful in promoting the behaviours needed to lift others up.


πŸ’› I Can Be a Good Friend: Worksheets to support students in explaining what they can do to be a good friend.


πŸ’› Rainbow Kindness: This resource makes a beautiful classroom display, with students creating a cloud and rainbow craftivity and listing ways to be kind and a good friend.





There’s No Such Thing by Heidi McKinnon is the story of some young bears who go on a camping trip. Throughout the night they hear all sorts of noises and their imagination runs wild. Surely it can’t be any of the things they imagine – because there is no such thing…right?


This story is a great way for children to realise that their nighttime imaginations can run away with them.


πŸ’› Special Places: These lift-the-flap worksheets contain a section for our bedrooms and why they are special. A great way to reinforce how safe our own rooms are.


πŸ’› Β Connecting Emotions Reading Responses: Β Stories such as these will often have students thinking ‘This reminds me of when…’. This worksheet is a great way for students to connect the feelings Bear felt in the story to a time when they have felt similar.





We Love You Magoo by Briony Stewart is a fun rhyming story about a family dog who wants to do all the things his humans do.


πŸ’› Classroom Rules: This booklet is designed for the start of a school year, but has pages included where students can identify and discuss reasons behind particular rules in the classroom and playground. Perfect for understanding why we can and can’t do certain things.



In addition to the resources above, we also have some generic book review style worksheets that would be a great follow up to reading these short listed books.



We hope some of these resources might be helpful to you during Book Week πŸ’›

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