2015 YABBA Yearly Planner


2015 Yearly Planner Image

Getting your head around the entire YABBA program takes a bit of time.  Knowing when nominations are due, understanding the shortlist poster use, completing the internal school paperwork to get students to the Awards ceremony.  All this takes time to think through.

We’ve produced this simple one page planner detailing each of the Recommend, Read, Rate and Reward stages across the year.  We’ve even provided some tips on how to actually engage students and classroom teachers with the annual program.



The most important dates for 2015 are

  • 27 Mar – Nominations Close
  • 13 Apr – Shortlist Announced
  • 16 Oct – Voting Closes
  • 27 Oct – YABBA Awards Ceremony

You can download the planner here.

2015 Important Dates


Riley and the Dancing Lion: A Journey Around Hong Kong.


written by Tania McCartney
Illustrated by Kieron Pratt

Spot the Difference – Riley the Dancing Lion

Leap of Faith – Riding High Series


Kelly_B_Pc_Image1LEAP OF FAITH (RIDING HIGH series Book #3)
written by Bernadette Kelly

Crossword – Leap of Faith

Riley And The Grumpy Wombat: A Journey Around Melbourne


Written by Tania McCartney
Illustrated by Kieron Pratt

Complete The Picture – Riley and the Grumpy Wombat

Riley And The Grumpy Wombat: A Journey Around Melbourne


mccartney_pc_imageRILEY AND THE GRUMPY WOMBAT: A journey around Melbourne
Written by Tania McCartney
Illustrated by Kieron Pratt

Complete the Picture – A Journey Around Melbourne

Go Away Mr Worrythoughts – Nicky Johnston

written by Nicky Johnston.

Colouring – Go Away Mr Worrythoughts

Tania McCartney

Select Books by Tania
Select Books by Tania

Select Books by Tania

mccartney_t_imgTania McCartney is an author of both children’s and adults books.

An experienced magazine writer and editor, she has written for many online sites and hard copy magazines. She also founded Kids Book Review in 2009, one of the most respected children’s literature sites on the web.

An ACT Ambassador for the National Year of Reading 2012, Tania is passionate about literacy and has spent many years, presenting and speaking to children and adults on reading, books and writing. Her latest books include Beijing Tai Tai: Life, laughter and motherhood in China’s capital (Exisle Publishing) and Australian Story: An Illustrated Timeline (National Library of Australia). In 2013, Tania will have four new books released – all of them for  children.

Tania adores books, travel, photography and marshmallows. She lives in Canberra with her husband and two kids, in a paper house at the base of a book mountain.

Visit one of Tania’s websites



Author / Illustrator Questionnaire

My earliest memory is . . . my mum reading to me at bedtime. It was a daily joy.

At school I . . . was obsessed with creative writing. I still have my year 3 Creative Writing book with the doggie sticker on the front. Our teacher would reward good work with stickers – the bigger and more sparkly your sticker,
the better your work. I lived for those stickers!

I wish I had . . . taken on an internship at Woman’s Day when I was 18. A life regret.

I wish I hadn’t . . . been so scared to submit my work to publishers. I’ve been writing a very long time but have only had the courage to seriously pursue my writing these past five years. I feel like I have to make up for a lot of
lost time.

My happiest moment was . . . meeting my husband and children, of course – but from a career perspective, other than achieving book contracts!, I would say it was being asked to be an ambassador for the National Year of

My most humiliating moment was . . . drawing a blank when asked who our first Prime Minister was. It was in front of a huge audience of kids while promoting Australian Story, and although I absolutely knew the answer, I just
went blank. The pause was only a few seconds long – but it felt like an eternity! (PS: It’s Sir Edmund Barton.)

At home I cook . . . the nightly meal most reluctantly. I prefer to bake. Brownies, cookies, scones and cupcakes are our favourites.

When I was a child, I wanted to . . . be an author + magazine editor + graphic designer + surgeon + movie star.  I’ve only achieved the first two, alas.

Some of the books I like are . . . picture books. I have a lusty obsession for them. I have over 3,000 children’s books in my house. It’s pretty crowded but I don’t mind one single bit. I also simply adore history books, historical
biography and historical fiction.

It’s not fashionable, but I love . . . calling people ‘love’. My Mum used to call us ‘love’ and when I lived in London, it was common, too.

Friends say I am . . . busy.

If only I could . . . fly. I have dreams where I can fly. I also dream I can breathe under water. Both of these would be very handy in my life, as I love to travel – and being able to fly or breath under water would mean a much cheaper (and fun!) form of transportation.

What I don’t find amusing is . . . when computers go bananas or you lose your work or the internet goes down.  Not very happy-making.

My favourite gadget is . . . my camera. I’d have a camera implanted in my forehead, if I could.

At the moment I’m reading . . . lots and lots of kids’ books for Kids Book Review. I’m also (finally!) reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and I’m about to start Seeing Further: The Story of Science and the Royal Society, edited by Bill Bryson.

I often wonder . . . if I’ll live long enough to witness molecular deconstruction. I so love the idea of being ‘beamed up’. It would mean I could go for a morning swim in Tahiti, have lunch in Paris and see a show that same night in New York. How cool would that be?

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Tania McCartney Profile


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Bernadette Kelly

Selected Books by Bernadette
Selected Books by Bernadette

Selected Books by Bernadette

Kelly_B_ImgBernadette Kelly grew up in country Victoria, and now lives on a country property, which she shares with three horses, Tuck, Jaspa and Cadence, a dog, Sniff, a cat, Solomina, and her now grown-up son and daughter.  In summer whole flocks of noisy cockatoos and galahs fly in to eat the gum nuts, and if you walk around you’ll see all kinds of other birds, including kookaburras, and on rare occasions you can see and hear Black Cockatoos flying overhead. Sometimes a kangaroo or an echidna drops in for a visit and a whole lot of big eared hares help the horses to eat the grass.

Bernadette likes to travel to unusual places and see the world from the back of a horse. So far she has ridden horses in Lord of the Rings country in New Zealand, suburban London, camped and rode among lions, elephants,  giraffes, wildebeests and zebras in Africa and in the wild and windswept Andes Mountains in Patagonia, Chile and Argentina.

Bernadette has written over 30 fiction and non-fiction books, including the Riding High and The Pony Patch series, which are all about her favourite animals, horses. In 2010 Bernadette was awarded a fellowship from the May  Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust. Bernadette loves visiting schools, doing workshops and talking to kids about books and writing.

Visit Bernadette’s website for additional information on his writing


Author / Illustrator Questionnaire

My earliest memory…is helping mum to feed an orphaned wallaby that lived with us while it was young.

At school I…was banned by my grade six teacher from borrowing horse books from the school library. She said I needed to widen my reading vocabulary!

My most humiliating moment was…when I shaved off my own eyebrows in grade three.

I wish I hadn’t…shaved off my own eyebrows in grade three.

I wish I had…a time machine, so I could go back to grade three and not shave off my eyebrows.

At home I cook…a lot of Italian style dishes…especially Risotto. I love Risotto.

When I was a child I wanted to…own a stud farm and breed horses…and I wanted my eyebrows to grow back.

What I don’t find amusing is…drivers who don’t slow down for horse riders.

My favourite gadget is…my soda stream. I drink a lot of soda water.

I often wonder…what my horses are thinking.

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Bernadette Kelly Profile


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Sue Bursztynski

Sue Bursztynski Img


Sue Bursztynski Jackets

Selected Sue Bursztynski Books

Sue Bursztynski ImgSue Bursztynski grew up in the beachside suburbs of Melbourne, where she still lives, though she spent some time living and working overseas.

As a child Sue loved writing on the beach. Now she enjoys working in cafes on her laptop, because it’s less distracting than working at home, where there are all those books to read and DVDs to play.

Sue works in a school in Melbourne’s western suburbs, where she is the library teacher, teaches year 8 and runs a lunchtime book and writers’ club. She likes to try out her manuscripts on the students and launch her books in her library.

Most of Sue’s ten books for children and teens are non-fiction, but her most recent book, Wolfborn, is a werewolf novel for young adults. One of her books, Potions To Pulsars: Women Doing Science, was a Children’s Book Council of Australia Notable Book, but she has also written about monsters, crime, spies, archaeologists, astronauts, the history of the  wheel, science fiction and fantasy. She reads submissions for Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine and reviews books on her blog, The Great Raven –

Visit Sue’s website for additional information on her writing


Author / Illustrator Questionnaire

My earliest memory is… running away from kindergarten.

At school I ….hung out with the nerds and acted in school shows. I wish I had …..spent more time bellydancing.

My happiest moments were ….. when my nephews and nieces were born and when I sold my first story.

At home I cook ….. pizza (when I’m home on a Saturday night).

When I was a child I wanted to ….. discover the next lost city and go to space.

Some of the books I like are ….. anything by Michael Pryor, The Hobbit, anything by Anna Ciddor.

It’s not fashionable but I love ….. writing by hand in notebooks. Friends say I am ….. funny.

If only I could ….. have a few months just to write. What I don’t find amusing is …. bullying

My favourite gadget is ….. my computer.

At the moment I’m reading ….. Saltwater Vampires

I often wonder ….. what life would have been like if I’d never started writing. But not for long!

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Sue Burszytnski Profile


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Nicky Johnston

Nicky Jonston Img
Nicky Jonston Jackets

Some of Nicky’s Books

Nicky Jonston ImgNicky is a mum to four boys, an artist, an educator and an active public speaker. She has always worked in and around her creative talents – becoming a professional make-up artist, an art teacher, mural painter, sign writer and author/illustrator of children’s books.

Nicky is passionate about raising awareness of mental health issues in children and her books are a widely sought after resource by kindergartens, schools and mental health professionals worldwide.

Nicky’s first book “Go Away, Mr Worrythoughts!” has been adapted into a professional theatrical production which tours primary schools as an incursion. Nicky also presents to schools offering a variety of workshops with students (primary and secondary) teachers and parents. Nicky is delighted with the success of her books and is proud to know that they are helping children learn strategies for positive self talk and for building resilience against adversity.

Visit Nicky’s website for additional information on her writing



Author / Illustrator Questionnaire

My earliest memory is making a 3D mouse from the silver foil tray of a lemon tart. I cut off the twirled edge to make a long tail, the body came from the base and I made curled ears from the sides. I think I baffled my mum as to where on earth that idea came from – I was only 3. It was a great silver mouse!

At school I loved the art room, being an art monitor and entering all the art awards.

I wish I had learned to play the piano, I tinker now, but it is so much harder to learn later on in life!

I wish I hadn’t spent so much time worrying about things – it took me 35 years to realise that it is normal and OK not to be good at everything!

My happiest moment other than my wedding day and the births of my four beautiful boys would have to be recently achieving my 2nd Dan Black Belt in Karate. It was the hardest thing I have ever done.

My most humiliating moment was when I was in Grade 4. I was asked to demonstrate “Hop, Skip and Jump” during athletics in front of all the Grade 4’s. I was so excited and proud until after my demonstration the teacher told everyone “Now, that was how NOT to do it!” It was just awful; I just wanted the ground to swallow me up!

At home I cook the meanest Indian dish – Chicken Korma…YUM

When I was a child I used to love riding my BMX bike. It had alloy wheels and I could do really cool tricks on it – I had lots of crashes and have plenty of scars to remind me!

Some of the books I like are The Wishing Chair series, Old Hat New Hat, “I love Lemonade”, Russell the Sheep books.

It’s not fashionable but I love to lick the beaters after making a cake!

Friends say I am the busiest person they know – and if you want something done just ask me to do it!!

If only I could fly….I would love to see the world from the high in the sky.

What I don’t find amusing are those who choose to be mean and nasty to others – with the intent of being hurtful.

My favourite gadget is my iPad. I love being able to take time lapse videos of myself drawing and painting my illustrations.

At the moment I am reading… Folk of the Faraway Tree series to my third youngest son, I am also reading Andy Griffiths latest book “The 26 – Storey Treehouse” with second eldest son, and “The Hunger Games” with my eldest son….lots of reading goes on in our house!

I often wonder if there is a mysterious black hole in outer space where all lost socks end up.

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Nicky Johnston Profile


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Misson Fox: Snake Escape – Justin D’Ath

Snake Escape Jacket Image

This crossword puzzle is based on the the book Mission Fox: Snake Escape

written by Justin D’Ath

Mission Fox: Snake Escape – Crossword

Visit Justin D’Ath’s creator profile

Justin D’Ath

Images of select Justin D'Ath title

Select Justin D’Ath Books

Justin D'Ath photograh

Justin D’Ath was born in New Zealand but has lived in Australia since 1971.  He has written nearly 40 books for children including the very popular Extreme Adventure series and the Mission Fox series.  His YA novel Pool, was shortlisted in the 2008 Victorian Premier’s Awards and declared a Notable Book by the CBCA.

Prior to writing for children, Justin was the author of one adults novel, The Initiate, winner of three literary awards, and many adult short stories published in literary and commercial magazines both here and overseas. His stories have been published in 18 countries and have won 54 literary prizes, including the University of Canberra’s National Short Story Award in 1995 and the NT University’s Arafura Award in both 1989 and 1990.

For 12 years Justin taught in, and co-ordinated, the Professsional Writing and Editing program at Bendigo Regional Institute of TAFE, but now spends all his time writing, visiting schools and libraries, speaking at festivals and running writing workshops.

Justin lives near a beach in Victoria.

Visit Justin’s website for additional information on his writing


Author / Illustrator Questionnaire

My earliest memory is riding on the back of my dad’s tractor when I was three years old.

At school I loved rainy days because we could stay in the classroom at lunchtime and read.

I wish I had wings!

My happiest moments were when my two children were born.

When I was a child I wanted to be an inventor and a scientist.

Some of the books I like are The Wind in the Willows, the Tin Tin books, Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Books, Blueback by Tim Winton, and everything written by Roald Dahl.

It’s not fashionable (and it really embarrassed my kids!) but I love whistling when I’m walking round town.

My favourite gadget is my steam-powered letter opener.

I often wonder how my kids are reading one of my books RIGHT NOW.

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Justin D’Ath Profile


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Bille B Brown


Billie B Brown series
written by Sally Rippin.
Illustrated by Aki Fukuoka

Word Find – Bille B Brown

Flame Stands Waiting


written by Corrinne Fenton

illustrated by Sebastian Ciaffglione

Word Find – Flame Stands Waiting

Bobo My Superdog


written and illustrated
by Michael Salmon

Word Find – Bobo My Superdog

Billie B Brown


Billie B Brown series
written by Sally Rippin.
Illustrated by Aki Fukuoka

Spot Difference – Bille B Brown

The Wonder Thing


The Wonder Thing
written by Libby Hathorn,
illustrated by Peter Gouldthorpe

Spot Difference – The Wonder Thing

Rufus the Numbat