© 2024 · Little Black Dog Publications
We were so thrilled to be shortlisted for the Book of the Year in the 2018 Speech Pathology Australia Awards for The Pipey Fairy.
Due to timings, this was the only national Australian competition we entered. It was great to be recognised for a book that not only helps parents and provides benefits to children, but also has a strong, positive storyline, is engaging and entertaining and has first-class illustrations. All that for an Australian-based, independent publication makes us especially proud.
So, what are the specific criteria for shortlisting?
We were entered in the Birth to Three Years age group and we’ve summarised the criteria below.
1. The book has a strong narrative format.
It tells a good tale as well as developing and addressing an issue/s which holds relevance to the age group.
2. The book contains characters that appeal to the intended audience.
This includes encouraging the child to make an imaginative and/or emotional connection and including aspects that the child will recognise from their own experience.
3. The book encourages the reader to explore new ideas and concepts.
A book that is thought-provoking and allows opportunities for prediction and education.
4. The book encourages the development of imagination and curiosity.
By creating a sense of wonder, mystery and excitement leading to conversation during reading and long after the book has finished.
5. It uses appropriate language.
This includes a whole host of criteria including rhythm of text, vocabulary development, descriptive and pragmatic language, humour, speech and other literary devices appropriate to the expected developmental level of the age group.
6. The book is engaging.
By being entertaining and gripping (having an element of suspense), lending itself to oral language extension activities with universal appeal to adults and children making it fun to read together time after time. It must be written in a style that engages young listeners (e.g. noises, sounds, rhythm, rhyme, posing questions) with a functional design that allows younger readers to explore the story and the book themselves. It contains a sense of the ridiculous and is of a length that is developmentally appropriate.
7. The book text is well presented.
This includes appropriate font type and size and the amount of text per page.
8. The book illustrations are well presented.
This includes that the text and illustrations work together to create meaning and that illustrations support learning of concepts, sequences and processes that are difficult to convey in language. That illustrations include different writing conventions like changes in type or using illustrations to form words to encourage engagement with written language. It also allows opportunities for prediction and use of inference and adds to the narrative in providing alternative meanings and non-literal interpretation of language. The front cover and illustrations are appealing and engaging to children.

For more information on Speech Pathology Australia visit here.

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