CBCA Awards 2015 – Rivertime by Trace Balla


This book has been nominated for Picture Book of the year. This book is very Australian. It is so Australian that the older generation of Australians may have to explain it to the younger generation of Australians!  There are lots of words like crikey and tucker which the little ones may not understand. There is a kind of glossary at the end in a cartoon/comic like way, but it is not totally clear. Primary school students may find it an easier read than younger ones and it is almost non-fiction rather than fiction. It may be a way of getting children to read a book if they don’t like your regular novel.

Thus, the pictures are cartoon/comic style, complete with “bubbles” for language. It is about a camping trip with a few twists and turns…..literally. The colours are soft and it is a gentle read, though you may have to crane your neck a few times and read over the bumps.

As for the pictures, which is what this award is mainly about, the drawings are not unlike those found in our favourite comic strips. There is quite a lot involved in this book….maps, glossary a download, if you wish, and a combination of comic and cartoon drawings. It may take a few reads or a friendly guide….maybe even a compass.




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