Announcing a new award and a very special shortlisted book.


“Over the last several years, we noticed that more and more First Nation authored and/or illustrated books were being submitted to the Environment Award for Children’s Literature.

Not all of these books explicitly “promote a love of nature”; First Nations people have been stewards of this continent’s natural world for tens of thousands of years, and continue to be so. However, many of these titles honour a connection to Country and tell stories exploring land, community, culture and language.

That’s why we are launching the Karajia Award for Children’s Literature. An award that celebrates this continent’s First Nations authors and/or illustrated children’s books.

In Mirning culture, Karajia is a holder and teller of the ancient stories, carried from when the world was young. Senior Elder of the Mirning people, Uncle Bunna Lawrie is a Karajia. He is one of the three inaugural judges of the award and has shared this incredible name with us.”



Warna-Manda Baby Earth Walk

Susan Betts, illustrated by Mandy Foot and Susan Betts, published by Little Book Press for Raising Literacy Australia Inc

Follow Allurru as she is guided across the land on a journey to discover her connection to Mother Earth and find her way home. An ode to earth, sea and sky, Warna-Manda Baby Earth Walk is a gift to future generations to help them connect, care and understand the world around them.

This book is a beautiful story about connection to country. Susan Bett’s lyrical text soars across the pages as does the ever-protective Waldya (eagle). The combination of Susan Betts and Mandy Foot’s illustrations provide a rich backdrop to Susan’s enveloping, warm words. The subtle message to embrace our natural world as it embraces us flows effortlessly throughout the pages.

This picture book is rare in the fact that it can be used in different ways. It can encourage parent and baby to copy Allurru’s actions as she mimics her companions. Whilst also being a soothing bedtime lullaby story to snuggle up with.

Buy a copy today at Little Book Press and support the work of Raising Literacy Australia.