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The team from Hardie Grant Egmont are delighted to announce that The Swap, from their Little Hare imprint, has been awarded the CBCA Early Childhood Book of the Year at this afternoon’s annual event in Canberra.  Banjo and Ruby Red, also a Little Hare title, has taken home the Honour Book Award for the same category.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to receive this news today,” said Natasha Besliev, Managing Director of Hardie Grant Egmont. “I am so proud of our team who work really hard with our talented authors and illustrators to create beautiful stories for Australian children. To receive these high recognitions from the CBCA is truly gratifying.”

Written by the late Jan Ormerod and illustrated by Andrew Joyner, The Swap is a heart warming story about the jealousy a child feels when a new sibling joins the family, a situation many families will find familiar. “The Swap is a very special book to me, so I’m delighted that it’s received this recognition,” said The Swap’s illustrator, Andrew Joyner. “Although in many ways, I felt like I’d already received a prize simply by being asked to illustrate one of Jan’s books. I never met Jan, but I’ve always admired her work, and the fact that she wanted me to illustrate one of her books – well, it meant a lot.  I hope I was able to bring some of her warmth and grace and joy to the little world we made in The Swap.”

 “I can think of nothing more fitting for Jan Ormerod’s legacy than for The Swap to have won this award,” said Margrete Lamond, Little Hare Publisher. “With Andrew Joyner’s warm, witty, insightful and inspired illustrations, both book and award are the perfect encore to a brilliant career, and I’m so very delighted for Andrew, for Jan, and for Jan’s family.”

Banjo and Ruby Red, which today took home the Honour Award, is the result of another successful collaboration between industry darlings Libby Gleeson and Freya Blackwood, who themselves are no strangers to the CBCA awards. As a pair they have been shortlisted for the prestigious award twice before for their picture books Clancy and Millie and the Very Fine House in 2010 and Look, a Book! in 2012.  They took home the Book of the Year Award in 2007 for Amy and Louis. They both have been nominated independently several other times and continue to set the benchmark for children’s picture books, both in Australia and internationally.

Margrete Lamond said “Libby and Freya seem to bring each other’s work to life and Banjo and Ruby Red is no exception. It is wonderful to see these two honoured once again for another quirky, unique and heart-warming book.”

Libby and Freya’s next picture book, Go To Sleep, Jessie!, a beautiful story about Libby’s own children, will be available from October 2014.

For all media enquiries, please contact Kate Brown katebrown@hardiegrant.com.au


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