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When fiction and non-fiction come together in perfect harmony, something magical happens... With poignant and pared back text, much of the story is told through the beautiful illustrations that are filled to the brim with the most amazing details of the time.This is definitely a book to take your time with. There is so much to look at, so much to discuss. And at the heart of it is a true story about a grand vision for a city and what it took to see it turned into reality. Schools and classrooms will love this story. It’s entertaining and interesting, and it will teach kids about a remarkable period in Australian history. But it’s also a book for homes. It’s a lovely tale to read with your kids, to show them that big dreams can come true, and the evidence is one of Australia’s most iconic structures. Beautifully written and illustrated, this is a special picture book about a very special bridge.
This year’s winner (The Happiness Jar) is a compelling story about awakening and renewal. Written in a beautiful and direct style, its journey of transformation takes us from the Australian city, to remote country, to the crowded streets of India. Its characters are wonderfully and vividly drawn: raw and never sentimental. Through their experiences, Samantha Tidy prompts us to reexamine our understandings of grief, legacy, honesty and family. The Happiness Jar is a powerfully constructed and at times surprising work: a thread that runs back and forth in time between different cultures, places and points-of-view. Above all, it is a satisfying, original and engaging novel with a unique perspective, and a worthy winner in 2014.