There were so many amazing nominees for this year's CBCA Book of the Year awards that I don't know how the judges managed to choose! But they did, and those that were announced as winners and honor books last Friday, are an outstanding collection of stories by some of our most talented authors and illustrators. Congratulations to all those who were nominated. These books are not only beautifully written and illustrated, but they are also diverse, engaging and relevant to the world we live in. If you don't have them in your collection, you need to get to your local bookshop and order them as they are definite must haves for all school libraries.
It's been hard to write over the last month. Christmas and family time were fantastic but Omicron reared its ugly head and everyone became wary of life again, and that small window of feeling a little like normal was gone. We were in the centre of it here in my hometown and it was scary to be looking at everyone around you every time you left the house thinking 'Do they have it? Will I get it?' But then I told myself to get a grip and think of all the amazing frontline workers - nurses, doctors, teachers, grocery store workers, truckies - who have kept us going and who have had to live with that fear in much closer circumstances than me. I also remind myself that although any death from this insidious disease is hard, there are many others in many countries around the world who don't have the wonderful health and support systems we have access to, and just the fact that we can bitch about those systems and the politicians who supposedly run them, is a luxury they do not have.
So - it's cup half full for me. I'm home with family after years of living abroad, I have a very nice roof over my head, plenty of food and drink (despite the rush on sausages and toilet paper - seriously!), a new puppy who is just the cutest thing, and I've have decided to put head down and bum up and write as many positive and uplifting stories as I can to help make 2022 a better year than the last.