In a week of awards, I wanted to pay tribute to a major achievement for an Australian published book that has largely gone unnoticed.

The Enemy, a powerful anti-war picture book has been honoured by the United States Board on Books For Young People (USBBY)

Davide Cali and Serge Bloch’s book, The Enemy, was first published in English in Australia by Wilkins Fargo, and subsequently published by Random House in the US in 2009.

It’s a modern day fable about two soldiers who face each other across a barren desert battlefield. Are they the only soldiers left? How can they end the war?  Just who is the enemy?

The book has had great reviews in Australia:

Challenging the traditional notion of what a picture book is and who it is for is this stark, poignant book … [which] boldly explores the futility of war.The Sunday Age

‘Impressive … the award-winning team of Cali and Bloch seems set for further recognition … Highly recommended.’ Magpies

The book was published in association with Amnesty International Australia, part of the global movement defending human rights and dignity. Wilkins Fargo is a small, privately-owned publishing company in Melbourne, established in 1998.

Wilkins Fargo director, Andrew Wilkins said,

“We’re delighted to see a book we found before any other English language publisher doing so well in the US. It demonstrates yet again, that Australian publishing can lead the world.” “It also vindicates our policy of unearthing great books from other languages and bringing them to Australian readers.”

Congratulations to Wilkins Farago, Davide Cali and Serge Bloch for The Enemy being included in the USBBY’s 2010 list of Outstanding International Books.

As well as having exposure to wonderful books created in Australia, I believe that our children’s literary experience can only be enhanced by the opportunity to experience the writings of international authors, and cultures from all over the world.


Here’s where you can catch some of your favourite Australian authors talking about their new books

Chrissie Michaels interviewed by Tania McCartney, talking about In Lonnie’s Shadow:

Hazel Edwards and Ryan Kennedy on F2M on Life Matters F2M:

Toby Chrysler reviewed at The Book Chook The Slightly Skewed Life of Toby Chrysler:

Foz Meadows interviewed about Solace and Grief:

Foz Meadows blog:

George Ivanoff and Hazel Edwards interviewed at 3CR about Gamer’s Quest:


Don’t miss our double feature on Australian author Leigh Fox whose book, 10 Little Hermit Crabs is one of this year’s CBCA Notables.

Lee is the author of six books for children and will talk about her books, why she writes, and how she does it.

Hope you can join us.