Shortlist year: 2014

Shortlist category: Children's literature

Published by: Walker Books

From the multiple award-winning author-illustrator of How to Heal a Broken Wing and A Bus Called Heaven, comes a powerful and poignant celebration of the small moments in life – moments in which we sense the greatest significance, moments when we can see the big picture. At 9.59 on Thursday morning, Jodie draws a duck. Just as she is about to add one final silver button to the duck's boots, her little brother takes his first step. At this exact same moment, a man buys bread, a soldier leaves home, a baby is being born... Here is a book, a story, a philosophy so simply told and yet – in true and inimitable Bob Graham style – so rich with emotion and meaning.

About the author


Bob Graham

Bob Graham is a Kate Greenaway-winning author-illustrator who has written and illustrated many acclaimed children's picture books including How to Heal a Broken Wing and How the Sun Got to Coco's House. His 2011 title, A Bus Called Heaven, is endorsed by Amnesty International UK and was the winner of the 2012 Children's Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year Award - a prize Bob has won an unprecedented six times. In 2014, Silver Buttons was awarded a prestigious Prime Minister's Literary Award in Australia. Bob lives in Melbourne.

Judges’ comments

Silver Buttons is a distillation of Graham's extraordinary sense for the things that matter in the child's world. One moment in a child's life opens onto a whole world in this stunning book.

The 'silver buttons' of the title are found in a child's drawing: a picture of a duck with a top hat, cane and 'boots of the softest leather'. And with that drawing begins a series of interconnected moments in a family's daily life.

Silver Buttons effortlessly connects the reader to a moment of life—from children playing in a room to a family, a neighbourhood, a city and beyond.