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  • Published: 2 March 2021
  • ISBN: 9781760894450
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 36
  • RRP: $24.99

Blue Flower

CBCA shortlisted picture book 2022



A beautifully told picture book about self-esteem, resilience and the discovery that being different can be something wonderful. From award-winning author Sonya Hartnett, with stunning illustrations by Gabriel Evans.

Shortlisted for the CBCA 2022 picture book award, this is a gentle exploration of a child’s realisation that it is her individual differences and creativity that make her special, with stunning illustrations by the talented Gabriel Evans that delicately and sensitively convey the child’s emotional journey.

A young child describes her qualms about going to school and how hard she finds asking the teacher for help, how she feels shy about making friends, not being funny or a fast runner. But through her love of art, a conversation with her mother and her observations about nature she comes to see that being different might not be a bad thing after all.

I lay down and put my nose in the grass. The grass was dotted with yellow flowers, but blue ones grew there too. I rolled over and looked at the trees and the clouds, and thought about things for a while.


‘Not all clouds are white,’ I said, and Piccolo looked at me.


‘Not all trees are tall. Not all birds are brown. Not all cats are tabby like you, Piccolo. Some are black. Some are orange. Some are calico.’


Piccolo swished his stripy tail. I plucked a flower and showed it to him. ‘This flower isn’t yellow, but it isn’t wrong. It is what it’s supposed to be. No one would want it to be yellow. Everyone would say it’s lovely just the way it is.’

A beautifully told story about being happy in yourself for who you are from one of Australia's finest writers.

  • Published: 2 March 2021
  • ISBN: 9781760894450
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 36
  • RRP: $24.99

About the authors

Sonya Hartnett

Sonya Hartnett's work has won numerous Australian and international literary prizes and has been published around the world. Uniquely, she is acclaimed for her stories for adults, young adults and children. Her accolades include the Commonwealth Writers' Prize (Of A Boy), The Age Book of the Year (Of A Boy), the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize (Thursday's Child), the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year for both Older and Younger Readers (Forest, The Silver Donkey, The Ghost's Child, The Midnight Zoo and The Children of the King), the Victorian Premier's Literary Award (Surrender), shortlistings for the Miles Franklin Award (for both Of a Boy and Butterfly) and the CILP Carnegie Medal (The Midnight Zoo). Hartnett is also the first Australian recipient of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (2008).

Golden Boys, Sonya’s third novel for adults, was shortlisted for the 2015 Miles Franklin Literary Award. She also published her fourth picture book, Blue Flower, illustrated by Gabriel Evans in 2021.

Gabriel Evans

Gabriel Evans is a Western Australian children’s book author and illustrator. Working primarily in watercolour and pencil, he creates books from a small studio near a river, surrounded by oak trees.
His books are published internationally and translated in three languages. Blue Flower by Sonya Hartnett is his first picture book with Penguin Random House. Gabriel is an avid tea drinker and sketchbook scribbler.

Praise for Blue Flower

Blue Flower is a gift to those children who feel different: the quiet, thoughtful children who yearn to understand themselves and the world around them, and chafe against the established structures of a daily school routine. It is a magical accomplishment from one of our finest writers, and highly recommended for ages 4+. Tye Cattanach, Bookseller, Readings Kids

Tye Cattanach, www.readings.com.au

Awards & recognition

CBCA Book of the Year Awards

Shortlisted  •  2022  •  Picture Book

Discover more

Video
Blue Flower by Sonya Hartnett and Gabriel Evans | Meet the Creators

Buy now: https://www.penguin.com.au/books/blue-flower-9781760894450 BLUE FLOWER is a gentle exploration of a child’s realisation that it is her individual differences and creativity that make her special, with stunning illustrations by the talented Gabriel Evans that delicately and sensitively convey the child’s emotional journey. A young child describes her qualms about going to school and how hard she finds asking the teacher for help, how she feels shy about making friends, not being funny or a fast runner. But through her love of art, a conversation with her mother and her observations about nature she comes to see that being different might not be a bad thing after all. #BlueFlower #SonyaHartnett #GabrielEvans

Article
Blue Flower colouring page

Blue Flower colouring page

Article
Blue Flower colouring page

Maybe being different isn't so bad after all.

Article
CBCA Book Award Notables 2022

Fourteen Penguin and Puffin books have been selected for the CBCA Book Awards Notables list.

Teachers' notes

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