I'm usually wrong but I have to have a go at predicting the winners anyway. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
Yes, I'm going with The Snow Wombat despite my gut telling me it will probably be Gary (also based on the huge numbers of views for activities!). Why The Snow Wombat? I have to admit that the illustrations are just gorgeous for this book! I like that it isn't text heavy and actually does engage with the intended audience of the reader - something I have found that now all books did this year.
I have to say that there isn't a whole lot to The Patchwork Bike. The illustrations keep it simple and the text is...well, the text is sharp, shiny and to the point. At first I wasn't quite sure what to make of this book - it seemed a little....incomplete? Strange? I don't know the word I mean! However, after I read this one a few times I got to see the possibilities for connecting cultures through common threads and in light of the current situations around the world - I think that this is a subtle but powerful book to use.
I've talked with a few people about Rockhopping and people either seem to love it...or not. Perhaps because this is based close to where I live and a place I've actually been I feel a bit more connected to it over the other books. I have to note that the illustrations are not really what I would usually go for...and the format of the book was a overwhelming for me...but I also know that there are many students who would pick a book up like this in a heartbeat over others. A little bit different but I think that's what sets this one apart from the rest this year.
Yay to more science! Okay the cover is bright, colourful....that's a huge start to getting students to read books about science - it's not all about dead scientists from long ago! I was really pleased that there was a broader range of subjects this year in this category - for the past few years it has felt as if it was dominated by war-related books. I think this book has a lot of potential for use with older students in a high school setting....yep, that's it.