Reading with a chance of Tacos presents … 

 The Taco Awards

Celebrating the books kids love to read


At Reading with a chance of Tacos, it’s all about books that entertain. The Taco Awards aim to honour the books that kids want to read. It’s time to celebrate!

The Taco Awards differ from other awards as books are not judged solely on literary merit, but emphasis is on entertaining the reader. 

Tacos has always been a podcast full of enthusiasm and fun. We love the books we receive and review on our podcast. We particularly love funny, quirky, and imaginative books. And books that excite us for no other reason than they’re just so entertaining!

We also believe many of these books are the books kids truly want to read.

We see these books as being extremely important, both as a precursor to more advanced literature, and as entertainment in their own right. And God knows we need entertaining books! 


The Awards:

  • Celebrate great Australian storytelling.
  • Encourage a love of reading through fun and entertaining books.
  • Support Australian books. Australian authors and illustrators.
  • Reward the books that make us laugh, that put a smile on our children’s faces, or that make our kids shout, “Read it again!”

A shortlist of 6 books in each category will be announced prior to the awards, with the winners to be announced on our Special Taco Awards Episode on the Reading with a chance of Tacos Podcast.

Winners in each category receive a trophy (the coveted Gold Taco), winners will also be celebrated on our website, plastered on social media platforms, and shouted from the rooftops!!

The event itself will be wrapped up in a super entertaining podcast episode, full of awesome creators and amazing books, in a fun and festive celebration of the kid lit community.



 For the Taco Awards 2023, the list is compiled from books we’ve reviewed, recommended, or celebrated on the podcast. As it is our inaugural awards, we will also choose from a select few books that we loved prior to 2023.

These are books that have been sent in by publishers for review, or guests we’ve had on the show.

Books are not judged solely on literary merit (that’s not to say they are not well written and created), but emphasis is on entertaining the reader. It’s all about the storytelling, the creativity, imagination, and enjoyment levels.

Eligible Book Classifications: picture books, board books, graphic novels, junior fiction, middle grade, junior novels. Fiction and non-fiction. Self-published and traditionally published books are all considered.


And the Taco goes to …


  • Reluctant Reader Award

The best overall book most likely to appeal to a reluctant reader. Books featuring personal interests that are relatable. With the combination of being easy to read and compelling. Having a mix of illustrations, graphics, and simple language. And finished with the magical elixir – humour!

The Taco Awards Longlist for 2023

  1. Crossbones by Jack Henseleit, Chris Kennett 
  2. Right way to rock by Nat Amoore 
  3. Furball by Adrian Beck 
  4. Secret Agent Mole by James Foley 
  5. I am Lupe by Sela Ahosivi-AtiolaYani Agustina 
  6. Worst Week Ever by Matt Cosgrove, Eva Amores 
  7. Real Pigeons Series by Andrew McDonald, Ben Wood 
  8. Nerd Herd by Nathan Luff, Chris Kennett 
  9. Football Fever by Kristin Darell
  10. Underdogs series by Kate and Jol Temple, Shiloh Gordon
  11. Ruby and the pen by David Lawrence
  12. Treehouse Series by Andy Griffiths, Terry Denton 


  • Best Character in a Children’s Book (it may be accepted by the creator on behalf of the character)

It’s not easy to be a great character, you must connect with the readers in some way, have that x factor, personality, voice, or simply move readers in a way that makes them want to read on because they have formed a bond with that character.

The Taco Awards Longlist for 2023

  1. Floof created by Heidi McKinnon 
  2. Goo created by Gavin Aung Than
  3. Shaama Llama Ding Dong by Nathan Luff 
  4. Frank by Sean E Avery 
  5. Jigsaw by Tim Harris 
  6. Wylah by Richard PritchardJordan Gould 
  7. Willa by Jacqueline Harvey
  8. Neil the amazing sea cucumber by Amelia McInerney
  9. Stellarphant by James Foley 
  10. Rita Duck by Lian Tanner 
  11. Mr Price by Millie Lewis,
  12. Rodney by Michael Gerrard Bauer 


  • Laugh Out Loud Award

It must be funny. That’s it. That’s its criteria. If it’s made us laugh, if it’s made kids cackle, it’s in.

The Taco Awards Longlist for 2023

  1. Worst Week Ever by Matt Cosgrove, Eva Amores
  2. Jawsome by RJ Timmis 
  3. 169 Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths, Terry Denton 
  4. Rodney Forgets it! by Michael Gerard Bauer, Chrissie Krebs 
  5. Your Birthday was the best by Maggie Hutchings, Felicita Sala
  6. Why won’t you sleep by Adam WallaceCarla Martell 
  7. Zombie Teachers by Sigi CohenMatty Mitchell 
  8. Baa Baa Black Belt by Gavin Aung Than 
  9. Bad Bunny by Jonathan Bentley 
  10. My Dad thinks he’s a pirate by Katina Germein, Tom Jellett 
  11. Do not open this book ever by Andy Lee, Heath McKenzie 
  12. Sam Francisco by Sarah TagholmBinny Talib


  • Best Picture Book

The Taco Awards Longlist for 2023

  1. Franks Red Hat by Sean E Avery / walker
  2. Business Chickens by Jess McGeachin / penguin
  3. Bad Bunny by Jonathan Bentley
  4. Baa Baa Black Belt by Gavin Aung Than
  5. Mr Impoppable by Trent JamiesonBrent Wilson
  6. Rodney Forgets it! By Michael Gerrard Bauer, Chrissie Krebs
  7. Floof by Heidi McKinnon
  8. Neil the Amazing Sea Cucumber by Amelia McInerney, Lucinda Gifford
  9. A to Z of Dreaming Differently by Tracey Dembo, Lucia Masciullo
  10. The Art of Making Friends by Mary Anastasiou, Sam Loman
  11. Meet Mim by Sandra Severgnini
  12. When I’m Big by Karen Blair, EK


  • Best Early Reader

The Taco Awards Longlist for 2023

  1. School of Monsters by Sally Rippin, Chris Kennett 
  2. Macca the Alpacca series by Matt Cosgrove 
  3. Imagination by Zanni Louise 
  4. Farty Pets by Adam Wallace, James Hart 
  5. Mack and Cheeze by Chrissie Krebs
  6. The Isabelle Stories by Jane Godwin 
  7. The Very Cranky Bear series by Nick Bland 
  8. Sandy Pants by Raymond McGrath 
  9. The Besties by Felice Arena, Tom Jellett
  10. Smarty pup by Anh Do 
  11. Aussie Kids Series by Penguin Books
  12. Hello Twigs by Andrew McDonald, Ben Wood


  • Best Junior Book – junior fiction or non-fiction, including middle grade and graphic novels. For ages 5 – 12. The stories can be happy or sad, funny or serious. Books that we want to shout from the rooftops and share with the world for no other reason than they’re just so entertaining. Books we all want to share with our friends. The books that make us here at Taco HQ shout, ‘Wow! That’s going on the podcast!’

The Taco Awards Longlist for 2023

  1. Xenoflight by Nean McKenzie 
  2. Rita’s Revenge by Lian Tanner 
  3. Worst Week Ever Wednesday by Matt Cosgrove, Eva Amores 
  4. This camp is Doomed by Anna Zobel 
  5. Zooniverse the complete collection by Nova Weetman, Chris Kennett 
  6. Monster Island by George Ivanoff
  7. Cop and Robber by Tristan Bancks 
  8. Secret Agent
  9. The Sadie Series by Lana SpasevskiJoanie Ston
  10. The Ghost Book by Remy Lai 
  11. Ratbags by Tim Harris 
  12. The Bookseller’s apprentice by Amelia Mellor 


  • Illustrator Award

We love an illustrator who puts their own mark on a book. Who channels a story through illustrations. Conveys the story and the emotions of the characters. Captivates us in some way. Or simply creates one of those books that you just stare at in awe before you even look at the words.

The Taco Awards Longlist for 2023

  1. Shiloh Gordon for Ratbags
  2. Chris Kennett for Crossbones
  3. Anna McGregor for Who’s afraid of the light
  4. Remy Lai for Ghost Book
  5. Chrissie Krebs for Rodney Loses it!
  6. Sean E Avery for Frank’s Red Hat
  7. David Hardy for Ceremony
  8. Rebel Challenger for Keeping Up with the Dachshunds
  9. Bianca Pozzi for Daisy and Bear
  10. Gabriel Evans for A job for Kingsley
  11. Nathaniel Ekstrom for Duck
  12. Jeanette Stampone for Shadow and the Girl


And that’s it. Except to say thanks to all you creators!

From creating your ideas to the thrill of bringing them all together. From sharing creative journeys to celebrating the end results (and the often-bumpy roads that lead us there).

We aim to share all that excitement and joy with the writing community, and to the kids and consumers of the kids book industry.

 For more information contact Ken Williams: