'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 14 February 2012

mega national launch for National Year of Reading 2012

Today, all around the country, at libraries and halls and schools and centres, a mass celebration took place. It was the launch of the National Year of Reading 2012 - and right there in Canberra, we were treated to a right royal bonanza in the Theatre at the National Library.

First we heard from Anne-Marie Schwirtlic, Director-General of the NLA, then glorious book-loving host Jennifer Byrne (above), journalist, publisher and First Tuesday Book Club patron, introduced us to the likes of the hilarious and gorgeous William McInnes (author, actor and NYR12 Patron), ministers Simon Crean and Peter Garrett (OMG, Midnight Oil concert flashbacks) and - drum roll, please - PM Julia Gillard herself.

After Julia's inspiring speech, we heard from author/actor William McInnes, who is as funny, intelligent and charming as he rightly should be.

Next it was the fabulous Boori Monty Pryor - children's author, NYR12 ambassador and Children's Laureate - who brought in a classroom of school kids. Well, actually the children were actually delayed because the PM just left, and they ensnared her outside the theatre for a time. As a result, Monty and William regaled us with, well - just being funny.

Finally, the kids did arrive, and Monty knocked their socks off with a resounding tale about didgeridoo spit - and had everyone in serious stitches.

The event was also peppered with some wonderful short films and snippets, including a piece from co-Children's Laureate Alison Lester. We also heard about the NYR12's aims, upcoming events and initiatives, and the glorious news that Disney have paired with NYR12's Reading Hour (25 August).

We also heard from Education Minister Peter Garrett, who asked the kids to make the NYR12's official signing - LOVE 2 READ - with their hands.

Monty hams it up with the kids
me with William McInnes... well, everybody else was doing it!!
ACT NYR12 ambassadors, including Jack Heath and Senator Kate Lundy (either side of me) and local NYR12 organisers Rachel Davis and Vanessa Little (centre front)

This is a very exciting year ahead - make sure you check out the NYR12 website for more on how you can get involved!