Followed by Christmas (yes, I said followed) Book Week is my favourite week of the year. It's a time to really celebrate the glorious children's book scene we enjoy in Australia, and of course, internationally.
From 17 to 23 August this year, Aussie authors and illustrators were on the hop all over the county, visiting schools, running workshops, presenting, interacting and sharing their books and talent with children, from preschool to Year 12. The energy is bookishly high, and it's just so much fun to see kids amp up their reading and book enjoyment (not to mention the fabulous costumes--see the last photo of this post).
This year's theme was Read Across the Universe, and, as they do every year, the local CBCA chapter here in Canberra ran a children's seminar, with 60 kids, plus parents and teachers, joining in some after-school fun. Here we are signing certificates for the kids (above) and below are this year's participants: back row: Pauline Deeves, David Murphy, Katrina Nannestad, Tamsin Ainslie, Emma Allen, back row: Tania McCartney, Katie J Taylor and storyteller extraordinaire, Mollie B.
It's so wonderful to engage with the kids in this way. I talked about my past books, showed them sneak peeks of my upcoming books, answered questions and listened to their own thoughts on books and writing.
We then joined forces in a panel discussion for the very first time, with Julie Long (centre) of the local CBCA, facilitating. It was great to hear about the processes of other authors and illustrators, and the kids really enjoyed it.
Thank you to Rachel and the team at Brindabella Christian College in Lyneham for this sensational venue (and to Rachel for the fab photos!). It warms the heart to see so many teachers, librarians and parents placing reading and books so highly on the curriculum.
I must admit, I also absolutely LOVE the way kids react during Book Week, and was privvy to many costume parades throughout the week. There were so many sensational costumes, but below is my favourite of the lot - two Oompa Loompas at St Francis of Assisi primary school, made by a very talented mum.
Happy reading all, and don't forget our The Reading Hour facebook photo challenge is still on and ends tomorrow night--you could win some books from Random House. And I'll be instragramming each picture book we read on Saturday 24 August during The Reading Hour - 5pm to 6pm. Join me with your own photos! @taniamccartney