The theme was ‘Escape to Everywhere’, which could be interpreted and celebrated in many ways. With schools, libraries, booksellers and book creators celebrating, we’ve seen spectacular book character parades, wonderful displays, special readings and activities, and marvellous performances that have taken place for the love of Australian children’s literature.
We were certainly out and about, escaping to extraordinary places, both in reality and in our imaginations. Kicking off with an awesome theatrical performance by Meerkat Productions saw us delighting in a puppet rendition of Leila Rudge’s story of a determined travelling pigeon, Gary. The actors were brilliant, engaging and interacting with their young audience the whole way through. They enlisted the children’s help to chug, chug the train and toot, toot the boat, asking questions, singing songs and certainly creating a giggling buzz. With cleverly designed props and costumes, the audience were uplifted by Gary’s courage and persistence to make his way back home from the city; a dream of travel (and escapism to everywhere) literally come true. My four-year-old smiled the whole performance and talked about it long after the show.
You can’t go past Book Week without a visit to the library, and even though this is our weekly routine in any case, we enjoyed diving into the bookshelves. We sought out what was left of the amazing shortlisted and winning CBCA Book of the Year titles, as well as finding new and favourite author and illustrator books. To tie our readings to educational understandings, reviews and Pinterest boards were created to share ideas on how to explore the books further, including Go Home, Cheeky Animals! (Early Childhood Winner) and Home in the Rain (Picture Book Winner). More activities can be found at the CBCA’s website.
I was truly excited to be able to entertain and enchant my youngest’s kinder group with a couple of funny monster stories; The Scared Book by Debra Tidball and Kim Siew, and I Just Ate My Friend by Heidi McKinnon. Some children bravely confessed their fear, whilst others stated their indifference to monsters. Luckily I brought my “I’m Not Scared of Monsters” hat, which gave us all the courage to read on.
I Just Ate My Friend is a hilarious story of a little creature in search of a new friend…because he ate the previous one. Everyone says no, until he finally meets a compatible partner. What happens next always has readers in stitches! An all-consuming book that the preschoolers relished with every bite.
The Scared Book empowers the reader to manage feelings of fear and anxiety with effective strategies and by interacting with the book itself to calm it down. You see, the book is scared of monsters, and it requires its reader to flick, blow, rub, trample and fan away the creepy critters. The kinder group savoured every page turn of this irristible, quirky and engaging story. We concluded with a monster bookmark paper craft activity. Many more ideas and fun for The Scared Book can be found on Pinterest here and through the blog tour here.
Finally, to end the week my eldest daughter celebrated at school with the inaugural Book Week Costume Parade. Some of her peers went all out with terrific efforts in the costume department, but my favourite would’ve had to be one of the teachers dressed as Grug. It was round, it was frilly and it was superb. I wish I captured a photo. But as you can see here, my daughter chose the glitz and glamour of miss Thelma the Unicorn! Who doesn’t love pink with a splash of glitter?!
So, a wonderful mixed bag of bookish goodness that certainly allowed us to escape physically, emotionally, literally and laterally to everywhere and beyond. Until next year! 🙂
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