As Bookweek Month draws to a close, children’s authors and illustrators across Australia will be slowing down before heading back into their creative caves. I’ve had a wonderful Bookmonth travelling from Albany to Broome, from Perth to Sydney, from Canberra to the NSW Central Coast. Massive thanks to the dedicated teachers, librarians and Children’s Book Council of Australia volunteers who organised my visits. You are legends! I’ve met thousands of young readers and seeing that the joy of reading is alive and well enriches my work and inspires me.
Students from Roebuck Primary
When you live in chilly Albany, being invited to celebrate Bookweek with Broome students, teachers and librarians in July is like winning a children’s author lottery. During a week of presentations, I spoke with hundreds of students from Years 3 to 10. Broome library staff made a great welcome display and young readers from St Mary’s College, Broome Primary and Roebuck Primary came into the library to ‘Find Story Treasure’ and celebrate the Bookweek theme.
GSG’s new boarding house has been named Breaksea House to honour Fay Catherine Howe, the ‘lighthouse girl’ who signalled to the departing Anzac nurses, troops and horses in 1914.
I was honoured to present signed copies of my books to boarding house student leaders; Emma Taylor and James Gonzales.
GSG has also purchased original artwork by illustrator, Brian Simmonds. The image appears on page 94 of Lighthouse Girl and shows Fay searching the Albany Advertiser for news about the troops in the Middle East. This lovely charcoal illustration will now grace the walls of the new boarding facility. I hope to see it when I visit for an informal book chat.
The full school assembly was a terrific occasion, welcoming the 2016 student leaders who then offered a badge to each Year One student, celebrating their new beginnings.
Fay’s story continues to touch a chord with readers, particularly those living in WA. I often wonder how Fay would feel to know that so many people remember her…
In WA students, teachers and librarians are going back to school, which reminds me that at the end of last term I became too busy to post some Term Two highlights.
I love it when schools come up with writer visit variations. Here are photos from two special events last term. One was a boat trip to Breaksea Island, home of Fay the ‘Lighthouse Girl’
Year 5 students from Great Southern Grammar studied Lighthouse Girl in Term Two. After a more formal classroom presentation and workshop, their teachers invited me to join the students on a post-Naplan week boat trip to experience the island from an interesting perspective. It was so much fun, and a great extension activity…
Great teachers like Carys Nichols and Paul Osborne and inspire literacy!
Another terrific extension activity was organised by Sandi Parsons, the creative and fun librarian at Mt Lawley Primary.
Sandi, Narrelle Thambipillai and other staff organised a short writing competition. The age group winners shared a party lunch with me after my presentations. It was lovely to meet them and hear about their stories. Here are some photos of the winners:
For most authors, illustrators and librarians, Term Three is the hectic one.
In between school and library visits I will be working hard to complete two novels; The Shark Caller and The Dog with Five Names. I hope to post updates on my progress and also share some inspirational articles by fellow authors in the next few weeks. More soon…