Welcome to the blog of the Tasmanian branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia!

Saturday, 1 August 2015

World Through Picture Books

The Children's and Young Adults' Librarian at Gosford City Library shares a wonderful multicultural celebration of children's picture books in this week's post.

Gosford City Library was thrilled to launch the “World Through Picture Books” exhibition at Erina Library on March 5th 2015. This exhibition is a collection of favourite picture books from 36 nations worldwide as voted by librarians. Bruce Whatley entertained a large audience of children’s' literature professionals including a strong contingent of librarians and teacher librarians.
Library on March 5

Bruce had illustrated two of the top ten Australian picture books Pete the Sheep by Jackie French and the Little Refugee by Ahn and Suzanne Do. His extensive experience and compassion shone through an informative and emotional presentation. Bruce shared the process of taking texts from authors and transforming their words into the final production to complete award winning books. 

This is the first time this fabulous exhibition has been in Australia. Children and young adults have had opportunities to share stories from many cultures, complimenting the current curriculum and supporting Harmony Day celebrations. A greater appreciation of the diversity of children's books in regard to their style, format and content has been a major outcome for many visitors.

Programs to showcase the exhibition included special story times for Erina library's three regular sessions each week featuring books from the United Kingdom, USA, Singapore and the Australian titles. Several special events with the large home school community provided an opportunity to showcase African, Canadian, Korean and German books from the exhibition. Council preschool visits were a delight as the children kept requesting more stories.

Many high school students were able to experience a variety of the visual literacy components of the titles during several interactive sessions. The entire year 7 cohort from Gosford High School toured the exhibition then explored titles themselves.

The exhibition of over 300 titles was viewed by many local and visiting library patrons during the month, including authors, artists, illustrators and patrons from the countries represented. Hosting the local primary teacher librarians meeting gave these professionals a unique chance to enjoy a new aspect of children's literature.

A special Japanese family afternoon saw parents and children alike relish the books on display. Mothers then took turns sharing some traditional stories on the kamishibai story telling screen. During the month a feature display of state library banners, bookmarks and examples of the book boxes available informed many patrons of this special language service.

A special event “A World of Stories” was held in Kibble Park in Gosford with local community members and language students sharing books with school and preschool groups in Russian, French and Colombian. The park was decorated and the event bought the project and exhibition outdoors to the wider community.

For library staff it was sad to say farewell to this wonderful exhibition but our professional knowledge and passion for quality children's literature has been enhanced incredibly.

View the latest edition of the catalogue The World Through Picture Books and more pictures of the Erina Library event. 

Claire Stuckey 
Children’s & Young Adults' Librarian 
Gosford NSW

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