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

Tuesday 17 July 2012

It's All About The Story - by Nella Pickup

When we moved into our home 31 years ago, we made a stained glass window for our bathroom – a rainbow with a pot of gold.

Rainbows and pots of gold come in many guises. Rainbows are bright, elusive, and heavenly. Humans have used them to symbolise peace, hope and unity. For the more prosaic, a rainbow is a natural phenomenon- something science can explain.

We didn’t have enough sunshine for a rainbow, but the pot of gold was full. Carol Fuller, my husband Richard and I spent the last few days with Catriona Hoy and Claire Saxby as they spoke about linking literacy and primary school science using picture books. Their sessions were highly entertaining and informative. They are warm and very easy going people - a delight to host. Special thanks to them and to our very own Jenni Connor for their entertaining, informative and inspired presentations at Reading – it’s rocket science and more.

As I read the paper on Saturday and saw an advertisement for someone to write an Aboriginal children’s book on domestic violence, I remembered a comment made by all three speakers. “The story comes first”. Whenever we read a book, especially when we read to a child, choose the story. Books can be used for bibliotherapy or to instruct but all of us will learn the lesson much better if the story comes first.

More information about Reading - it's rocket science and more can be found at the CBCA events page.


  1. Obviously, I agree wholeheartedly with Nella, since my passion is for narrative! I've become worried about books 'being abused' as educators desperately look for ways to improve student literacy outcomes. Please, please, support children into enjoying the story and appreciating its craft before putting it to other purposes - however worthy. Jenni Connor

  2. Hi Nella
    Thankyou, Claire and I had a lovely time. We feel like we made new friends and I certainly want to come back and see more of Tasmania. It was nice to get such positive feedback after our talks.