With Book Week just ahead of us, Lyndon shares some timely tips on making the most of the literary event - celebrating and making connections with books, reading and readers!
Ah, here we go again! The 19th of August quickly approaches, and for many years now, right back into my childhood, Children’s Book Week has been one of my favourite weeks of the year. I still love spending it zooming from school to school to see what new stories inspire our young people. But there are lots of ways to celebrate Book Week and its theme this year of “Escape to Everywhere.” Here are a few you might not have thought of:
1. Read a Book
Surprise! Who would have thought this might make the list? For a few of our most esteemed and bibliophilic members the shortlist and notables might offer no real surprises, but for the rest of us it’s a wonderful opportunity to let someone else do all of the hard work of uncovering the greatest gems of the last year. And don’t rely on that winner! If you are anything like me you’ll just as likely find your personal top picks somewhere a little down the chain.
2. Give a Book
There is something special about giving away a book. Most of us are far more likely to read (and even enjoy) something that has been put into our hands by someone we love and admire than any list of accolades or author quotes. I keep multiple copies of my favourites for this very reason. One friend, upon receiving one of these sacred tomes, looked almost horrified. “It’s a big deal being given your favourite book,” she said. And she was right. But I still never miss an opportunity to share the stories I love the most.
3. Dress Up
What would Book Week be without dressing up as your favourite character? I can still remember some of the costumes that I wore in Primary School (who could forget the year of Billy the Punk?), and I feel closer to the books because of them. Adults, don’t miss your chance to engage in this tradition. You are never too old to feel like the hero of the story.
4. Get Cooking
When my teacher read us The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe in Grade 3, I had no idea what Turkish Delight was. Like the White Witch herself, Mrs. Ashman brought a small tin into the classroom of thick, sugar-dusted pink Turkish Delight. It changed the story forever, and I have loved Turkish Delight ever since. This year Kylie Howarth’s Chip is one example of a story begging for a food accompaniment. How joyous would it be to read this clever picture book down by the beach, with a steaming parcel of hot chips all wrapped up in shiny white paper? Bliss!
The Eve Pownall Award for Information Books offers a glorious selection of subjects and ideas this year. From endangered animals to genetics and the life of William Bligh, they open up a world of new knowledge that can be explored further at home or out at the museum… even in the wild. You’ve read Gina M. Newton’s Amazing Animals of Australia’s National Park—why not go and see if you can find them?
Lyndon Riggall (@lyndonriggall) is a writer and pre-service teacher from Launceston. His next work, a play titled “U L G” about life, death, and education, will be performed with Mudlark Theatre as part of the Junction Arts Festival in September.