Saturday, August 28, 2010

Wordplay@Artplay: Book Week Celebrations 2010

pic: Bronwen Bennett and Pia Butcher working to promote the love
of books and literature in young people

Storytellers are busy during the Melbourne Writers' Festival

This year the Children's Book Council celebrations - BOOK WEEK - are part of the Melbourne Writers' Festival.

Book Week is the longest running children's festival in Australia, celebrating its 65th birthday in 2010.

Each year, many schools and public libraries from all over Australia spend a week celebrating books and Australian authors and illustrators. Classroom teachers, teacher librarians and public librarians develop activities, offer competitions and tell stories relating to a theme to highlight the importance of reading.

The theme in 2010 is... across the story bridge.

While big folk gather at

Federation Square to hear author talks and assemble for literary tours of Melbourne, smaller people congregate at Artplay at Birrarung Marr along the Yarra River. Here there is a program of brilliant workshops.

When I arrived on Saturday, Doug McLeod had a group spellbound with his writing work shop. Following on from that, it was a privilege to take to the story chair in a space beautifully arranged with cushions and soft light. Leigh Hobbs arrived and further inspired the children with a fabulous session on illustration. ArtPlay is where learning, imagination and play come together to expand the minds and lives of our youngest generation.

My Bookweek tips: I strongly recommend Mr Chicken goes to Paris by Leigh Hobbs and Kip by Christina Booth and so do Bronwen and Pia. But then I have a thing for poultry!

Bronwen Bennet is a tireless promoter of literature for children and a driving force behind the CBCA. Her agency Show and Tell arranges speakers for all occasions around Australia.

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