Recently, during the CBCA Book Week, many students, particularly in Primary, created their own Book Week celebrations, attending zoom meetings dressed up as their favourite character, participating in an extreme and wacky reading challenge and taking part in book readings as well.

Parents and students in lower Primary years are becoming more creative in the ways they interact with a book. You can watch a book reading, listen to it being read, sometimes by fabulous actors, or download an eBook – a digital copy of a book.   Below are a few links to story reading websites that feature Honour books, prize winners and short-listed titles in the CBCA awards.

Busy Beaks by Sarah Allen (Short List Book of the Year Early Childhood) ‘Full of splashing shorebirds, clattering cockatoos, parading penguins and greedy galahs, Busy Beaks is the perfect introduction to birds of all shapes and sizes.  Here is a reading of this book: UOW Early Start Book Week 2021: Busy Beaks accessed at YouTube.

We Love You Magoo by Briony Stewart (Honour Book in the category Book of the Year Early Childhood) ‘Magoo has his own ideas about what a dog should do – in the kitchen, in the car, at dinnertime and bedtime! But there are so many rules! So many things a dog can’t do.’  Enjoy sharing this book with your child, read by Frank Woodley, comedian and author, on You Tube.

No! Never! By Libby Hathorn and Lisa Hathorn-Jarman, illustrated by Mel Pearce (Winner in category Book of the Year Early Childhood) Story Box Library accessed at YouTube. This book is a ‘cautionary tale about a little girl who drives her parents up the wall when she starts answering ‘No! Never!’ to all their requests – and what happens when the tables are turned on her.’

Not Cute by Phillip Bunting (Honour Book in category Picture Book of the Year) accessed at YouTube.   ‘Quokka did not like being cute. Not one bit.  This is the romping, stomping, chomping tale of one stubbornly adorable marsupial.’

Your Birthday Was the Best by Felicita Sala and Maggie Hutchings. (Honour Book in category Picture Book of the Year) Read by Maggie Hutchings accessed at YouTube.  ‘From the author of the best-selling MERMAID! and UNICORN! and one of the world’s hottest new picture-book illustrators comes the story of a plucky young cockroach who gate-crashes a birthday party – with hilarious results.’

How To Make A Bird by Meg MacKinlay and Matt Ottley This is the story, read by someone from Sunshine North Primary School.

You can also view a spiel from the illustrator of How to Make a Bird. It is maybe a bit esoteric for little children, but is very interesting.  He does talk about a couple of the pictures in detail.  The following site contains a fun activity.  There is a video clip on how to draw a bird for children and a step by step PDF.

Ellie’s Dragon by Bob Graham (Short List Picture Book of the Year) – ‘From master storyteller Bob Graham comes an adorable and affecting tale about imaginary friends and the bittersweet nature of growing up.’

Dry to Dry The Seasons of Kakadu by Pamela Freeman and Liz Anelli (illustrator) (Winner Eve Pownall award for Non-Fiction).  This is an information book about the yearly weather cycle and attendant changing wildlife of Kakadu National Park. On this clip, the illustrator talks about the process of illustrating the book. It is interesting in terms of the art-making process and has cut aways to locations in Kakadu.

The author Jaclyn Moriarty (sister of adult novelist Lian Moriarty) talks about her first book in the series The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone (notable book in 2108).  The third book in this series, The Stolen Prince of Cloudburst, was awarded an Honour in the category The Book of the Year Younger Readers. When she was a child, Jaclyn’s father used to commission his children to write stories. He gave them a dollar fifty if they filled an exercise book with words. It is not surprising that three of them are now authors. Here is her spiel about The Stolen Prince of Cloudburst.

Not only have we been celebrating Children’s Book Week, but also indigenous literacy.  This year, the theme of Indigenous Literacy Day (1st September 2021) was Celebrating Stories and Language.  “Through storytelling, ILD provides a window into the richness, diversity and multilingual world of First Nations peoples with a selection of short, inspiring video stories by First Nations storytellers (of all ages) from across the country”.  There are some great activities and storytelling here. The animated books are in one of the indigenous languages, depending on what part of Country the story is told, and in English as well.