With thanks to Tania McCartney for sharing her words.
Next Thursday, 14 September, is the Australian Reading Hour. What is it, you ask? Well, you choose one hour of your day to snuggle up on the couch or run a deep bath or jump on the treadmill or sit under a tree, and read a book!
You can read it to yourself. You can read it to a child. The child could read it to you. Or someone could read a book to a teddy bear. The choices are endless!
To celebrate The Reading Hour, eight Canberra authors --all SCBWI members--got together at Woden Library in Canberra (thanks, Pam and Sam!) for a wonderful event--two hours of stories with a bunch of fabulously engaged kids.
Things kicked off with Kerry Malone, reading two books, including her gorgeous You Can Do It, Joey!
Next up was Tania McCartney, asking everyone to raise a limb for how much they love books (thank you, Nicole!).
There also may or may not have been a rendition of We All Know Frogs Go La-de-da-de-dah... check out Tania's blog for the incriminating footage...
Next up was Genevieve Hopkins who read her gorgeous book--The Adventures of William Brambleberry: Aviator Mouse.
Next was Grace Bryant with the funniest book, Tyrannosaurus Wrecks by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and Zachariah Qhora. It was hilarious!
You've just got to see how she says 'WRECKS!' Terrifying and delightful.
Next up was Stephanie Owen Reeder (and author of Amazing Grace! but not 'Bryant'), who brought along her gorgeous grandsons. She read from her brilliant books, Dance Like a Pirate and Feeling Fine. These got the kids moving!
Next was Cate Whittle with a totally clever and age-appropriate presi starring her irrepressible dragon, Trouble, from Trouble and the New Kid (a fantastic chapter book series for adventurous kids, ie: all kids).
The kids then went on a true adventure with a reading by Devon Sillett--The Leaky Story--awash with pirates and high seas!
To finish off two solid hours of story, Nicole Godwin handed out heart balloons and the kids played along, raising or lowering their balloons as Ella the elephant went through her heart-wrenching journey to find her mum. She also took us on a journey to Thailand, sharing slides of elephant sanctuaries. We learned a lot, including the fact that you can throw an entire pumpkin into an elephant's mouth and he will chomp it up like an apple, and he'll even gobble an entire banana tree!
What an amazing event in celebration of the Australian Reading Hour. Two hours zipped by in a flash, then we signed books and the kids snaffled some treats, from bookmarks to colouring pages and balloons and badges. It never fails to astound how long kids--even very little kids--can sit and enjoy reading after reading.
Thank you to everyone who came along and making this event so special! We hope you'll join all of us at SCBWI ACT on Thursday 14 September by reading for one hour.