So, Fearless didn't win the CBCA early readers Book of the Year, but he doesn't mind a bit. I know I'm a bit late with this, but I'd like to congratulate Lisa Shanahan and Emma Quay for the success of the delightful Bear and Chook by the Sea, and all the other fine and fabulous authors who won awards.
It's been a mad whirl these last couple of weeks, and I've certainly seen more of Sydney than ever before, touring lots of schools in suburbs that were hitherto just mysterious areas on the map. The theme of this year's Book Week was "Across the Story Bridge", and it's just amazing how many incredibly creative Teacher-Librarians there are out there. I've seen some awe-inspiring story bridges - I'm kicking myself for not thinking to take photos. Some of them almost rival the Harbour bridge in scope and scale. All the TLs I've met have been doing such a good job of enthusing the kids, and getting them into the spirit of Book Week. TLs, I hope your schools know how lucky they are to have you.
I'd especially like to say a big thankyou to the folk at the Bankstown Library for hosting me for four days. Each year they organise a series of author/illustrator talks and visits for schools in the surrounding area, and luckily for me I was one of them this year. Here are the lovely librarians with their Story Bridge display:
I'd also like to say a big thank you to the students from the Prsbyterian Ladies College, Abbotsleigh, Kesser Torah College, St Patrick's PS, Chullora PS, Birrong PS, Chester Hill PS, St Therese's, St Felix's, Bankstown PS, Al Sadiq College, Holy Saviour, and Knox Grammar Prep School for being such wonderful hosts.
At the end of a session we usually take 10 or 15 minutes where the students can become mini art directors and boss me around - they invent a character and a story, and I have to draw it (usually badly and messily!) So here are a few of the crazy pictures we've come up with together.
A Bandit Penguin stealing a cartload of fish from a walrus fishmonger....
The folks of St Felix with their fierce doberman scaring a kookaburra, while a blue-tongue lizard laughs at the kookaburra's fright.
At Knox Grammar, the year k-2 group came up with the idea of a hungry (and rather optimistic) lion who wants to eat a T-Rex. Standing next to my scribble is someone who puts me to shame. He's only in Year 2, and he drew this amazing lion in chalk pastel. He rushed off to get it at the end of my talk so he could show me, and I'm so glad he did! Very impressive, I think.