I had a fantastic week visiting schools as part of the Mt Druitt Book Week, accompanying Rooby Roo, the amazing reading kangaroo! (That's her on the left, the furry one with the big ears.) The CBCA provide funding to Mission Australia's Communities for Children program to run an early intervention programme called "Paint the Town Read" in suburbs where children have been identified as needing extra support with literacy. The team at Mission Australia and the Mt Druitt library did a great job putting together a week of reading and story-telling fun, and I was invited to join in.
I visited Madang Ave Primary, Bidwill Primary, and Willmot Primary during the week. I read Marmaduke Duck and the Marmalade Jam with the kindies and preschoolers, who were all very talented at making animal noises, and made very convincing flocks of ducks! I ran writing workshops for the Year One and Two kids - they invented some characters and a story all together, and bossed me around while I illustrated it, and then settled down to either write and illustrate a story of their own, or finish off our collaborative story.
Here are just a few of their stupendous stories ... I wish I could put them all up, because they were fantastic, but there were hundreds! So I can only give you a small taste, but well done, you writers!
The hammerhead shark can't see the turtle and the hammerhead shark was going up, and the turtle bumped him out of the water and back in. The shark was going down to the turtle's eggs and the turtle smashed the shark into the other sharks with his shell, and his shell started to crack!
The Lonely Bat: There was a lonely bat and he was sad because there were no bats left and he was the last bat in the cave.
The cat like to fight the cat woman, because they are both a cat.
The baby dinosaur hatched, the mother and dad were happy, and they lived happily ever after.
The cat wanted colour on it but it has a big head and fleas. So no one wanted to touch it. It made a little pond of tears. It got so big it needed another cage. In the end it got adopted.