Ideas for sharing stories for Children’s Book Week

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Children’s Book Week brings children and books together and is celebrated across Australia in many different forms.  This year’s theme is ‘Dreaming with eyes open…’ It speaks to children’s sense of curiosity and imagination, aligning with the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s (CBCA) aim to encourage a love of reading throughout childhood years.    

Every year, a shortlist is made of the best books of the year, giving the authors, illustrators and their stories well-deserved recognition.  Let’s take a closer look at some of the ‘Early Childhood’ shortlisted titles and ways you can celebrate these stories at home.      

When the Waterhole Dries Up

by Kaye Baillie and Max Hamilton    

About the book

It’s bath time in the outback! This fun story follows a dusty boy who needs a bath and some very cheeky bush animals as bath time erupts into delightful chaos and boisterous fun.    

Ideas for sharing this book at home

The repetitive text pattern and alliterative language provides a fun-filled read aloud. Chaotic characters enter the story and instantly engage the reader with excitement.  Ask your child which one is their favourite? Daring Dingo, Elegant Emu, Quivering Quoll, Rollicking Roo, Clumsy Croc.   

Bath time is a familiar routine to children. Try adding a little magic to bath time with bubbles. Watch the wonder on your little one’s face as they play. Talk about how bubbles float, pop and wobble.  Explore water play by adding sponges, containers or your child’s favourite toy for extended fun.   

Walk of the Whales 

by Nick Bland   

About the book  

When all the whales in the ocean leave their home to walk around on land, people don’t quite know what to think. Except one smart little girl who decides to ask the whales what everyone can do to help. The story highlights the ups and downs of having whales live among people and makes readers consider their rubbish habits.    

Ideas for sharing this book at home  

The rhyming couplets make reading this book aloud a joy and provide an opportunity for participation.  Locate pairs of words that rhyme and sound them out loud with your little one. Here are a few to get you started:   

Here, Idea, song, strong, birds, words  

Some whales are known for their beautiful song.  Perhaps you could try singing this lovely little song:    

Big Gray Whale  

I swim in the ocean, 
I swim in the sea.  
I’m a big grey whale,  
Come and watch me. (cup hands above eyes)
I love to spray water  
Up through my spout.  
If you get any closer,  
You’d better watch out!
(thrust arms up and make whooshing sounds) 

Winston and the Indoor Cat 

Leila Rudge   

About the book  

Two very different cats: Winston, the outdoor cat, tries to entice the indoor cat outside, while the indoor cat, who is comfortable with its leisurely life, tempts Winston into its world inside the house. This story explores how their friendship forms as they show each other how different their lives could be.   

Ideas for sharing this book at home  

Imagine the story if it had no words at all. Can you get your little one to tell their own version of the story?  Play pretend, like you were a cat. Look through a window, what can you see outside? Try peeking around corners into other rooms or underneath chairs or beds.    

Songs about cats to sing while you play - Three little kittens, Pussy cat, pussy cat.   

No matter how you’re celebrating book week, keep an eye out in your local library for Children’s Book Week celebrations such as book character parades, amazing book displays and story time events.

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