Monique Tait

Monique Tait

Aug 7, 2023. 4 mins read


Read, Grow and be Inspired by Book Week

Can you still remember your favourite childhood story? Did your parents read to you each night before bedtime? Was reading something you always struggled with as a child? Regardless of your childhood reading memory, now that you have your own rugrat or two, I'm sure you feel a little more motivated (or pressured!) to immerse yourself in Book Week to spark a new love of literature for you and your children.

teachers reading books with children

The Children's Book Council of Australia has celebrated children's books since 1945 with their annual Book Week campaign that aims to enrich young lives through Australian stories. This year from Saturday, 19th to Friday, 25th August, they celebrate with the theme; Read, Grow and Inspire.

The CBCA encourages teachers and librarians to create colourful displays, develop activities, run competitions and tell stories relating to the theme to highlight the importance of reading. You will often see parades with students dressed as their favourite book character.

Your children will likely get involved through their childcare, kinder or school, and you'll no doubt be asked to make a Paddington Bear costume at the very last minute! But it's important to celebrate at home and get involved as a family. It's an opportunity to role model reading, share interests and your favourite childhood stories, and get a deeper insight into your child's progress and literacy development.

Before we get into activities and ideas, here are the books that CBCA have shortlisted for Book of the Year:

Shortlisted Books:

Picture Book of the Year

  • Dirt by Sea by Tom Jellett (illustrated by Michael Wagner)

  • Farmhouse by Sophie Blackall

  • Frank's Red Hat by Sean E Avery

  • My Strange Shrinking Parents by Zeno Sworder

  • Our Dreaming by Dub Leffler (illustrated by Kirli Saunders)

  • Paradise Sands: A Story of Enchantment by Levi Pinfold

Book the Year: Younger Readers

  • August & Jones by Pip Harry

  • Evie and Rhino by Neridah McMullin (illustrated by Astred Hicks)

  • The Raven's Song by Zana Fraillon & Bren MacDibble

  • Runt by Craig Silvey

  • The Way of Dog by Zana Fraillon (illustrated by Sean Buckingham)

  • Xavier in the Meantime by Kate Gordon

Book of the Year: Older Readers

  • Ask No Questions by Eva Collins

  • Completely Normal (and Other Lies) by Biffy James

  • The Greatest Thing by Sarah Winifred Searle

  • Neverlanders by Tom Taylor (illustrated by Jon Somariva)

  • The Other Side of Tomorrow by Hayley Lawrence

  • What We All Saw by Mike Lucas

Let's get involved:

1. Decorate your home

Get the excitement going with some at-home displays! If you're not particularly creative, check out Twinkl, the teacher's resource website, for inspiration or free downloadable templates!

2. Get dressed up or design your own costumes

Choose your favourite titles and create the costume of your favourite characters. Get creative and see if you can create something from scratch or use recycled materials. Try even checking out toy-swapping apps for some second-hand costumes to help you save money!

3. An At-Home Library

Set up your own library at home. Get the children to lay out their books, set up a pretend information desk and play some 'make-believe' to help encourage their imagination and self-play. 

4. Visit your local library 

Plan a day trip to the local library. They will likely be running an event to celebrate book week or will have the shortlisted titles available for borrowing. Let your children choose their books, set up their own account and check out the books themselves. Find your local library!

5. Write a story

See if your child wants to write a short story or design a picture book. It's a great way to use their imagination and grow their confidence. Kidspot has some great tips on writing your own stories.

6. Design a book cover

Ask your child to choose their favourite story and get them to redesign the front cover, or come up with a story title and make a cover from scratch! They would be fantastic artwork to display in their bedrooms or around your home.

7. Read the book, and watch the film

Combine reading with a movie night. Encourage your child to read a story throughout the week, and once they've finished, they can have a movie night as a treat. Go the extra mile and watch the film wearing costumes with themed snacks! Check out these 100 books that have been adapted into films.

8. Set up a book swap club

In the spirit of creating a circular economy for children's toys and books, try running a book swap club with your friends. Swapping books and toys you already own is a great way of sharing resources, but it's also fabulous for reducing waste, saving money and role-modelling your children about sustainability and the environment. Look at our toy and book-swapping app to see how to do more with your existing books and toys!

Suppose you'd like to know more about reading milestones and your child's development. In that case, Literacy Hub has lots of information and recommended guidelines on what your child should achieve and how to observe their progress as a parent.

Reading with your child is a great way to bond and a perfect activity to wind down after a busy day. Getting involved with Children's Book Week together shows that you also appreciate stories, and it will make the activities much more enjoyable for your child. You may even be inspired yourself! 

Monique Tait

Monique Tait

Mothering . Wife . Founder . Chicken Wing Aficionado .

When she's not scouring the city for the best fried chicken joint, she's busy being a parenting superhero, starting with her new toy swapping app called Sassybae. Because let's be real, what better way to show your love for your kids than by swapping out their old toys for new ones? Monique is on a mission to make parenting easier, one wing and one toy at a time.

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