Children’s Book Week 2011
I was very lucky to have a full Children’s Book Week of school and bookshop visits which is still extending into Numeracy and Literacy Week and beyond.
As I said in last week’s blog post, as creators of children’s books, now is the time of year when we escape our writing burrows and venture into classrooms, bookshops and libraries to meet our readers.
This book week I travelled to and from suburban, country and seaside schools as well as to the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre for the Wakakirri Festival, speaking to students from Prep to Grade 6 and often teachers and parents, sometimes to large and sometimes smaller groups.
One morning I found myself prancing about a school hall accompanied by the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s, Carousel, pretending I was Flame, flying away with my dreams, and followed by 60 preppy boys and their teachers – all of them prancing and dancing – some more out of breath than others.
I’ve presented in theatre style venues to classes who were all wearing fancy dress. The plus in this was that it made question time a breeze . . . ‘Yes, Cinderella, what’s your question?’ or ‘What did you want to ask me, Batman?’ or Snow White or Superman. The only tricky bit was the plethora of Harry Potters and Hamani’s, which made things interesting.
My week was filled mostly with highlights, like walking across a quadrangle at break time and the children calling out to me, ‘Hello Corinne Fenton’ at the tops of their voices. (they never just say Corinne.) It’s a special feeling being greeted with a sea of smiling faces, warmth and excitement and I always feel terrible if I can’t get around to everyone at question time.
I’m sure I’m not the only creator who is feeling a little tired after Book Week and I’m sure I am only one of many who has a slight case of scratchy ‘Book Week Voice.’ But, without question, the highpoint for me is always listening to the silence when I read ‘Queenie’, ‘Dog’ or ‘Flame’ out loud. I’ll never tire of that.