Children’s Book Week Preparation

For all those who are part of the wonderful children’s book industry . . . authors, illustrators, publishers, booksellers, librarians, teachers and students – you will know we are approaching the most exciting week of the year – Children’s Book Week. (19-25 August).

The celebrations begin this year on Friday 18th August when the Children’s Book Council of Australia, Book of the Year Awards are announced in Hobart, Tasmania.¬† Good luck to all.

For authors and illustrators it is often both the most enjoyable but also most exhausting week of the year. To meet and talk with the readers of our books, the children and their teachers, is the best experience. To hear their well thought-out questions about characters, books and writing is heartwarming and rewarding. But by far, the very best experience, is the ‘can’t-hear-a-pin-drop silence’ you don’t hear when you read out loud and capture that audience. It’s the best feeling!

Personally, I’ll be introducing my new book ‘My Friend Tertius’ a true story about a man called Arthur Cooper, who was working in intelligence for the British Government in pre-war Hong Kong and a small gibbon called Tertius. They are both close to my heart.

So now it’s time to prepare the presentations – check the locations of the schools, where to park, the correct gate entrances and most importantly, how long it’s going to take to get there. Traffic is totally unpredictable and I personally would prefer to be an hour early and have time to gather thoughts and support materials (and perhaps a coffee) than a minute late.

And for that Book Week Voice (where the vocal-chords suddenly need a grease and oil change) massive doses of Vitamin C before-hand and liberal splashings of lavender oil (instead of perfume) to fight off those winter bugs.

To all those venturing out, enjoy all the moments. It’s a privilege to be part of it.


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