The Children’s Book Council of Australia’s annual Book Week celebrations are just around the corner. For a week, kids will be treated to author visits and workshops. There’s also the main attraction: costume parades.
To give you and the littlies a head start on this year’s storybook dress-ups, we’ve hunted down a few costume ideas that can be easily put together with just one visit to Woodgrove. To keep the focus on literacy, we’ve also reviewed a number of titles bound to keep the kids entertained next school holidays.
Long John Silver’s wooden leg might be a headache, but Stevenson’s Treasure Island is jam-packed with swashbuckling bandits, buccaneers and buried gold.
Finding a white and red pom-pom hat is far more difficult in real life than in the stunningly detailed illustrations of Martin Handford. If you’re looking for Wally, look no further.
You probably already have pieces of this costume hiding at home. The famous Gryffindor House-emblazoned robe is available in most costume departments, but for the rest, grab a wand from under an old tree, add a white shirt and tie plus some glasses, and you’ll be in the Sorting Hat before lunchtime.
I Have Lost My Way
Gayle Forman is an expert at creating believable characters. Freya, Harun and Nathaniel, Forman’s three protagonists, tell very different stories, but are bound together by grief, having each suffered terrible loss. The three teenagers’ paths collide — literally — in New York’s Central Park and the flawed, vulnerable trio develop an unlikely friendship.
Told from the perspective of each character, Forman demonstrates her willingness to explore the more difficult aspects of life, such as religion, sexuality and mental health. In sharing their stories with each other, Freya, Harun and Nathaniel discover the cathartic nature of friendship.
David Walliams, one half of the duo behind British comedy television series Little Britain brings young readers this laugh-out-loud funny tale of a boy named Ben and his rather unique Grandma. Recommended for children aged eight and over, Tony Ross’s illustrations are the perfect accompaniment to Walliams’ story. Much of the humour is toilet-based, but considering Walliams is the fastest growing children’s author in the UK, it’s obvious the man can tell a good fart joke.
The Wonderful Things You Will Be
Although a simple concept, Emily Winfield Martin’s New York Times bestseller somehow manages to evoke the intense emotional journey that a parent goes through with their child. Authored and illustrated by Martin, the book combines rhyming prose and a retro artistic style, creating a love letter that captures the overwhelming love and dreams every parent has for their children. You might need a few tissues for this one.
Pig the Pug
Even the cover of Aaron Blabey’s picture book will bring a smile to your face. Blabey’s hilarious illustrations and a clever rhythmic writing style tell the story of a selfish pug called Pig. Pig refuses to share his toys with his housemate, a wiener dog named Trevor. Trevor suggests that Pig would have more fun if he spent more time sharing and less time preventing other dogs from playing with his toys. Pig ignores Trevor’s advice, a decision that will ultimately come back to bite him.
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
Featuring illustrations by 60 female artists from around the world, the multi-award winning Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is filled with inspirational stories of incredible women throughout history. From Amelia Earhart to Michelle Obama, these true tales of remarkable women and their achievements is an empowering read at any age. Sunday Times Magazine reviewer Esther Walker puts it best when she reveals that reading the book to her daughter prompted “a revolution at bedtime”.