Today is the start of another CBCA Children’s Book Week – our favourite time of year! The CBCA have been supporting literature for children since 1945, so young and old have a strong connection to this wonderful week long celebration of books.
While you’re thinking about this year’s theme, Reading is my Secret Power and scrambling to get a costume together for a little bookworm you know, at Better Reading Kids we’re reflecting on what Book Week means to us.
We hope it brings back some fond memories…
Cheryl Akle, Director
I love Children’s Book Week. I have a large family with nieces and nephews who I adore and am constantly buying books for. I spend a lot of time at bookshops with them and have also introduced the kids to my own childhood favourites, including John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat by Jenny Wagner & Ron Brooks. I’m always thrilled to hear that one of my nieces or nephews chooses to dress up as a character from a book I’ve introduced them to.
Melissa Wilson, Head of Marketing and Children’s Content
I have very fond memories of Children’s Book Week from my own childhood. If you were an avid reader then it was a chance to dress up as a character that was a new discovery to the other kids in your class. The rule in our house was that you had to make the costume (no buying anything) and once you had committed to a book and character there was no going back! I have continued that tradition with my kids and while it does make for some unusual costumes from time to time – the kids secretly love being involved in creating something.
Our school is lucky enough to have a librarian and for the last few years they have created a performance using shortlisted books from the CBCA awards and firm favourites and then there is the book parade! It never ceases to amaze me how many clever book reading parents and children there are out there. Aside from all of that, what could be better than a week that celebrates children’s literature and the importance that it plays in their lives now and (if we get it right) always will.
Jane Tara, Marketing Co-ordinator and Lifestyle Content
Children’s Book Week generally brings up memories of failure as a parent for me. Like the time my son wanted to take his favourite book on Egypt to the school parade and dress up as an Egyptian mummy. But I forgot to get bandages, and realised I only had one in the car, so I used that to wrap around his head and forearms, making him look more like an accident victim than an ancient zombiefied king. People actually pointed and laughed at him as he made the rounds of the school playground with his classmates.
Another key moment of failure was when the same poor son wanted to take his book on Mexico to Book Week, so at the last minute, I made him a taco costume.
I don’t win Mother of the Year for my Book Week costumes, but they certainly have helped my son build resilience and develop a sense of humour. While there were many incredible costumes in both parades, my kid rocked his humiliating ones with grace and a big smile.
So really, Children’s Book Week also reminds me of how much I adore my son. Not even a taco costume could put him off reading… or loving his mum.
Bec Howard, Marketing Coordinator
It was my favourite week of the year! The feeling of walking into school, in a glorious (sometimes) handmade costume, with my crisp $10 note (if I was lucky) and knowing that my school library was going to be chock full of amazing books for me to buy. One year in particular, I distinctly remember explaining to people that I was dressed up as Laura Ingalls Wilder from Little House on the Prairie and I was absolutely horrified that they didn’t automatically know who I was. I was a classic! A few years later, Book Week was the way I got my hands on my first Narnia book. Yes, it was Prince Caspian, and I hadn’t read any of the previous books, but my love for that series started from Book Week. Even now, as a reluctant adult, I still go back to my primary school during Book Week and buy a book – or three – to donate to the school. While I read books every day, I still love that Book Week means we get to celebrate books for an entire week. It was my favourite week of the year – and it still is.