Friday, August 6, 2010

Book Week Ideas - Guest Post

Book Week Ideas CBCA 2010

Today I have a guest on The Book Chook, bringing you some great ideas for celebrating Children's Book Week. Meanwhile, I am a guest on Tania McCartney's wonderful Kids Book Review blog with my article, What's So Great About Children's Literature? 

Nicole Avery is a mother of five children ranging from 11 years to one year old. On her blog, Planning With Kids, she shares processes, plans and strategies that she has developed throughout her years of parenting which have helped make daily family life easier. Nicole can show you how to streamline the repetitive tasks in family life, so you can have more time for the fun parts like playing, reading stories, getting out and about or just quietly enjoying each other's company.

It is only two weeks until Book Week starts here in Australia. Book Week is the longest running children's festival in Australia, celebrating its 65th birthday in 2010. This year Book Week runs from  Saturday August 21 until Friday August 27 and the theme for 2010 is across the story bridge.
Each year, many schools and public libraries from all over Australia spend a week celebrating books and Australian authors and illustrators. Classroom teachers, teacher librarians and public librarians develop activities, offer competitions and tell stories relating to a theme to highlight the importance of reading.

The CBCA awards for books of the year are announced just prior to Book Week on Friday 20th August. The short listed books provide great opportunities for activities with children during book week. Before I start on some ideas for Book Week 2010, here are the short listed books for each category:

Book of the Year - Picture Book Short List 2010

Intended for an audience ranging from birth to 18 years range (Some books may be for mature readers).
Picture Book

Book of the Year - Younger Readers Short List 2010

Intended for independent younger readers.
Younger reader

Book of the Year - Older Readers Short List 2010

These books are for mature readers.
older reader

Book of the Year - Early Childhood Short List 2010

Intended for children in the pre-reading to early reading stages.
early childhood

Book of the Year - Eve Pownall Award Short List 2010

Intended for an audience ranging from birth to 18 years. (Some books may be for mature readers).

eve pownall

Book Week Ideas

Reserve Shortlisted Books

Now is the perfect time to reserve the short listed books from your local library. As it gets closer to the announcement date, it's much harder to get your hands on copies of the books from the library.

Running parallel to the official judging for the children's books of the year is the

Junior Judges' Project:
The Junior Judges' Project (JJP), was developed as a project that offers an online national framework for these activities within schools and libraries, commencing with the Children's Book of the Year Short List Announcement in Melbourne on Tuesday 1st April. Once the Short List is announced, students guided by their teachers, are encouraged to read the shortlisted books and, based on the judging criteria, select their Winner and two Honour Books in one or more categories and cast their votes online either through their teachers or individually.
The CBCA Junior Judges' Project encourages children to do their own judging of the shortlisted books. If your children are yet to attend school or if your school is not participating you can use these suggested judging criteria to discuss the books on the shortlist.

Questions to ask:
  • Do the title and the cover give a good clue as to the type of book?
  • Do the endpapers enhance the book, or at least harmonise with it?
  • Did the book 'grab' me from the start?
  • Are the characters believable (even imaginary ceatures and animals)?
  • For fiction, is it a good story?
  • For information books, is the topic presented in an interesting way?
  • For information books, is it easy to find information?
  • Are the language and style suitable for the implied reader*?
  • Ask yourself: can I think of any way this book could be improved? If not, it's probably a very good book!
*The term 'implied reader' means the type of reader for whom the book is intended. For example, if the 'implied reader' is a pre-school child you would expect fairly simple language, not too many words, helpful illustrations, and a topic of interest to this age group. (Source: Junior Judges Project.)

Determine what your winner for 2010 will be for each category and see how it compares to the CBCA judges.

Investigate Authors

The shortlists this year will have many authors names that children will recognise. Have them choose a favourite author and research information on them like:
  • Where they are from?
  • When did they write their first book?
  • How many books have they written?
  • What books did they read as a child?
  • Have they won a CBCA award before?
  • What inspires their writing?

Short Listed Book Inspired Activities

Many of the books on the list have teachers notes which can be found on the publishers website. These resource notes have so many fabulous ideas that you can use to celebrate Book Week. Here is a short selection. (If you click on the title of each, you can download the PDF of the teachers notes for that book)

The Terrible Plop by Ursula Dubosarsky - Colouring Sheet

How to draw a bear (from The Terrible Plop) from Andy Joyner on Vimeo.

Fearless by Colin Thompson and Sarah Davis - Teacher's Notes
  • Photocopy and enlarge the page showing the dogs in the shop window, and invite the class to name all of the dogs.
  • Vote to determine which names best match each dog.
  • Why do you think the Claybourne-Willments should have been called the Smiths? What do the two surnames suggest to you?
  • If he was your dog, what would you call him? Why?
The Hero Of Little Street by Gregory Rogers - Teacher's Notes
  • Create another storyboard for the possible outcomes of the boy's chase through the square. What else might have happened?
Mr Chcken Goes To Paris by Leigh Hobbs - Teacher's Notes
  • Choose another country or city for Mr Chicken to visit and write a new story following the style of Mr Chicken Goes to Paris.
  • Think about what famous landmarks Mr Chicken might see. What foods will he eat?
  • If he's in a non-English-speaking country, what common words or phrases will he need to know?
Bear and Chook By The Sea by Lisa Shanahan and Emma Quay -Teacher's Notes
  • Discuss the nature of friendship. What qualities does a good friend have? Is Bear a good friend to Chook, and Chook to Bear?
  • Write an acrostic poem using the letters in the word 'Friendship‚'.
Fox and Fine Feathers by Narelle Oliver -Teacher's Notes
  • Using paper and crayon, create a rubbing from a natural object you find in the schoolyard. Look for objects that have interesting texture, like bark or leaves.
  • Hold your paper over the object, and using the side of your crayon or pencil rub across the bumpy section.

Celebrate Books!

Most importantly enjoy and celebrate books! Take your child's lead, they may have some fabulous ways to celebrate book week and give you insight into the short listed books that you may never have thought of.

How do you celebrate book week?


  1. Book week, what a fabulous celebration! We must implement that here in the states.

  2. Book Chook13 August, 2010

    Great idea, Kelly T!


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