Sami Bailey, author and Illustrator of “The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Ugly Animals” and “The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Dangerous Animals”, shared with the conference audience her story of hopes and dreams being fulfilled in the most wondrous way. Sami started her journey as an author/illustrator through her art and study in animal drawing. She also had the opportunity to travel and see the Proboscis Monkeys, which fascinated her. She entered her artistic drawings of the Proboscis Monkeys into a competition at the Australian Museum and won, later including those drawings in her Ugly Animals encyclopaedia.
Sami’s story of becoming an author/illustrator demonstrated the importance of having dreams and believing in your ability to reach them. With a little spark of magic, luck and a lot of hard work, she illustrated and wrote two informative and amazingly presented books. Her story is inspiring and her books, filled with weird and wonderful animals of the world, are amazingly illustrated with interesting information about each animal.
Public Libraries 101
Librarians, Karyn Stephens and Caitlin Hadrill, introduced and explained many on-line features of the modern, digital public library system. Whilst many users are familiar with the Libraries SA OneCard system, it was interesting to see the full benefits of apps such as Libby, and to learn about the availability of e-books, e-audiobooks, and limited but free access to external websites such as Ancestry.com. There is also a growing range of ezines available as the digital world of public libraries expands in many directions.
Overall, a very enlightening presentation.
Everything You DON’T Need To Know About Poetry with Mike Lucas
Mike Lucas shared his passion for poetry and how we shouldn’t get caught up with the technicalities! He explained that poetry should be about expressing your ideas, emotions or experiences. Mike guided us through writing poetry of our own, focusing on how the writing flows when read aloud. He creates engaging pieces of poetry, including the annual Book Week Poem and his latest book, “Let’s Build A House”, where his background in engineering comes into play. He was a joy to listen to as his excitement for writing left me feeling motivated to write and teach about poetry in my own way.
Embedding Indigenous Perspectives Across the Curriculum with PJ Edwards
PJ Edwards is a Teacher Librarian at St Aloysius College and she is passionate about embracing indigenous perspectives in our daily lives. She spoke about how we need an ‘anti-bias lens’ in order to listen deeply, move away from cultural appropriation, have humility for ours and others’ opinions, and to trust each other. PJ gave us a wealth of ideas to move from ‘safely’ teaching to ‘bravely’ teaching about indigenous culture and perspectives. She has built a wealth of resources and explained that she examined the perspectives she was missing in her collection and continues to introduce the missing lenses. PJ explained that anyone is able to embrace indigenous perspectives, as there are print and online resources for all ages. She began my path to be braver in embedding indigenous perspectives in my teaching practice.
Makey Makey and Scratch Are Not Two Cartoon Characters with Jason Coleman
Jason Coleman is a teacher at Prince Alfred College who demonstrated how to apply coding and Makey Makey to present student thinking in exciting ways. He took an Inquiry approach to build student engagement in learning to code using Scratch. Jason showed us how Makey Makey’s six commands can do interesting things, including playing audio recordings. His students made posters with elements connected to a Makey Makey programmed to play their book reviews aloud! It was impressive to see Jason teach a variety of coding functions in Scratch to use with Makey Makey devices. I was inspired to explore different Scratch commands with my students.
Manga Mayhem with Mel Phillips
Mel presented a fascinating workshop on manga. Manga may be an acquired taste, but Mel is a passionate manga reader and thus the students at her school have every opportunity to explore. She defined manga and how to read it. Manga are Japanese comics. Chapters are published weekly and combined as a Tankobon which is what we buy. You read Manga back to front and right to left. There are two main styles: action and romance. Both are fantasy worlds which show Japanese culture highlighting cultural differences including honorifics such as bowing. Translations provide explanations of cultural aspects.
Mel made useful suggestions about how librarians could include manga in their collections. Age appropriateness is a consideration. Librarians could keep the manga section separate, buy 2 copies of the first book of a popular series to test take up and then buy the first ten in the series. The presenter then talked about series that are popular in schools. For primary, possible choices could be Haiquu (Boys volleyball team), DragonballZ, Yotsuba (a feisty 6 year old girl), Fluffy, fluffy Cinnamoroll (for young girls –about a dog), Astroboy, Pokemon and Chi’s sweet home. Many Manga stories are made into anime productions which can be viewed through streaming services such as Crunchyroll, Netflix and Funimation.
An interesting genre to dabble with and explore. Beware- some people get hooked!
Sustainability with Ian Boyd
Ian discussed the broad concept of sustainability from a philosophical point of view and questioned whether schools will continue teaching the subject in the current way. He also discussed the well-being of children who feel helpless in the face of the complexities, and their sense of impending doom when the environment and ecosystems are discussed in depth.
He offered examples of excellent past and present books that have been published under the banner of “eco-literature” including “Dog Runner” by Bren MacDibble, and other books that define the current trend in dystopian literature. Considering his own writing, he looked at how to approach this genre (sometimes called “faction”), being conscious of the responsibility towards youth, to not present a hopeless view but to somehow present hope within a factual framework. To educate and to entertain whilst writing narrative is a challenge for authors addressing this field. Ian’s presentation gave the audience a lot of food for thought. It was interesting to have an author share his concerns about the responsibility of creating material for children about serious issues from his perspective.
Running Book Clubs With
Wendy Jeffrey, East Adelaide PS teacher librarian, gave a helpful insight into how to run a successful book club with students.
She recommended starting with one targeted group first and she provided book related food to make the event even more enjoyable.
Wendy states Sheena Cameron's "The Reading Book" provides all the guidelines and support material you need.
Wendy encourages each group to provide a name for their group and a list of group rules.
"Running Book Club" attendees watched a movie of Wendy's students participating in the book club discussions and were able to check out the boxes of support material provided to each group.
Thank you Wendy for providing inspiration for starting a book club with students.
Poetry in motion with Janeen Brian
I knew that this would be fun when I saw the circle of chairs for participants. Janeen’s opening to the workshop, and it really was a workshop, was to show us how to perform a story in a poem. Her performances inspired us with the use of tone, volume, accents, movement, and interaction with her audience. We were a very attentive audience ready to get creative and to be in on the fun. We could feel that careful planning had gone into the session to first draw us in and then to convince us that we too could take an audience on an exciting journey through poetry. Thank you Janeen.
Interview with Kunyi June Anne McInerney
Kunyi’s book was new to me. Sadly, some of her experience was not. Her beautiful book tells her personal story of being taken, as a child, from her family, her community, and her country. Importantly it also tells us about the inventive games and fun created by the children growing up together, the places where they played and the adventures they had but this does not take away from the cruelty, sadness and pain. It is a privilege to hear these stories and to meet the author and I thank the conference committee for organising this and Kunyi for her willingness to share.
Character Design Workshop with illustrator Mandy Foot
Mandy began her session with a read along of her picture book Lucy and Copper. The story follows young Lucy and her childhood pony, Smudge. As Lucy physically outgrows her beloved pony, the readers follow Lucy along the bitter-sweet journey of grieving the cessation of childhood, but finding optimism in newfound growth and individuality. Mandy explored the often delicate relationship between the written and visual narrative. She expressed the necessity of visual narrative in providing contextual information for the reader, often filling the gaps in the written narrative. To conclude, Mandy held a mini illustration workshop to take us through the process of character design, demonstrating that characters (both people and animals!) can be highly expressive and animated, thus adding richness to the narrative. Mandy Foot’s creativity, love for animals and appreciation of natural environments was a pleasure to experience at her creative workshop.
Create with Canva
Kate Moore shared her experiences with the free online creation tool Canva, and demonstrated ways that this tool can be utilised by both staff and students to create visually engaging creative pieces, both in digital and physical formats. Though this interactive workshop, Kate walked us through the process of creating promotional materials, such as posters and pamphlets, that are ideal for use in the classroom. Kate demonstrated that Canva is a particularly useful tool to use for classroom assessment as a differentiated learning strategy, or simply for creative projects. Additionally, this highly intuitive creation tool can be used by the novice creator for more complex projects, such as illustrated picture books. With its large selection of free templates, including posters, magazine covers, brochures, and catalogues, Canva is the all-rounder web-tool every educator needs to know about! Thank you Kate for introducing us all to this excellent resource.
This year’s Shortlist Celebration was a casual get together for all those involved in the creation of the Shortlist film, mingling with the management committee of CBCA SA. The evening began with a moving Welcome to Country by Micky O’Brian. While sharing drinks and a great spread of finger food, we listened to branch president, Jane Moore, describe the many ups and downs and unexpected curveballs thrown at the crew during filming. The night concluded with a presentation of the final movie, but we were held in suspense upon learning that we would have to wait with the rest of the country to find out which books had been shortlisted.
We were delighted to be able to hold Night of the Notables this year after it was cancelled due to COVID in 2020. The event was well attended. Fortunately, we were able to safely spread out through the Burnside Ballroom to enjoy drinks and nibbles. Five wonderful presenters – Nola Uzzell,
Katrina Germein, Julia Baldwin, Eileen McCabe and Kathryn Beilby entertained the audience with their expert opinions on the best of the Notables BOYA books. Each presenter chose a different category and prepared a slideshow to accompany her talk.
Attendees were also able to access these slide presentations after the event. Night of the Notables is a terrific way to help us learn about the best of Australian Children’s books and build interest in the CBCA Shortlist and CBCA Book Week.
We are extremely grateful to the Burnside Library staff for their support.
2020 will go down as the year when the COVID epidemic waylaid plans for functions, activities and meetings as we flexed with ever-changing restrictions aimed at ensuring the health and safety of our patrons, members and committee.
Our annual Night of the Notables in March was the first event to be cancelled. This was followed by the cancellation of our exciting plans for hosting the National CBCA Shortlist Announcements at The Sanctuary Adelaide Zoo in child-centred experience featuring workshops with our premier South Australian authors and illustrators and an animal handling experience in keeping with the CBCA Book Week theme “Curious creatures, Wild minds”.
The national hosting of the CBCA Book of the Year Awards to be held at Government House and hosted by the Governor and Mrs Le also had to be cancelled as travel restrictions, quarantine uncertainties and social distancing made face to face gatherings impossible to plan and execute.
South Australian children’s authors and illustrators were also impacted by COVID restrictions. More than 20 had new books were released, but opportunities for launching and promoting were negligible. The SA Branch planned a massive mini-launch for more than 15 new South Australian children’s books, but this also had to be cancelled to accommodate COVID restrictions.
We are looking forward to a better 2021!
CBCA SA members had an evening with Australian author Gina Newton. Gina writes entertaining and informative books for children about Australia’s unique biodiversity. She trained as a marine biologist, zoologist and science communicator. Gina is passionate about helping children become excited about, understand, and care for Australian wildlife and the environment.
Gina’s book Amazing Animals of Australia’s National Parks (2016) won three prestigious awards, including the CBCA Eve Pownall Information Book of the Year, in 2017.
She has also written two Blossom Possum picture books, and her most recent releases Combat Wombat to the Rescue and Hold On: Saving the Spotted Handfish.
Thebarton Senior College was selected as the South Australian winner of the ‘Homestead’ Street library donated by Street Library Australia and the Children’s Book Council of Australia.
Thebarton’s submission highlighted how the Street Library would support the Branch objective of putting books in the hands of children and young people from disadvantaged communities. Students come from diverse backgrounds representing more than 70 cultural groups.
Many have come to South Australia under refugee programs. Because a proportion of students are adults and parents, the reach of the Street library will extend into homes and families across the metropolitan area.
Thebarton has an active student voice group who will provide leadership in decorating the Street Library and managing the project after CBCA Book Week in conjunction with the school library.
The Committee took the decision to fund a further Street Library to Naracoorte South Primary School to assist in its push to improve literacy and foster a love of reading across the community.
We look forward to hearing about the progress and needs of both Libraries once they have been launched.
Opportunities will exist in the new year for members to contribute to maintaining a quality collection of used books for both schools.
The Book Week dinner was held on Friday, October 16th at Jarmer’s Restaurant. A great night was experienced by 75 people and we were delighted to have Vikki Wakefield, the 2020 CBCA Book of the Year winner as our special guest. Author Allayne Webster used her musical talents to entertain us all and we enjoyed celebrating the Curious Creatures, Wild Minds theme.
Thank you to Lauren Mullinder and Kate Jones for organising such a wonderful event.
On Wednesday, September 30th a filming session was held in the Ardtornish Primary School Library for SA children’s authors and illustrators. This was a quickly organised event to help compensate for the cancelled “Creative Connection” to have been held on November 13th. Not all the authors and illustrators could be present but 7 new publications were featured, “Indigo Owl” by Charlie Archbold, “A Boy and a Ball” by Phil Cummings, “Edie’s Experiments: How to be the Best”, by Charlotte Barkla, “Eloise and the Bucket of Stars” by Janeen Brian, “Meet Mia at the Jetty” by Janeen Brian and Danny Snell, “Esmeralda’s Nest” by Robert Moore and Mandy Foot and “Molly Moores has a House like yours” by Kaliah Tsakalidis and Ross Morgan. Lauren did a great job in filming and editing the movies and Janeen in organising the authors and illustrators. We now have the promo shots and most of the movies completed for a segment we have named “Book Bubbles”. Each author or illustrator donated a signed copy of their book to use as a Facebook promotion. CBCA SA Branch also has their own YouTube channel, where you see all the “Book Bubbles” book trailers.
Storytime at Carrick Hill
A fabulous venue under marquees on the Cypress Terraces! A fantastic program focussed on the CBCA Book Week theme! Wonderful presenters! A generous sponsor! (Pegi Williams Bookshop donated a $7 discount voucher for every child registered [matching the ticket price], as well as a $20 gift voucher for each session). An early sell-out!!!
And then thanks to La Nina – down came the rain!
Result – cancellation!
Because of COVID we had already taken the decision to provide take home craft activities in a CBCA (SA) goody bag, rather than risk mingling on the day. Every effort was made to get these bags to all registered families.
Next year we hope for better weather and a return to the more sheltered stable lawns area.
On Tuesday, September 29th, 2 concurrent PD sessions were held at Ardtornish Primary School Gym.
The first session, “What to do after level 30” was a 2-hour presentation on how to use children’s literature as the focus for the classroom reading program. The topics ranged from how to select a “Just Right” book to record keeping for both teachers and students, book trailers and classroom libraries. Scholastic, a CBCA SA Branch sponsor supported the event with free giveaways, a chance to win a poetry pack and the opportunity of a free copy of a Donalyn Miller book. Another sponsor, Greenlight Comics kindly gave each attendee a comic pack to take away.
There was an hour break for lunch, after which the second afternoon session, “A Mixed Bag” Arts PD 3-hour presentation began. There were 2 guest presenters, Kristin Martin, poet and Lauren Mullinder, illustrator who gave wonderful hands on presentations on poetry writing and dragon drawing.
A variety of presenters gave informative talks with examples on how to connect the arts and writing to children’s literature, in particular the 2020 Short list and Notables books.
At each presentation a raffle was held where the winning prize was original artwork by Greg Holfeld and Greg kindly donated signed copies of his books as part of the prize.
The PD committee worked very hard setting up the Ardtornish School Gym and it was transformed into an exciting and welcoming environment.
The “Mixed Bag” Arts PD PowerPoint is now ready for sale for $20 on our website.
Thank you to Brenda George, Lauren Mullinder, Kathryn Beilby and Kate Jones for the many hours of work they spent making the art, the PowerPoint and setting up the gym. Thank you to our SA Branch Director for helping with the heavy lifting.