Yay! It’s Library Day
32pp., pbk., RRP $A16.99
For Oliver and Ivy it is the best day of the week because it’s the day their dad takes them to the library. That’s because that’s the day they can tip=toe through the lion’s lair into the realm of fairies and on into vast rolling oceans ruled by pirates, and even play ping-pong with purple llamas from Timbuctoo! Every book on the library’s shelves takes them to a new world and introduces new characters to frolic with in their words and pictures. Princess, sea creatures, kangaroos, ballerinas are all their as the magic carpet sweeps them on new adventures … those amazing books bring their imaginations alive.
If this book were only this story that is as powerful an advertisement for stories and reading as the Superbowl ad was for Australian tourism, then it would be amazing as Darlison’s rollicking rhyme shares the possibilities of story, but it is more than that because this is the second one that has drawn on the talents of Australia’s children to illustrate it. Like its predecessor Zoo Ball, each page Wombat Books invited children all over Australia to submit drawings to accompany the story to provide them with an introduction to the world of illustrating and the opportunity to be published professionally and so each page has its own unique illustration to accompany Darlison’s text, and providing a different and unique interpretation of it, just as stories do. Now more than 30 budding illustrators have had their work featured, but over 600 took the opportunity to participate – a figure that suggests we need to consider offering students as much opportunity to draw as write as we teach.
Indeed, offering them the text and inviting them to interpret it as part of your lessons would not only provide an authentic way to investigate how we each interpret the same words differently according to our personal experiences but also open up discussions about perspective and interpretation of events and our role within them. That’s as well as giving you a unique and intriguing display particularly if students are then encouraged to suggest and find stories that match the pictures, accompanied by their comments about why they love their library!
I hope Wombat Books continue to offer this opportunity to young Australian illustrators, but even if they don’t, it gives us a reminder that we should never underestimate the power of the picture!
The perfect book to share on Library Lovers’ Day!