HOW TO ORGANISE CHILDREN’S BOOK WEEK IN
YOUR SCHOOL OR PUBLIC LIBRARY
The Book Week Coordinator needs to provide the following information to the
school or public library staff early in the year:
dates of Children’s Book Week (always in August)
theme for the year
authors and/or illustrators who could visit during Children’s Book Week
information regarding activities at Regional Centres and Public Libraries
details of the Make Your Own Storybook Competition
merchandise available to promote Children’s Book Week.
All the above information is available on this website.
It is helpful to form a committee in order to share the workload, generate a variety
of ideas and provide whole institution ownership.
The Committee needs to address areas such as:
Artists – author, illustrator, storyteller visits into or outside the school
As Children’s Book Week is held in August, indoor venues are necessary. Halls
or libraries can be used as a central focus as well as art rooms, corridors, spare
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At the local level the Committee could consider some of the following:
Opening Ceremony – an official opening with a special guest, with music, drama
or role playing performances by young people, perhaps associated with the theme
or extracts from the short listed books. This may be as large as a whole
school/public library event or as small as one class, Book Club or Story Time
Dress Up Day – Young people can be encouraged to dress up as any storybook
character, or more specifically as a character from the Book of the Year Award
entries. Encourage staff members to participate and record the day using
photographs and children’s writing.
Parent Involvement – encourage parents to become involved in Dress Up day, a
Parent’s Night and Open Afternoon or School Assembly.
Book Fair – some schools incorporate a Book Fair during Children’s Book Week.
There are a number of companies who organize these commercially or the library
can pre-select books from preferred suppliers for students to buy or for families to
donate the books to the school library.
Literature Quizzes – organize quiz questions around various displays. See also
the Readers’ Cup information on the CBCA WA website.
The Committee needs to canvass staff in order to seek offers of display help. Aim
to get as many young people involved as possible both in terms of content and
Each year a new theme is selected for Children’s Book Week. An order form for
merchandise to support the theme and the short listed books is available on this
website. Displays can be prepared around the theme, the short listed books,
Make Your Own Storybook entries or other examples of children’s writing, visiting
author/illustrator information, Australia or WA author/illustrator focus and art/craft
This will be determined by venues available. Displays can range in size
depending on area to be used.
Layout will depend on size of venue and availability of resources. Class teachers,
library staff, support teachers, specialist teachers, teacher aides, parents and
young people can all be a great help. Resources include display boards,
rostrum/drama boxes, trestle/tables and perspex boxes. If such items are
unavailable or limited, consider hanging part of the display from the ceiling or
walls or windows. The following items may be helpful – hessian, posters, prints,
photographs, books, children’s writing, puppets, curtaining, sheets, fishing nets,
tablecloths, real objects eg. furniture, clothing, crockery, and lettering for signs,
headings and information.
See Display ideas at
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Author , illustrator, storyteller visits
Authors, illustrators and storytellers (artists) are an essential part of Children’s
Book Week. Consider inviting local, Western Australian or national artists to your
celebration. These may include authors, illustrators, storytellers, story readers,
drama performers, theatre groups and local artists.
For more information about WA artists contact the Young People’s Services
Librarian at the State Library of WA, the librarians at your local public library and
writingWA. In your local community there may be literary/art /storytelling groups
that could provide guest artists.
When artists have been identified the following protocol needs to be considered:
approach artists 6-9 months prior to CBW and make tentative
arrangements regarding dates and times
confirm details in writing six weeks before listing dates, times, student
age range, student numbers, area to be used, payment and travel
match the student age range with that requested by the artist
choose a suitable area away from noise and other distractions
limit groups to 30-55 students, unless specifically pre-arranged
show appreciation on the day, and afterwards in writing.
Fees and conditions for artists can be found on the Australian Society of Authors
website at www.asauthors.org/
For a list of WA Authors and Illustrators see:
Booking Agents for authors and illustrators
Show and Tell Promotions – has a WA agent
Lateral Learning Pty Ltd
Booked Out Speakers Agency
Fremantle Children’s Literature Centre runs workshops, gallery events, meet
the author and illustrator sessions and has rural, interstate and international
residence programs undertaking literature programs in many areas. For details
visit the website at www.fclc.com.au/
Public Library programs - Metropolitan and Regional libraries in WA conduct a
number of events during Children’s Book Week including author and illustrator
visits and workshops, storytelling and theatre. These events are available to local
schools. Contact your local librarian or the State Library of WA.
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writingWA coordinates Writers on the Road - a series of tours by professional
writers to regional and remote communities throughout WA with priority given to
the delivery of activities within schools in regional areas. These may coincide with
your Children’s Book Week activities.
The Short List – the announcement of the Short List in the Children’s Book of the
Year Awards is made approximately four months before Children’s Book Week.
Libraries are encouraged to select and purchase from the list and set up a display.
Activities can then be arranged around the books. Book talks, read aloud
sessions, voting and quizzes may be incorporated into the program.
The Children’s Book Council of Australia runs an online Junior Judge’s
Competition – see details at juniorjudges.com/
For ideas and activities linked to this year’s Children’s Book Week slogan see
School Assemblies – with prior planning, school assemblies before and during
Children’s Book Week can be organised to promote the theme, visiting artists,
displays, special events and short listed books. Through the School Assembly
Children’s Book Week can reach the wider community.
To ensure that everyone is aware of what is coming up the Committee needs to
regularly update staff members both informally and at staff meetings and use
written forms such as newsletters. A monthly update sheet could be published
and distributed. This could include information on visiting artists so that young
people can be adequately prepared for visiting artists and excursions. Promotion
to students can be done through information sharing in library lessons, updates by
the Coordinator, posters on notice boards and via school newsletters. Promotion
to parents through school newsletters, parent invitations, assemblies, P & C
meetings and on the school website is also required.
One task of the Committee may be to approach media organisations in order to
gain publicity for Book Week events. Make contact with local newspapers, radio
stations, television stations, and send posters/updates to local community groups.
Country media outlets are often very keen to promote local stories. You will have
much more success with local newspapers if you provide them with written
material (and photographs) about your activities.
Merchandise may be purchased through the CBCA WA Branch, including online.
The materials focus on promotion of the short listed books and the annual theme.
Order forms are posted to schools and libraries in March and can be downloaded
from the website wa.cbca.org.au/wamerchandise.htm
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Materials are distributed to schools in June. The following items may assist in
your publicity of, and programs related to Children’s Book Week:
Posters – both short list and theme.
Stickers – both theme and CBC Book of the Year Award
Short List Information Booklet – information on the short listed
Notable Australian Children’s Books – an annotated list of books, selected
from the entries in the Book of the Year Awards that the judges recommend
for your collection. An invaluable buying guide for libraries.
Good luck for your Children’s Book Week and when it comes, ENJOY!!
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