Even the sun came out in Melbourne today for the Children's Book Festival of 2012 which took place at the magnificent State Library of Victoria and The Wheeler Centre on Sunday 25th March 2012.
Immersing everyone in the love and joy of reading this was a day jam packed full of activities, talks, signings, shows and even a petting zoo!
Boori Monty Pryor got the proceedings in the Queen's Hall off to a great start. His ability to involve everyone in the audience, to really engage and involve the children with his captivating story telling was a perfect start to a Sunday morning. Two boys in particular were in absolute fits of contagious giggles and hanging off his every word - now that's what you call a Children's Laureate!!
As the sun burst out from behind the clouds the queue for Andy Griffiths in the signing tent on the lawns of the State Library grew ... and grew ... and grew .. that man has some stamina, and probably an aching hand by the end as he was there for over an hour! Everyone had their favourite Andy Griffiths' book signed before he was whisked away to The Wheeler Centre.
There he entertained a packed audience with excerpts from his books and how they came to be; from their favourite getaway on The Wilson's Prom to the humorous discussions between himself and Terry. Am delighted to learn that he cites The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton as one of his best loved books as a child, and that it may even have had an influence on The 13-Storey Treehouse. Ambitious plans indeed for the Treehouse which attracted lots of giggles. Andy hopes it will grow by 13 stories each year until 2025 ... the 169 storey house will be awesome!!!
On stage at The Wheeler Centre Boori Monty Pryor joined forces with fellow Children's Laureate Alison Lester where they both spoke passionately about reaching out to all children to inspire a love of reading. Their plans for the year ahead sound fantastic and they were keen to voice very strong support for libraries and the talented librarians who run them so well!
Off stage there were a plethora of inspiring activities set up for young and old readers including (but not limited to) dragon drawing by Gabrielle Wang, a packed out talk by Sally Rippin (pictured above) to her hoards of enthusiastic fans, story telling by the lovely Alison Lester, Hazel Edwards and a chance for eager fans to meet Graeme Base.
The Children's Book Festival was a thoroughly enjoyable day which certainly achieved what it set out to do - encourage and foster a love of reading, books and stories.
Did you go?