Wa cbca org au How to organise children’s book week in your school or public library advance Information

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Advance Information
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:

  • Venue

  • Special events

  • Displays

  • Artists – author, illustrator, storyteller visits into or outside the school

  • Activities

  • Publicity

  • CBCA Merchandise


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 classrooms etc.

Special Events

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 session.

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 setting up.


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 work.


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 www.det.wa.edu.au/education/cmis/librarysupport/displays.htm

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 arrangements

  • 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:


See also



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.
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.

See www.writingwa.org/


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.

CBCA Merchandise

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

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.

  • Badges

  • Bookmarks

  • Banner

  • Stickers – both theme and CBC Book of the Year Award

  • Balloons

  • Book bags

  • Short List Information Booklet – information on the short listed authors/illustrators

  • 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!!

© Children’s Book Council of Australia WA Branch June 2009

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