Every year since 1945, Australia has held a festival celebrating Australian authors and their books. The entire community comes together to honor Australian authors and illustrators with a nationwide Book Week. Children in schools learn about these Australian men and women and become introduced to their books in hopes of instilling the importance of reading.
Each Book Week has its own unique theme. First, a national theme is chosen by the Children’s Book Council of Australia and then members of the National Council vote to approve it. In year’s past, themes have covered everything from “Good Books are Good Companions” in 1952 to “Bookaleidoscope” in 1997. This year’s theme is “Champions Read”. The artwork for the Book Week theme is designed by the winner of the Book of the Year Illustrator from the previous year.
The 2012 Book Week will be held on Saturday, August 18th through Friday, August 24th. During that week, everyone will be reading books at home, schools, libraries and bookstores. The weeklong focus on books and reading will introduce young and old readers to new books and to classic Australian tales. School teachers, school librarians, and public librarians will join in the festivities by reading books, holding fun activities, and sponsoring competitions to encourage the love of reading. The purpose of Book Week is to emphasize the importance of reading for everyone.
Children can have fun wearing Book Week costumes to school or to the events held at the school or public library. Ideas for costumes for Book Week are as endless as your imagination. The following are a few ideas for kids costumes. You could come as the author or illustrator of your favorite book. Wouldn’t it be great to dress up as a character from your favorite book, such as a “bunyip” from Jenny Wagner’s The Bunyip of Berkeley Creek or “Dr von Burpinburger” from John Heffernan’s The Revenge of Dr von Burpinburger. Pick an author or character and see if your classmates or friends can guess who you really are! Kids book week costumes can also be something that fits the theme. Come as a “champion” in whatever activity or sport you participate in or watch as a spectator. Don’t forget to bring a book to read! After all, “champions read”!
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