Book Week – a Grand, Contagious Celebration


Something beyond spectacular happens in schools around Australia in Book Week: schools burst at the seams with colour and energy as they celebrate all things books.


CBCA Book Week. It’s joyous. It’s adventurous. It’s contagious.
But it can’t happen without authors and illustrators. And it most definitely can’t happen without readers.

I have spent more than half of my life reading books to children, literally reading thousands and thousands of picture books and chapter books, and this is what I have noticed over the years: there is change – books for children have grown; not only in the amount of books, but they are richer in content, and in quality of illustrations.

And here’s the thing … picture books, chapter books and novels have only continued to get better. When you think you have read the best book ever for children, along comes another one that tops it.

It still amazes me after all these years, and even in our age of technology, that one physical children’s book can get the attention of an entire class like a rock star. Eyes are focussed, and ears are listening, hanging off every word. Children listen in eagerness together, laugh together, cry together, and ask for one more page, or to read it again, or please can we read one more chapter

It’s about the connection of hearts and minds. Being on the same page. That’s what books do.

Every experienced teacher in the world has books in their teacher toolkit. Here’s why –
• If you want to settle a class after an energetic play time – read them a book.
• If you want to introduce a lesson, or a new concept with pizazz – start by reading them a book with content that will be in the lesson.
• If you want to bring the class together at the end of the day – read them a book.
• If you want a class to think deeply about a concept – take them inside a book so they can feel the emotion of a character and see the world through that character’s eyes, ears and heart.
• If you want to inspire children – read them a book.


And here’s the thing … reading books creates empathy, kindness and understanding in the reader. Stories are a powerful. They engage, entertain, empower, explain, encourage and inspire. Research shows that book readers are smarter and kinder.

Imagine a classroom without books. A library without books. A home without books. A world without books – it would be akin to missing a heart.

Imagine a world without writers – wait, that means no books, no movies, no gaming, no lyrics to songs – after all, they are all built from the foundation of stories … what would the world become?

Parents, authors thank you for your amazing support with book week.

Teachers, authors salute you, and thank you for the part you play in spreading the love for reading, for sharing books created by authors, and for gifting students with the ability to read.

Children, you are the reason children’s authors write, and will continue to write, as you are more important than all the treasure in the world.

54722901_s children reading book on roof

To finish, I’d like to share one precious memory of Book Week that stays with me – it’s a child who made his own costume from cardboard and alfoil. He had made it – not his mum, or his dad. His costume didn’t cost a lot, but it was filled with his imagination and with joy, created from the imagery of the words of his only book. It was simple, and yet, it was simply the best!

IMG_0902.jpgcropped.jpgmoidtone.jpg midtones

Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Multi-published Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)

eady for book week - travelling suitcase (3)

Writing novels as Amelia Grace:

tcob front cover  bk fr  embodiment front cover

Julieann is a member of:

Weird Weirder Weirdest – a book review


Title: Weird Weirder Weirdest
written & illustrated by: Martii Maclean
Publisher: Kooky Cat Books

Children’s Chapter Book author, Martii Maclean will have you turning the pages with her collection of short stories in ‘Weird Weirder Weirdest’. The seven stories, suitable for children aged 8+, will have both kids and parents giggling, sniggering and laughing out loud.

But beware, behind some of the most hilarious parts are pieces of truth that every child and adult alike will see, and some may even recognise pieces of themselves in the characters or situations.

Besides being an entertaining read, ‘Weird Weirder Weirdest’ has some main characters as bullies, in relatable real life situations, and all children and grown-ups will delight when they receive their “just desserts”.

‘Weird Weirder Weirdest’ is a perfect book of short stories that can be read independently, or as a book to read together at home. It contains pertinent concepts that every child will experience or witness at school, and Martii Maclean’s writing opens the incidents up for discussion.

In educational settings, ‘Weird Weirder Weirdest’ would be ideal to read a short story a day, and to encourage students to write their own ‘weird’ story. It would also to suitable to open the discussion topic of bullying, and the power of the bystander.

P_work_girl-2-232x300Comprehensive teaching notes (26 pages) for schools (with Australian Curriculum links), homeschooling and home, can be found at: well as a colouring page for each short story – making it the perfect teaching resource.

‘Weird Weirder Weirdest’, written and illustrated by Martii Maclean has something for everyone. If you love Paul Jennings short stories, you will love this book too.

Purchase a copy: Weird Weirder Weirdest

Connect with Martii Maclean at:

Title: Weird Weirder Weirdest
Author: Martii Maclean
ISBN: 978-0-9945408-2-9 (print book)
ISBN:978-0-9945408-3-6 (eBook)
Publisher: Kooky Cat Books
First Published in Australia: 2017
Page Count: 102 pages

IMG_0902.jpgcropped.jpgmoidtone.jpg midtones

Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)

Julieann is a member of:


Curly Tales, book review

curly tales







Title: Curly Tales – stories with a short twist
by: Bill Condon
illustrated by: Dave Atze
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing

Let your imagination soar with these funny fables about the extraordinary adventures of ordinary animals. Laugh out loud and enjoy twisted tales of a super smart cow, a daredevil flea, an earthworm who daydreams of being an anaconda, and many more.

Author, Bill Condon, has written 14 short stories that have an unexpected twist at the end of the tale. Interwoven into the story are classic proverbs that you don’t see coming until the finale of the short story, and then these have fun with word play.

The short stories are perfect for one a day stories, or for the avid reader, to read the entire book in one go. Illustrator, Dave Atze, has captured the sense of humour of the words with zest in his illustrations, making me want to take out my textas and colouring-in pencils and add my own signature of colour splash for each short story.










At the end of the book is a section titled: Proverbs, Sayings, Wisdoms and Advice. This is a much needed addition, as I feel that children of the last two generations are not at all familiar with proverbs, or even fables that have a moral to the story.

Curly Tales is an enjoyable book of short stories that can be used to introduce children to proverbs, as well as using a play on words of the proverbs used, inviting them into the world of 680 (that I found) once familiar proverbs and sayings ( that were well known around the world, once upon a time.

Purchase a copy:

Title: Curly Tales – short stories with a twist
by: Bill Condon
illustrated by: Dave Atze
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing
ISBN: 9781925520590
Category: children’s fiction
Pages: 130


Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)

Julieann is a member of:
Queensland Writers Centre
Write Links
Share Your Story Australia