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.

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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!

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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:

Lily Fabourama Glamourama, book review


Title: Lily Fabourama Glamourama
by: Emma Mactaggart
illustrated by: Ester De Boer
Publisher: Boogie Books

Lily efforts to look gorgeously glamourama are foiled
by a whole array of messy farmyard animals…
all in the search for that one silly shoe!
Will she ever get to Grandma’s?

Have you ever lost a shoe? The shoe that you want to wear RIGHT NOW! Well, that is Lily. She is off to visit Grandma for cake, tea and cuddles and wants to look fabulous. Except one silly shoe is missing. Lily searches for it. Firstly in her bedroom – up, down and all around, before she ventures outside. It has to be somewhere! In her grand search for that one silly shoe, Lily encounters farm animals that need her attention. And in her quest of tending to the farm animals, she has a series of mishaps that become an unfabulous fashion statement. How can she visit Grandma now?


Author, Emma Mactaggart, has built the tale of Lily with delight. It is the type of story that will have children heading to their dress up box to play, and the story will take grown-ups back into their own memories of carefree childhood days.

Illustrator, Ester De Boer, has created illustrations that make you want to jump into the pictures to live where Lily lives. The illustrations radiate happiness and fun, and Ester’s use of colour to create the mood of the story is highly effective.6507065_orig

Lily Fabourama Glamourama is a wonderful, feel good book to read to children. It is about kindness, acceptance and the love of three generations of women. It is the perfect book to read for dress-up days, and a go to book to read for Grandparents’ Day.

Purchase a copy:

Title: Lily Fabourama Glamourama
by: Emma Mactaggart
illustrated by: Ester De Boer
Publisher: Boogie Books
ISBN: 9781925255942
Category: children’s

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

Julieann is a member of:



The Magic in Dress-Ups, book review









Title: The Magic in Dress-Ups
written & illustrated by: Chrissy Byers
Publisher: Books by Chrissy Byers

Written to inspire imaginative play, this rhyming recount depicts the adventures of two small girls who create costumes from household junk and craft supplies.

Ending in a challenge, it is the perfect resource for Early Childhood Educators.

Scissors, card and some glue. What can we do?
From the very beginning of Chrissy Byers picture book, The Magic in Dress-Ups, children will be inspired to create. As you read the rhythmic, rhyming text, you will be carried away with imagination, feeling the excitement with each construction from bits and pieces from around the house.

Chrissy’s illustrations are colourful and multi-levelled, inviting a closer inspection about what materials are being used and predicting what they will become with the dress-up. On further analysis, pages in juxtaposition will reveal what the characters are doing in real life of the left, and what they are imagining in their make-believe world on the right. Clever!

I can see this book for young children being read over and over again. It would make a wonderful introduction to an art lesson to inspire children to create their own dress-ups and designs from craft supplies and recyclable materials.

The Magic in Dress-Ups will make children feel upbeat, and it will have you following the flow of colourful magic stars as they weave their way over the pages leaving you with a lovely touch of happiness.

The story ends with ‘Scissors, card and some glue. What can you do?’  There’s a challenge for kids, right there!

Purchase a copy: The Magic in Dress-Ups hardcover

Connect with Chrissy at:

Title: The Magic in Dress-Ups
written & illustrated by: Chrissy Byers
Publisher: Books by Chrissy Byers
ISBN: 978-0-9943648-2-1
Category: pre-school age
Pages: 32 pages


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