Parents race around, making the final touches to what is to be the ‘best’ year yet; last minute visits to the store, final stitching and tying of bows. Please take note, we’re playing for sheep stations here. It lasts for a whole week; parades, sharing and even special visits that trance us in wonder. No, it’s not our festive season in December, it’s something much more. I-pads and Nintendo and phones take a back seat; even if it’s just for while, for there’s nothing quite like that tactile experience. Its rigid spine and glossy face; it headlines in all its glory! A book, of course. Bravo, for Book Week has arrived!
Perhaps though, the most excited of all the children during this time are the ones who bring those smiles most readily, the authors and illustrators themselves!
‘Book Week’, Christmas for all those folks with their names on the covers of our beloved paperbacks. It is quite the experience seeing eyes glistening with ambition, without one set of googlies being glued to screens. To stand and present is a gift in itself, but to present a book is something very, very special. Something I can say I am lucky enough to have done. To stand before our inspired future and verbalise the bold world I use to live in when books were a gateway into one’s imagination and television was for adults and the boredom dwellers is something quite surreal. Even more so eerie is the sea of eyes that watch in complete disbelief.
“You mean, your imagination was your entertainment?” A question is posed. “Why yes…” I reply despondent, though empathetically.
See I was once the “techno” generation, where we needed to get outside and play more or sink our minds into the covers of a book in order to develop some idea of what really goes on beyond the front fence.
There’s nothing though quite as astonishing or important during one of my productions as the magic that takes place without the presence of digital technology. Conversation. The kids laugh at my quirky spin on being a kid and their hearts sink with sympathetic glee whilst they discover each other’s times of hardship and triumph. The air is suddenly filled with something reminiscent of home, a safe place where people smile and share in great company. It’s empowerment, it’s inspiration. It’s a bond that goes beyond just ‘you give, I take’. It’s friendship.
‘All this from a book and its message of dreams and resilience?’ You may query. It is rather hard to explain it until you see, but the experience of sharing a book to one, two or two-hundred kids is much much more than simply speaking and listening. And this is why books are so important. They really are spellbinding. The ownership of interpretation you have can only be sold to others through conversing. How powerful is that? Some say, ‘knowledge is power’, I feel it should be, ‘reading is power’. And, ‘sharing is all conquering’. The experience of reading and sharing a book may last only minutes but the impact may last a lifetime.
People now ask me, ‘so you’re an author who inspires kids?’ The answer is simple, no. I am an everyday person who encourages others to create. Children inspire my creation and Book Week enriches my writing. Try it out; grab a great book, share its beauty and go and live with a true zest for life. At JustZeusBooks we urge everyone to create their own magic and what better way to start than by reading a book? What better time to start than in Book Week? Happening across Australia right now.