My goodness, it is November already. But before we think about singing Christmas carols (oh no!), this is a great month to celebrate picture books.
Picture Book Month is an international literacy initiative (since 2011) that celebrates the print picture book during the month of November – though as children’s writers and illustrators we always value the importance and magic of picture books.
To celebrate the month, a different author or illustrator will visit www.picturebookmonth.com each day to share their love of picture books, explaining why he/she thinks picture books are important.
And make sure you look out for Australian picture book talents, Jackie French (November 11), Emma Quay (November 17) and Bruce Whatley (November 28).
And, how can you participate in Picture Book Month?
There are many ways to celebrate Picture Book Month. Their official website has a Celebrate! page with suggestions on how you can join the celebration!
How can you become a Picture Book Month Ambassador?
Anyone who loves picture books can become a Picture Book Month Ambassador. All you have to do is place their PBM Ambassador logo on your website or blog and celebrate by shouting out Picture Book Month. In exchange for using the PBM ambassador logo, all you need to do is link back to http://www.picturebookmonth.com.
And you might like to read SCBWI’s Christopher Cheng’s 2011 post on why picture books are important. Click here.
As children’s writers we know the magic that books can weave – and their importance in a child’s literacy and language development. We love words and pictures and feel very contented spending endless hours playing with ideas. We love to play. Sometimes our best work has come out of an idea that might have seemed silly to begin with. But after tossing in a mix of creativity, thought, play and flair, metamorphosis has occurred. And a wonderful picture or story has emerged glistening, dynamic and spirited. And we have had fun! Though it can be a little hard going at times.
However, many adults tend to lose of sense of play – especially with art.
As roving reporter during Brisbane’s One Word One Day (OWOD) 2012 illustrator event, each artist kindly offered me their words of inspiration to children – in relation to art.
The following pearls of wisdom are from the talented SCBWI QLD members who attended this event.
‘They have to play. They have to be free to draw something even if they think it is bad. Each time they draw something they improve.’ (Angela Sunde)
‘Unlike mathematics and some other subjects, in Art there are no errors, just a continuous experiment; no mistakes. So this is a good thing for children to remember when they draw – you just keep learning.’ (Lucia Masciullo)
‘Use nature as inspiration. For example, the words wind and rain can be very inspirational as they can be interpreted in so many different ways. Kids can use nature as inspiration.’ (Peter Taylor)
‘Paint with your heart.’ (Lynn Priestley)
Great words of wisdom! Now go have fun!
Please feel free to offer your own inspirational thoughts in the comment section.
Yes, things are moving along in a very positive direction for SCBWI Australia/New Zealand members in this very big country and region.
Here in Queensland, we have at last become a separate region under a new Assistant Regional Advisor, author, Sheryl Gwyther.
We will also retain our Queensland SCBWI committee and sub-committees (Prue Mason, Pam Rushby, Tina Marie Clark, Peter Taylor and Jennifer Poulter.) We look forward to working with you and for you in our wonderful, networking organisation.
Members’ input is also valued and we urge you to become involved in any way you can manage. The world of children’s writing is special, and so are the creators and those who are involved in the industry because we believe in the value of what we do for the young.
Here’s more information on the changes:
The SCBWI Australia & New Zealand Chapter will now be subdivided into the below regions, under the leadership listed below.
Australia East & New Zealand
Susanne Gervay (RA); Sarah Davis (IC)
New South Wales: Deborah Abela (ARA)
Victoria (incl South Australia and Tasmania): Corinne King (ARA)
Queensland: Sheryl Gwyther (ARA)
New Zealand: Francis Plumpton (ARA)
Australia West (WA and NT)
Dianne Wolfer (RA); Meg McKinlay (ARA); Frané Lessac (IC)
Moving on into a new post will be former Regional Advisor Chris Cheng. Chris will now be wearing a number of hats including Co-Chair of the SCBWI Board of Advisors, Regional Advisor Emeritus (RAE) and his newest title as International Publication and Awards Coordinator.