I had the absolute pleasure of spending yesterday as a 'star' at the seventh annual
'Lunch with the Stars'
event hosted by the CBCA (NSW) Northern Sydney sub-branch.
Twenty-two schools (176 students) and 22 'stars' (aka children's authors and illustrators) from across Sydney filled the Grand Hall of ICMS (old St Patricks College) in Manly.
|Grand Hall just before the kids arrived
This amazing venue made me feel like I was in a Harry Potter story. The old
sandstone building certainly set the scene for an incredible experience.
(I forgot to take a photo of the outside of the building this year - doh!)
Humphreys, the local Manly bookseller, sold books by the stars during the day.
It is so lovely to see our little book sitting with such an outstanding selection
of beautiful children's books and to see older children buying it.
I was so lucky to host a table with students from Marina Regina, Avalon. This is a small Catholic school on the north shore. It was extra special when I found out they are part
of the Broken Bay Diocese as I used to teach in this diocese many years ago and
I have such fond memories.
Just take a look at the following photos showing how they decorated our table with a dandelion theme. I must admit their efforts meant so much to me as our book is a picture book and these students are in Stage 3. As soon as I tried to explain picture books are for everyone, they assured me they already knew as their librarian tells them the same thing.
Notice the wooden recycled place mats, fresh flowers, hand made dandelion puffs, gardening tools, grass table runner, yellow cups and basket of paper flowers.
They can come and decorate for me any time - clever chooks!
The illustration challenge was very popular. The children had a great
time drawing a tapir led by the amazing Marjorie Crosby-Fairall.
It was an absolute delight to have Kirrili with me at this event. My students got to meet her too and she got to see how the Marina Regina students decorated the table for our book. Kirrili's student's from Random House decorated her table using ideas from her LAC books.
Here are the clever chooks from Marina Regina. They dressed up using the dandelion theme as well. I have had a few of these student email me with sweet messages since meeting them yesterday. Such a highlight of my job!
And here is a photo of all the talented authors and illustrators who gave up
their time to help the CBCA Northern Sydney sub-branch celebrate books.
From left to right:
Katrina McKelvey, Belinda Murrell, Felicity Pullman, Wendy Blaxland, Kirrili Lonergan
Wendy Fitzgerald, Louise Park, Lesley Gibbes, Susanne Gervay, Allison Tait
Lindy Batchelor, Kaz Delaney, Kate Forsyth, Marjorie Crosby-Fairall
Deb Abela, Aura Parker, Jill B. Bruce, Laurine Croasdale, Debra Tidball
Not in photo but at event:
Jan Latta, Peter Macinnis, Mark Thomason
Thank you to Belinda and Wendy for including Kirrili, Kaz and I from Newcastle.
The long drive to this beautiful part of Sydney is always worth it. And it's
a pleasure to help the Northern Sydney sub-branch have fun.
With help from the Newcastle sub-branch LWS committee, I look forward to delivering our second 'Lunch with the Stars' event on 13th September to 14 local schools in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie area.
Wish us luck as I hope our lunch is as spectacular as this one!