Book Week at GCC
It is very obvious to me that GCC families love Book Week and go to a huge effort to make it special for their children. If you have a chance to look at the photos on Pixevety or Facebook, you will see what I mean. Book Week Parade is also a time when we see our fantastic staff show their love of GCC and everything educational by embracing the theme, coordinating their costumes and just being their fabulous selves.
Why do we have Book Week?
Book Week was first launched by the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) back in 1945 due to the scarcity of children’s literature by Australian authors.
A couple of hundred years earlier in 1690, John Locke was one of the first to provide children with “easy pleasant books” but they were more for educational purposes than entertainment. The Puritans also added to the genre in order to provide children with “good godly books”. For example, The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan written in 1678 was actually written for children!
Orbis Pictus is considered the first picture book created specifically for children. It was written by John Amos Comenius in Bohemia in 1658. However, the golden age of child literature really took off in the middle of the 19th century with stories like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Tom Sawyer and then The Adventures of Pinocchio, Treasure Island, Kidnapped, The Jungle Book and Peter Pan. Many of us grew up with CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien and Roald Dahl but none of these authors is Australian hence the launch of CBCA Book Week in 1945 when the first theme was, “United Through Books”.
Thanks to initiatives like Book Week, Australia now has a plethora of wonderful authors who are not only popular here but have made their mark across the world. The range includes classics by Mem Fox and Jackie French, humorous books by Andy Griffiths, irreverent novels by Morris Gleitzman and Paul Jennings, light-hearted looks at life by Anh Do and everything in between!
We even have authors and illustrators at GCC! Lincoln Rawlins in Year 3 has just published his first picture book and was a guest author at our Book Fair. Staff member Paul O’Sullivan’s illustrations have been published in many books and he often holds workshops for small groups of our students.
If you have designed a costume this year, then you would be aware of hundreds more authors and thousands more books. Children’s literature has come a long way since 1658 and it is wonderful to see it embraced so creatively every year at Book Week.
Mike Curtis, Principal