National Literacy and Numeracy Week 2013

| August 4, 2013

Last week was National Literacy and Numeracy Week. Children’s books illustrator and author Kerry Argent was this year’s Literacy Ambassador and looks back on a week of reading, drawing with school children and answering a lot of questions.

The week kicked off with a visit to West End State School on Monday. A great bunch of year fives and sixes! All 90 of them. We spent the first half of the session with me showing and talking about the different stages that I go through to illustrate picture books.

And then there were a lot of questions from the children. I think it was the longest question and answer session I’ve ever had! And they were all really good questions as well. I think credit must go to the teachers too, who encourage children to be inquisitive. And even when the bell went for lunchtime, there was still a sizable huddle of kids crowded around my display table looking at the artwork and the materials I use… and still asking questions!

The next visit was to Northgate State School for the Read aloud of ‘Herman and Rosie’. I said that these kids were lucky to have this read to them earlier than any other school, by about four hours, I believe. It’s such a lovely and touching story… something which I can empathise with!

This time I was with a group of years two and three. When I asked them after reading to them what they thought the story was about, they were clear on the idea of being a little bit lonely and sad and meeting a new best friend. I then read them a couple of my favourite books that I had illustrated, ‘A Giraffe in the Bath’, which was written by Mem Fox, and ‘Too Loud Lily’ by Sophie Laguna. I asked the kids if they could help me with the loud bits of this text, as I’m not good at speaking loudly. They did very well with this!

And then it was onto a drawing exercise where the children drew along with me step-by-step, a simple koala’s face, as that is one of my favourite animals to draw. Some fantastic drawings came out there and a few were… very interesting!