|CBCA Tassie president, the amazing Patsy Jones|
On Friday and Saturday, the CBCA Tasmania branch ran its 2011 conference. I went to both the Launnie and Hobart gigs, and both days were wonderfully inspiring, thought-provoking and downright fantastic days. A big reason for this was the glorious Chris Morphew, who took time out from his busy life as a "Hip geek" celebrity to teen readers all over the country to give us his thoughts on YA trends and the "reluctant reader". Now, I am a huge fan of Chris (and had to stop myself from going all "fangirl" when I met him), but I can say, impartially, he had the rest of us delegates in the palm of his hand for his entire talk. What I loved most is how much he values his readers, never talks down to them, and rates their opinion over any other. He's an inspiration.
Also inspirational was Tassie illustrator Tony Flowers, who showed us his gobsmacking handmade popup book creations. He's a super talent (and most be unbelIEVably patient to boot). Andrea Potter also gave an eye-opening speech on the Visual Spatial learner. I think the teachers in the pack, in particular, found her thoughts incredibly useful.
Carol Fuller gave a talk on the new publication she has produced with Nella Pickup - Books To Keep Kids Reading. It's a brochure full of great titles for parents to pick for their kids. Carol is available to do talks with community groups and parents and friends associations about this booklet. Drop us a line at our comments form if you'd like her to come and chat to your group, and we'll pass the message on. The (exceedingly) new Minister for Children, Michelle O'Byrne was kind enough to come along and launch the booklet. Michelle is a dedicated reader of kids' books, and passionate about reading to her own young-uns, so she was the perfect person for the job.
We also had some fun, feisty forums in the afternoon, on ebooks and the future of the book. The general consensus was "It's the message, not the medium" (Thanks to Michael Pryor for that quote), that it doesn't really matter how kids read as long as they're reading, that the paper book aint set for the grave just yet, and there are many kinks to be ironed out before ebooks can be an integrated part of school content delivery.
Last but not least, we had great presentations from some fabulous speech pathologists, and our Tassie CBCA Awards judge, Jenni Connor, who presented despite a super painful injury to her shoulder blade!
If you've been considering coming to a CBCA Tas conference but haven't got there yet ... well, you missed out big time this year, but there's always next year, so watch this space.
|Michelle O'Byrne with Carol Fuller and Nella Pickup|