Children’s authors visit Tea Gardens Primary School for MidCoast Great Books Festival

Author Felice Arena with students from Tea Gardens Public School. (L-R) Rose, Zach, Ruby, Ebony, Andrew (behind).

LITERACY came to life when two children’s authors’ visited Tea Gardens Public School on Monday 22 May and Tuesday 23 May, as part of MidCoast Libraries’ ‘Great Books Festival’.

On Monday, local schoolkids listened to best-selling and award-winning children’s author Felice Arena, whose books include ‘Pasta!’, ‘Sporty Kids’ and ‘The Unstoppable Flying Flanagan’.

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“His enthusiasm for writing came through with his explanations of how a story idea starts and the research behind his stories,” one teacher told NOTA of Mr Arena’s presentation.

“The students especially loved being involved in the presentation, where they had a slo-mo football game.

“Our Italian accents greatly improved with the pronunciation of Felice’s name and some joint reading of the book, ‘Pasta’, which made us a bit hungry.”

Tea Gardens Public School student Eamon declared, ““My favourite part was when the teacher called him ‘Felicky’ and my favourite books were Sporty Kids, Little Athletics, and Pasta.”

Younger students even got involved by drawing the cat from the ‘Pasta’ book after his visit, and sharing in their reinvigorated inspiration for creativity.

“I like how Lachy got up and he was going in slow-motion,” said Shooter, a Year 6 student.

“I learnt that Felice travels around Australia talking to kids at schools about his books, and it was great sharing his story,” said Ebony from Year 5.

On Tuesday, the kids were visited by author Jacqueline Harvey, who shared some of her exciting stories, engaging the students with tales from her childhood and her own days as a teacher.

“I have been inundated with requests about her books and they are disappearing rapidly from our library shelves – demand is certainly outstripping supply,” Teacher-Librarian Rachel Cooper noted later, in a clear testament to how engaging Jacqueline’s visit was.

“I think my new favourite author is Jacqueline Harvey,” student Kora C proclaimed.

“I liked when Jacqueline Harvey was talking about her Willa and Woof books,” said Kayleigh T, while Ocean H stated, “I loved when she was talking about her books based in Egypt.”

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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