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Book Week - Harry Potter Wizard

The Aussie Origin and Evolution of Book Week

Book Week in Australia commenced in 1945 as a way to convey the love of reading to children.  It was established by the same group who still advocate for children’s literature today: the Children’s Book Council of Australia.  In the beginning, Book Week was simply about encouraging kids to read good stories and appreciate strong content.  It was also a platform to encourage existing and emerging Australian children’s authors to showcase their work.

Book Week really began to change as educators and organisers realised that children were more engaged and excited about their reading, when they felt connected to their favourite characters.  One of the best ways to achieve this was to employ the use of costume dress.  By the 1980s, the idea of dressing-up as your favourite book character was firmly entrenched in Book Week culture.  Book Week is important for children for several reasons:

Book Week Promotes Literacy

By exposing children to a wide range of books, Book Week nurtures their literacy skills, enhancing vocabulary, comprehension and critical thinking abilities.

Cultivates Imagination

Books are windows into new worlds.  Book Week exposes children to different settings, characters, and cultures.  Costume dress can add another dimension, by allowing children to explore their imaginations and creativity.  They can think about how a character looks, talks and acts; and then bring that character to life through their costumes and role-play.

Book Week - Little girl reading a book in the park.

Book Week Empowers Expression

Reading enables children to articulate their thoughts and emotions more effectively.  Costume-dress can provide a further boost to self confidence, as it can help shy kids to speak when they’re in character.

Book Week Builds Empathy

Through reading and story telling, children can step into the shoes of characters from various backgrounds, helping them develop empathy and understanding for those viewpoints.  When children are in character, they form a stronger connection with the stories they’re reading.  They have become their favourite character and are experiencing the adventures firsthand.

Learning and Play

Dressing up isn’t just about fun, it’s also about learning through play.  When kids act-out scenes from books, they’re practicing important communication and problem solving skills.  They’re also improving their understanding of different perspectives, while laying the foundation for a lifelong habit of learning, exploration and personal growth.

Nurturing a Love for Reading

The ultimate goal of Book Week is to nurture a love for reading.  When kids see how exciting and immersive stories can be, they’re more likely to continue reading throughout their lives.

Book Week - Young boy reading a book under a tree.

Book Week in Australia began as a way to celebrate and encourage reading among children. The introduction of costume dress adds an interactive element to help children develop their imagination, creativity, confidence and a deeper connection with the stories they read.  This playful approach to learning supports child development by promoting engagement, expression and a lifelong love for reading.

At Kids Preloved Central, we offer a diverse collection of preloved children’s books which are affordable and environmentally friendly.  The theme for Book Week 2023 is “Read, Grow, Inspire”, and we offer a wide range of chapter books, levelled readers and picture story books to ignite imaginations and to help kids learn and grow.

So until our next article, remember to look after your stuff and it will look after of you!

Cheers, David & Cath.