Add your ideas of how to explore and exploit this year's theme.

Connect to reading
  1. Create a wall display of students' speech bubbles about why reading is important - you will be surprised at their insight.
  2. Build a display of all the formats of reading from the labels on processed food to the instructions for playing an online game. Emphasise the need to read.
  3. Provide ways for students to connect to what others are reading by sharing their recommendations through book talks, reviews, informal discussions, sharing reading lists
  4. Select a range of authors, topics, series, award winners, slow movers and so forth, focusing on those that will extend the students' reading horizons and display these along with scans of their covers for 2-3 weeks. As students read them, have them write thier names on a list. Try to start a trend. Often the fact that a popular students has read a title, is enough to get others reading it.

Connect to another generationHave students talk to their parents or grandparents about the books they read as a child or had read to them. Have them try to find the book , read it and prepare a talk about why their parent/grandparent liked it and compare that to their own evaluation. If a copy can't be found to read, use an illustration of the cover and have them explain why it appealed so much to their parent/grandparent that they've remembered it over the years.

Connect to another format
Have students explore books in other formats such as braille or audio to experience how others connect to reading.

Connect to covers
Create a wall display that features names of authors and covers of books. Create speech bubbles with "Who am I?" type questions about the characters or quotes from them and place these randomly around the display. From each attach a long length of ribbon so that students can link the quote to both the book and its author.

Connect to characters 1
Set up a table top laid for a formal dinner with 8-10 place settings. At each setting have a placecard with clues about a book character for students to work out who will be sitting at that place at the announcement of the CBCA award dinner. (The clues could be based on the short-listed titles.) Use this as a model for students to write their own clues for their own table. This could be done in groups, one guest per student, so others can work out who will be at that table. You might like to have genre-based tables so all the mystery or sci-fi characters are "sitting" at the same table. Students could also design placemats in keeping with their character (but without giving the identity away).

Connect to characters 2
Set up a park bench, a couch or other seating where two can sit side-by-side. (If space is tight a large wall illustration would work.) Ask the students which literary character or author they would like to have a conversation with on the bench. Have them prepare 5-10 questions they would ask during that conversation.

Connect to characters 3
HarperCollins have published a literary alphabet which features characters from a range of well-know children's books. Connect readers to the characters they don't know by seeking out the titles featured, or challenge them to research and illustrate an Australian version.


Connect to books
Children in regional, rural and remote parts of Australia rely on the mobile library service to get new reading materials because access to a bricks-and-mortar building is not possible. But in other parts of the world children connect to books in all sorts of ways. Share some of these and add others you know of!

The Camel Library of Kenya

The Library on the Donkey in Colombia

The Library Motorcar in Italy
(this is in Italian)

Mobile Libraries around the World

Connect to Diversity
Children love to read about characters who are like them, particularly if their life circumstances are different to those of their peers. Add titles of these sorts of books (and a link to a review if available) to help others build their collections so every child feels there is something for them on the library's shelves.


Connect to more ideas
Susan Stephenson has provided a plethora of ideas on her Book Chook blog

Connect to stories
Make a book trailer using these ideas as a starting point.