I'm a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia, who enjoys writing about the things I love: travel, nature-based activities, the arts, spirituality and creative, fun activities for children.
National Year of Reading 2012 Touring Exhibition
One of the most loved Australian children's picture books of recent years has been the delightful Are We There Yet? by Alison Lester. Based on one of Lester's own family trips, it tells the story of a family's journey around Australia in a camper-van, describing the places they visited and the adventures that they shared from the perspective of a child. It's therefore a story which is quintessentially Australian: one which people of all ages will be able to relate to, from the littlest children to the most senior 'grey nomad'. With its deliciously vibrant, full-paged illustrations it's a book that very little children will examine and savour with joy. As my own daughter declared when I saw her examining a book closely, as a toddler: 'Mummy, I'm reading the pictures!'
Image from the City of Wanneroo website
It will therefore be of great interest to many Perth parents that, from September 28th until October 26th, 2012, Alison Lester's original illustrations from Are We There Yet? will be exhibited, free of charge, at the Wanneroo Library and Cultural Centre Conference Room as part of the National Year of Reading Touring Exhibition. The opening times will be from Tuesday to Friday, 10.00am until 4.00pm, and Saturday and Sunday, from 12.00 noon until 4.00pm.
The exhibition will be a wonderful opportunity for both children and adults to see the original travel diaries belonging to Lester's children, which were the inspiration for her work. The text, illustration and design drafts which went into the book's creation will also be of special interest to writers, illustrators, educators and people with an interest in the rich genre of children's literature. In addition, over the years the book has been immensely popular in the classroom, especially in the learning areas of literacy and society and environment, so the exhibition would also be a great destination for school excursions.
During the school holidays, the exhibition would also be a terrific and affordable destination for families with children of all ages. Kids are so curious about the world around them, and seeing Lester's colourful illustrations would undoubtedly inspire them to learn more about Australia's unique wildlife, landscape and history, and perhaps give them some ideas for their own creative journeys. To celebrate the exhibition's sojourn in Wanneroo, various fun children's activities have also been organised at the Wanneroo Library and Conference Centre including craft activities, crossword puzzles and worksheets.
A nationwide writing competition for children under 12 years of age has also been organised to coincide with the exhibition's tour, which has been travelling, and will continue to, around Australia throughout the year. For this competition children have to write about their favourite place in Australia in 200 words or less, or draw an original picture of it. The winners will have the opportunity for their work to be exhibited at the National Year of Reading Children's Gallery. For more information about the competition, check out the National Year of Reading 2012 website. This site also contains links to lots of cool learning resources related to Are We There Yet? (colour-in sheets, etc), as well as other information connected with the National Year of Reading.
In conclusion, this exhibition is going to be awesome, regardless of whether you've already read Are We There Yet? or not, and whether you're an adult or a child. In addition, it's quite likely that it will also inspire you to embark on your own exciting Australia-wide camping adventure.