Have you heard that the State Library of WA has been building a children’s library on their mezzanine level? It’s true! And over the school holidays, children can help create a book sculpture for this new area with artist-in-residence, Graham Hay. For more information, go to www.slwa.wa.gov.au/schoolhols.html where they also advertise other family activities over the summer break.
Perth editor and mother-of-three, Rebecca Newman, has launched Alphabet Soup magazine for primary-school aged kids who love books and reading. Rebecca started work on the magazine 18 months ago, after she was unable to find a suitable magazine for her young daughter, who is an avid reader.
Schools, children’s libraries and early childhood educators have been enthusiastic about issue 1. Specialist literacy educators have previously imported similar publications from Canada and the USA — while despairing at the lack of a local product. Alphabet Soup magazine, with a section devoted to showcasing children’s writing, has found a ready-made readership.
‘Alphabet Soup will be very popular with children who love books, and already write their own stories,’ commented primary school teacher, Paulina Sweeney. ‘But magazines like this are also valuable for kids struggling with literacy. Seeing their writing in print gives a huge boost to their confidence, and that flows into their schoolwork.’
The magazine is not limited to children’s own work. ‘I aim to help kids develop a love of reading and literature, from a young age,’ says Mrs Newman. ‘I want to expose children to a variety of writing styles and genres … and also to give parents some ideas about suitable books for their children. There are many excellent children’s authors writing quality literature — but it’s not always easy for parents to know where to start.’
Inside issue 1, readers will find:
• Q&A with children’s author, Jackie French
• An interest article — interview with a WA bushfire brigade firefighter
• Stories, poems and book reviews for children (by adults)
• A crossword
• A kids’ writing competition
• 6 pages of kids’ writing (stories, poems and book reviews)
Greg Mitchell’s colourful and quirky illustrations round out a really fun read!