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Benefits of Fairy Tales at Australian Book Week

To make children love books and reading activities, Australia holds a Book Week program which is held every year. In 2016, the Book Week celebrations took place September 21-28. Not wanting to be left behind, as a school that applies the Australian curriculum, AIS (Australian Independent School) Jakarta has also held a Book Week program which has been commemorated in its home country since 1945.

Brenton Hall, Principal AIS Indonesia said, “Book week was held to remind us of the importance of storytelling and reading books that will stimulate the level of imagination and creativity of children. AIS encourages students’ personal development by honing children’s ability to think creatively, independently, and have broad-mindedness and critical reading. These skills are highly valued in the real world and we hope our students can develop them from an early age. “

As part of the Book Week celebration, AIS also held a Young Authors Week, where students write their books to display in the hall for other students to read. This is so that they understand the process of making creative works, improve their writing skills, develop language and communication.

The special thing about Book Week this time is that AIS invites a fairy tale book author from kangaroo country, Mark Greenwood with wife, Frane Lessac, who is also an illustrator. Mark’s arrival was to provide advanced workshops on authorship and story telling on a selected number of students who have interests and talents in the same field. The students seemed enthusiastic and actively asked Mark in the midst of delivering storytelling material. In a separate room, Frane also did the same. Teach selected students to create illustrations. She explained to the students what she did when collaborating with her husband. Namely, Mark wrote a book, and Franne made an illustration. To date, there are as many as 40 books using his illustrations. As for Mark’s books, there were 15 books.

Mark’s achievements in the field of children’s book writing cannot be underestimated. He has won several awards in Australia and internationally. Among them, the West Australian Premier’s Award and the West Australian Young Readers’ Book Award. When asked how to become a good storyteller, he said, “At first, encourage children to choose the books they want to read (or read) for themselves. It doesn’t have to be the parents who decide. The process of choosing books is intended so that children also learn to love books. “

In composing his storytelling writings for children, Mark has even done some research and trips to turn on the imagination as material for the story. According to him, to be a good storyteller, he must be able to make children curious so they want to know more. “It could be taking stories about historical facts or mysteries. Supported by good pictures or illustrations, of course, ”added Mark.

Apart from holding a series of activities for students, AIS also provides sessions for parents. As Brenton Hall puts it, “As teachers, we play a role in the personal development of our students, but parents play an even bigger role because they are with their children for a longer period of time. We hope that through this program, parents can be inspired to read books to their children so that it can spur interest in reading from an early age. ” (photo: pixabay)