This week (18-25 August) is The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Children’s Book Week.
Each year, across Australia, The CBCA brings children and books together to celebrate Children’s Book Week. The festivities happen in libraries, book stores, schools and early childhood settings and there are often book parades, story time sessions and special displays.
The theme for this year’s Book Week is Escape to Everywhere, which is all about the power that books and storytelling have to transport children on adventures and expand their horizons. A story with lavish illustrations can unlock a young child’s imagination and expose them to ideas, people, cultures, experiences and places which might otherwise be unavailable to them.
This is 9 of our favourite children’s books about adventures and escaping:
Where The Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak
Could this be the ultimate story of escape and adventure? When Max is banished to his room for wild behaviour he conjures up a forest and a boat and sails off to find his own tribe. Read this book in circle time and have a wild thing rumpus to celebrate the inner wildness of everyone!
Journey – Aaron Becker
This beautifully illustrated wordless picture book is the story of a young girl who escapes to a fantastical world through the magic door she draws on her bedroom wall. Using her magic pen she draws her way through an exciting journey where bravery and love guarantee her happy ending. Wordless books offer invaluable reading experiences for young children by letting them write their own story as guided by the illustrations.
Lost and Found – Oliver Jeffers
One day a penguin turns up on a boy’s front door step, determined to do the best for the penguin the boy sees about returning the penguin to its home. What follows is a journey on the high seas where the penguin and the boy become fast friends but after dropping the penguin home the boy suddenly realises something. This lovely simple story is about the importance of friendship.
The Snail and the Whale – Julia Donaldson
This lyrical book follows the wild adventures of a snail who climbs on the tail of a whale to see the farthest corners of the world. This is another story about how brains, courage and friendship can save the day and how stepping outside the routine of daily life can reveal unknown strength of character.
Edward the Emu – Sheena Knowles
Tired of his boring day-to-day routine in the zoo, Edward decides to mix it up a bit, he spends a day with his neighbours, the seals and then the lions and he even tries a spell with the slithering snakes. Edward’s adventure makes him realise that sometimes the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence and a bit of adventuring can help you appreciate what you’ve got.
Are we there yet? – Alison Lester
This is the story of a family who head off for a real life adventure around Australia. This relatable story follows the family as they trip around seeing some of the country’s most famous and infamous landmarks.
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt – Michael Rosen
When this family decide to go hunting for bears they face many obstacles and adventures along the way. With an easy rhythm and lots of great vocabulary (swishy swashy, swishy swashy) this is a wonderful story about the excitement and adrenalin of doing something out of the ordinary.
Oh, The Places You’ll Go – Dr Seuss
Dr Seuss’s classic book about heading out into the world “with your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet” is a must read for pre-schoolers. The simple poetry, powerful imagery and positive messaging make this the ultimate adventurer’s guidebook.
Harold and the Purple Crayon – Crockett Johnson
Imagine having a magic crayon that enabled you to draw your own destiny; where would you go? What would you do? This book has simple illustrations and tells the story of four-year old Harold who draws his own adventures. Use the book as a launch pad for discussions with the children in your service about what they would do in this situation.