Millions of readers come together around Australia for ALIA's National Simultaneous Storytime 2024   

Canberra, Wednesday 22 May: Today over 2 million children, teachers, parents, caregivers, and members of the community will come together to read Bowerbird Blues, written and illustrated by Aura Parker and published by Scholastic Australia. They are all participating inALIA’s National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS) 2024, a much-anticipated event and highlight in the Australian library calendar.

Now in its 24th successful year, NSS is a colourful, celebratory, and interactive event that aims to promote the value of reading and literacy using an Australian children's book that explores age-appropriate themes and addresses key learning areas of the National Curriculum forFoundation to Year 6.

Bowerbird Blues was selected by an expert panel of children and youth services librarians who commended it for its striking illustrations and sophisticated storytelling all whilst engaging with important environmental issues.

“Bowerbird Blues is a beautiful book which will engage children of all ages with its stunning imagery, a story filled with emotion and its messages around social issues” said ALIA CEOCathie Warburton. “We hope that all those reading together today in classrooms and libraries around the country resonate with and enjoy the book as much as we do.

"Whilst NSS is an opportunity to come together in communal celebration of reading, books and storytelling, it has a serious intention at its centre. According to the Australia Reads Research Review, children who are exposed to more storybooks showed a greater inclination to read for pleasure and in turn, have more advanced literacy skills. Events like NSS, and theschool libraries, public libraries, classrooms, and childcare centres who participate in them, have a major role in supporting literacy and helping establish good reading habits.

"Every day, librarians at schools and public libraries are working to help children gain essential literacy skills and develop a love of reading” said ALIA Director of Training andEvents Zola Maddison. “National Simultaneous Storytime is a day to celebrate the joy of reading and remind us that sharing a good book helps us build connections with one another."

To support these efforts, ALIA, with thanks to Aura Parker and Scholastic Australia, have made available a number of resources available for NSS registrants including teacher notes, activity ideas for teacher librarians and primary teachers, and shared storytelling ideas for children’s librarians and parents. Registrants also receive access to a recording of Australian Children’sLaureate Sally Rippin reading Bowerbird Blues accompanied by an AUSLAN translation.

Aura Parker will do a live reading of Bowerbird Blues at the state-of-the art, Green SquareLibrary in the heart of the City of Sydney. Live streaming from the auditorium will begin at11.55 am AEST today.

Media enquiries: Liz Bradtke - ALIA Communications Manager - [email protected] - 0488095 591