ALIA National Simultaneous Storytime 2019

About | Get involved | About the book | About the author Partners | Resources | Merchandise | Permissions | Wrap up | Previous NSS


National Simultaneous Storytime is over for another successful year! We look forward to joining you again next year. Save the date - 11am on 27 May 2020 and follow us on social media for the exciting book announcement.


National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS) is held annually by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA). Every year a picture book, written and illustrated by an Australian author and illustrator, is read simultaneously in libraries, schools, pre-schools, childcare centres, family homes, bookshops and many other places around the country. Now in its 19th successful year, it is a colourful, vibrant, fun 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 for Foundation to Year 6.

By facilitating NSS we aim to:

  • promote the value of reading and literacy,
  • promote the value and fun of books,
  • promote an Australian writer and publisher,
  • promote storytime activities in public libraries and communities around the country,
  • and provide opportunities to involve parents, grandparents, the media and others to participate in and enjoy the occasion.

NSS receives positive media coverage, generates a great deal of community interest and is held annually as part of Library and Information Week. 2019 was our biggest and most successful NSS to date, with nearly 1.14 million participants at over 11,500 locations, mainly in Australia and New Zealand, but also in Thailand, the UK, Canada, Singapore, Vietnam and Hong Kong.

What do we look for in the National Simultaneous Storytime book?

Each year, interested publishers send in possible titles. From a practical perspective, the publisher has to be able and willing to provide copyright release for use of the illustrations, book projection, translation into other languages and performance. The publisher also needs to commit to a special print run of several thousand copies. This narrows down the options. The criteria for choosing from the remaining books include: a positive storyline; appeal to a modern and diverse audience; suitability for read-aloud (language and length); how well the book lends itself to craft and other activities.


This year NSS takes place on Wednesday 22 May 2019 at 11:00am and we would love it if you could join us by sharing Alpacas with Maracas written and illustrated by Matt CosgroveEveryone can join NSS, it doesn't matter whether you are a home, a school, a public library or even a university library! Invite a local school group into your workplace for an NSS morning tea, have some fun with your staff at an NSS morning tea or donate a copy of the book to your local library or childcare centre. There are endless ways to support NSS.

Register to participate  - (it's free)

On Monday 20 May 2019 we will send you a variety of electronic downloads to support your NSS event. Please note, digital presentations of the book will only be available until Friday 24 May 2019.

Please note: registrations do not rollover yearly. A new registration must be submitted each year of the event. 


       Alpacas with Maracas

        Written and Illustrated By: Matt Cosgrove
        Published By: Koala Books


       Visit Scholastic Australia's website to purchase your copy of the book.







Visit Matt's website to find out more.

NSS 2019 is made possible by the generous support of our partners.




NSS is proudly sponsored by James Bennett


We also thank our supporters for their help in providing NSS participants amazing resources.





We (with thanks to Matt Cosgrove and Scholastic Australia) have made a number of resources available to support your NSS event. All artworks, downloads and digital presentations are licensed for use only in conjunction with NSS events and activities. Please see the permissions from the publisher below for more information.  


Print graphics - Flyer, Letterhead

Web graphics - Book cover, Banner, Email signature, Social media tile


Activity ideas

Visit our NSS partner cleverpatch, to download an ebook full of activity and craft ideas for your NSS event.


Teacher notes

Download teacher notes, discussion notes and activity ideas from Scholastic Australia and Matt Cosgrove. [under the 'resources' tab]

Mask templates:

Maracas templates:

Additional colouring in sheets:



Digital presentations of the book will be emailed to all registered participants on Monday 20 May 2019, so please ensure that you register before then to receive all resources.

Digital presentations will include:

Please note: digital presentations of the book will only be available until Friday 24 May 2019.

Watch the Scholastic website and catalogues for more support and fun ways to participate in this important event:

Merchandise is now available to purchase from the ALIA shop.

Please place your order prior to Wednesday, 8 May 2019 to ensure delivery of your items prior to NSS.

ALIA policy is that merchandise will not be sent prior to payment being received.

Postage charges will apply to all international orders. 

  • Small orders up to 500g - $12
  • Medium orders 500g to 1kg - $25
  • Large orders 1kg - $35

New Zealand participants should email their order to


Scholastic Australia have given the below permissions for NSS 2019.

On all occasions the below permissions will be limited to only the date of the event and to publicity surrounding the event:

  • Registered participants may use the provided PDF of the book on whiteboards and/or projection screens.
  • Registered participants may present a translation of the book during the event with the condition that the translation is not printed or distributed and is used for the event only.
  • Registered participants may present a dramatisation of the book with the condition that the presentation occurs only in connection with the event. The dramatisation may be live streamed and/or downloaded to YouTube or school intranet sites or via podcast.
  • Registered participants may have an interpreter translate and read the book in another language with the condition that the presentation occurs only in connection with the event.
  • Registered participants may use an image of the book cover for NSS promotion.
  • Permission for participating organisations to use the digital presentations of the book provided by ALIA for NSS storytelling.

For any other use of the book in conjunction with NSS 2019 please contact ALIA's Events team.

Please click here to view the highlights of NSS2019.

We love hearing about your NSS event, so please send your stories, photos and videos to or join the conversation on social media using the hashtags #NSS2019 and #1millionkidsreading.


The first NSS was held during Library and Information Week 2001. From 2002 - 2007 NSS took place during National Literacy and Numeracy Week. In 2008, due to popular demand NSS returned to Library and Information Week with great success and continues to attract a wide audience from around Australia.

  • 2018 - Hickory Dickory Dash by Tony Willson and illustrated by Laura Wood
  • 2017 - The Cow Tripped over the Moon by Tony Wilson and Illustrated by Laura Wood
  • 2016 - I Got This Hat by Jol and Kate Temple and Illustrated by Jon Foye
  • 2015 - The Brothers Quibble by Aaron Blabey
  • 2014 - Too Many Elephants in this House by Ursula Dubosarsky and illustrated by Andrew Joyner
  • 2013 - The Wrong Book by Nick Bland
  • 2012 - The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland
  • 2011 - Feathers for Phoebe by Rod Clement
  • 2010 - Little White Dogs Can't Jump by Bruce Whatley and Rosie Smith and illustrated by Bruce Whatley
  • 2009 - Pete the Sheep by Jackie French and illustrated by Bruce Whatley
  • 2008 - Arthur written by Amanda Graham and illustrated by Donna Gynell
  • 2007 - The Magic Hat written by Mem Fox and Illustrated by Tricia Tusa
  • 2006 - Good night, Me by Andrew Daddo and illustrated by Emma Quay
  • 2005 - Wombat Stew by Marcia K Vaughan and Pamela Lofts
  • 2004 - Muddled-up Farm written by Mike Dumbleton and illustrated by Jobi Murphy
  • 2003 - I don't want to go to school written by Christine Harris and illustrated by Craig Smith  
  • 2002 - Mrs Wilkinson's Chooks by Leone Peguero and Mike Spoor
  • 2001 - Edward the Emu written by Sheena Knowles and illustrated by Rod Clement

For more information about National Simultaneous Storytime, contact ALIA's Events team.