National Simultaneous Storytime

Thank you to everyone who participated in NSS2015! We look forward to you joining us next year so please SAVE THE DATE for NSS 2016 - 11am, 25 May 2016.

About | Get involved | Register | About the book | About the author | Partners | Resources | Merchandise | Permissions
Previous NSS events | Wrap up | Check out who else in your area is participating

National Simultaneous Storytime is an annual campaign that aims to encourage more young Australians to read and enjoy books. Now in its 15th 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 Grades F to 6 and the pre-school Early Learning Years Framework.


National Simultaneous Storytime is held annually by the Australian Library and Information Association. 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.

By facilitating National Simultaneous Storytime 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;

·         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.

In 2014 over 460,000 children at over 3,100 locations across Australia took part in National Simultaneous Storytime, reading the book Too Many Elephants in this House, written by Ursula Dubosarsky and illustrated by Andrew Joyner, enjoying a range of supporting educational activities, songs, games, dress ups and lots of fun. Have a look at some of the highlights from 2014.

This year NSS takes place on Wednesday 27 May at 11am (AEST) and we would love it if you could join us by sharing The Brothers Quibble written by Aaron Blabey.

Register to participate - it's free and we have some great activities and resources available to support your National Simultaneous Storytime event.

Everyone can join NSS - it doesn't matter whether you are a home school, a public library or even a University Library! Invite a local school group into your workplace for a 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.

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

Registrations for NSS 2015 have now closed. Thank you to everyone who participated and please join us for NSS 2016 when registrations open in March 2016.


We are delighted to announce that the 2015 National Simultaneous Storytime book is:

The Brothers Quibble

Spalding Quibble ruled the roost.

He shared it with no other.

But then his parents introduced

a brand new baby brother...

Uh oh.

Written by: Aaron Blabey

Published by Penguin Group

ISBN 978 0 670 07600 0

Buy the book: Please visit your local bookseller to buy The Brothers Quibble or click here to order your copy.


Aaron Blabey is the author of many well-loved, award-winning children's picture books including Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley, The Ghost of Miss Annabel Spoon and the best-selling Pig the Pug.

Aaron has been the recipient of a Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Award, a NSW Premier's Literary Award for Children's Literature and a Children's Peace Literature Award. He has also been the National Literacy Ambassador and is a proud ambassador for the Alannah and Madeline Foundation.

Aaron lives in a beautiful town in the Blue Mountains, a place he loves so much, he rarely leaves it. However, each year in Term 3, he does venture down the mountain to visit schools. He has spoken to almost 30,000 kids about books in the last couple of years and this has proved to be one of the most satisfying parts of his job.

The Brothers Quibble is one of his most personal, heartfelt stories about family life, and he is just awfully proud that it's been selected for the NSS. To learn more about Aaron Blabey, click here to visit his website. 

Message from Aaron Blabey


National Simultaneous Storytime 2015 is made possible by the generous support of our partners:


The National Rugby League have launched a brand new book club for young readers. Featuring all sixteen NRL clubs, each with their own specially appointed Reading Captain who leads their own Book Club. All users have to do is log in, register their name and email address, choose their NRL Book Club and throughout the Rugby League season, log all the books you read and help their Reading Captain win the Reading Premiership! The Reading Captain with the highest number of books logged will win a Rugby League Reads event in their local area. Register today by visiting


We (with thanks to Aaron Blabey and Penguin Group) have made a number of resources available to support your National Simultaneous Storytime event.

All artwork, 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

The Brothers Quibble themed activities - Find-a-word, Colouring-in sheet, KEEP OUT door hanger, Crown template, Colour crown template

Web graphics - Book cover, Banner, Email signature, Social media avatar, Twitter cover one | two | three| fourFacebook cover

SBS Translations

Thanks to our partner SBS Australia we are able to provide translations of The Brothers Quibble and translated resources to all NSS participants to reach an even wider audience. 

- SBS audio book in-language translations of The Brothers Quibble | languages listed below

- SBS Resources - Arabic | Cantonese | French | German | Greek | Hindi | Italian | Japanese | Mandarin | Punjabi | Vietnamese | Korean | Spanish | Filipino | Farsi

Ideas for your event 
Click here for great activity inspiration and ideas. It includes songs, rhymes, activity ideas and publicity information. 

Outside resources

The Book Chook book review and resources

My Little Story Corner activity ideas and teaching notes


Recently the fabulous team from Story Box Library had an interview with Aaron Blabey after filming The Brothers Quibble above. To find out more about Aaron, and check out the blog click here.


Check out the documentary the team at Story Box Library have created. Get insight into how Aaron Blabey writes his books and get to know the author of NSS 2015. 

Teachers notes

Not only have Story Box Library provided fantastic video resources for NSS participants but the team have also generously provided teachers notes for The Brothers Quibble, access here.


Digital presentations of the book will be emailed to all registered participants Monday 25 May 2015. Please note that digital presentations of the book will be available only until Friday 29 May 2015.


Australian Children’s Laureate Jackie French and Senior Australia of the Year is supporting National Simultaneous Storytime 2015. As part of Jackie’s 2015 Share a Story Calendar project Jackie is guest reading The Brothers Quibble for National Simultaneous Storytime at a school in Mount Gambier. See details below. 

National Simultaneous Storytime with Jackie French in Mount Gambier

National Simultaneous Storytime with Aaron Blabey and  North Melbourne AFL Team and their mascot at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne

Marrickville Library NSS with journalist, author and social commentator Jane Caro 

We have a range of bright and fun merchandise for the promotion of your NSS event. This includes posters, badges, bookmarks and stickers. COMING SOON 

Please visit your local bookseller to buy The Brothers Quibble or click here to order your copy.

Penguin Group have given the following permissions for National Simultaneous Storytime 2015:

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

  • Permission for participating organisations to 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
  • Permission for participating organisations to present a dramatisation of the book with the condition that the presentation occurs only in connection with the event
  • Permission for participating organisations to have an interpreter translate and read the book in another language with the condition that the presentation occurs only in connection with the event
  • Permission for participating organisations to use an image of the book cover for NSS 2015 promotion
  • Permission for participating organisation to use the digital presentations of the book provided by ALIA for NSS 2015 storytelling. Please note that digital presentations of the book will be available only until Friday 29 May 2015.

Text of the book can be used in the following ways:

  • Presented as a readers' theatre
  • Presented as a story telling
  • Presented as a puppet show
  • Translated for multicultural storytimes
  • Inspiration for activity sheets and lesson plans

For any other use of the book in conjunction with National Simultaneous Storytime 2015 please contact ALIA's Events team.

The first National Simultaneous Storytime 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. 2014 was our biggest and most successful NSS to date with 460,000 participants at over 3,100 locations.


Check out the 2015 highlights for National Simultaneous Storytime. It's not too late, 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 hashtag #NSS15.