A FOCUS ON FAMILY AT NATIONAL SIMULTANEOUS STORYTIME

Families in all of their forms were the highlight of National Simultaneous Storytime at the Condobolin Library on Wednesday, 25 May.
Library Assistant Abby Grimshaw read ‘Family Tree’ written by Josh Pyke and illustrated by Ronojoy Ghosh. This book was the official story chosen for ALIA National Simultaneous Storytime 2022. Lachlan Children Services and Condobolin Preschool and Childcare Centre, along with other community members, attended the event.
Condobolin Librarian Debbie Kelly, and Library Assistant Abby Grimshaw, said the annual campaign aimed to encourage more young Australians to read and enjoy books.
“This is a vibrant, fun event that promotes the value of reading and literacy,” they explained.
“National Simultaneous Storytime is a chance for children and families to enjoy reading in a fun environment.”
The story of ‘Family Tree’ is narrated by a seed which grows. Readers see a gum tree twig taking root in a glass jar. The roots grow deeper as a child learns to laugh and walk, family roots and communities grow as children climb and cockatoos make the tree their home. Through changes of season and life, the children grow and change – then the tree becomes outgrown. The children move to different neighbourhoods as do the seeds travelling on the wind.
Josh Pyke’s words convey the beauty of family, growth, changing seasons and the natural circle of life, with simple text, that manages to convey what the tree is thinking and feeling.
Ronojy Ghosh’s colourful illustrations depict changing landscapes – sun and storms, night and day, city and suburbia. Australian birds and animals also feature and the images of people and place reflect the diversity of Australian life. The iconic gum leaf shape is highlighted throughout the pages.
Another book read on the day was ‘We Are Family’ written by Claire Freedman and Judi Abbot.
This book is the newest collaboration between award-winning author of the Aliens Love Underpants series Claire Freedman and internationally successful illustrator Judi Abbot. This picture book explores the love between siblings in all its forms, whatever the size or make up of a family.
National Simultaneous Storytime is held every year by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA).
Now in its 22nd successful year, the event is designed to promote the value of reading 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.
Every year, a picture book, written and illustrated by an Australian author and illustrator is read simultaneously in libraries, schools, preschools, childcare centres, family homes, bookshops and many other places around the country.

Condobolin Preschool and Childcare Centre enjoyed listening to Library Assistant Abby Grimshaw read ‘Family Tree’ during National Simultaneous Storytime at the Condobolin Library on Wednesday, 25 May. Librarian Debbie Kelly helped organise the event. Image Credit: Melissa Blewitt.

Condobolin Preschool and Childcare Centre enjoyed listening to Library Assistant Abby Grimshaw read ‘Family Tree’ during National Simultaneous Storytime at the Condobolin Library on Wednesday, 25 May. Librarian Debbie Kelly helped organise the event. Image Credit: Melissa Blewitt.

Library Assistant Abby Grimshaw read ‘Family Tree’ during National Simultaneous Storytime on 25 May. Librarian Debbie Kelly was also an organiser of the event. Lachlan Children Services had a great time listening to the story and looking at the book. Image Credit: Melissa Blewitt.

Library Assistant Abby Grimshaw read ‘Family Tree’ during National Simultaneous Storytime on 25 May. Librarian Debbie Kelly was also an organiser of the event. Lachlan Children Services had a great time listening to the story and looking at the book. Image Credit: Melissa Blewitt.