Book Week brings us together, from a distance, online


Children’s Book Week for many children is a rite of passage –  the selection of this year’s ONE favourite book, the costume planning, the chance to talk about reading like it’s an Olympics sport that you train for every day!

Or for others, it’s the opportunity to open yourself to new ideas and people who write. In pandemic times, Book Week shifted online as bookstores, libraries, schools and early childhood facilities made the fun happen online with virtual visitors and storytimes.

I was chuffed to roll out 9 talks, workshops, recorded and live readings, and storytimes on Zoom, YouTube, Webex and Google Meets from my ‘home story studio’.

Jetty Jumping it seems is a big hit with many and I loved learning how it has become a mentor text to inspire students in their own reading and writing journeys.

And it seemed to fit right in with this year’s Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds theme.

Check out my Book Week journal of all the fun

Day 1 Red Hill Primary School 

Had the best virtual time ever with these legends! Jetty Jumping is in their Grade 1 class libraries and I also spied several older siblings and parents on camera tuning in too for this whole school Book Week launch, proving you are never too old for picture books!

Red Hill Primary School students and their families tuned in on WebEx to launch their virtual book week activities and we chatted about author life and what my writer’s journal looks like.

I received a lovely email from their Deputy Principal, Mrs Barnes, “Thank you so much for today, Andrea! The kids loved your presentation. I just went up to onsite supervision and so many of the kids are now writing their own stories. It was a perfect way to start our Book Week!!”


Day 2 Farrells Bookstore and Mornington Primary School story time recordings

Online storytime is so much fun. I recorded a special Story Time session for the families of Farrell’s Bookstore who are big Jetty Jumping fans.

I also shared a Mornington Primary School storytime recorded session in collaboration with my fellow Peninsula Writers’ Club pals for the school to enjoy and their Book Week online celebration.

Both storytimes featured my cast of marine critters and my virtual jetty I created to hang out on.


Day 3 Tootgarook Primary School 

Such a fabulous writing workout with the kids from Tootgarook Primary School today. I hosted two online sessions for the Foundation – Grade 2’s and the Grade 3 – 6’s.

Loads of imaginative idea-sharing and super happy students sending me creative thank you drawings and notes inspired by coastal surroundings.

The students were keen to share their own jetty experiences and ask questions about writing and authoring. And because these local kids have jetties on tap I talked about our precious marine critters who hang out under our jetties too and meeting my favourite author as a kid who was pivotal in encouraging my writing. (Colin Thiele, Storm Boy – the author of my forever fav book!)

As virtual author visits go this was great fun and the students have been consistently using Jetty Jumping as a mentor text for their own classwork during homeschool and in-class times.


Day 4 Boneo Primary School

Played to the home crowd today! I used to be a school gate mum at Boneo Primary School. 

So loved seeing some familiar faces on screen today  – even under all those bright wigs and wonderful Mohawks for their Book Week Crazy Hair Day.

Parents, I give you an A+ for creating such stellar styles with the kids – they were having a ball. Quite liked Mrs Whitworth’s surf lifesaving get up for her virtual Jetty patrol too!

I shared two different sessions for Prep – Grade 3 and Grade 4 – 6 where we either talked about the author / illustrator process and ‘other world’s stories or I shared my story ideation on a fish and chip wrapper to a writers notebook process.

Boneo PS’s school mascot is an echidna so I managed to slip in an idea for an echidna becoming a principal for a day and some “what happened next?” thoughts about how the story could evolve.

Talking about writing with them was great fun. Not only did I share writing approaches to the two different age groups, but I also got to share how we all have stories in us and how to tap into them.

I think I saw some lightbulbs popping under all of those rainbow hairdos.


Day 5 Antipodes Bookshop and Casey Cardinia Libraries 

Friday Funtime was a chance to really go book bonkers – starting out with a special Zoom family storytime at Antipodes Bookshop & Gallery and closing with Casey Cardinia Libraries.

We made Milla’s Bravery Bracelets together, talked about marine critters who live under jetties, shared favourite jumps and books AND I showed families how to make an awesome lockdown book nook.

The Antipodes Bookshop families are long-time supporters of Jetty Jumping – it’s been the store’s consecutive best seller for the last 7 months. And the Casy-Cardinia Libraries families, with families with cultural backgrounds from all across the globe, were all super keen to talk about what swim’s underneath jetties too!

Thanks everyone for the Book Week fun – there are some terrific readers, writers, and illustrators out there. 

All super kids with sensational questions are all keen to explore the Children’s Book Council of Australia Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds!

Psssst ….

Of all my Jetty Jumping fan mail for Children’s Book Council of Australia BOOK WEEK, Albert’s police car drawing & explanation from his Tootgarook PS teacher is top shelf:

“Albert explained the police car is for Andrea – she needs a police escort everywhere she goes so people don’t steal her good book ideas.”

Albert, I salute you!




Thanks for my fabulous fan mail 

Loads of lovely letters and nature-based artworks to treasure from super star readers during Book Week!

Love a storytime session or a virtual visit? 

Send me a message and I’ll share my author packages back your way. 

Grins and jetty spins,!



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