Stories for Little Queenslanders series debuts to support First 5 Forever
A story about a cow’s hapless journey down a flooded Brisbane River and an alphabet book featuring echidnas exercising in Emerald are among a series of new children’s books available this week in all Queensland public libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres as part of the Stories for Little Queenslanders series, published by State Library of Queensland.
The series has been created by 21 authors and illustrators as part of the Queensland Government funded First 5 Forever initiative and represents a publishing first for State Library and a ‘significant investment’ in telling Queensland stories while supporting emerging and established authors and illustrators.
First 5 Forever provides tools and resources to help parents and caregivers support their child’s early literacy development. Free Baby Play, Story Time and Rhyme Time sessions for families are available online or at public libraries and a range of free resources is available online.
Children’s authors Pamela Rushby and Samantha Wheeler, illustrators Sophie Beer and Simon Howe, and first-time children’s book authors and illustrators Emma Cracknell, Janet Turner and Eunice Day (2020 black&write! Fellowship winner) all feature within the series.
“Sharing stories from birth has a positive impact that lasts a lifetime, and these locally inspired stories, rhymes and illustrations are an absolute delight to share with little ones,” State Librarian and CEO Vicki McDonald AM said.
The books promote early literacy and inspire a love of reading for children from birth to five years of age, and feature the adventures of mischief-making animals, quirky local settings and charming young characters reflecting the diversity of families in Queensland.
“In what has been a challenging year, it’s wonderful to see this project come to fruition and authors and illustrators from across Queensland provided with a chance to shine as they share their stories and art,” Queensland’s Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch said.
It is hoped that the stories will help Queensland children develop a sense of identity and belonging through stories and connects them with their environment and local communities.
The stories will be available in print, electronic and audio formats through State Library and Queensland’s network of more than 320 public libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres.
Stories in the Little Queenslanders books collection are:
- Hotel for bees, written by Alison McLennan (Albany Creek, Qld) and illustrated by Erin Dunne (The Range, Qld)
- In the deep end, written and illustrated by Charlie Thomson (Boonah, Qld)
- Is this your egg?, written by Ella Kris (Thursday Island, Qld) and illustrated by Emma Cracknell (Bundamba, Qld)
- Koalas like to …,written by Shae Millward (Torquay, Qld) and illustrated by Brent Wilson (Birkdale, Qld)
- My people, written by Billie-Jean Taylor (Gordonvale, Qld)
- Once I munched a mango, written by Samantha Wheeler (Chandler, Qld) and illustrated by Shannon Horsfall (Bellara, Qld)
- One remarkable reef, written by Kellie Byrnes (Buderim, Qld) and illustrated by Rachel Tribout (Auchenflower, Qld)
- Shoosh!, written and illustrated by Simon Howe (Preston, Vic)
- The coloured echidna, written and illustrated by Eunice Day (Blackwater, Qld)
- The cow that swam out to sea, written by Pamela Rushby (Seventeen Mile Rocks, Qld) and illustrated by Nicola Hooper (Shailer Park, Qld)
- The little Queenslanders’ alphabet book, written by Sally Scudamore (Goondiwindi,Qld, currently residing in the UK) and illustrated by Sophie Beer (Annerley, Qld)
- Up and down on a rainy day by Kathryn Apel (Mount Tom, Qld) illustrated by Janet Turner (Upper Mount Gravatt, Qld)