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No sign of children feeling ‘blue’ at Waratah Public Preschool


There was no sign of children feeling “blue” at Waratah Public Preschool on Wednesday.

The youngsters donned shades of navy and caerulean, even a touch of sapphire.

They also brought blue items from home to contribute to a collage.

But, it was all for a great reason.

The preschoolers embodied the bowerbird in this year’s National Simultaneous Storytime book, by dressing in blue, fossicking for treasures and reflecting on friendship as part of the Australia-wide event on 22 May.

Assistant principal preschool Rebecca Dodds said about 35 pupils, across two classes, took part in the annual Australian Library and Information Association initiative, which aims to promote the value of literacy and reading. 

Now in its 24th year, National Simultaneous Storytime involves people in places including libraries, schools, early childhood education and care services, family homes and bookshops simultaneously reading a children’s book written and illustrated by an Australian author and illustrator. 

In 2024, Aura Parker’s Bowerbird Blues was the featured offering.

“National Simultaneous Storytime promotes reading and shows it’s a common thing that everyone does and can bring people together all over the world,” Ms Dodds said. 

“We can learn so much from this book and follow up on interests and questions the children may have. 

“There are no wrong questions.

“And, they can all contribute and be a part of it.” 

Ms Dodds said the children had been learning about birds’ life cycles.

“The bowerbird wanted all of these beautiful bright material things but what was most important was friendship,” she explained.

“We talked about the meaning behind the story and something important to them, whether it’s an object or person. 

“There’s a lot of good messages we won’t only tap into for National Simultaneous Storytime but can refer back to throughout the year.” 

The children also embarked on a treasure hunt around the preschool to search for blue items and use blue play-doh.

“It’s so exciting, it’s out of routine and special for them,” Ms Dodds said.

“Everything is a little bit different and feels like a treat.” 

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