A polar bear’s intrepid journey through Wangi Wangi is just one tale featuring in a new book of short stories written by children in Lake Macquarie.
Budding author Maja Tilbrook, who is part of the series, says she loves how storytelling lends the freedom to imagine whole worlds and put them into words for others to dream about and enjoy.
It was that imagination that led the 12-year-old to contribute to the Lake Macquarie City Council initiative aimed at highlighting the city’s libraries and what they offer.
Go Wild features six short stories and a zine, each centred on the brightly coloured animal sculptures that feature outside Lake Mac Libraries branches.
Maja took inspiration from a polar bear sculpture and created a story where the main character finds its way to the library.
“The thing I love about books is how you can be so engrossed in a world that it comes a part of you,” Maja said.
“I was prompted to write about the polar bear because there were so many different ways for the story to go.”
Lifelong Learning and Engagement Coordinator Jess Dowdell said acclaimed children’s author Jess Black and illustrator Kirrili Lonergan helped guide Go Wild’s young authors and illustrators through the process of creating their stories and art.
“This book is written for kids, by kids,” she said.
“It highlights our libraries as vibrant venues people of all ages can discover and enjoy.”
Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser congratulated the young people whose work was featured in the book.
“We have so many wonderful, creative minds right here in Lake Macquarie,” Cr Fraser said.
“Initiatives like this help nurture them and create new pathways and opportunities for them to pursue.”
Cr Fraser will officially launch Go Wild at Charlestown Library at 1pm on Saturday 24 April. The book will be available for sale in Lake Mac Libraries for $6.