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Paperbark Merchants celebrate annual book week dressed as favourite characters

Billie-Jo WhitbreadAlbany Advertiser
York Street's Paperbark Merchants dressed up as their favourite characters for this year’s book week.
Camera IconYork Street's Paperbark Merchants dressed up as their favourite characters for this year’s book week. Credit: Paperbark Merchants

Once again Children’s Book Week filled our bookshop with much noise and joy as children and adults alike streamed through our doors to enthusiastically search the shelves for the right book to inspire that perfect book week costume.

The theme this year was Read, Grow, Inspire.

The costume is a book week tradition taken very seriously by local schoolchildren.

Parents and children put their heads together and pool resources to create the best representation of their favourite literary characters.

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Popular book selections this year were Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and Runt by Craig Silvey.

Book week dress-up is also a favourite time of year for us book lovers at Paperbark Merchants.

In years past, we have dressed up as characters from Alice in Wonderland and Little Red Riding Hood, as inspirational women from Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls and characters from literary classics — we even dressed as our favourite literary villains.

This year, we focused our efforts on representing heroines from beloved stories.

Our dress-up takes place on the final Friday of book week.

We end the week with a bang.

Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennett stocked the shelves in a Regency ball gown, waiting for her dance card to fill.

Enola Holmes fine tooth-combed the stock, noting every important detail, Mary Poppins brought a spoonful of sugar to the front counter and Maud Montgomery’s ever-imaginative and high-spirited Anne Shirley was on hand to answer the phones.

The wonderful librarians and staff of the Albany Public Library put on a brilliant show for Book Week every year, turning the library into a treasure trove of exciting book week displays and activities, donning a costume every day of the week.

Book week isn’t just about the fun of dressing up.

National Children’s Book Week serves as an important reminder of the importance and fundamental value literacy and reading has on the development of young minds.

Reading builds comprehension of the world around us and fuels creativity.

It allows us to make connections and build new links.

Reading gives us the tools to become the best-inspired versions of ourselves.

In the words of Dr Seuss; “The more that you read, the more you will know, the more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

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