The Scare-ometer

Elaine Forrestal presenting in Bologna, using her inflatable Globe. Copy of To See the World (centre front), the story of Rose de Freycinet.

It was great to be part of the second annual Books From Your Backyard event at The Place in the State Library of WA yesterday. The audience numbers have trebled since last year with many families bringing all the children and staying all day to take in the sessions for different age groups.

For me it was so much fun to interact with readers in the less formal setting that Books From Your Backyard provides. There are conventional chairs, but also cushions on the floor and a range of soft seating at various heights. This year I tried out a new, interactive approach to Rose de Freycinet’s story using what James Foley aptly named my scare-ometer. And my now well-travelled inflatable Globe came in handy for showing the lively group of young people exactly where Rose travelled on her epic voyage around the world in the sailing ship Uranie. Just the fact that it took Rose three years to circumnavigate the world, when these days we get on a plane in Australia and arrive almost anywhere in Europe in 24 hours, is a mind-stretching concept to grasp. But grasp it they did and we all enjoyed the journey.

If you were not at Books From Your Backyard yesterday and want to experience the scare-ometer for yourself, keep Children’s Book Week (August 22d – 26th) in mind. I’ll be using it in my sessions then, and anytime I’m invited to visit schools as well.

See you then.

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