Every year a picture book, written and illustrated by an Australian author and illustrator, is read at the same time in libraries, schools, pre-schools, childcare centres, family homes, bookshops and many other places.

A colourful, vibrant, fun annual event, the day brings communities together to promote the value of reading and literacy.

Libraries Tasmania proudly hosts National Simultaneous Storytime across Lutruwita/Tasmania.

“Reading for pleasure, and together, is a great way to develop literacy skills in young children and to promote reading with families in a community setting,” a spokesperson for Libraries Tasmania, said.

“Teachers and children dress up, do craft, dance and really embrace the fun of immersing themselves in the book.”

With more than 2.18 million participants taking part in more than 59,000 locations, the day has become a hugely important fixture on the children’s literature calendar, with teachers just as enthusiastic about the day as their young charges.

“Teachers love National Simultaneous Storytime. It’s an opportunity to share the joy of reading with children in a fun, engaging and age appropriate way,” the spokesperson said.

Books are chosen for the Storytime by a panel of members of the Australian Library and Information Association Children and Youth Services group, and must include a positive storyline, appeal to a modern and diverse audience, be suitable for reading aloud and be easily applicable for craft and other activities.

Bowerbird Blues, written and illustrated by Aura Parker, was this year’s book, a moving story of longing and connection, that unfolds as a bowerbird’s search for all things blue sends him soaring across the sea, sky and city.

His collection is sadly dominated by plastic caps, straws and tags, and invites children’s reflection on environmental pollution and its challenges. 

“The book was chosen as it’s an outstanding and visually appealing picture book. It is beautiful to read and a wonderful book to share across a wide range of age groups,” the Libraries Tasmania spokesperson said.