Our school recently received the very exciting news that two Year 5 students – Lila Plunkett and Miriam Ford were this year’s winners of the 2020 Greater Shepparton Book Bag Story Writing Competition. Lila and Miriam co-wrote and illustrated the story ‘Little Things’ which was the winner by unanimous decision.
The students wrote about one of their passions – nature. In the lead up to writing, they did a nature walk and read other books to get inspiration and vocabulary for their ideas and target audience. All of the pictures corresponding to the text were created as a collage using assorted textured and patterned paper as well as some real stems of lavender. These pictures were then photographed and used as the images for each page.
The judging panel made up of an early years professional, children’s librarian and local children’s author, met last week to decide on a winner. There is always a robust discussion amongst the judges as they consider the many entries, and quite often it takes a few days before a final decision is reached.
The features of Miriam and Lila’s story that made it a unanimous decision by the panel are as follows:
- the language is quite complex but that is balanced by the strong focus on children using their imagination in a range of situations.
- wonderful illustrations in a very engaging format.
- the potential to engage children in discussions about the topics in the book but also to extend those discussions into a range of imaginative adventures
Miriam and Lila will now have their book professionally published and it will become part of a bag that is delivered by Maternal and Child Health nurses to all parents attending the 4 week, 8 month, 18 month and 3 ½ year ages and stages visit. The book will be made a part of the bags for 12 months from the date of publishing. A copy of the book will also be sent to all primary schools and the Shepparton Library.
Of particular note was the independence that both students displayed when deciding to enter the competition during isolation.
Congratulations to Miriam and Lila!