5 Reasons to Attend Book Launches

5 Reasons to Attend Book Launches

We were incredibly fortunate to be invited to attend the launch of Narelle Oliver’s latest book, ‘Don’t Let a Spoonbill in the Kitchen’. My review of the book is here – if you are an early childhood teacher or parent of young ones – get it! I adore Narelle’s work and have for many years now and I have several pieces of her art on my walls at home and in my school library. This is us ready for the launch – photo by six year old Bella!


This latest book was launched by the Governor-General of Australia, Ms Quentin Bryce AC CVO  – a remarkable woman indeed.  Ms Bryce has spoken at many literary events I have attended over the years, and I could listen forever to her speaking about children’s books. She speaks with genuine passion about the importance of sharing books with young children, and our remarkable children’s authors and illustrators in Australia. Her speech from the launch on Saturday is here. While clothes do not maketh the woman, it must be said that Ms Bryce would have to be one of the best dressed people in this country – those lime patent shoes and clutch with the watermelon lace dress…swoon.

I attend book launches whenever I can – sometimes with the children, sometimes not! Why do I enjoy book launches and children’s literary events so much?

Well as I write this I can hear PudStar upstairs ‘reading’ her signed copy of Spoonbill for possibly the twentieth time in the last forty eight hours. She has poured over each page and has been telling ChickPea (who didn’t come – you haven’t met her – we don’t take her out much) all about ‘Her Excellency’, and how Narelle chose her cousin to be the easel to hold the book while it was read. For her the Spoonbill story now has a story behind it and she treasures it, and I know that feeling WELL.

 5 Reasons to Attend Children’s Book Launches

  1. To meet the authors and illustrators behind the books – they are real people (and perhaps you could even be one)! Meeting an author can inspire and support reluctant readers to give a book a go!
  2. To celebrate the birth of another story – with cake and clapping and much merriment.
  3. For a little glimpse into the life of how a book came to be; the process celebrated and savoured.
  4. For the ritual of a launch: listening to the various speakers; a lovely book reading and the signing and dedicating of books
  5. For the conversations that follow about the life of other books and how they came to be. Great for extending young readers and getting more from the book. 


Book Links hosted the launch of ‘Don’t Let the Spoonbill in the Kitchen’ at our beautiful Brisbane Square Library and we had an afternoon of music, art activities, speeches, book buying and indulging in wonderful cupcakes which looked like they had leapt from the pages of the book. Below are some more images from the launch of ‘Don’t Let a Spoonbill in the Kitchen’…just because it was so lovely!

To find out about the best literary events for children in your local area, most of which are free and open to the public, sign up to the newsletters and Facebook pages of your favourite independent bookstores and council libraries.



  1. Lisa Baumann

    Amazing photo’s….looks like it was lots of fun. Narelle’s books are always beautiful.

    • Anonymous

      It was SO nice Lisa! Ava had a BALL!

  2. Maureen O'Shea

    This was indeed a lovely book launch. So lucky to be there and share the joy 🙂

    • Anonymous

      It was so lovely wasn’t it! I really enjoyed it.

  3. katepickle

    I’ve never been to a book launch… but if I do ever go to one I hope it is a children’s one… they sound fabulous!
    Or perhaps a young readers chapter book launch, my nine year old’s passion for devouring books is so infectious!

    • Anonymous

      Ohhhh there is LOTS of launches for chapter books! In fact sometimes when I look at all the literary things on in Brisbane I could attend a book launch a week – but that would be kind of silly! I know you’re regional, but they do often tour book launches and authors…and of course these days you can attend virtual book launches! I once typed for author John Heffernan as he talked to kids online about his books, cause he wasn’t a fast enough typist!


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I’m Megan

I’m passionate about children’s literature and am the author of ‘Raising Readers’ and ‘the Beehive’ and editor of ‘Teacher, Teacher’.
I am also a multiple award-winning teacher librarian, speaker, podcaster, widow, beekeeper, literary judge and wearer of bright colours.

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