On Tuesday eight avid writers and readers from 6th Class, decked in shining accessories and various costumes from their favourite books, along with librarian Miss Bower, pulled up on the coach at the Dee Why RSL for Lunch with the Stars.
Lunch with the Stars is a Children’s Book Council of Australia run program which invites children from schools across the peninsula to meet and greet some of the most profound Australian Authors and Illustrators, like Jules Faber (illustrator of Weirdo) and Pip Harry (Winner of 2020 CBCA Book of the Year).
John Colet was lucky enough to be seated with two authors: Libby Hathorn and Elizabeth Cummings who, when combined, have written more than 50 books for a wide range of audiences. Amazingly, they wrote a volume of Coastal Poetry together during Covid, describing, in poetical phrases, everything about the people, landscapes and animals down at the bay.
The day began with a platter of fruit serving as morning tea and a short window for the children to get to know their table author well. Libby Hathorn had a lot to show, from a series of editions from the 1970’s to now, as well as her book “No, Never” written in two other languages: Chinese and Turkish.
After that, each author gave a short address to the audience before two special guest speakers, Wai Chim and Mike Barry took to the stage.
Wai Chim talked about how success is not always on the first try, and how imagination can help you on the way. She told the students present about her gruelling journey on the Australian Survivor and how even though she only came 5th place, it was worth it in that she finished the journey.
Then Mike Barry talked about his list of the three most important things in making a comic. Number One being the moments of the story you choose to tell; number two stating how the idea behind your story is more important than the drawing skill. Number three was knowing and accepting that authoring any book, comic, or novel, is not easy, and it is all about challenging work. With that in mind, he summed up with a final message: Do not believe when people say you cannot.
After a rousing applause for both speakers, the students then had lunch and time to find as many authors as possible to chat with and get to autograph their books. As the event ended, the students took some last few photos and headed back to school, not without a hearty thanks to both the authors who enlightened John Colet’s table with their advice and knowledge.
It was overall a thrilling opportunity for our 6th Class selected students, and, as one of them said, “A lunch to never forget!”