Libraries explore the secret power of books

Published: 19 Aug 2019

Last year, Libraries’ Picnic in the Park attracted the who’s who of guests – from Darth Vader and Spiderman to Tinkerbell and Peter Pan.

Where’s Wally was even there for a while but then he disappeared in the crowd.

This fantastic Book Week event in the Civic Precinct, held this year on Thursday, August 22, from 10am to noon, might well be our region’s most charming event.

Each year, hundreds of young families turn out dressed as their favourite characters.

After all, Children’s Book Week (August 17 to 23) is the perfect opportunity to celebrate books, and the characters that spring from their pages, by dressing up.

This year’s theme is “Reading is My Secret Power”.

Mackay Regional Council Libraries are encouraging young readers to draw inspiration for their costumes from books that have empowered or inspired them.

Cr Karen May said there were hundreds of children’s books with inspiring characters and empowering messages.

“Perfect examples are the Dr. Seuss stories like the Lorax and Oh the places you’ll go; classics like Madeline, Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlotte’s Web; and more recent releases like The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Hunger Games and Harry Potter,” she said.

Cr May said the Picnic in the Park included a Story Time under the trees and Baby Bounce on the lawn.

“There will be loads of fun for the kids, with face painting, puppets, craft activities and heaps more.

“Everyone is welcome – just bring a rug, water bottle, hat and picnic.”

The Walkerston Book Week Parade, which is also an iconic Book Week staple, takes place the following day (Friday, August 23) from 9am to 10.30am.

Cr May said the parade down Walkerston’s Dutton Street was a spectacle like no other.

She encouraged residents to line the street to cheer on the colourful characters from the local schools.

“The kids and their parents go to so much trouble with their costumes – I really take my hat off to them,” she said.

“It’s a wonderful celebration of books and reading, and the parade, which is supported by the Walkerston Library team and Walkerston Rotary, is a great event that really brings the community together.”

Libraries are also offering a series of games and prizes throughout the week and you can pick up and submit your entry at library branches as detailed below:

  • Book hunt - all library branches
  • Picture hunt - all library branches
  • Colouring in - Walkerston Library and Mobile Library (closes Wednesday, August 21)
  • Best costume - Walkerston Book Parade (winners chosen and announced at the parade on Friday, August 23).

A series of special Baby Bounce, Toddler Time and Story Time sessions will also run during the week where families and their little ones can dress up and get into the Book Week spirit.

Access to free events is only one of the benefits of library membership. If you are not already a library member, please join at