Book Week 2023

Book Week is one of my favourite weeks in the school calendar. An entire week dedicated to celebrating books, Australian authors and illustrators is something I am extremely supportive of. I am always particularly interested in looking at the nominations for Best Picture Book of the Year. Bob Graham and Pamela Allen dominated the scene when I was at school and, as a teacher, I enjoyed following the works of Sean Tan.

Picture books serve as powerful tools to teach valuable life lessons. In supporting the growth and wellbeing of our boys, I now enjoy visiting our Junior School classrooms with a surprise picture book tucked under my arm to share with a class, while promoting positive values, character development, and personal growth. We engage in thoughtful discussions after reading these books to reinforce the messages conveyed.

To mark the occasion of Book Week 2023, I thought I would share some of my favourite picture books which can be used to support social-emotional growth and wellbeing. These books beautifully blend engaging storytelling with thought-provoking themes and stunning illustrations, making them impactful reads for boys and readers of all ages.

“The Red Tree” by Shaun Tan: A book about feelings, feelings which cannot always be expressed as words. The Red Tree has been used extensively by medical and mental health professionals as a support for discussion about emotional health.

"Oh, the Places You'll Go!" by Dr. Seuss: An inspirational book which encourages boys to embrace life's adventures, overcome challenges, and have faith in their abilities. It teaches resilience, self-confidence, and the power of perseverance.

“Here We Are” by Oliver Jeffers: A thought-provoking and stunning book, perfect for opening discussions about wellbeing and emotions in children of all ages.

"The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein: This timeless tale teaches boys about the importance of selflessness, gratitude, finding balance and appreciating the sacrifices made by those who love us.

"Giraffes Can't Dance" by Giles Andreae: This story promotes the message that everyone has their unique talents and strengths, teaching boys about confidence, resilience, and embracing their individuality.

"The Day the Crayons Quit" by Drew Daywalt: This book promotes the understanding of individuality, creativity, and problem-solving, teaching boys about embracing diversity and finding ways to work together.

"Edward the Emu" by Sheena Knowles: This book promotes self-acceptance, embracing differences, and learning to be happy with oneself. It encourages boys to celebrate their uniqueness and appreciate the diversity of others.

"The Invisible Boy" by Trudy Ludwig: This book highlights the power of kindness and inclusion. It follows Brian, an introverted and overlooked boy, who finds friendship when a new student arrives and recognizes his worth.

“The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse” by Charlie Mackesy: A reminder of the most important things in life. This is a book of philosophy, hope, wisdom, peace and guidance.

Matt Knight Deputy
Head of Junior School