Preschoolers and their parents received a special treat when award-winning author and poet Libby Hathorn visited Narromine this week.
The author of more than 50 books dropped in for a special storytime at Narromine branch of Macquarie Regional Library on Wednesday. Visitors were treated to live readings of Libby’s picture books I Love You Book and Magical Ride, while the library’s own Norma Reid and Lynne McDougall led children through several songs including a spirited version of Incy Wincy Spider.
The children then sat around a large table that had been laid out with an array of crayons where they proceeded to create beautiful dragonfly pictures.
Libby said reading poetry aloud was a special experience, and she was especially fond of Australian poetry.
“It tells us who we are, from the past right up to now,” she said.
“Reading aloud is a huge gift that parents can give to their children, whether it be a bedtime story or any time of day.
“When they share a poem from a book they are not only enjoying it together they are laying down important pathways in the brain and developing language, rhyme and rhythm.”
Libby said despite many being time-poor these days in a world where “technology is supreme”, there was still a place for traditional books.
“Even though I’m working with e-books and apps and I’m in love with technology, I don’t think there will ever be a time when real books, with their touch, smell, taste and feel, will not be an exquisite thing that we can share between mum, dad and child.
“As far as I’m concerned, paper books will always be there, and it is important to remind kids that there’s a time to sit down with real paper books and it’s a wonderful experience.”
Libby’s works have been translated into several languages and adapted for stage and screen. They have won commendations in Australia, the United States, United Kingdom and Holland, and in 2003 she was awarded a Centenary Medal.