Exciting Worlds to Explore in New Anthology for Kids
The Eastern Suburbs Sub-branch of the Children’s Book Council of Australia has launched an anthology of NSW children’s authors in support of the Book Council’s work in schools across the state.
The theme of the anthology, ‘Old Worlds, New Worlds and Other Worlds’, is taken from the 2021 CBCA Book Week theme and is reflective of the changing worlds children are currently grappling with in the coronavirus pandemic.
Through the theme and the anthology, children can explore not just what was, and what the world will be, after coronavirus, but other worlds that they can escape to through literature in strange and uncertain times.
All proceeds from the anthology go towards CBCA’s work in promoting a love of Australian books in children.
The anthology was put together in just under six months and began as the brainchild of Eastern Suburbs CBCA Sub-branch members Elizabeth Cummings and Amanda Lieber. They began with a call out to Eastern Suburbs Sub-branch authors, but the project quickly grew to include work from across NSW.
Eastern Suburbs Sub-branch president and contributing author Elizabeth Cummings said her work was inspired by her time living in Coogee.
“My own story is of a stingray in the ocean and clearly that comes from my experiences of living here, and it’s connected to that CBCA theme of ‘Old Worlds, New Worlds and Other Worlds’. The contributions are so varied because of the diversity of writers who are right here in Sydney and in NSW,” Ms Cummings told The Beast.
The diversity of the work is also reflected in new and emerging children’s authors being published alongside established authors such as Kate Forsyth and Australian Children’s Laureate Ursula Dubosarsky. The anthology has something for every child, from short stories to comics, ghost stories, poems and plays and is designed for individual and classroom use, particularly in the lead up to Book Week from August 21-27.
Among the many worlds explored are ‘old worlds’, such as World War II Budapest in Heroes of the Secret Underground by Susanne Gervay. ‘New worlds’ are found in The World is Waiting by Alison Evernden, a poem about the process of emerging from changes across the globe, and ‘other worlds’ explored a non-fiction piece, Encounter with a Lion by Jan Latta, and Ted is Off to Hospital, a poem about visiting the hospital for the first time, by Sarah Cummings.
The anthology also includes acknowledgement of Country and a poem by Indigenous author Jasmine Seymour, illustrated by Dub Leffler, in English and Darug, the language of Indigenous people of the Sydney region.
“It was so important for an inaugural anthology to be truly Australian from the start and acknowledge that this is the world of the first people of Australia, Ms Cummings told The Beast.
Looking forward, Ms Cummings is hopeful that the anthology will become an annual publication that raises funds for CBCA’s work promoting Australian literature in children across NSW and Australia.
“It was a bit of work and I loved it. If they asked me to do it again next year, I’d say, absolutely! But I do think it would benefit if each state had a turn developing it – I’m all for collaboration,” Ms Cummings told The Beast.
You can purchase a copy of Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds through the CBCA NSW website at www.cbcansw.org.au/merchandise .