Imaginative adventures await with Sunshine Coast Libraries’ story seats
  • Thursday 28 April 2022
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A new family adventure beckons with Sunshine Coast Libraries’ much loved Story Seats across the region receiving a new look thanks to some of Australia’s best loved picture book authors and illustrators.

Made possible by the Queensland Government’s First 5 Forever funding, the 10 Story Seats received fresh new illustrations thanks to well-known children’s book authors and Council’s Libraries team.

The Story Seats program continues to reinforce the First 5 Forever message – “the first five years last a lifetime” – outside of a traditional library environment. 

Sunshine Coast Council Community Portfolio Councillor David Law said the new look Story Seats were a visible way of promoting early literacy and encouraging families to engage in storytelling, active play, singing and reading.

“The Story Seats are a captivating feature in parks across the region, showcasing artwork from popular children’s books to encourage a love of reading,” Cr Law said.

“With new bright and colourful artwork, the new-look Story Seats encourage parents and caregivers to play a proactive role in developing their child’s early literacy skills. 

“We have an enviable outdoor lifestyle here on the Sunshine Coast and the Story Seats continue to embed literacy into the outdoor areas traditionally used for play.”

By the sea at Shelly Beach Park is the Bring a Book Story Seat by Caroline Magerl. Capturing a sense of place through the inclusion of Pandanus trees, light from the sea, big clouds and salty breezes, the Bring a Book Story Seat invites families to share a book or invent their own wonderful stories inspired by the illustrations.

Sharing illustrations and stories of ocean adventures comes naturally to Ms Mageri. The author has fond memories of sailing the east coast of Australia with her family as she was growing up and said the Story Seat initiative was an exciting and engaging way to give back to the local community. 

“I have often wished there was a way for picture book writers and illustrators to be more visible in their communities,” Ms Magerl said.

“We are a resource to our communities and have much to give. This project has enabled us to engage with the community in which we live in a very direct way.

“The characters in the three-part illustration have never been seen in any other form outside of this endeavour. I gladly took the chance to draw a line of penguins riding on a whale’s back. It was fun from beginning to end.”

With up to 90 per cent of brain development happening in the first five years of life, the First 5 Forever supports parents and caregivers at this critical time of development.

“We’re encouraging families to obtain a map from their local Library, borrow a book or two or tap into their imagination and head off on an adventure to find all 10 Story Seats on the Sunshine Coast – one in each of council’s divisions,” Cr Law said.

“Take a picture with the seats and share on social media using #Storyseat.”

Visit council’s library website for more details and join the #Storyseat conversation by following Sunshine Coast Libraries Facebook page.

Story Seats can be found across the region in the following parks:
Pioneer Park, Landsborough
  Love animals by Bronwyn Bancroft
Nelson Park, Alexandra Headland
  Tiddilik the Frog by Gregg Dreise
Power Memorial Park, Mudjimba
  Wild about books by Katherine Battersby
Muller Park, Bli Bli
  Guyu’s friend Mr Pelican by Hope O’Chin
Russell Family Park, Montville
  Fun at the park by Peter Carnavas
Kenilworth town park, Kenilworth
  Turtles all the way down by Philip Bunting
Maroochy Lions Park, Maroochydore
  Pirate Cove by Dave Hackett
Shelly Beach Park, Shelly Beach
  Bring a book by Caroline Magerl
- Grahame Stewart Park, Currimundi
  Veggie garden by Christine Sharp
Brightwater Community Lake Park, Brightwater
  Beneath the sea, you and me by Sue deGennaro

Image 1: Children’s author and illustrator Caroline Magerl at the Shelly Beach Park Story Seat
Image 2: Shelly Beach Park Story Seat