Joys of picture books with Michelle Worthington

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Michelle Worthington as Fairy Belle reading Yellow Dress Day to children

A SPECIAL storytelling hour with award winning picture book author Michelle Worthington, took place at the Pottsville Beach Neighbourhood Centre on Tuesday, July 15, with 25 excited children from Pottsville Community Preschool.

Dressed as Fairy Belle, Michelle demonstrated movement activities, songs and dressing up to a selection of Michelle’s characters including The Pink Pirate, Yellow Dress Day and Hootie the Cutie.

Earlier in the day, Michelle was the guest speaker at the Hastings Point Probus Club where she spoke about the importance of reading to children from an early age and the benefits of sensory storytelling.

“The thing I love most about storytelling is that you can truly use it as a confidence-booster for kids,” Michelle said.

“Particularly in the case of children with special needs or those with learning disabilities, issues such as self-esteem and believing in their own capabilities are extremely important for their development and I love sharing these themes in my books.

“When I get to share my stories with children, they can see that I have a love of storytelling and it can be a fantastic way to introduce them to reading picture books as form of self-expression.

“Kids love to see themselves mirrored in the books and it’s very important to me that my books offer diversity to Australian children, but at the same time giving them something familiar to connect with.”

Michelle also shared some of her passion for writing and the importance of picture books.

“Writing for me is more than a hobby,” she said.

“I am passionate about the importance of picture books for early literacy and truly believe they have the power to create lifelong readers.

“Kids just need to find that one book that captures their imagination, that’s why we need diverse picture books by Australian authors.

“I have just signed my 15th picture book contract and started my own company, Share Your Story, to help other aspiring Australian writers realise their dream of becoming published authors and storytellers.”

Michelle is available to be a guest speaker or storyteller at schools and community groups and can be contacted via her website www.michelleworthington.com