The SIDE Library Resource Centre hosted two exciting Webex sessions with Western Australian author Nadia King. Nadia presented from our Leederville studio in two separate sessions (PP-Year 2 and Years 3-4).

Nadia began by talking about herself; where she lives, the animals in her life and in her books, and her recipe for happiness!! She was amazed that the students lived in such varied locations. As if to illustrate the wondrous nature of distance education, students attending her sessions were in locations from within Western Australia, Australia, and from overseas locations such as Indonesia, Iraq, China, Borneo, India and Singapore. Lots of students used their webcams as well as microphones to talk to Nadia.

Nadia used pages from her picture books Claire Malone Changes the World and The Lost Smile to talk about her writing and the importance of reading in her life. She mentioned many of the ways in which she got her ideas; one was from her family and her personal experience. The main character of The Lost Smile was based upon her grandmother Zaytoon and the garden that she grew up in. Nadia explained that some of the words in the story were from the Urdu language and she encouraged the Year 3 and 4 children to share words for Mum, Dad and Grandmother in the different languages they spoke.

Student questions were very interesting, especially Nadia’s response to “How did you fall in love with books and writing?” Nadia explained that she didn’t like reading to start with and thought it was too hard. This changed one day when she was bored and in desperation began reading a book by herself which she loved. She is now surrounded by books because she loves reading and finding new books to read. She writes her own books, and she is doing a course at university which is all about reading and writing!

As well as talking about creative and persuasive writing strategies, she encouraged students after the session to think about telling a story in eight words and gave some examples from her own books.