Story Island: an adventure in pictures - Review

Kate and twins Macy and Arlo's adventures continue with their latest review of 'Story Island: an adventure in pictures' at REALM (Ringwood Library). A great interactive exhibition travelling across 12 Victorian public libraries between now and January 2018 that encourages parents and little ones to immerse into the world of books and reading.


On her website, well-known Australian author Mem Fox recommends that parents “read at least three stories a day and that children need to hear a thousand stories before they can begin to learn to read.”  Reading stories is something that we love to share as a family. There is nothing better than climbing up onto the couch at the end of the day with our poppets (and their ever-growing collection of soft toys!) and snuggling together to read stories before bedtime. 


Story Island: an adventure in pictures is a joint initiative of State Library Victoria and Public Libraries Victoria Network to promote the development of early years literacy skills. Opened at REALM (Ringwood Library) on June 10, this travelling exhibition features a selection of beautiful illustrations reproduced from world-renowned Scholastic Dromkeen Children’s Literature Collection held at State Library of Victoria.


Taking you on a journey from bath-time to bedtime (a nightly routine that we are all too familiar with), Story Island offers a space for reading, imaginative sharing, learning and exploring stories and pictures together. The exhibition is a welcoming space featuring four custom-made pods which evoke stories of the bush, the city, bath and bed time. 


At Splash (the first ‘pod’) incorporating the themes of ‘bath-time’ and ‘water’, we chat to Arlo and Macy about our bath time routine and Daddy pretends to blow bubbles, much to the enjoyment of his eager audience!  Arlo explores the plug hole and finds a hidden creature, and with all the talk about boats and water, Macy starts to sing ‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat’ - with the accompanying actions of course!


Next stop, Bush Friends (the second ‘pod’) where we are invited into a world of animals and natural environments to explore the themes of ‘trees’ and ‘country’. While I reminisced about reading ‘Possum Magic’ with my Nana, it didn't take long for Macy to find the furry wombat tummy to pat and cuddle.


Whilst Arlo was intrigued by the little wooden doors that were hiding farm animals underneath. Perhaps encouraged by his sister’s singing, he was oinking and baaing loudly as he found more animals that he recognised.  I mean it wasn't like we were in a library and had to be quiet! 


We left the bush and headed over to City Dreams (the third ‘pod’) for an urban and suburban experience that quickly morphed into a fantastical world of dreams, dragons and strange creatures. Cries of “stuck, stuck” quickly got my attention and I turned around to find that Master Arlo had got his arm caught in a magic chest (or wooden trap door!) whilst trying to get to the precious treasures. 


Once his arm was safely removed from the chest, he was back up and running, with a bright green and red dragon puppet to chase his sister with! Don’t worry it wasn’t long before she snatched it off him and chased after him plus the other small children who were close by.  


After all that excitement it was time for Mummy and Daddy to have a rest, I mean it was time for us to sit down and share a story! Snuggle, the centre pod features images of a sharing and cosy bedtime experience. Library staff have filled this space with an assortment of books from the library and we carefully selected two stories that we hadn’t read before and throughly enjoyed both of them.


Attending this exhibition certainly reignited my passion for reading and sharing stories with my family, not only as a way to bring us closer but to help Arlo and Macy foster a lifelong love of books and reading.  

We highly recommend making time to experience Story Island: an adventure in pictures when it visits 12 public libraries in Victoria between now and January 2018.  You can also find an accompanying activity booklet, a suggested booklist for further reading and single activity sheets available to download from the State Library of Victoria website.

For more information about 'Story Island: an adventure in pictures', checkout the State Library's website.

For more ideas on what to do with the little ones in Melbourne, checkout our Daily Spots List.