Author’s reading certainly a spectacle

It’s not every day you get to hear one of your favourite books read to you by the author. So when acclaimed children’s author Susanne Gervay visited St Columba’s Primary School, Adamstown, to read her most recent work The Boy in the Big Blue Glasses, the students were mesmerised by her animated presentation.

The book explores the highs and lows of a character named Sammy — a young superhero who fearlessly leads a crew of girls and boys — until the day Sammy feels different. He gets glasses. Sammy’s self-esteem plummets until there’s a crisis where he is alone wearing his big blue glasses. Things have to change. Through humour, self-realisation and the indomitable spirit of kids, Sammy rises to the challenge and embraces change.

St Columba’s kindergarten teacher Louise Walsh first met Gervay at an early learning conference in Sydney earlier this year and was impressed by her writing style, which she believes helps the reader connect with the emotions of the characters.

“Gervay’s writing comes from the heart,” Ms Walsh said. “She has powerful messages for her young readers, and many of them are values we like to instil in our students.”

With that in mind, Ms Walsh invited Gervay to St Columba’s, which runs a variety of programs including Bounce Back, Making Jesus Real and Mini Vinnies, while maintaining a policy framework that places an emphasis on pastoral care and anti-bullying.

“The Boy in the Big Blue Glasses explores many themes including communication, inclusion and persistence but I believe that one of the most important messages is that children accept that yes, ‘we are all different and this difference should empower us, not undermine who we are’,” Ms Walsh said.

For Oliver Locking, who is in Year 1 at St Columba's and started wearing glasses earlier this year, it was an exceptional experience to hear Gervay read the book.

“I think it’s OK to be different because people are different and that’s how people are supposed to be,” Oliver said.

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Lizzie Watkin

Lizzie is Team Leader Content for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

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