Crescent Head Playgroup receives surprise visit by renowned artist and author

One month after securing a $2000 grant from Coastline Credit Union, Crescent Head Playgroup has enjoyed another exciting month following the unexpected news that acclaimed Australian artist Darren Pryce and author Reeta Dhar would be delighted to visit the group to read their children’s picture book Willow the Wonderer.

Playgroup Secretary Susan Snape had purchased an advanced copy of the book online for their weekly Storytime session when she was contacted to see if the group would be interested in a reading by Reeta and Darren.

“It absolutely made our day – schools and playgroups typically pay for visits by quality authors and illustrators and here we were receiving a personal delivery of the book with the author and illustrator in tow!”

Authors and artists are an essential source of education for children, offering glimpses into the wonder and reality of creating stories and pictures unlike any other learning experience. Coordinator Sarah Hammersley, an early childhood teacher and mother, was delighted. “Opportunities for children to meet real world creative people is a source of inspiration and builds a strong love of and connection to literacy and arts engagement. This was our first special guest visit at playgroup and we hope to welcome more members of the community to share their skills and knowledge with the children and families.”

School and Playgroup visits with authors and illustrators is a wonderful way to connect both children—and their families—with the magic of books and reading. For author Reeta Dhar this was a wonderful opportunity to connect with the very important people she wrote the book for in the first place. “You never really know if the book you’ve spent months writing is any good until you read it out aloud to kids! To see them excitedly gather around for Storytime and engage with the story, rhyming and counting made my day. Huge thanks to the Crescent Head Playgroup for having us over – it was such a joy to join in!”

Australian artist Darren Pryce welcomed the change of pace after a whirlwind month surrounding his much-publicised submission to the recent Archibald Prize competition, ” I think the kids outsmarted me and all my illustration tricks! Was absolutely wonderful seeing them drawn into the pictures and count out all the creatures I had hidden in the landscape… I think I will make it harder next time!”

Copies of Willow the Wonderer can be purchased online direct from the publisher, ‘Wise As Stories’

Crescent Head Playgroup operates every Wednesday during school terms, 9:30am – 11:30am, however, due to the recent circumstances with COVID-19 all of our face-to-face Playgroups have been put on hold until further notice. We cannot wait to get back to our face-to-face Playgroups! In the meanwhile, we have virtual Playgroups running each week during lockdown for you to join in on the fun online. For more information, please visit our Virtual Playgroups, Virtual Baby & Toddler Playgroups or our PlayBaby Workshops.