Riverstone Public School library teacher Jasmine Seymour has won the Children’s Book Council of AustraliaExternal link (CBCA) Award for New Illustrator at this year’s Book Week awards.
The awards were announced in a virtual event last Friday as part of this week’s CBCA Book Week celebrations.
Ms Seymour won the award for her book ‘Baby Business’, a children’s picture book which tells the story of a Darug smoking ceremony for newborns, a ritual that welcomes baby to Country.
Ms Seymour is currently learning her own Darug language and completing a Masters in Indigenous Languages Education. She shared her story earlier this year on National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day.
The book reflects the author’s passion for Aboriginal languages and culture with the book using Darug language interspersed with English.
Students and staff at Riverstone Public School gathered to watch the livestream awards announcement which was shared to the school’s Facebook pageExternal link.
Ms Seymour was overwhelmed with the award win and thanked the school for its support.
“This award means so much and I’m shocked that I’ve received it,” she said.
The CBCA judges said the visual style of the book “feels primal and sophisticated at the same time”.
We come to understand culture, through line, texture and colour, as well as through language,” the judges wrote.
Ms Seymour also shared some advice to her students encouraging them to give writing a go and not listen to their doubts.
“I never thought I could ever write a book,” she told the students.
“You never know what you can do unless you have a go.
“Your stories are very important, so happy writing everyone!”
Book Week officially started on 17 October and concludes on 23 October. Schools across the state are celebrating the week with book parades, library displays and fun activities to encourage reading.