On Wednesday, October 11, Play Matters Australia had the immense honor of launching the new children’s picture book ‘Let’s Play’ by Karen Tyrrell at the Queensland State Library. This event brought in many families and children who helped celebrate this fantastic launch.
Hosted by the Queensland State Library, Play Matters staff were welcomed and consistently supported to make this launch a success.
In the Parlour room, families were greeted by flexible, comfortable seating, an array of engaging art, and an inviting and welcoming space. Guests received a free copy of the book ‘Let’s Play’, and the opportunity to have their storybook signed.
Karen Tyrrell, head to toe in purple, and accompanied by her beautiful family (including her grandchild of which the book is dedicated), attended, ready to read and engage.
Beginning the event, the wonderful library staff opened with an Acknowledgement of Country that invited all guests to join in, and introduced Play Matters CEO, Penny Creamer.
Penny spoke about the road leading to this moment, and thanked those in attendance. She then introduced the author, Karen Tyrrell.
Karen introduced herself and spoke about previous works before engaging the audience in a reading of ‘Let’s Play’. After, Karen signed copies, and connected with families over the shared joy of her book.
“Launching LET’S PLAY filled my heart with bliss. Playful toddlers, giggling babies and loving mums read and sang along with me. Sid, my grandson, joined in the celebrations, pointing to the page where he and I were illustrated by Maddi Gray.” - Author Karen Tyrrell
The launch coincided with Children’s Week 2023 and helped promote this year’s theme.
“The picture books perfectly embody the theme of Children's Week 2023, Article 31 – Children have the right to relax, play, and take part in activities they enjoy. These books share the joy of play and celebrate its benefits, and we are thrilled to bring them to young readers and families across the nation” – Play Matters Australia CEO Penny Creamer
During Children’s Week, Karen Tyrrell, along with husband Steve Tyrell, visited the children’s ward at Logan Hospital. Here, they performed ‘Let’s Play’, using costumes and comedy and bringing the joy of play to young children. Karen later visited a young girl in her hospital room, and her mum, for a personal reading. They gifted ‘Let’s Play’ to young children on the day, and gave older children a copy of the humorous, child-empowerment novel ‘Andy & Ghost Boy’ by Karen Tyrrell.
“OUR hearts swelled, visiting the Children’s Ward at Logan Hospital in Children’s Week …Thrilled we could make kids laugh and smile ... and gift them books to read.” – Author Karen Tyrrell
‘Let’s Play’ was a collaborative effort between Play Matters, home of Sing&Grow Australia, author Karen Tyrrell, and illustrator Maddi Gray at Brother&Co. The development of ‘Let’s Play’ was partially funded by the Department of Social Services.
The road to this launch began with a call for a children’s book that aligned with the Sing&Grow key parenting messages.
Playing with your child is important for developing their communication, physical, social, and emotional skills.
Praise Praising and affirming your child can help to build their self-esteem, giving them more confidence to explore their world.
Consistency Consistency in routines, responses and modelling will help your child to learn and heighten their sense of security with you.
Sing&Grow is a national evidence-based music therapy program providing services for young children and their families. Their group programs focus on strengthening family relationships, building capacity in parents to support their children’s development in the early years of life, and supporting children’s transition to school. The team at Sing&Grow wanted a book that both children and families could enjoy, that would make a valuable resource for music therapists and parents.
Karen Tyrrell’s ‘Let’s Play’ encompassed this perfectly, incorporating the important and valuable messages of praise, play and consistency, while also being an engaging, fun book children and families can read again and again. Sing&Grow, alongside Play Matters Australia, are thrilled to bring ‘Let’s Play’ to young readers and families across the nation. From 2024, every family across Australia who attends a Sing&Grow group program will receive a free copy of ‘Let’s Play’.
You can purchase a copy of Karen Tyrrell’s ‘Let’s Play’ here.
Discover all the fun and exciting ways children play. From supporting children's development, to the joys of playing together, there's plenty to celebrate about play!