27 August 2019

New children's book teaches the ABCs of the ACT

| Lachlan Roberts

ABC Play School presenter Teo Gebert and local mum Angela Ball with her children’s book ABC the ACT. Photos: Region Media.

Usually, ‘A’ is for apple but thanks to a new children’s book, ‘A’ is Angela, an awesome author who takes the audience on an alphabetic adventure around the ACT.

The book called ABC the ACT, written and photographed by Canberra local Angela Ball, takes readers on a journey from A to Z to discover the sights and sounds of the nation’s capital.

After struggling to find a compelling way to teach her kids the alphabet, Angela decided to combine her eye for photography, her passion for writing and a desire to explore her adopted home all in one.

From the flower beds of Floriade to the long corridors of Parliament House, she began compiling photos and rhymes of the iconic Canberra destinations.

“Not having grown up in Canberra, in some ways it felt like when the kids were exploring Canberra, I was exploring it for the first time as well,” Angela shared with Region Media.

“When I started writing this book years ago, I had two boys who had lots of energy, so we were out and about pretty much all the time.

“I always had my camera with me so I combined exploring with photography.”

ABC Play School presenter Teo Gebert officially launched the book on Wednesday morning (21 August) with a public reading at Civic Library.

While many children learnt the alphabet using apples, balls and cats, the mum-of-three taught her little ones using the Arboretum, Black Mountain and the Carillon.

With 50 stunning photos matched with a lively rhyme, the book showcases the Canberra region and the alphabet from a new and different perspective.

“The way in which I have written the book is not necessarily ‘A’ is for,” Angela explained. “I have tried to weave in words that start with that letter into the rhyme so it is not so obvious, and it is a subtle way of communicating different ways of using that letter.

“They are not all straightforward, which I think when you are reading children’s books over and over again, you can sometimes do it by rote. I wanted to make it interesting.”

Like all alphabet rhymes, there are some letters that are more challenging than others, which Angela experienced with a troublesome vowel.

“The letter ‘U’ was probably the most challenging,” she recollected. “I also wanted to use the War Memorial in the book but I didn’t want to use ‘W’ because it is the Australian War Memorial and I didn’t want to be so obvious with it.

Around 60 children listened to Teo reading the book.

“So I decided to go with ‘uniform’. While there isn’t an image of a uniform in the book, I used an aerial shot of Anzac Parade, tying in the War Memorial. It actually became one of my favourite rhymes.”

Angela tested her self-published book on her kids, who also happen to be her biggest critics. Thankfully her kids have given it the thumbs up.

“Hopefully there is a group of kids out there besides mine which the book resonates with,” Angela said laughing.

ABC the ACT is available online.

Original Article published by Lachlan Roberts on The RiotACT.

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