our Books To Life
virtual incursion of the
2020 CBCA Short-Listed
"Picture Book of the Year"
Written & Illustrated by Sophie Blackall
Published by Hachette Australia
Adapted for the stage, music & performed by
- WINNER 2019 Caldecott Medal (awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children)
- ALSC "Commended" Notable Book Award 2019
- Junior Library Guild Award Emergent Selection 2018
- CCBC Choices Award Selection 2019
- Fanfare Award Selection 2018
- Book Links Lasting Connections Award Selection 2018
- IndieBound Bestseller
- Amazon "Best Book of the Year So Far"
- BookPage Children's Top Pick
- Named a best book of 2018 by People, the Boston Globe, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and The Horn Book.
Due to COVID-19 Book Week was rescheduled by CBCA to Term 4: 17-23 October 2020
Theme: "Curious Creatures, Wild Minds"
Reviews for this new interactive virtual show:
"Our students were so highly engaged for the whole show, and erupted into applause at the end!!... we knew the show would be good, but with having to perform a virtual show, we could never have imagined it would be incredible. Your show exceeded all of our expectations and both staff and students absolutely loved it... Even through a screen, you have the ability to engage, entertain and inspire our students... a truly amazing show - a highlight of our Book Week... the props were a wonderful way to create interaction... a really special event... a wonderful show... The link worked perfectly and there were no issues regarding set-up... the way you engaged with the students through the video and had them perform different actions...really helped to bring the performance to life... a great performance... students loved it! My 5/6 class was really impressed and are loving our planned activities taken from your compiled teacher resources!... the students just loved the way the use of props helped them to interact with the performance. The props really made the whole experience something the students will remember and talk about."
Various teachers response to 2020's interactive virtual incursion of "Hello Lighthouse".
OUR VIRTUAL INCURSION
Due to COVID-19 restrictions by the government still prohibiting the live performance to tour nationally, Books To Life have developed a great solution which is 30% cheaper for your students: A Virtual Incursion of “Hello Lighthouse”.
How does the interactive virtual incursion work?
The live production of 'Hello Lighthouse' has been cleverly adapted to make it work more effectively for a professionally filmed & edited performance that students can stream & interact with:
at a school assembly;
in their classroom;
or even individually by students at home if they are away sick that day.
"Loved the live-action engaging and interactive nature of the show. It actually felt like we were at a live theatre show even though it was virtual!"
St. Augustine’s PS, Frankston South, VIC for 2020's 'Hello Lighthouse' VIRTUAL.
"All positive feedback from staff and students. The humour was particularly well-received, the fact you performed to the camera was engaging and the range of camera angles, props and effects were terrific. We are definitely wanting to book next year please"
St Anthony's PS, Alphington, VIC for 2020's 'Hello Lighthouse' VIRTUAL.
Everything from the live show & more is captured with:
multiple top-end 5K cameras;
full DMX stage lighting;
plus several additional visual technical elements & green screen technology integrated to enhance the live production.
"Thank you so so so much for all your valuable resources and an amazing brilliant 'virtual show'. Our students were engaged throughout the performance and thoroughly enjoyed watching it, from our Prep students right up to our Year 6 students. The teachers enjoyed it too and gave it a thumbs up. Thanks also for the FAQ video which we will be coming back to. Everything worked well and was seamless which was fantastic. The quality was spot on - so clear that it made you feel that you were actually in the room... I will certainly be recommending you to my other teacher librarian colleagues as a 'must have' performance for their schools."
St Leonard's PS, Glen Waverley, VIC for 2020's 'Hello Lighthouse' VIRTUAL.
"After having you perform at our school in previous years, we knew the show would be good, but with having to perform a virtual show, we could never have imagined it would be incredible. Your show exceeded all of our expectations and both staff and students absolutely loved it... Even through a screen, you have the ability to engage, entertain and inspire our students... a truly amazing show - a highlight of our Book Week."
Caulfield Grammar, Malvern, VIC for 2020's 'Hello Lighthouse' VIRTUAL.
Filmed on the stage of Melbourne's iconic Athenaeum Theatre, multiple camera angles & sparkling 4K clarity give every student the very best seat in the house & make them a part of bringing books to life.
"The staff and students loved the show. The foundation students and their teacher were extremely impressed with how you made the illustrations come to life and were able to put yourself into the illustrations. Everyone from Foundation to year 6 thoroughly enjoyed the presentation and were extremely impressed by how life-like everything was. Staff commented on how engaged the children were and all the children I spoke to told me they loved that there were a lot of different elements to the performance that really made it come alive. Staff were also very appreciative of the huge amount of resources and ideas you shared with us. As the person who organised this event, I was very grateful to the support you gave... We're still not sure how you managed to bring the performance and the book to life as well as you did. Congratulations on a fantastic performance. I hope to book the performance again next year."
St Fidelis' Catholic PS, Coburg, VIC for 2020's 'Hello Lighthouse' VIRTUAL.
The pre-recorded performance is professionally edited to add in a host of special digital effects to make full use of the green screen technology & create opportunities that the live show just can't offer.
"Grades enjoyed (the show), teachers enjoyed your jokes! Looking forward to seeing you again... Even though it was on the tv it was great that you found ways to interact with the kids... The green screen effects were great... The show was great, loved that even though it was virtual, it was still interactive"
Morang South PS, VIC for 2020's 'Hello Lighthouse' VIRTUAL.
Multiple interactive activities are included in the filmed performance for students to participate in from the hall, classroom or at home. These are designed to get the students up & moving to be part of the action, making the audience feel as if they are actually in & around the lighthouse with The Lighthouse Keeper & his family.
"I received a lot of great feedback on your show this year. Although they love having you in person and the wonderful theatre vibe that brings, this year's virtual incursion had so many pluses! It was great being able to have 3 shows in our Hall... It meant there was a lot more room to move about when you had the interactive parts. These were really enjoyable and the students commented they wanted more! They particularly liked the signal flags and by you pointing out into the audience, the students organised who came out the front without any direction/instruction from the teachers whatsoever!... Thanks again for the great show you put on this year."
Gilles Street PS, Adelaide, SA for 2020's 'Hello Lighthouse' VIRTUAL.
"The virtual performance was a wonderful experience and it certainly reflected your existing creativity and increasing versatility! The Year 6 students thoroughly enjoyed supporting the performance and the audiences for both performances were extremely engaged. Comments from teachers were very positive, with the general consensus being of greatly impressed and that if these virtual performances are to be the new norm, then we are happy to embrace these opportunities... we would like to rebook for the virtual tour if it can be incorporated for the 2021 Book Week."
St Patrick's Catholic School, Latrobe, TAS for 2020's 'Hello Lighthouse' VIRTUAL.
We also provide a list of optional props to be collected that can then be used by students within the show in their own classroom to enhance the interactive virtual experience. Many schools get their Year 6 students to be in charge of running these props in the shows as a fun leadership activity for them to share with their schoolmates.
"Our students were so highly engaged for the whole show, and erupted into applause at the end!! It was, as always, a very cleverly structured show with student needs in mind and appealed to absolutely everyone. We appreciated being able to pause it a couple of times when needed. And the props were a wonderful way to create interaction. I prepped our year 6/7 class on the day before to be prop managers. They sat down the sides and supported and encouraged all the other students while each having a job such as choosing a student and coaching them to do the Northern Lights or spraying water everywhere! It was a fantastic way to fully engage those older children and have them being responsible and generous. Thank you so very much and congratulations on your successful adventure into virtual incursions!”
Newbery Park PS, SA for 2020's 'Hello Lighthouse' VIRTUAL.
"The students thoroughly enjoyed the performance, particularly the jokes and singing. The suggested props made it very entertaining too... it was engaging as well as clever how the book was linked to the drama/singing."
St Peters Lutheran College, Springfield Central, QLD for 2020's 'Hello Lighthouse' VIRTUAL.
Teachers have the ability to pause the show during these activities to organise students in the room to participate safely & join in the fun.
"Students of all year levels enjoyed the performance... the ability to stop the performance to explain aspects to the students and to organise the students for interacting with the performance was a bonus... the students just loved the way the use of props helped them to interact with the performance. The props really made the whole experience something the students will remember and talk about"
Otways MARC, VIC for 2020's 'Hello Lighthouse' VIRTUAL.
A filmed in-depth student FAQ session is included where “Tony Bones” takes the students through the creation of the show, the content & messages in the book, plus where he provides answers to common questions. Check out the 2020 version of this here. Teachers then have the ability to email through their students’ additional questions which Tony will reply to via video clips that can be played back to the students within 24 hours. If scheduling allows these extra questions can even be done as a live video call with your school group via Zoom, Webex, Google Meet or Skype at no extra cost. Also included are easy to follow teacher notes & guided discussions for teachers to run before & after the virtual performance to give the students a greater understanding of the content & a more meaningful interaction with the show. This is in addition to the extensive teacher resources & lesson plans already available for the live performance at https://www.bookstolife.com.au/2020-Show/#TeacherResources
"Wonderful entertainment for my class... Students were excited to participate in the actions and sat and watched your portrayal intently. I also provided as many of the props as possible which added to the student's experience. They particularly liked it when they were splashed with water during the turbulent water/sea scene!... We watched the Q and A later that afternoon. I wasn't sure whether my class would be able to sit through this due to their age and concentration span? Surprisingly they were most interested. We watched this for about half an hour and will come back to watch this further in the coming week. This deepened the student's experience of the production. A plethora of further resources was very much appreciated for further and future learning. Overall, the portrayal was magnificent... We all enjoyed this sooooo much!"
S.S. Peter and Paul's Primary, East Doncaster, VIC for 2020's 'Hello Lighthouse' VIRTUAL
Schools will be provided with a hyperlink & a unique password to unlock the virtual performance on the specific day of their booking. They can then share that link with all teachers at their school who have a class booked for the performance.
"It was so well done... The link worked perfectly and there were no issues regarding set-up… I could tell the kids really enjoyed it… as did (the other Year 6 teacher) and I! The students were really engaged throughout"
Chatham PS, Surrey Hills, VIC for 2020's 'Hello Lighthouse' VIRTUAL.
The price for the interactive virtual performance is a huge 30% off the live show price +GST.
Within "Book Week" itself just $5.25+GST/student;
or any other week just $4.55+GST/student.
Simply indicate in your enquiry as to whether you'd like the live show or the virtual incursion option.
"They loved it. Really engaging and well put together show. Loved the jokes, songs and animations... The kids were full of laughter while watching the show and loved the props, animation and audience interaction as well."
Kingswood PS, Dingley Village, VIC for 2020's 'Hello Lighthouse' VIRTUAL.
Teacher Frequently Asked Questions:
Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions by teachers at the moment. Just let me know if there are any other questions that are not covered here.
1. Do the students and teachers have to read the book before seeing the show?
This is not mandatory but it is highly recommended. The teachers using the optional props will better understand where everything happens if they have already read the book. The students who have already read the book before experiencing the show respond far better to our Book Week performances because they understand the source material & can see how we have adapted it. And it is a Book Week show after all so we’d love to encourage the students to read the book, not just experience the show. If you don’t have a copy of the book to read at school then you can watch a YouTube video of Sophie Blackall, the book’s author/illustrator reading it in a 7-minute video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWXYBa0YFD4 It is recommended that students do this at some point in the week leading up to your show date, but maybe not on the day of the show itself as this can mean they are seeing the book twice in one day.
2. Do we have to collect and use the suggested optional props in the virtual performance?
No, it is optional, but the feedback from our first test school was that the students LOVED LOVED LOVED them & had so much fun making the show come to life in their own classroom with their teachers. One of the first schools to experience the show actually came up with the idea of getting their Year 6 students to experience the show in the very first session of the day then they ran all of the props for all of their junior classes, already knowing exactly what happened when in the show & how to make it work best for the students so that the teachers could sit back & relax. Those senior students can then also be in charge of shuffling props from one class to the next if you have multiple groups seeing the show all starting in 5 or 10 minute intervals. The Year 6 students loved the leadership opportunity to "run the show" & the teachers got to relax. How clever is that?
3. Do all the students need to watch the show at the same time?
No. Most schools are running the virtual incursion in their individual classrooms for either their one class or sometimes a few classes together, depending on how many comfortably fit in the room. If every classroom has a decent screen to watch it on then it works fine. If not then just use the best room a few times for the different groups during the day. You have unlimited use of the footage for that entire school day (8am to 4pm) & can watch it as many times as you like with small or large groups. It is up to you. Even individual students who might be at home can watch the show if you email them the link & password to use.
4. When will I get access to the show? How will the virtual show work? Do I need to register for an account (e.g. Zoom) to watch the show? Do I need to run a test?
You do not need to register for an account but we do recommend running a test at school before the day. We are using Vimeo (a bit like Youtube but without the ads) so there is no need for you to register for an account. I do suggest that you check that Vimeo's website is not blocked on your school network (unlikely but possible) by playing our show trailer at this link while at school: https://vimeo.com/469142406 If in the unlikely event that Vimeo is blocked at your school then please contact your ICT staff to ask them to ensure that it is unlocked for the day of the show & for whenever classes want to access the student FAQ footage afterwards. I will email you the link & password for the virtual incursion at 9.15am the morning before the show to forward to the appropriate staff at your school. The password will work from 8am of the day your show is booked until 4pm. On the day of the show whenever each class is ready to watch the show the teachers simply click on the link I’ll have emailed you & enter the password that comes with it. Then the video will play on the screen, streaming from Vimeo. There are instructions for this in the email that is sent with the link & password the day before your virtual performance.
5. How does the student frequently asked questions (FAQ) section work after the show?
If you watch through the short credits at the end there is a little message from me to camera about the questions. The 47 minute FAQ video is at a seperate link at https://vimeo.com/467365888 which will be emailed again to all teachers along with the show link. This video has no password & is available to go back to whenever your classes want to work through any of that content. After they have experienced the virtual show the students can watch just the first part of the FAQ about the book or jump to whichever section the teachers would like them to look at (the puppets, props, etc). The FAQ link will also be on our website.
6. How long does the show and student FAQ section go?
The virtual show is 47 minutes. The FAQ is 47 minutes as well. Staff & students are free to just watch a bit of the FAQ directly after the show then come back to it another time if that suits.
7. Are there lesson plans and teacher resources?
Yes. A huge amount of lesson plans, videos & teachers resources are available on our website to use before or after the show as your teachers wish. These can be accessed at https://www.bookstolife.com.au/2020-Show/#TeacherResources
8. How long will it take for you to respond to student’s questions that we email through?
We have recorded a 47 minute "FAQ" section that the school has unlimited access to for the rest of the year & this goes through the content of the book, the use of puppets, mask, props, sets, music, etc.
There are also links on our website to the author/illustrator, Sophie Blackall doing a 4 part FAQ Youtube video series about the book as well as many other video resources at https://www.bookstolife.com.au/2020-Show/#TeacherResources
I'll be surprised if there will be many questions not covered by these detailed resources but if there are more questions that we haven't covered in all of that then the classes should feel free to email them through to us at firstname.lastname@example.org With multiple schools seeing the show each day at various times we have said that we will send a video answer to all questions by the next school day so that we always have time to get them prepared, shot & sent overnight.
9. Can we keep a copy of the performance for the future?
Unfortunately no. For the FAQ section you have free access forever, but not for the virtual show itself. Like the live show, no digital recordings of the show can be made. Filming your students getting up & involved is encouraged but no copies of the film itself can be made as it is a breach of copyright. We do not have unlimited rights from the author/illustrator or book publisher to perform the book beyond this season, nor from the musicians that I composed the songs with, nor from the designer of the film. All of these artists sign contracts where the deal is that the students get to see the live show once (or in the virtual show as many times as they like on one school day) but not that they then own the show forever. It is like buying a movie ticket to watch a film at the cinema, not like buying a DVD that you keep afterwards & watch forever. The costs for that would be much much higher. The project is only developed as a term-long tour, virtual or live, so any copies used after that are breaching those artists' copyright.
10. Can the staff watch the show first so they know what to expect?
We're not offering the option to preview the show itself, however:
The show follows the storyline of the picture book very closely. You can also watch the author-illustrator, Sophie Blackall reading the book to see that storyline here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWXYBa0YFD4
You can watch the show trailer to get a feel of how it will look here: https://vimeo.com/469142406
The student FAQ is available for the students to watch after the show but it is also be available now for you to watch before the show if you prefer. It goes through in great detail how we made the show.: https://vimeo.com/467365888
11. Can we have access to the show over multiple days?
Yes, if it is necessary for your school to do it that way to run it in library sessions we can accommodate that request. We do however prefer schools to watch the show all on the same day if it is possible, just as they would with the live show, at different times throughout the day if required to suit your school schedule. As a whole school activity, this means students can communicate with other students at school about the show that they have all seen on the same day, which makes it a special shared experience for them.