Power of a good fable
WHEN Townsville author Ian McIntosh visited Stanthorpe State High School (SSHS) in late May for BookFair, he felt "recharged” to encourage greater literacy.
With his signature green-rimmed glasses and energetic presence, Ian addressed 125 students per day, from 10 local state primary schools across five days, the event's theme, the relevance of Fables.
He also engaged with each of the 120-student Year 7 to 10 cohorts of SSHS, a smaller group of keen writers in the school's Year 11 and 12 classes, others from Stanthorpe State Primary School, and found time to visit Texas State School.
"BookFair was well organised by Melissa Pascoe and the high school, they hosted me fantastically,” Ian said.
"It was great to connect with students from Prep to Year 12.”
Ian shared his journey towards self-publishing three books - The Bickie Monster, Silly Socks, Sleepy Socks and The Little Kangaroo.
He read two of them to larger groups and said he particularly enjoyed student reactions to the latter.
"I've been reading The Little Kangaroo (to students) for a while now and I know the parts where they're likely to react,” Ian said.
"All ages can identify with the characters, whether it be the little kangaroo or the playful perch or the wise old emu. The story is like a modern-day fable.
"The message is it's okay to not be as good as others at something, to be happy about being good at something else.”
Organiser Melissa Pascoe said BookFair had "become so popular” it was now an annual event.
"BookFair is a great and fun way for the primary students to visit the high school and a terrific transition program,” she said.
With two books close to completion and a further five in the pipeline, Ian said he hopes to revisit Stanthorpe to continue to enthuse young people to discover their purpose.
"I'm passionate about helping people find what makes them excited and what they're naturally good at, so they can live happily and on purpose,” he said.
His purpose became clear after trial and error.
"Someone believed in my abilities and that made all the difference.”