Are you ready for National Simultaneous Storytime?

  • Published on May 17, 2019

about National Simultaneous Storytime 2019

It’s time to celebrate National Simultaneous Storytime. Held every year since 2001 and organised by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA), National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS) encourages everyone in Australia to read the same picture book at the same time.

This year’s event takes place next

Wednesday 22 May at 11 am AEST.

The picture book to be read is

Alpacas with Maracas by Matt Cosgrove.

As outlined on the website, the purpose of the event is to:

  • promote the value of reading and literacy,
  • promote the value and fun of books,
  • promote an Australian writer and publisher,
  • promote storytime activities in public libraries and communities around the country,
  • and provide opportunities to involve parents, grandparents, the media and others to participate in and enjoy the occasion.

Participating in such an event will help children to see themselves as part of a larger community of readers and understand that reading is not something confined to their classroom but enjoyed by others everywhere.

Everyone can participate — libraries, schools, childcare centres, bookshops families, grandparents, individuals.

Registration for NSS is free and, if you register prior to Monday 20 May, you will receive downloadable material to support your event, including a free downloadable PDF version of the book to use during your NSS event.

Free teaching ideas

In addition to all the great teaching ideas available on the NSS website, other teaching ideas and resources are available from


Scholastic website (under the Resources tab)

Teaching ideas from readilearn

The words in the title rhyme – alpacas and maracas. Children love to rhyme.

a list of words that rhyme with animals - great for writing poems

The readilearn resource Animal Rhyme Time includes a list of one-syllable animal names and rhyming words – a perfect start to encourage children to write their own rhyming animal books.

They may like to experiment with creating their own words to rhyme with animals whose names have two or more syllables; for example:

  • elephant (arrogant, elegant, triumphant)
  • rhinoceros (prosperous, preposterous, boisterous)
  • giraffe (laugh, half, photograph)
  • kangaroo (overdue, barbecue, Kathmandu)
  • wombat (combat, brickbat, doormat)

Research alpacas

Children may not be as familiar with alpacas as they are with other animals. National Simultaneous Storytime provides an opportunity to extend their learning by integrating it with the science curriculum. When children learn about alpacas, they are learning about living things, their needs, features and life stages. To assist, I have prepared a free resource Let’s find out about alpacas.

non-fiction digital non-fiction text about alpacas

Let’s find out about alpacas is suitable for displaying to the class on the interactive whiteboard. A printable PDF version is available from within the resource.

national simultaneous storytime Alpacas with Maracas


Remember to put National Simultaneous Storytime into your calendar and get ready to read Alpacas with Maracas with the rest of Australia on Wednesday 22 May at 11 am EAST.

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    Thanks, Robbie. We’re lucky here to have so many proactive organisations that promote literacy and learning.

    Such I fun idea! And selfishly, one of my first thoughts was “How lucky is that author that his book is chosen for Simultaneous Storytime!” Probably every author/s dream. I agree with Debby – all countries should celebrate this holiday.

    It is a great idea, isn’t it? I agree with you about the author being lucky. The criteria for selection is quite interesting.
    I wonder how many countries celebrate something similar.

    I know in the US some libraries select a book for everyone who belongs to the library to read, but that’s for adults not children. And I haven’t heard about anything like this countrywide.

    It’s pretty amazing, isn’t it? I love it and wish I’d known about it when I was still in the classroom. 🙂

    You were quick, Debby! Thank you. Yes, it is a wonderful idea and one that would be great to share internationally.

    For sure Norah. And lol, the quick bit – I had just logged into my email when your new post suddenly just popped up in my face, lol. 🙂

    I appreciate that you followed the link straight away. 🙂

Please share your thoughts. I love it when you do.

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