Adventuring with Book Buddies

After tripping over some sticks, 3-year-old Theo spent over two weeks in the Women’s and Children’s Hospital with a broken leg.

To help make the time a little easier during his stay, Theo was visited by Book Buddy, Chris.

Chris found out that Theo was a Bluey fanatic and picked him the perfect book! Although he was a bit tired and unhappy at the start, by the last page Chris had him smiling and engaged with the story, which served as a perfect distraction from the discomfort of his leg.

The Book Buddies project is a joint initiative of the WCH Foundation and Hospital School SA, with expertise from the members of the Children’s Book Council of South Australia, where qualified book readers visit the wards to encourage reading, improve literacy skills and provide a distraction for patients.

Theo and his mum being read to by Book Buddy, Chris.

Theo and his mum being read to by Book Buddy, Chris.

Book Buddy, Chris, says, “My love of being a Book Buddy comes from enjoying the connections and conversations with young people and their families. It brings me so much joy to read and bring a book to life, taking young people on adventures that can be created through reading.”

“I love seeing young people’s faces light up and smile with enjoyment when they’re engaged in the book and when they ask for another read. For some, initially, they may take some time warming up, but with a dose of enthusiasm and a great book they can be hooked.

“It is such a privilege and joy being a Book Buddy! The positive feedback of appreciation from young people, their families and hospital staff is amazing.”

Thanks to donations from our community, through our Arts in Health program we’re able to provide books for patients to keep each time a Book Buddy visits, meaning they can enjoy the stories for years to come.

Hospital School SA Principal, Matthew McCurry, says, “The books are a great present that enables the young people to continue reading at home with their parents, which aligns with the idea that parents are a child’s first teacher.”

“Our Book Buddies are all retired school librarians and teachers, meaning their combined wealth of knowledge and experience provides the young people with readers who can bring books to life.

“Many times, it isn’t just the child who gets engrossed in the reading but also the parents, siblings and other family members, which can be a nice pause or distraction.”


To learn more about our Arts in Health program, click here

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