Award-winning South West author and illustrator Josh Langley is looking forward to returning to Collie this weekend for the Collie Agricultural Show.
Mr Langley said it was the ‘whole show vibe’ that had him excited to be coming back to the show after getting involved last year.
“I think it’s something that only Collie can put on – a great mix of art exhibitions and sideshow alley and woodchopping,” he said.
“I love the art especially and all the artists they have there.
“It’s a great country vibe but there’s so much to do at the Collie Show and I’m always amazed.”
Mr Langley, who lives in Lowden approximately 30km south-west of Collie, has become well-known in the publishing world for his children’s books that spread important messages about acceptance.
He said his books were essentially ‘self-help books for children aged between four and 12 years old’.
His most recent book, It’s OK to Feel the Way You Do, focussed on helping children recognise and accept their feelings and was awarded the Small Publishers’ Children's Book of the Year award and the 2018 Australian Book Industry Awards.
“The messages in that book are about getting kids to become friends with their feelings, whether it’s angry, happy, a bit of anxiety or anything like that, and getting kids to be OK with them,” Mr Langley said.
He said he would be also promoting the message from his previous book, Being You Is Enough, which is all about self-acceptance.
“It’s all about self-esteem, making kids feel comfortable in their own skin and letting them know it’s alright to be different,” he said.
Mr Langley said he regularly toured around the state to visit schools and talk about his books and their messages with students, including one visit to Fairview Primary School earlier this year.
“A lot of schools invite me in to talk about the books and messages … it’s something that parents always want to hear and the kids like to hear too,” he said.
Mr Langley said he was hoping to see some familiar faces when he holds readings of his books at the show, as part of a day of fun and interactive activities for the children.
“I’m really looking forward to meeting the children because they’re always great,” he said.
“There’ll be two sessions where the kids can come and we’ll have a fun interactive little time where we’ll read the books and get the kids to act some things out.”
Mr Langley will also be pulling double duties at the show after being locked in as one of the judges for the highly-anticipated cosplay competition.
“I’m looking forward to seeing all the different costumes and the ideas that everyone comes up with,” he said.
“That’s going to be very hard to judge because I’m sure the competition is going to be very tough … but it will be very interesting.”
Mr Langley said he was also looking forward to exploring all the activities and exhibitions the show has to offer, and getting his hands on a pluto pup.
“One of my favourite things at the Collie Show is getting a pluto pup,” he said.
“They’re not really healthy for you, but you can’t really get them in other places.”
Mr Langley will be in the pavilion holding readings at 10.30am and 12pm on Saturday, November 17. He’ll also have a stall where parents will be able to purchase his books.
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