Book Week 2024 LIVE show - That Bird Has Arms!

Books To Life - Book Week Shows For Students

Book Book Book Book Book Book

"Absolutely outstanding!... captivated from start to finish... brought the characters to life in a truly mesmerising way... A truly unforgettable experience that left us all inspired & delighted! Bravo!"
Lightning Ridge Central School, NSW for 2023's live show

"The most amazing show! We had the best time... I just loved the puppetry and all the clever props. You could definitely tell you were a teacher...(by) the way you got the kids involved. I got so much positive feedback"
Redeemer Lutheran College, Rochedale, QLD for 2023's live show

CBCA Short-listed 2024 Picture Book of the Year
Live on stage

See the trailer on YouTube here!

Based on the CBCA 2024 Short-listed Picture Book of the Year "That Bird Has Arms!"
Written by Kate Temple & Jol Temple
Illustrated by Ronojoy Ghosh & Niharika Hukku
Published by Little Hare Books
Adapted for the live stage & performed by "Tony Bones" Appleby B.Ed
Music by 'Tony Bones' Appleby B.Ed & Matt Brown Dip.Ed
Technical Design by Tony & Zac Krause.

This brand new 40-minute LIVE stage performance brings another award-nominated new Australian picture book TO LIFE!! It is created & performed by "Tony Bones" Appleby B.Ed, a qualified & practising drama & dance teacher with over 25 years of professional school teaching & performing experience in children's theatre & theatre in education. Tony has been adapting & performing CBCA short-listed & notable-listed books across Australia for Book Week since 2000 & this is his 39th Australian book adapted to the stage.

(NOTE: Our virtual version of this show is touring all Australian states & territories, plus all of New Zealand also)

To make a booking or enquiry, simply press the GREEN Enquiry/Booking Request Button above right to directly contact the booking team. They will answer you promptly to discuss your booking including when payment will be required.

Shows for Schools not only gathers all the great available shows, it also makes booking easier!

Curriculum Areas:
  • The Arts (Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music, Visual Arts);
  • Critical & Creative Thinking;
  • Ethical Capability;
  • Personal and Social Capability;
  • English;
  • Technologies (Design & Technologies + Digital Technologies)

  • Literacy;
  • Critical & Creative Thinking.
  • Ethical;
  • Intercultural;
  • Personal and Social.

Topics & Themes:
  • Identity;
  • Birds;
  • Individual differences & individuality;
  • Popularity & talent contests;
  • Resilience.

The stage show includes:
  • Drama - a variety of performance styles within the show such as: Melodrama, Pantomime, Musical Theatre, Physical Theatre, Mime, Puppetry, Game show, Improvisation, etc.
  • Dance - a variety of dance styles within the show such as: Jazz, contemporary, Hip Hop, etc.
  • Music - a variety of music styles in the show such as: Reggae, Rock, various Latin Music styles, Lounge Music, Music Theatre, etc;
  • Puppetry - a variety of puppetry styles in the show: Shadow puppetry, Hand puppetry, Marionette / String puppetry, Board puppetry.
  • Mask - Whole face masks, part face masks, noses, animals etc.
  • Painted sets - Painted on fabric, plywood, cardboard & paper.
  • Digital projections - 2 x 16:9 digital projectors cast huge bright images of the book, digital images of sets, animations, explosions & lighting displays onto humongous 65" projection screens on either side of the stage creating an incredible viewing experience for the students. They are also used for shadow puppetry in the show.
  • Raised staging - 45cm high staging 2m wide x 1m deep ensure everyone, even in very large groups can see ALL of the action;
  • DMX coloured stage lighting - the very latest DMX coloured stage lighting is used throughout the show to create intense & dynamic atmosphere throughout the performance.
  • Professional sound system - powered EV pro speakers & the DPA radio headset microphone matched with the pro Shure bodypack are used to ensure crystal clear sound for even the very largest halls. Students get 2 cordless handheld microphones in stands to use when on stage or carried out to the audience when required;
  • Audience participation - Students are used throughout the show to both participate in the audience (responding, singing or dancing along, creating scenes in the audience) & also joining in on stage to operate puppets, dress in costume to become characters, create sets & props during the show, be part of improvised scenes or be contestants in a game show;
  • Full Q&A session - after the show a full Question & Answer session takes place led by "Tony Bones" Appleby B.Ed, a qualified teacher with over 20 years experience running these sessions. Tony discusses in depth why he made certain decisions when creating the show (e.g. adding scenes or slightly changing them from the book, sets used, etc), and shows students how the props, sets, puppets, costumes, projections & sound were created for the show, as well as discussing the writing of the script & composing of the songs & music;
  • Lesson plans for teachers - Follow-up activities are provided for all year levels.

So why should you book this show?
  • A track record second to none! Director, writer & performer "Tony Bones" Appleby B.Ed has been writing, directing & touring Theatre In Education shows since 1999. He has created 45 Theatre In Education shows, 38 of those being Book Week shows, 20 of those being Picture Book shows. There are thousands of testimonials from other happy teachers who have seen his Book Week picture book shows.
  • Qualified & experienced performing arts school teachers creating & performing the content! "Tony Bones" Appleby B.Ed writes, directs, choreographs, designs & performs the show & for 2024 he is again co-writing the music with Natalie Calia Dip.Ed. Both have a long history teaching The Arts in Australian schools, Tony in Drama & Dance and Natalie in Drama & Music.
  • All 5 of The Arts learning areas are covered extensively in the show! Drama, dance, music, visual arts & media arts are all deeply explored in a variety of ways throughout the show, not simply Drama or Music. This covers more learning areas for your students.
  • A state-of-the-art technical setup that brings a true theatre experience to your students at school! Raised portable staging, huge dual digital rear projection screens, multiple DMX coloured stage lights, full audio setup with radio headset microphone & handheld mics for students, all programmed & sequenced via QLAB software, with painted & digital sets, props & costumes. All cutting edge technology & we even show you how you can use the same tech simply for your school productions. Our virtual production also incorporates the industry's latest green-screen technology filmed with 5K cameras to give your students the clearest, most immersive experience imaginable.
  • The very best theatre in education experience for every single year level at your primary school!
  • A percentage of the performance fee goes directly to the book's author-illustrator! Books To Life always has and always will pay royalties to the author-illustrators of our source material, supporting Australian literature and artists into the future. We also always pay royalties to all of our original music co-creators rather than simply playing fee-free karaoke tracks of existing pop music. As registered APRA members, you'll be supporting Australian music creators into the future too.

So what does this show offer?
  • Theatre In Education for Australian students at the very highest level!
  • A stage performance or virtual incursion for kids to complement your school's CBCA 2024 Book Week parade!
  • A live stage show for primary students that will astound the entire audience!
  • Children's Theatre that sets the new standard for every state & territory for the 2024 Book Week season - Victoria, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania... we tour them all!
  • Public Liability Cover of $30,000,000, Product Liability Cover of $30,000,000 & Professional Indemnity Insurance of $10,000,000! Click here!!!

To make a booking or enquiry, simply press the GREEN Enquiry/Booking Request Button above right to directly contact the booking team. They will answer you promptly to discuss your booking including when payment will be required.

Shows for Schools not only gathers all the great available shows, it also makes booking easier!

More Reviews

"All positive both from staff & students... wonderful performance & professionalism... Great for all year levels... Very interactive, fast-paced... kept everyone interested... High levels of engagement from whole school... loved the performance"
Thornhill Park PS, VIC for 2023's live show

"It was fabulous – the kids had an absolute ball and LOVED it! I loved how you chose heaps of volunteers from the audience to be involved in the show – it kept the students engaged right the way through. The puppets and projections were also AMAZING!"
Kilberry Valley PS, Hampton Park, VIC for 2023's live show

"We absolutely loved your show... I am in awe at anyone who can keep children aged from 4 to 13 captivated, engaged and on the edge of their seats for a full hour and you managed to achieve this. The children were mesmerised"
Kinross Wolaroi School, Orange, NSW for 2023's live show

"Fabulous. Your ability to engage all students (&) keep them fully entertained... is just fantastic... Funny, engaging & very informative... captivated by your innovative, engaging performance... You are indeed a very gifted and talented storyteller"
St Mary's PS, Lancefield, VIC for 2023's live show

Show Details



Year Level Suitability

Prep-2 to 3-6

Curriculum area

The Arts - Dance, The Arts - Drama, The Arts - Media Arts, The Arts - Music, English, History, Geography , Civics And Citizenship


Book Week, Literacy, Drama, Dance, Music, English, Puppetry, Pantomime, Comedy, Theatre In Education, Children's Theatre, Primary.


Comedy, Dance, Drama, Live Music, Puppetry


40 minutes plus full Q&A


Within Book Week 2024: $9.85 excl.GST per student. Outside of Book Week 2024: $8.75 excl.GST per student. Minimum student numbers: 1 show x 125, 2 shows x 400, 3 shows x 600, 4 shows x 800

School Term:
Term 1, Term 2, Term 3, Term 4


Stage area of 8m wide x 4m deep with students preferably sitting on the floor in front.

All locations in VIC, ACT, NSW, QLD, SA & TAS to be considered based on availability & other bookings.

Performances will be from the start of Term 3 2024 to the end of Term 2, 2024.

PRESS the green button to directly contact the booking team!

Enquiry/Booking Request