Mem Fox spreads book magic in Bundy
READING to your children is known to be an important and healthy activity.
Mem Fox's reason for doing it? "It's an adorable thing to do," she said at Bundaberg Regional Libraries today.
"You're doing it because you love the child - and it will change a child's life."
The award-winning author and Australian icon was in town to share her love of literature with young and old - and Bundy fans of all ages came to hear her read her classic titles including Possum Magic yesterday.
Dozens of schoolchildren and young families filed into the library to listen and have their books signed.
Many parents had enjoyed Mem's captivating stories as children themselves and were keen to pass on the magic to their own.
Jess Shilton brought her one-year-old Georgia, who already loves Mem Fox's books.
"She was one of my favourite authors when I was a little girl too, so I thought it was a great opportunity to come and see her," Ms Shilton said.
Possum Magic was published in 1983, Koala Lou in 1988 and Wombat Divine in 1995. Newer titles like Where is the Green Sheep? are now hits with a new generation.
Ms Fox is visiting Bundaberg to launch a literacy program funded by the State Library of Queensland, One Book, One Bundy.
The initiative promotes early language and literacy across 52 weeks a year using a simple, accessible book. This year, the book is Mem Fox's Hattie and the Fox.
Bundaberg children have fallen behind the rest of the nation when it comes to literacy and communication.
Australian Early Development Index statistics for the Bundaberg region show 11.8% of children identified as developmentally vulnerable in the area of literacy, compared with a state average of 9.1% and national average of 6.8%.
Ms Fox said reading to a child regularly from two days old had a huge influence on their learning, literacy and communication skills.
She will launch the One Book, One Bundy program at an event promoting childhood literacy at 7pm at the library tonight.