Introducing young kids to the magic of reading

When introducing young children to the joy of reading, author and father Adrian Beck spreads the magic of books both at home and at work.

 'We began reading to our two girls when they were both babies,' Adrian says.

'When kids find books they love, reading feels like a treat and books become treasured.'

Adrian is the acclaimed author of 12 books including the much-loved series Kick it to Nick, co-authored with Hawthorn premiership hero Shane Crawford, Stuff happens – Dale, and his latest release The Alien Zoo…and You!

It's the first year his family is participating in the Premiers' Reading Challenge and they have their eyes on the prize.

'My kids are aged six and three, and are both on board. My wife and I read every single night to the girls so fortunately we haven't felt the pressure of hitting the magic number of 40 books,' he says.

'I think the Premiers' Reading Challenge does a great job of reinforcing the habit of reading while kids are still young. It adds an extra layer of fun and gives kids something to strive for.'

Getting into their pyjamas, brushing their teeth and settling into bed for a book is the Beck children's everyday bedtime routine, making his kids hooked to books early.

'We like to make sure the kids are comfy and tucked up in bed so that they think of reading as a treasured moment with their parents. Hopefully this positive association with reading will last a lifetime.'

For those kids who may need a little more encouragement to pick up a book, Adrian believes it's really just a matter of finding the right one to pique their interest and leave them wanting more.

'When doing school talks for kids I always suggest to students that they should try to choose books about topics they love. It might be sport, robots, unicorns or the complete history of the toilet brush.'

'If they find a book on something of interest, reading will be fun.'

Adrian and his wife help deepen their daughters' understanding of books by talking about how real people work hard to create the books they're reading. It helps them understand how special books really are.

While Adrian has helped to build the healthy habit of reading in his kids, they also help him with his own writing.

'Reading books together doubles as a storytelling focus group for me. I particularly take note at what my girls laugh at or which books they don't want to put down.'

Premiers' Reading Challenge Early Years Competition

This year's Premiers' Reading Challenge runs until Friday 7 September 2018.

'I'd like to wish all the kids - and parents - well in the Premiers' Reading Challenge,' Adrian says.

'It's a terrific way to further inspire kids' love of reading and for busy families to bond together over a good book: the best prize of all.'

The Premiers' Reading Challenge Early Years competition is now open. Register your kinder or early childhood service to go into the draw to win 100 books.

Adrian Beck's top picks for the 2018 Premiers' Reading Challenge:

  • Fearless Frederic by Felice Arena – 'such engaging action and atmosphere'
  • Kensy & Max by Jacqueline Harvey – 'a spy-flavoured thrill ride'
  • Mr Bambuckle by Tim Harris – 'brings the laughs, big time'
  • Olive Black by Alex Miles – 'this series is a heap of fun too'