The power of reading with children was celebrated during National Simultaneous Storytime at Tamworth City Library this morning.
Almost 35 children and adults turned out at 11am to hear a staff member read Hickory Dickory Dash, written by Tony Wilson and illustrated by Laura Wood.
Across Australia, library staff, teachers, parents and carers were doing the same.
Children’s services officer Kelly Makepeace said the book, by the same author as the one read during last year’s event, was a good pick.
“It has a lot of humour in it, and kids always respond to that.
“There’s a problem to be solved, which is always key, and it’s a nighttime setting, so it has a little bit of a ‘spooky’ element.”
She said reading with them “sets children up for lifelong success, most likely, at school”.
“There’s a lot of evidence that correlates reading to children with better reading comprehension,” she said.
“It’s also important socially: there’s that bonding and connection that comes when you’re reading to a child.”
Anthea Palmer was there with her two daughters Bronte, 4, and Veronica, 2.
She said she and her husband aimed to read to their four children every night, and the children “read the pictures”.
“They get to choose the book … and it’s one-on-one time,” Mrs Palmer said.
“Even though it’s a hard time of night and sometimes you just want to get everyone to bed, it’s a time to connect with them.”
National Simultaneous Storytime is held annually by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA).
Among its aims are promoting the value of reading and literacy; Australian writers and publishers; and public libraries.
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