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23 August 2013 ·

There are lots of studies on the importance of reading to your children, but I don’t have them on hand so I’m just going to speak from the heart.  

I’m an author, but I could never have started writing books if I hadn’t loved reading them first. Reading isn’t just one of my favourite things to do; it’s one of the most important things in my life. I can’t imagine a world in which I couldn’t read, every day. That’s why I always read to my children every day, just as my parents used to read to me. Stories can be exciting, sad, funny, scary or comforting, but the most amazing thing about them is that they take us into new worlds and teach us something more about ourselves, all at the same time.  Quite simply, reading to your child is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. 

Bedtime stories were always a favourite for my family, the best part of the evening routine, but mornings can be good too. Or doctors’ waiting rooms… with a book in your bag, you can transform wasted or stressful time into fun or reassurance.  But whenever you do it, try for just 10 minutes a day, or an hour a week -no matter how busy your life, you can find that time to share with your kids, and it will make more difference than you can imagine. Not just to their enjoyment of reading, literacy skills and school success, but also to your relationship with them. 

You can see that although being a Love2Read Ambassador is a new role for me, I’ve believed in its message pretty well my whole life, and especially since becoming a parent. 

If you’re anywhere nearby, kick start your new resolution by joining me as I read to kids at the Mornington Library, Vancouver Street, Mornington, Victoria, at 11 am. And if I’m preaching to the converted – you’re very welcome too! Come and share what books your kids enjoy most, and what you most enjoy reading. 

The Reading Hour is part of the Love2Read’s program. You’ll have to imagine the logo here because I haven’t downloaded it properly. But logo or not, the importance of reading to kids is something I believe in passionately. 

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Wendy Orr is a Canadian-born Australian writer. Her books for children and adults have been published in 27 countries and won awards around the world. Nim’s Island and Nim at Sea have also become feature films, starring Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin (Nim’s Island) and Bindi Irwin (Return to Nim’s Island.) Her latest book is Cuckoo’s Flight, a companion to the highly acclaimed Bronze Age novels Dragonfly Song and Swallow’s Dance. Read full bio