Picture books, books about video games and books about sport are great ways for kids to get reading for Australian Reading Hour today.
That is the view of illustrator, designer and children’s author Beck Feiner, who has designed the artwork for the Australia Reads campaign* that encourages all Australians to discover the joy of flicking through the pages of a book they love.
“We try and push kids, as they get older, into reading these big, word-heavy* books but I don’t think it matters what they are reading as long as they are reading,” Ms Feiner said.
“If you are into a hobby like Minecraft, there are books about Minecraft out there. If you really love sport, go and find a book to do with the sport you love.
“I really think it’s about getting something you enjoy in life and finding a book that really connects with that hobby or your passion.
“I think that’s how you can get excited and involved in Australia Reads.”
Ms Feiner, an Australia Reads ambassador*, said picture books were another great form of reading for kids.
“I feel like it’s equally important to talk about words and illustrations to get kids excited about reading,” she said.
“For kids their love of image is what can really hook them into a love of reading.”
Ms Feiner has used her drawings from her latest book, The Polar Bear in Sydney Harbour, which she created with her husband, Robin, as inspiration for her Australia Reads artwork.
The illustrations feature a girl named Hannah and the polar bear she spots floating on an iceberg in Sydney Harbour.
Ms Feiner has also created a colourful logo that kids can insert their own name into to celebrate Australia Reads.
Create your own Australia Reads logo HERE.
Australian Reading Hour, on Thursday, November 12, is part of the Australia Reads campaign, that was launched this week in a series of virtual events.
The campaign encourages all Australians to read more and discover the benefits of reading, with studies showing reading can reduce stress levels by 68 per cent, as well as improve memory and concentration.
Australia Reads chairwoman Louise Sherwin-Stark said the benefits of reading were especially important during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Australians have turned to books for escape, comfort and company this year,” she said. “Many have rediscovered the joys and benefits of reading and new reading habits are being formed.
“There has never been a better time to promote and celebrate reading.”
BENEFITS OF READING
- Books can be an escape from the worries of everyday life. Studies show reading reduces stress by 68 per cent — and it works quicker than listening to music, playing a video game or going for a walk.
- Books help you learn and explore. Reading makes your world bigger and makes more things possible. Literacy and reading are tools that can help you achieve your goals and help others.
- Reading helps your mind grow. It helps connect different parts of your brain. After reading a book, your brain activity is boosted for days. It’s exercise and nourishment* for your mind — good for your health now and down the track.
- Books create meaning and connect us to others. By reading other people’s stories you can walk in their shoes. And in doing so, learn more about yourself, too. Books build empathy*, connection and help you feel less alone.
COLOUR IN BECK FEINER’S AUSTRALIA READS ARTWORK
- campaign: actions or events that work towards a goal
- word-heavy: containing lots of words
- ambassador: someone who promotes an activity
- nourishment: food that helps you grow
- empathy: the ability to understand other people’s feelings and experiences
- What three job descriptions does Beck Feiner have?
- What has Beck Feiner designed for the Australia Reads campaign?
- What is the name of Beck Feiner’s latest book?
- Who did Beck Feiner create her latest book with?
- Name three benefits of reading.
LISTEN TO THIS STORY
1. An hour of great storytelling
Ask your teacher if you can take part in the Australian Reading Hour on Thursday (or any other day this week) and either read a book or listen to the hour’s worth of great storytelling in the video in this story.
Opener Up-Level It
Make a list of all the openers in the article. Pick three that repeat and see if you can replace them with another word, or shuffle the order of the sentence to bring a new opener to the front.
Don’t forget to re-read the sentence to make sure it still makes sense, and that it actually sounds better.
HAVE YOUR SAY: What type of books do you like to read?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will show until approved by editors.