Four books for children to read during school holidays
IF you are a parent, you have been told "read to your children."
In late 2015, children's literature publisher Scholastic, in conjunction with market research firm YouGov, conducted a survey to explore family attitudes and behaviour in Australia around reading books for fun.
Nearly six in 10 parents of children aged 0 to 5 said they started reading books aloud to their child before age one, while only 26% say they began before the age of three months.
More than half of children aged 6-17 (58%) believed reading books for fun is extremely or very important and 60% of kids also say they love reading books for fun or like it a lot.
With the 2016 Byron Bay Writers Festival just around the corner, we asked organisers for the list of four children's books to read this winter:
For ages 4+: My Sister is a Superhero (Damon Young and Peter Carnavas)
Is it a plane? Is it a bird?
No, it's My Sister is a Superhero, the third picture book from talented author/illustrator team Damon Young and Peter Carnavas (My Nanna is a Ninja, My Pop is a Pirate)
This is a picture book celebrating our invincible sisters and the incredible love, laughter and adventure they bring into to our lives.
Damon Young's wackily inventive rhyming text is perfectly matched by Peter Carnavas's character-filled illustrations.
For ages 5-8: Tashi and the Wicked Magician (Anna Fienberg and Barbara Fienberg, illustrated by Kim Gamble and Geoff Kelly)
The latest in the beloved Tashi series written by Anna Fienberg and her mother, Barbara Fienberg and illustrated by Kim Gamble.
Tashi embodies cheekiness, cleverness, a sense of adventure and a love of storytelling and tall tales. Friendship and family are very important to Tashi.
Children will spend hours looking at Kim Gamble's beautiful, detailed illustrations and imagining themselves in Tashi's world.
The books are inspired by different cultures and mythologies, giving a real depth to Tashi's world.
In Tashi and The Wicked Magician, Tashi and his friend Jack go on four fabulous adventures of mystery and magic.
There's a Magnificent Magician with a greedy plan, a haunted house about to go up in flames, ruthless ruffians after a rare orchid, and a quest for the bravest person in the land to face the fire-breathing Red Whiskered Dragon.
Tashi also appears in his own animated television series
The Tashi website also has a Fun & Games area full of activities for kids.
For ages 9+: The Impossible Quest: The Battle of The Heroes (Kate Forsyth)
The Impossible Quest is set in the faraway land of Wolfhaven.
It tells the story of four kids who are forced into an impossible quest to try and awaken the legendary sleeping warriors of the past.
Four unlikely heroes, four mysterious gifts, four impossible elements, five thrilling books.
In Book 5 The Battle of the Heroes Quinn, Sebastian, Elanor and Tom have defeated the black witch Githa and found the last crucial piece of the prophecy-the sea serpent's scale.
Do not lose faith. Remember the words of the story, remember the words of the spell...
Back now at Wolfhaven, they search desperately through the castle crypts for the sleeping heroes, who they hope will save them all, before the dark moon rises and they lose everything.
Check out The Impossible Quest website, it has an IQ quiz and downloads for readers.
Watch Kate Forsyth talk about the characters and how they relate to children.
Ages 10 +: Two Wolves (Bangalow's Tristan Bancks)
Bangalow's own best-selling children's author has created a gripping and unpredictable thriller with a hero you won't be able to forget.
One afternoon, four police officers visit Ben Silver's home. Minutes after they leave, his parents arrive. Ben and his little sister Olive are bundled into the car and told they're going on a holiday. Which is weird, because Ben's family never goes on holidays.
Things aren't right and Ben knows it. His parents are on the run. So Ben and Olive are running, too.
Ben's always dreamt of becoming a detective - his dad even calls him 'Cop' because he asks so many questions.
Now Ben gathers evidence, jots notes and tries to uncover what his parents have done. The trouble is, if he figures it out, what does he do next? Tell someone? Or keep the secret and live life on the run?
Two Wolves was named Honour Book at the CBCA Book of the Year Awards 2015; Winner at the Koala & Yabba Children's Choice Book Awards 2015 and shortlisted in the Australian Prime Minister's Literary Awards.
Be sure to also check out Tristan's website which, among other things, has a My Life & Other Exploding Chicken Game.
Meet the authors
Children can meet the authors of all these books, ask them questions and get their books signed at Byron Writers Festival Kids Big Day Out on Sunday, August 7.
For tickets and more information visit www.byronwritersfestival.com.