Queensland babies to get early start on literacy with free board book
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Queensland babies to get early start on literacy with free board book

by Freya Lucas

February 17, 2022

Babies born in Queensland in 2022 will get an early start on literacy with a free board book as part of the Queensland Government’s First 5 Forever program. 


The A Book for Every Little Queenslander initiative was launched yesterday by Queensland Minister for Communities and Housing, Minister for Digital Economy and Minister for the Arts The Honourable Leeanne Enoch.


“We know in the first years of life over one million new connections are made every second in a child’s brain, so talking, reading, singing and playing all help build a strong foundation for a child’s future development,” said State Librarian and CEO Vicki McDonald AM.


The chosen book, Shoosh! is a board book written by Queensland-raised author Simon Howe, which tells a joyful, funny, and heartfelt tale of bedtime sounds and adventure, and will be available to new parents through the Bounty Bag network, delivered through hospitals, antenatal clinics, chemists, GPs, obstetricians, and ultrasound clinics.


Mr Howe said it was “a tremendous honour” to be selected for the Bounty Bag initiative.


“Having grown up in Queensland, I was excited to create something to celebrate the sights, sounds and smells so synonymous with that childhood,” he explained.


The initiative aims to connect families with this fresh new Queensland story, giving babies the best start to early literacy, Ms Enoch shared. 


“This new campaign follows on from the successful Stories for Little Queenslanders series produced by State Library in 2020, which featured 12 picture books, including Shoosh!, all written and illustrated by Queensland authors and illustrators, and available in Queensland public libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres.


The Palaszczuk Government has invested $5 million per annum in the First 5 Forever program to provide strong early literacy foundations for Queensland children aged 0-5.


A Book for Every Little Queenslander helps deliver on the Queensland Government’s Creative Together 2020–2030 roadmap for the arts, culture and creativity, and its priority is to share our stories and celebrate our storytellers by providing every little Queenslander with an illustrated story book,” she continued. 


“The arts, cultural and creative sectors are key to delivering our plan for economic recovery from COVID-19, each year injecting $8.5 billion into the state’s economy and supporting more than 92,000 jobs for Queenslanders.


To learn more about the initiative, please see here

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