Monday 7 January 2013

ReadItDaddy's Big Campaign for 2013 - Get more Mums and Dads reading to their children

Our fab new logo, thanks to Jonathan Emmett at Scribblestreet
For some years now quiet rumblings in the Bookworld have hinted at a rather disappointing trend - that parents (and in particular, dads) don't read to their children enough. Two thirds of parents recently surveyed don't read to their children at all, stating a variety of reasons including a lack of confidence in reading aloud, or turning to other methods of keeping their children occupied. Above all other factors though, (and this is something I definitely identify with) a lack of time is often cited as the main reason parents don't read to their children. 

Studies have shown that parents who do read to their children have a hugely positive effect, even if you start reading to them as soon as they're born. This is something both my wife and I have done since Charlotte was tiny, and it's something that's grown from us both being brought up in book-loving families as well as being a pair of bookworms ourselves. 

Even though I had a fairly 'poor' childhood, my mum always made sure we had access to books - either through school book clubs, the local library, or the vast array of secondhand sources for books. If money is a consideration (and let's face it, as a parent it always is!) children can join their local library as soon as they're born. Even though library funding is being cruelly slashed left right and centre, parents can still borrow some brilliant books and also catch up on some true children's classics. 

The basis of our campaign here at ReadItDaddy is to encourage parents (particularly dads who, articles suggest, are the major culprits - falling far behind mums when it comes to reading to their kids) not only to read more but to embrace all the other activities and interests that can be stimulated by the utterly brilliant wealth of children's fiction and non fiction picture books on offer. 

For the entire year of 2013, as the basis of our campaign we pledge to: 
  • Review and talk about children's picture books, apps, comics and other great ways of introducing books to kids and spread the word far and wide
  • Liaise with andRaise the profile of the various organisations and agencies (such as the excellent Booktrust Bookstart Programme) who are working hard to encourage children and parents to get involved with and read more books. 
  • Increase our syndication, and also pen original editorial articles on the subject on guest blog spots. 
  • Talk (and Tweet) to and liaise with parents, bloggers, publishers, authors, illustrators, librarians, teachers and organisations already committed to encouraging children's interest in books and add our support to what they're doing. 
  • Examine all the ways that reading, telling stories, drawing, scribbling and making can enhance a child's quality of life from a very early age with editorials and news articles.
Stay with us in 2013 and we'll do our very best to make good on these pledges. 2012 was an exciting year for children's books, apps and comics but it was just the tip of the iceberg.

How you can help

Several kind people have asked how they can help. We massively appreciate any support, so please join our blogroll, share this post on Facebook and Twitter (the campaign hashtag on Twitter is #readitmummiesanddaddies2013) or the slightly more manageable #ReadItMD13

Let's make 2013 the year parents find out just how rewarding reading to their children can be!

Join in and help us to reverse the falling trend in parents reading to their kids! Here are some of our recent supporters and links to their sites. If you'd like us to add you too, email us or pop a comment below!

MeYouCoffee (Peter Abbey)

Neill Cameron (fantastic artist and all round comics good egg from The Phoenix Comic)

Chloe Killen (Picture Book Expert and Blogger)

Story Snug (Picture Book recommendations for little people near and far)

Story Seekers UK (Children's Book Blogger)

Isabel Thomas (Writer and Editor)

Zoe @ PlayingByTheBook (Children's Book Reviews, blogger extraordinaire!)

Sue @ Blackhen Education (An English Classroom Online)

Anne Harding (Trainer specialising in children’s and young people’s reading)

Hannah Cumming (Children's Book Author / Illustrator - "The Lost Stars")

Helen Dineen (Children's App Expert Supreme at CAPPtivate Kids!)

Garen Ewing (Comic Book Creating genius behind the "Rainbow Orchid" series)

Anne-Marie @ Child Led Chaos (Children's Book Blogger and all-round CB superhero!)

Anne Thompson (Librarian)

An Vrombaut (Children's author and genius behind "64 Zoo Lane")

Primary Tutoring (Teacher and Child Tutoring, Cheshire)

EV's Books (Book blogging mum)

Springboard Stories (Absolutely brilliant children's books, news and teaching resources)

Childtastic Books (Fantastic book blogging and reviews from Sam and Holly!)

Library Mice (Melanie McGilloway, Librarian, Mum and brilliant book blogger!)

The Budding Bookworm (Carol Bloomfield's excellent book blog)

The Bookaholic Mum (Charelle, Book blogger and of course mum!)

Tori Elliott (Artist and co creator of "The Phlunk")

Emma Reynolds (Freelance illustrator and creator of "Reynard the Detective")

Cheryl Cruwys (Creator of Bedtime Buddy / Pick a Puppet Bedtime Reading Initiative)

Clara Vulliamy (Children's Book Author and Illustrator, creator of the utterly brilliant "The Lucky Wish Mouse")

Polly Faber (Mum and Book Blogger at "The Little Wooden Horse")

Beth Cox (Authorative and inspirational Freelance Editor and Inclusion Advisor @ Without Exception)

ITV Signed Stories (Brilliant books brought to life in UK and American Sign Language backed up by interactive app-based bookstore)

Blackwells Bookshop (Oxford's most famous bookshop that's been around a wee while, since 1879!)

Neal Layton (Author, Illustrator and Dad of Two. Genius illustrator of "Jennifer Jones Won't Leave Me Alone" and the sublime "Emily Brown" books)

Caryl Hart (Mum and Children's Book Author of many titles including "The Princess and the Peas")

Autumn Publishing (Chichester-based children's book publisher)

Smellessence UK (Innovative scented children's book pioneers)

Hazel Nutt (Book-blogging baby with brilliant reviews, author interviews and fun stuff)

Bookauhu's Book Nook (children's book reviews and more)

Evie's Books (Book blogging and reviews @ "Hardly Any Words")

Elli @ Taking Words for a Stroll (Children's poetry and stories)

PuzzStory (Innovative producers of the puzzle that tells a story! Genius!)

Michelle Robinson (Mum and Author of "Goodnight Digger" and "What to do if an Elephant stands on your foot")

Child's Play International Ltd (Fantastic, engaging, imaginative and inclusive children's book publisher)

3Angels4Sure @ Twitter (Mum of three, and avid book lover)

Giles Paley-Phillips (Dad and author of "The Fearsome Beastie" and "Tamara Small and the Monsters Ball")

MyLittleBigTown (Children's book publisher)

Templar Books (Children's book publisher and home to some of the most beautiful books around!)

Jon Biddle (WEJS Book Blogger and Reviewer)

Dante @ TooSparrow (Children's Book Author and Illustrator)

Becka Moor (Super-talented illustrator, ubernice tweeter and part of the awesome Pencil Play Collective)

Louise Forshaw (AKA PantsforMunkeys. Super-talented illustrator, superchamp and part of the awesome Pencil Play Collective)

Fen and Kerry @ Letterbox Library (Brilliant, innovative and inclusive books that will knock your socks off!)

Charlotte Guillain (Author of brilliant books like the 'Minibeasts' series and the superb "The Pirates Pie Ship")

Morag @ Ten Tickling Toes Publishing (Author and publishers of the tickle-tastic "Ten Tickling Toes" toddler book)

Amy and Shena at The Secret Seed Society (Brilliant books to encourage children to enjoy growing things in the garden)

Macmillan Children's Books (Fantastic books from baby to teen and beyond!)

Picme Moviebook (Innovative and interactive storymaking apps)

Redpeffer (parent blogger and book lover)

Jonathan Emmet (Children's author and illustrator @ Scribblestreet)

Stories for my little sister (Samantha and Diana, creator of the fantastic Harrison's Blog and a whole wealth of stories for parents and children to enjoy)

Sara O'Leary (Book evangelist and blogger over at

Jake Ball (Children's bookseller and book evangelist at