Monday, January 7, 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


Story Snug said...

Great initiative ReadItDaddy. Very happy to support it and add Story Snug to your list of supporters :)

Zoe said...

What a fab initiative! Let me know how I can support you :)

Isabel Thomas said...

I like this idea very much! Pls feel free to add me to supporter list. Thrilled to see non-fiction mentioned.

sue said...

Brilliant idea! We support this totally here at Blackhen Education. Feel free to add us to the supporter list.

storyseekersuk said...

What wonderful plans - I'd love to get involved! Have shared it on my Facebook page and on Twitter and with all the support you've even at this early stage, I'm sure there'll be a HUGE gang of us very soon :-)

E.V. said...

Eviesbooks would love to sign up to help too x

childtasticbooks said...

We'd love to help at Childtastic Books. Please count on our support!

Carol Bloomfield said...

We'd love to sign up and help this great plan, count us in!

Bookaholic Mum said...

Yay for all the wonderful people championing the cause of getting children to LOVE reading! Will help in any way I can!

Ian Stove said...

Great idea! All the best making this a success

Clara Vulliamy said...

Count me in! This is a FANTASTIC initiative and a cause close to my heart. Anything I can do - just shout!

Beth Cox said...

A great campaign which I fully support. I saw that Blackwells were looking for innovative things to do in their shop in 2013 - perhaps Read It Mummies and Daddies could do a storytelling event?

Hazel Nutt said...

Count me in too. I've put up your campaign banner on the sidebar of my site and will be sure to give you a mention in the first edition of The Picture Book Party Blog Carnival.

BooKa Uhu said...

Count me as a supporter too - I'm only a new blogger but I'm planning this year on really thinking up ways to use the books I review - would you like me to pass on any good ideas I manage to dream up on to you?

Regardless - excellent plans, this is a problem which really needs to be looked and chipped away at :)

PuzzStory said...

Come on daddies, Read it! 200% fan & supporter, Puzz Story is bullet n°1: "great ways of introducing books to kids", would love you to review! You're most definitely on my Facebook and Twitter. Go on mummies, Read it too!

Catherine Prescott said...

Excellent campaign - glad to have discovered this :) My baby's had to listen to me reading for a good proportion of her life so far... will be interesting to see whether she likes it when she's old enough to have a choice!

Jon Biddle said...

Love it. I'll put a link on our school book blog. said...

Happy to help promote your campaign so will link it to my twitter page!
Parents spending time with their kids reading to them .....makes healthy minds ....and thoughts
Sparrow Rulz

Suzy said...

That's posters gone to our local infant school in Stocksbridge as well as the Children's Centre. Off to the library today. And my Mum has been super-busy, posters in schools all over Beverley as well as the library!

ReadItDaddy said...

Oh WOW, that is so brilliant of you Suz! Thanks for doing that and thank your mum too! This is more than I could've hoped for and I don't like asking / pestering directly. But a huge THANK YOU, can't tell you how grateful we are!

Bring it ON!!! 2013 is going to be a brilliant year for children's books, let's make it the best year ever for parents reading to their children and getting involved in books too!

Mrs Brown said...

Please add me to your supporter list and I'll do what I can on the Twitter, FB and blogging front. Great cause - thanks for taking the lead on this one!

Letterbox Library said...

A fantastic initiative by someone who really knows how to impart a love of books. More than ever, we need to spread the word that reading takes us all, children and adults, on a journey for life. Read It Daddy's campaign is a key part of that- and we give it all our support.
Fen & Kerry @LetterboxLib

Charlotte Guillain said...

I'm in! I'll be reading to my children until they beg me to stop (which, thankfully, they show no sign of doing yet). Would hate to be missing out on so many wonderful kids books myself! I will get retweeting and poster posting...

hotlibs said...

Good for you, #readitmummiesanddaddies2013. I love your list of supporters - already a great resource to share with parents. As a librarian in Australia I am actively involved in Dads Read and early literacy programs. Keep up the good work! I must revive my old blogs and join in the fun. said...

Absolutely support you-was shocked to read the stats. Reading books is so much fun, please add to your list and let me know if there's anything I can do

Debbie at Readathon said...

What a fab campaign and what a lovely website! I'm sure there must be something we can do together. Readathon is all about encouraging children to become lifelong eager readers - as I'm sure you're aware, the habit of reading for pleasure is an even more significant indicator than socio-economic status of a child's happiness and success in every respect.

Emma @ My Book Corner said...

Count My Book Corner in for sure! What an exciting and worthwhile initiative .... and lots of fun too.

Sara O'Leary said...

Hi there, Have just mentioned your campaign on my blog here:

ReadItDaddy said...

Ooh thank you! Will add you to this page as a supporter! Thanks so much Sara!

Kathleen from The Reading Agency said...

Hello, great idea! I work for The Reading Agency and we run The Summer Reading Challenge. It runs in libraries throughout the country during the summer. It really helps children get enthused about reading. It's fantastic to see your campaign.

Jake Ball said...

Hello and good afternoon! I own and operate We are an online bookstore that is 100% dedicated to offering the best in juvenile literature to our users. Additionally, we provide articles, blogs and other content to help our users select books they will use and love. You are doing a great thing and I would love to be added as one of your supporters!