Book helps promote early literacy

A NEWLY launched children's picture book explores experiences children may encounter during their first days of starting school.

Children's mascots Bangu and Billy the Backpack star in the new book produced by Paint Shellharbour REaD.

Paint Shellharbour REaD is an early literacy initiative that encourages reading, talking, singing and rhyme with children from birth to prepare them for learning to read and write at school.

Titled Bangu and Billy's Special First Day, the book was launched online through Shellharbour City Libraries' "Library at Home" website on Thursday, with a recorded reading by Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba.

It was collaboratively produced by Shellharbour City Libraries, The Illawarra Transition to School Project and Barnardos Australia as part of an early literacy initiative for Paint Shellharbour REaD.

It features the Paint Shellharbour REaD mascot, Bangu the flying fox, and The Illawarra transition to School mascot, Billy the backpack, as well as images from Mount Warrigal Public School.

Cr Saliba said the book was an exciting way to promote the critical importance of developing early literacy skills before starting school.

Visit Shellharbour City Libraries Library at Home at to explore a range of digital programs for all ages.

Getting ready for school

GETTING READY FOR SCHOOL: Evelyn Mitchell reading Special First Day at Shellharbour City Library on Friday. Picture: Sylvia Liber

This article first appeared in the Illawarra Mercury.

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