STORY TIME: Australian author Michael Gerard Bauer reads 'Rodney Loses It' to Prep CF at Taabinga State School on March 1.
STORY TIME: Australian author Michael Gerard Bauer reads 'Rodney Loses It' to Prep CF at Taabinga State School on March 1. Jessica McGrath

Helping kids find a new love of reading

KINGAROY teachers are using a book about a rabbit who loses things to help families find a new love of reading.

Taabinga State School Prep and Year 1 students were visited by Queensland author Michael Gerard Bauer on March 1.

He read his children's book Rodney Loses It, which won the early childhood category of the 2018 Australian Book of the Year awards to the class.

"Reading books to kids you want to make it interesting and expressive, but also I knew that if I was there for half an hour, it can't just be an expressive reading," he said.

 

INTERACTIVE READING: Australian author Michael Gerard Bauer reads 'Rodney Loses It' to Prep CF at Taabinga State School on March 1.
INTERACTIVE READING: Australian author Michael Gerard Bauer explores emotions while reading 'Rodney Loses It' to Prep CF at Taabinga State School on March 1. Jessica McGrath

Mr Bauer, better known for his novels Don't Call Me Ishmael and The Running Man, went through the story and worked out some interactive things to incorporate in the storytelling.

"Because of the style of the story, there's facial expressions they can do and there's missing things in the story so you can read the story and go back and find them," he said.

Mr Bauer's brother-in-law and his family live in Kingaroy and attend Taabinga State School.

The primary school has used this visit in conjunction with a revolutionary video to promote early literacy with the students and their families.

 

READING: Australian author Michael Gerard Bauer reads 'Rodney Loses It' to Prep CF at Taabinga State School on March 1.
READING: Australian author Michael Gerard Bauer reads 'Rodney Loses It' to Prep CF at Taabinga State School on March 1. Jessica McGrath

Torkit Business Solutions owner Tina Torrens said they were asked by the school to make a video with the school's speech language pathologist Suzanne Mungall.

"We were asked to do a video on helping families to read to children at home," Ms Torrens said.

The school gained permission to use Mr Bauer's award-winning book Rodney Loses It in the video.

In the tutorial video, Mrs Mungall reads to her daughter to show other parents the importance of reading together.

"I don't know of any other schools with a video," she said.

Reading aloud helps improve relationships. talking and listening skills and getting students ready for school.

"We're using the reading of books to build relationships," Mrs Mungall said.

The school's focus on reading extends to developing relationships between older and younger students through the Better Buddies program.

Mr Bauer's great niece and Year 5 student Matti van Schyndel has been reading with the Prep students in her buddy class.

She has been practising reading to be able to connect with the younger students better.

"It's about building friendships with the little kids so they don't have a bully and have someone to play with and you read to them," she said.