Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull with children at  Oatley West Public School in Sydney.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull with children at Oatley West Public School in Sydney.

PM: ‘Reading prepares a child for life’

EXCLUSIVE

MALCOLM Turnbull and his wife Lucy love reading to their grandchildren.

Despite their hectic schedules, Australia's power couple spent much of their summer reading with their three young offspring.

For the first time, the nation's Prime Minister has shared the joy he experiences in the precious moments exposing Alice, 1, Isla, 2, and Jack, 4, to literature.

"Reading with our children is one of the most important things we can do as parents and grandparents to set them up for the rest of their life," Mr Turnbull told News Corp Australia exclusively.

"Lucy and I often read with our grandchildren when they come over for sleepovers. They love it and so do we."

Mr Turnbull said the trio loved Mem Fox's Time for Bed, Possum Magic, Where is the Green Sheep as well as Julia Donaldson's Zog and the Highway Rat and Judith Kerr's The Tiger Who Came for Tea.

Malcolm Turnbull and grandson Jack at Paddington last year. Picture: Sam Ruttyn
Malcolm Turnbull and grandson Jack at Paddington last year. Picture: Sam Ruttyn

"Jack who is four-and-a-half, always loves listening (on audiobooks) to Roald Dahl's Enormous Crocodile," Mr Turnbull said.

Mr Turnbull reflected on the current literacy crisis sweeping our nation's children, as reported by News Corp Australia on Sunday.

Pre-school and kindergarten teachers have said children are showing up to school less prepared than ever before on reading and speaking, in part due to the increased use of devices.

"Parents are their child's first and most important teacher. Reading and learning with our kids from a young age opens the door to the magic of stories, words and knowledge, prepares them for school, and most importantly for life," the Prime Minister said.

"Life is busier than ever for so many families. It isn't always easy but finding just 15 minutes a day is all it takes to provide your child or grandchild with 500 hours of literacy learning before starting school."

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, with grand-daughter Isla, says parents have to make time to read to their children.  Cameron Richardson
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, with grand-daughter Isla, says parents have to make time to read to their children. Cameron Richardson

On Wednesday, Mr Turnbull sat down with the kids from Oatley West Public School in Sydney and read The Famous Five: Five on a Treasure Island, which is part of the News Corp Enid Blyton giveaway.

 

"It was great to sit down, take some time and read with the kids from Oatley West Public School and I'm happy to report they are enthusiastic readers of The Famous Five: Five on a Treasure Island," Mr Turnbull said.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and wife Lucy Turnbull enjoy lunch with their son Alex and granddaughter Isla at the Sunny Harbour Yum Cha restaurant in 2016. Picture: Andrew Meares
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and wife Lucy Turnbull enjoy lunch with their son Alex and granddaughter Isla at the Sunny Harbour Yum Cha restaurant in 2016. Picture: Andrew Meares

"Nothing beats reading to our children and talking to them about the books - our children's passion for literacy, numeracy and learning about the world around them is the bedrock of their future."

Enid Blyton's books still remain hugely popular 50 year since her death, handed down to new generations and regularly featured on state reading lists around the nation.

Best known for her Noddy, Famous Five, and Secret Seven series, the English children's writer has had world bestsellers since the 1930s, selling more than 600 million copies.

Mr Turnbull said his grandson Jack had just started on some of the Enid Blyton books over the Christmas break.

News Corp Australia readers can collect 15 of Enid Blyton's classics starting with The Famous Five: Five on a Treasure Island, free with a collector case when you purchase a newspaper this weekend.

The collection also includes The Adventure of the Wishing Chair, Brer Rabbit Short Stories, The Secret Seven and The Enchanted Wood.

For more visit: EnidBlytonCollection.com.au

lanai.scarr@news.com.au

@pollietracker


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