A NOVEL TIME: Probus Club members Shirley Miethke (left) and Helen Phillips line up to buy Michelle Worthingtons books when she visited Hasting Point recently.
A NOVEL TIME: Probus Club members Shirley Miethke (left) and Helen Phillips line up to buy Michelle Worthingtons books when she visited Hasting Point recently. Yvonne Gardiner

Reading to children helps to save an industry

GRANDPARENTS are saving the picture book industry in Australia.

That's the view of successful children's book author Michelle Worthington.

She told an audience of Probus Club members at Hastings Point, Tweed Coast, recently that grandparents were her "very best clients”.

"Grandparents are single-handedly saving the literacy of kids in this country,” Michelle said.

"They understand the importance of reading to children from an early age.

"They don't necessarily have more time than parents, but they make time because they see the benefits over time.

"Those times are memory-making. Some of my fondest memories are being read to by my grandfather, especially now that he's not with us any more.

"I treasure the memories, and treasure the books that remind me of him.”

Michelle's latest book, The World's Worst Pirate, is about a little boy whose mother is captain of the pirate ship - and she wants him to follow in her footsteps.

"All he wants to be is a chef but, when a ferocious sea monster attacks the ship, he must decide how he can save them,” the author explains.

The book is available now online and in book stores.

"If you want to get a kid to love reading, you have to start young,” Michelle said.

"It's just you and them and they have your undivided attention.

"What I'm passionate about is using my books to empower kids.

"There's something in these books that is resonating with them.”

Michelle is doing all she can to keep book-reading and production alive.

Share Your Story is a business she started for aspiring authors.

"It took me such a long time to get published because I didn't have the knowledge or confidence to start,” she said.

"The Australian publishing industry is a lot about luck and timing.

"By pairing experienced industry professionals with emerging writers through mentor programs, workshops and manuscript assessments, we are wanting to encourage the next generation of Aussie authors to share their stories with the world.”

Find out more at: sharingyourstory.com.au.

Michelle's books are written for children up to 10 years old.

Her first picture book, The Bedtime Book, was released in November 2011.


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