FLYING OFF THE SHELF: Big W staff Teresa Cannon, manager Val Gibbons, Melody Olsson, Roxy Fonseka, Cath Bellingham and Kerry Hunjas are looking forward to seeing more children read during the free book offer.
FLYING OFF THE SHELF: Big W staff Teresa Cannon, manager Val Gibbons, Melody Olsson, Roxy Fonseka, Cath Bellingham and Kerry Hunjas are looking forward to seeing more children read during the free book offer. Alistair Brightman

FREE CHILDREN'S BOOKS: Here's how to get your copy

MANY young Hervey Bay bookworms are squirming with delight after taking home a classic story book for free from Big W every Thursday.

The retail giant has launched a Free Books for Kids trial program that will see 12 different titles and 3.7million books given away across a 12-week period.

The trial is in its fourth week at the Pialba store and Big W category manager for books Meredith Drake said it couldn't be more popular.

"The program has been very successful amongst Australian communities, including Hervey Bay, and is gaining great traction on social media, with many parents commending our efforts," Ms Drake said.

"Hervey Bay Big W has given away all copies of Hush Little Possum, 10Silly Wombats and If You're Happy and You Know it over the last three weeks and we expect this week's book, There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Mozzie, will also be popular among local parents and guardians."

Ms Drake said it was important to make books more accessible to Fraser Coast families, with research showing that just 10 minutes of reading time a day could expose a young child to more than 600,000 words in one year, positively impacting childhood literacy.

"The connection between access to books and the child's future success and well-being is very well established," she said.

"Story time is an incredibly powerful and precious moment for families and we hope that our Free Books for Kids program will encourage more families to enjoy reading together, more often."

Children can ask the greeter at the door of the Pialba store for their free book. Big W is located in the Pialba Place Shopping Centre.

The trial program will end on May 16.

CLASSIC TALES TO COLLECT

  • Week 1: Hush Little Possum
  • Week 2: 10 Silly Wombats
  • Week 3: If You're Happy and You Know It
  • Week 4: There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Mozzie
  • Week 5: May Gibbs Tales from the Bush
  • Week 6: The Bear went over the Mountain
  • Week 7: The Wheels on the Ute Go Round and Round
  • Week 8: Tortoise and the Hair
  • Week 9: There was an Old Bloke who Swallowed a Chook
  • Week 10: Hokey Pokey
  • Week 11: 10 Hooting Owls
  • Week 12: May Gibbs Tales from the Gum Tree


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