Interview: Alison Lester: Reading and Rainy Days

“All the research points to a link between exposure to books at an early age and educational outcomes. So reading to your children is more than great fun – it’s also good for them,” – Alison Lester

Woman reading book to young children © David Marks

Alison Lester is a favourite author/illustrator in our house.  Part of reason why is I enjoy reading her books as much as my children enjoy me reading to them. The first Alison Lester book I read was Imagine, and I was utterly captivated by the book, page by page. Each time my children and I read it, it seems fresh somehow, as there are always new discoveries to be found.

Alison Lester, a warm welcome to Be A Fun Mum.

What is your best FunMum tip?
Let your children stay home on rainy days. Try to say no as little as possible.

In your opinion, why is reading to a child, from birth, so important?
Apart from anything it’s a time when you STOP and give your child your full attention. It helps kids learn to read and opens a whole other imaginary world, much more powerful, private and subtle than television.  

How can parents make reading-aloud time fun?
Always read something you like. There’s nothing worse than wading through some boring rubbish trying to sound interested. Be honest with your kids and tell them if you think a book stinks. Make sure you are comfortable. It’s ok to snooze.

Often, storybooks are read at bedtime.  Are there advantages of reading with young children throughout the day?
I have guilty memories of my youngest calling out for a story and finding him asleep when I finally made it to his room. This happened many times, the poor old boy. He’s a strong reader, though. Many houses have a lot going on at bedtime, so daytime reads are wonderful.

Do your children have a favourite Alison Lester book?
I’m not sure.

My daughter (8) asks this question:  Did you name the pinnacle dinosaur in Are We There Yet?
No, it’s a no name dinosaur. Good question though!


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Kelly loves life at both ends of the spectrum: wearing high heel shoes one day and hiking boots the next; sipping tea out of a pretty cup and slurping hot coffee from a camping mug; challenging herself physically and stopping for quiet unhurried moments to feel the wind on her face. Kelly and her husband Matthew seek to live a fun and adventurous life with their four children and pet bird.

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  1. says


    I live in Queensland (logan area) and when my daughter was born in 2007
    I recieved one of these books with a dvd from my local library. The libary here also does baby rhyme and story time from 0-2 and 3-school age children. Might be an idea to check out your local libary and see if they have any.

    • says

      Thanks Melanie, I’ll have to check that out… Many libraries have wonderful events running for children. I never received a book with any of my children. I’ll have to see what’s available in Qld. It’s good to know other states are encouraging literacy too! How did you enjoy the book?

  2. Ella says

    Hi Down here in cold ol’ SA we have baby bounce at our local library as well as story time & craft for the 2-5 age group. When i had my son in 2007 we received a book from the Child maternal health nurse to encourage us to read to our new baby. I think it was when i ventured out to baby bounce one time that he received a library bag with a dvd and book of rhymes and a few other bits a pieces. We still read that rhyme book now almost 3 years on! A lot of libraries also run school holiday activity days as well for school age children. I try to read to my son everyday – he has so many books but has a couple of favourites. Ive read to him since birth and he loves books now and i hope he continues to read througout his life. Since having him ive hardly read any books myself – must get back into that !

  3. Nicole says

    In WA we have a program called Better Beginnings

    We got a free board book, a Rhyme Time DVD and some info about reading to bubbas from our Child Health Nurse at our 8 week check. The local libraries also run Rhyme Time and Story Time sessions and some primary schools are doing the same for the younger siblings of their students.

    I volunteered at a local primary school for a while and it was great – parents would drop their older kids off and then come to the library with their toddlers for Rhyme Time. It’s definitely worth talking to the librarians in your kids’ school to see if they’d consider doing something similar – if they can get a volunteer to run it then all they have to do is photocopy the rhyme sheets and set up tea and coffee for after the session.

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