Little Book Press

Little Book Press is the publishing arm of Raising Literacy Australia, a not for profit organisation that promotes literacy, books and reading through The Little Big Book Club (for children) and the The Big Book Club (for Adults).

Little Book Press

How the right book can open up a child’s imagination and nurture positive engagement between a parent and child.

The Big Book Club formed in South Australia in 2002 with a clear mandate to nurture readers and encourage trust in the Club’s recommendations, while challenging people to step outside their comfort zone by highlighting a wide range of genres and titles. Each month an adult book was chosen by the club and both the title and author were promoted across the state.

The Big Book Club’s program proved to be successful, with a significant reach across the state and a large following of readers, both young and old.  When research released by Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2004 indicated that only four out of ten families were reading with their child on a regular basis, we felt a responsibility to respond.  Not only did we share this information, but also offered solutions to encourage regular shared reading opportunities in homes. In 2005, we launched The Little Big Book Club (TLBBC) program targeting families with very young children, early childhood practitioners, governments and other likeminded organisations. The aim of the TLBBC is to inform and educate families and the early childhood sector on the fundamental importance of positive engagement with children through reading, singing, playing and talking.

Every year TLBBC produces and provides sixty-three thousand free reading packs to South Australian families with a baby, toddler or preschooler.  Each pack contains an array of picture books, board books, activity books, nursery rhyme booklets and CDs, information booklets and booklists.

TLBBC also operates a Featured Stories project which works closely with Australian publishing houses in the selection and promotion of age appropriate titles for families with young children.  Over the years we have reviewed thousands upon thousands of picture and board books and have over 500 titles, supported with education resources, on The Little Big Book Club website.

In 2015, the continued positive growth of the Big Book Club and Little Book Club saw a change of name — Raising Literacy Australia Inc. (RLA). The Little Book Press is a culmination of the experience we have gathered since the inception of The Little Book Club and was launched in July 2017 as part of the publishing arm of RLA.

We are extremely pleased with our most recent title releases; a CBCA notable picture book Little Chicken Chickabee by Janeen Brian and Danny Snell, Fancy Pants by Kelly Hibbert and Amanda Graham, a series of black & white board books for newborns, and a set of five mini picture books that focus on food literacy for little people.

Anticipation is now growing for our upcoming title releases. These include Jump and Shout by Mike Dumbleton and Peter Carnavas, Wilbur, Grace & Joe by Phil Cummings and Amanda Graham, Lullabies for Bed Time a compilation of new and old rhymes by emerging and talented illustrator, Doris Chang, and finally Busy Little Creatures, a fabulously fun book that introduces foundational numeracy concepts — movement, colours, size and numbers.

We are privileged to have the opportunity to support the development and growth of a child through the sharing of stories. We know that a well written book — whether fiction or nonfiction —has the ability to capture a child’s imagination. Not every child can visit a farm, ride on a tractor, walk with the dinosaurs, or fly an aeroplane, however a picture book can immerse a child in that experience.

We are very excited to continue exploring the narrative that is Raising Literacy Australia, and look forward to sharing a wonderful world of stories from the Little Book Press.

Raising Literacy Australia

Raising Literacy Australia is a not for profit organisation committed to enriching Australian lives through literacy.

Through sustainable family and community programs we aim to empower Australians to participate in society, both culturally and economically, to achieve lifelong learning and improved life chances.

Through our programs, we:

  • encourage reading for all,
  • build awareness of the importance of reading to young children from birth,
  • support family engagement through activities such as regular reading, playing, singing and talking,
  • develop children’s literacy and numeracy skills prior to entering formal education,
  • improve government, corporate, community and early childhood sector’s understanding of early childhood development through education and training and
  • foster a lifelong appreciation of books and reading.

Our enterprises

Little Book Press Publishing House

The publishing arm of Raising Literacy Australia.  The aim to produce quality children’s resources including picture and board books, nursery rhyme CDs and DVDs, activity time books and early childhood information booklets and booklists for families and early childhood practitioners.

The Little Book Club Program

An early childhood reading development initiative working with families and early childhood practitioners.  In South Australia, we are funded by the State Government, to provide free reading packs to every baby, toddler and preschooler.  With the support of Child and Family Health clinics, Department of Education and Child Development, Department of SA Health, News Limited, Variety SA, Cochranes Transport and early childhood outreach services we are able to engage with families across South Australia and Australia.

The Big Book Club Program

An online initiative supporting youth and adults to read more broadly.  Every month we review and select three adult fiction and nonfiction titles.  We are fortunate to have over 20 reviewers, from all walks of life, who happily read a comprehensive cross selection of titles for TBBC.  The three selected titles are then posted with their respective reviews, on The Big Book Club website.

Building Foundations for Early Learning

Developed in consultation with Department of Education and Child Development, Building Foundations for Early Learning, is a comprehensive professional development training package for practitioners working in early childhood.  The training package was developed over a two-year period through extensive consultation with the sector and analysing international and national research on early childhood development.  The outcome is an effective and well received early childhood training program consisting of flexible workshop and seminar models and a detailed training manual supporting practitioner’s child development programs.

The Little Big Book Club

In 2006, The Little Big Book Club was established in response to information released by the Bureau of Statistics that only 4 in 10 families were regularly reading to their children. Research into early childhood development has concluded that 90 percent of child’s brain development occurs in the first five years and how families engage with their child in these early years is crucial.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics states the reason why parents were not regularly reading with their child/ren include:

  • did not know what to read at the appropriate ages
  • reading is a nice thing to do however, not essential and could wait till formal education
  • time poor

As an organisation, we have the privilege of reaching every family in South Australia who has a child under the age of five years.  The ongoing challenge is sharing our knowledge with families so they understand their role as first teacher and the significant impact positive parenting can have on their child’s developmental outcomes.

In developing The Little Big Book Club program, we consulted closely with the South Australian Department of Education and Child Development, the Public Library Service and Speech Pathology Australia.  We also, undertook a comprehensive scan of local and international early childhood reading development initiatives.

The outcome was the establishment of a multi-layered early childhood reading development program consisting of:

FREE Reading packs

Each year 63,000 FREE reading packs are provided to families across South Australia.  The reading packs are divided into three age brackets; baby, toddler and preschool.

Every pack contains a selection of commissioned picture and board books, nursery rhyme books and CDs, activity books and information booklets.

The 63,000 reading packs are distributed through a range of stakeholders including:

Child and Family Health, Department of Education and Child Development, Health SA, outreach services, hospitals and family intervention programs.

Featured Stories

The Features Stories project is to guide and educate families and the early childhood sector on what books to read at what ages.   Every month the LBBC team review and select a book for babies, toddlers and preschoolers.  The three selected titles are supported with education resources including activity time sheets and learning time sheets.

The Little Big Book Club website currently hosts over 500 titles reviewed and selected by the LBBC team.  Each title is catalogued under their appropriate age and theme.

Read to Me

Our newest project, Read to Me, was launched in 2015.  This project would not have eventuated without the support of our founding partners, The Advertiser and the Government of South Australia and two new partners, Variety SA and Cochrane’s Transport.

The Read to Me project supports our state’s most vulnerable children who are in foster, residential or kinship care.  Each child receives a start-up library of ten books and then every three months an additional three picture or board books.  The giving of these books and resources will continue for each child until they reach the age of six years.

Marketing and Communication

A comprehensive marketing and communication strategy underpins all our activities allowing families and the early childhood sector easy access to our information, projects and their resources.

Our activities include:

Traditional media – print, TV and radio

Social media – Facebook pages, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube channel, website

E-marketing – direct marketing to national database

For more information on The Little Big Book Club program, please check out our website or Facebook page or contact Belinda Spry, Director of Training and Outreach

Building Foundations for Early Learning

We believe there has never been a more exciting time to be involved in the education and care of young children.

Over the past twenty years there have been considerable breakthroughs on neuroscience research.

The outcomes from this research has had a huge impact on what we now know about early childhood development, in particular

…quality interactions during the earliest stages of life play a crucial role in shaping children’s perceptual, cognitive and linguistic ability, their physical, social and emotional development and physical and mental health, activity, skills and behaviour in adult life. (Winter, 2010a)

However, this information and evidence has been widely unavailable due to its technical nature. At the same time families are expressing concerns on receiving a wide range of messages on how to raise their children, through a variety of sources and often conflicting information.

In the writing of Building Foundations for Early Learning we have made available current research, information, shared knowledge and strategies for the early childhood sector and how these influence literacies for life. The aim of this substantial professional development program is to guide organisations on how their programs can positively and effectively engage with families and very young children in their community.

The Building Foundations for Early Learning workshop is delivered in 3 modules and covers the following topics:

Module 1: Principles That Underpin Effective Practice

Focus on 11 Child Development Statements developed by the Education Council (formally SCSEEC) and how to incorporate these into programmed activities and share them with families at your centre or library.

Module 2: Practices That Promote Children’s Learning

Includes information about behaviour management, early literacy skills, culturally inclusive programs and planning story time sessions for young children that draw upon learning outcomes from the National Early Years Learning Framework.

Module 3: Story Time Resources and Handouts

A look at practical resources developed by The Little Big Book Club that are available for practitioners to use in early years settings.

The professional development program would not have been possible without the support and help of:

  • South Australia’s Department of Education and Child Development
  • The Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood (SCSEEC)
  • Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations – Office of Early Childhood Education & Child Care
  • Public Library Programs, Public Library Services
  • University of South Australia School of Education – Magill.

For more information on Building Foundations for Early Learning please contact:

Belinda Spry, Director of Training and Outreach

Julia Jones, Project Officer