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From 774 ABC Melbourne: Simon Leo Brown
With sunny weather outside and digital distractions inside, it can be hard to keep your children reading over the summer months.
But Dr Belle Alderman, emeritus professor of children's literature at the University of Canberra, said encouraging your children to pick up a book was worth the effort.
"We know that reading children's literature does make changes in the brain. We know that it can create empathy and understanding," she told 774 ABC Melbourne's Steve Martin.
School-aged children who do not read often enough during the summer break can see their reading skills decline, a phenomenon known as the "summer slide".
However, Dr Alderman said there was plenty you could do to ensure your children continued to read throughout the holidays.
Have books in every room
Dr Alderman said the best way to encourage your child to read was to immerse them in a good collection of books.
"I would have them in every room of the house. I would have a whole range of them and also ask [your children] what they like as well," she said.
10 best kids books of 2016*
Hello Little Babies by Alison Lester
Who Sank The Boat? And Other Stories by Pamela Allen
One Minute Till Bedtime written by Kenn Nesbitt, illustrations by Christoph Niemann
Welcome To Country written by Aunty Joy Murphy, illustrated by Lisa Kennedy
The Sisters Saint-Claire written by Carlie Gibson, illustrated by Tamsin Ainslie
Amazing Animals Of Australia's National Parks by Gina M Newton
Artie And The Grime Wave by Richard Roxburgh
Radio Rescue written by Jane Jolly, illustrated by Robert Ingpen
Tales From Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan
The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon
*Chosen by Dr Belle Alderman, listed in order of reading age from babies to teens. Source: The Conversation.
If you don't own many children's books, heading to your local library or bookshop will see you spoilt for choice.
"The fact of the matter is that children's books are selling really well in all of the English-language countries that I know of," Dr Alderman said.
"In Australia 35 per cent of the publishing is children's books."
Poo and wee may be key
She said that, unsurprisingly, the best way to get your child reading was to give them books they would enjoy.
"We know that children like funny books.
"If there's a lot of poo and a lot of wee ... if they're silly, if they're madcap adventures — those are the sort of things that often do capture children."
She nominated Australian author Andy Griffiths as someone who writes books that will appeal to reluctant readers.
Hook them on a series
Dr Alderman said it was a good strategy to have "a range of series books" available for children.
That way, if a child enjoys one book they can move on to others in the same series.
"Once they are introduced to a particular character, they want to keep going."
Dr Alderman recommended Aaron Blabey's series The Bad Guys for children who may not normally be enthusiastic about reading.
"They're almost like graphic novels with pictures as well as words; in other words they're not too heavy," she said.
"I have seen young children walking down the street as if it was an iPhone with these books in their hand."
High-octane books 'boys will love'
While hesitating to use the term boys' books, Dr Alderman said Gabrielle Lord and Jack Heath both wrote "high-octane" books for children aged nine and up.
"[They are] books that you know boys are really going to love.
"Those are the ones that he could read under the covers with a flashlight and really enjoy."