Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

MEM Fox Fox, Au Aus­tralia’st li ’ b best- loved chil­dren’s au­thor, has is­sued a stern warn­ing to par­ents who trade story time for me- time, leav­ing their chil­dren to en­ter­tain them­selves on screens while they at­tend to their own dig­i­tal de­vices.

Fox, 71, who is an am­bas­sador for the Townsville Bulletin and The Sun­day Mail Great Aus­tralian Sto­ry­book Col­lec­tion, which starts next Sun­day, is au­thor of more than 40 books for chil­dren sold world­wide.

“I am very sad­dened by the level of in­ter­ac­tion chil­dren have with screens,” Fox said.

“It’s a way of adults – with­out mean­ing to – but they push the chil­dren out of their lives so that they don’t have to bother, and even­tu­ally, that’s go­ing to catch up with those par­ents and chil­dren.”

Fox has been a long time ad­vo­cate of par­ents read­ing aloud to chil­dren, some­thing she her­self has done dur­ing myr­iad ap­pear­ances since her first book, Pos­sum Magic, was pub­lished 34 years ago.

With its en­chant­ing il­lus­tra­tions by Julie Vi­vas, the book has sold more than four mil­lion copies, is fre­quently voted Aus­tralia’s favourite chil­dren’s book and con­tin­ues to en­thral small chil­dren.

Start your Great Aus­tralian Sto­ry­book Col­lec­tion with your free copy of Pos­sum Magic and col­lec­tor’s case only with The Sun­day Mail on July 23, and keep col­lect­ing with the Townsville Bulletin. There are 15 books to col­lect. For more de­tails visit greataussiesto­ries. com. au

Pic­ture: DY­LAN COKER

AVID READ­ERS: Mem Fox with Mitchell Forde and Grace Peel, both 5.

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