The Family Literacy Committee of Brant is gearing up to host award-winning children’s author, Helaine Becker, in celebration of the love of reading.

Family Literacy Day began as an initiative of Canada’s ABC Life Literacy in 1999, as a means to raise awareness about the importance of reading. The event has been celebrated annually on Jan. 27, and has become part of the yearly routine for a number of groups across the country – including The Family Literacy Committee of Brant.

Since 2013, The Family Literacy Committee of Brant annually selects one book to be read live by its author and then given out to the community through their “Let’s Read” event.  This year the committeehas selected a reading of  “Little Jack Horner LIVE! From His Corner”, by Helaine Becker.

Becker will make two appearances in the county on the Sunday before Family Literacy Day on Jan. 25, reading her book at the County of Brant Public Library, Paris Branch at 1:00 p.m. and then at the Brantford Public Library, Main Branch at 3:00 p.m. Alongside the visit from Becker, participants will be able to participate in crafts and each family will be given a free copy of “Little Jack Horner LIVE! From His Corner”.

“Lots of times homes don’t actually have a book in it, and we think that this is a great way to add to their personal library” says Paula Thomlison, Manager of Communication and Partnerships at the Brantford Public Library.

According to Tomlinson, Becker’s book was carefully selected by a number of “literacy experts” after considering a handful of titles.

It is a “fun” and “silly” book says Thomlison, which connects its readers to a number of nursery rhyme characters. “It gave all of us an opportunity, we thought, to introduce a lot of kids to nursery rhymes.” says Thomlinson, “I know a lot of people don’t know those nursery rhymes anymore.”

Kathryn Drury Manager of Community Focus at the Brantford Public Library says that objective of “Let’s Read”, is to select a book that appeals to all members of the family. “We invite all families to come down and experience the fun of literacy,” says Drury.

To Thomlinson, “literacy is a social determinant for good health”- suggesting that parents begin reading to their children early and to read to them as often as possible, be it through recipes, road signs, or books, “Read, read, read!”

“Let’s Read” typically draws upwards of one hundred people to each the county and city event, “people really enjoy it,” says Thomlinson.