WITH a cheeky smile and a nod, four-year-old Mikkel Gronholt admitted he was excited to read his signed copy of the award-winning children's book Deadly D and Justice Jones - Making the Team at Lismore Book Warehouse yesterday.
The book's authors, newly retired rugby league legend Scott Prince and Logan deputy principal David Hartley were at the Lismore launch, meeting young fans and signing copies.
The book revolves around 11-year-old Mt Isa student Dylan who moves to the big city where his curse of transforming into a fully-grown man when he's angry proves to be asset on the football field, attracting interest from the Broncos.
The book is focused on engaging young readers through rugby league.
Mr Prince said the inspiration came from Dave.
"About three or four years ago, Dave used to teach my eldest daughter at one of the local primary schools on the Gold Coast," Mr Prince said.
"He wanted to grab my attention to co-author this book, so he actually put the first couple of chapters in Taliah's lunch box, knowing that when she gets home I'd unpack her lunch box and come across it.
"I finally sat down and had the opportunity to read the first couple of chapters, and it definitely grabbed my attention, so I gave Dave and call and said 'Let's sit down and nut out this book'."
Mr Hartley said he has received fantastic feedback from teachers and parents.
With low literacy rates across the board, Mr Hartley said an important part of his job was to encourage and promote reading among children.
Mr Prince said using the power of rugby league to engage the children was an important part of the book.
"We probably would have been better readers if there had been a book like this," he said.
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