Hey cHEwY gum gums!

I am a massive Coles Minis nut. I have collected the previous two collections and have them in their fancy little cases. So imagine my surprise when this year, instead of tiny Tim Tams and vaseline, we’re getting Little TreeHouse mini books.

This is a huge deal. No, I’m not talking about the truckloads of moolah that Andy and Terry got for this dream promotion haha. This is a win in the battle to have books in homes.

If you step outside the writing/reading community bubble, there are many households that don’t have any books around. If you want kids to be readers, having books in their bedrooms is a good start. They can be library books. They can be school books. But if a kid or parent is not motivated to go to the library to borrow them, then how will they exposed to literature?

Enter, these Little Treehouse books. If this craze catches on, then you’ll have kids talking about them. You’d have kids swapping them with others, looking to complete their collection. The line between toys and books blur here, but it’s for the greater good because there’s a great chance that they’ll read the book. The Treehouse books are an institution, a brand that engages with humour, funny pictures, what’s not to like?

I’ve got a few of these mini books, and the learning aspect is hidden like broccoli in a chocolate mud cake. There are some neat activities in the back of each book. Ever wondered what would happen if Andy and Terry wrote a Maths textbook? This is the next best thing.

I wonder if these books will be as successful as the first two series which had famously branded products. A lot of the hype was driven by adults, who paid twenty bucks for that mini OAK or Vegemite on Ebay (not naming names here haha). Will this series be seen as a ‘kids-only’ series, similar to Woolies’ Lion King ooshies?

I guess we’ll never know for sure. The pandemic means that there won’t be any swap parties at Coles stores on Saturday mornings. Nor will there be a chance to swap books at playgrounds in for some students. Budgets are tighter than ever before. They may not be an urge to impulse buy some chocolate just to tip over the thirty bucks mark. I won’t be going crazy this time to collect the series but I will pass on any books to my friends’ kids.

But this is already a victory for bringing kids books in the public sphere. There are other perks, such as the book-making competitions, with each entry going towards a donated book to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.

But if a kid who hates books ends up liking these Little Treehouse collectables and starts reading the actual Treehouse series, it could lead to a joy for reading. Now that’s the bigger picture here.

O.W