Summer holidays are for fun, play, days out and visiting friends and family. But the long holiday before school starts again is a pivotal time in a young child’s learning journey and can be key for developing much-needed reading and speaking skills.

Young minds need to be kept active and, while play is important, learning through ‘together time’ before a new school year can make all the difference to a child’s progression.

Reading isn’t just about developing literary skills,” says children’s author Mariusz Wojcik. “It’s also about improving speech. Many young children encounter issues with learning to speak which can affect not just their education but also their friendships and confidence. What many parents don’t realise is that reading with their children can really help youngsters progress with this area of their development.

Mariusz knows this not just through his work as an author but also through his role as a father to two young boys, one of whom experienced some difficulties when learning to speak. To help their son, Mariusz together with his wife Aneta researched speech development in children extensively and discovered that not just reading, but reading certain books in a certain way, was the best way to go.

We realised that books need to be immersive and entertaining in order to support a child’s speech and vocabulary,” says Aneta. “The best books for the job have simple sentence structure, familiar settings and colourful illustrations, and can be read in a way that provides an interactive and immersive experience for the child.

Unable to find any books that ticked every one of these boxes, the Wojciks decided to create their own for children aged 1 to 5. With the help of an illustrator and educational professionals, they published their debut children’s book Dee Dee and Dan Dan’s Busy Day.

No two reads of Dee Dee and Dan Dan’s Busy Day are the same, as the story has thousands of possibilities, keeping each read-through fresh and interesting.

This new concept book helps a child to build confidence while actively asking questions and aims to encourage a reading habit that continues long after the holidays have ended.

“Reading is an activity that extends far beyond the classroom,” explains Aneta. “It provides a fantastic opportunity for parents to spend quality time with their child while supporting their development.

Dee Dee and Dan Dan’s Busy Day is priced at £9.99 and is available from Amazon and