Jess Mauboy uses her voice to reignite Aussie kids’ love of reading

Jessica Mauboy and Tom Thum.
Jessica Mauboy and Tom Thum. Photo: Supplied

Aussie R&B powerhouse Jessica Mauboy is using her voice and to help kids across the country discover a new way to enjoy reading.

The chart-topping sensation, who has collaborated with the likes of Flo Rida and Snoop Dogg, has joined a new Big W initiative aiming to reimagine creative stories and put a spotlight on Australian children's authors.

The project, called Rap Books, creates sing-a-long renditions of beloved books for families and children to rap along to as they listen to their favourite tales come alive.

Pairing dance-worthy tempos with Mauboy's smooth vocals, the initiative creates an interactive environment for children to engage with reading.

Jessica Mauboy.

Jessica Mauboy. Photo: Supplied

Rap Books is rolling out through the week and urging children to "get down" with reading, with the tracks available on online streaming services Spotify, Amazon and Apple Music.

Mauboy said she had "more fun than ever" creating and recording the soundtrack to Pig the Pug by Aaron Blabey and Dharma the Llama by Matt Cosgrove, allowing kids to sing along as they engage with the storyline.

"I hope it will inspire families around Australia to put their own spin on their favourite books and I only hope they'll have as much fun as I did," the singer said in a statement.

"The opportunity to have a go at rapping and reimagining some iconic Aussie kids' books, that I know are loved by kids and parents around the nation, is so fresh and exciting to see come to life."


Musician Tom Thum also participated in the project, providing vocals to The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland and Cosgrove's Alpacas with Maracas.

Tom Thum

Tom Thum Photo: Supplied

Cosgrove, the author and illustrator of two books that have been reimagined by Mauboy and Thum, said, "To hear my stories being brought to life with such humour and sheer creative talent brings me so much joy."

The acclaimed writer called the initiative "something really special".

"I'm sure it will help get kids excited and families engaging with books," Cosgrove added.

Kristen Linders, GM of Big W's Marketing, says the initiative aims to make reading an activity for the whole family.

"Story time is so important in connecting families and we are constantly seeking new ideas and initiatives to help kids enjoy our range of books in new and unique ways."

The tracks are being released from October 1-4, available across all streaming services.