Margaret River Rotary has taken a step towards supporting the mental health of the region’s children through its Reading Rabbits program. Now in its 12th year, the popular early childhood program administered through schools and libraries for the first time includes a book focused on mental health. Bunbury author Josh Langley’s picture book, It’s OK To Feel The Way You Do, will be given free to youngsters in the program’s latest round. “The books are important because one talks about feelings and will help parents to discuss feelings with their young children,” Rotary secretary Marilyn Hopkins said. “Even an adult can benefit from looking through the book. “One other book some students may receive talks about being kind. “These are tools parents can use to assist their children navigate some of these more challenging times.” Reading Rabbits is delivered in partnership with the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River and the Margaret River Bookshop. Ms Hopkins said the bookshop was a strong supporter of the program, giving discounts on books for children using vouchers included in the starter pack. Since inception, every Year 1 student in the shire received a pack including a library card, colouring-in, small gifts such as pencils and bookmarks, as well as the free book. “Students are encouraged to join the library and become a Reading Rabbit,” Ms Hopkins said. “After reading four books, they go into a lucky dip for a small prize, and after reading eight books they receive a $10 voucher for the bookshop. “The bookshop carries a range of reasonably priced books for Reading Rabbits. “Reading Rabbits can graduate to become Book Bandicoots for as long as they are school.” Shire librarians would take part in an online visit to schools this year as part of the program, with the talk including a short video featuring Langley.