Free Bookstart packs for young children

Please ask at your local library if you haven't received your Bookstart Baby pack by the time your child turns one, or the Bookstart Treasure pack before they turn five.

Bookstart Baby pack

In England, your health visitor or another health professional should gift this purple bag in your baby's first year to help you share stories, rhymes and songs.

Bookstart Baby pack 2017

The content varies, but will include two board books, a rhyme sheet and a booklet of tips and ideas for sharing books with children from a very young age.


Bookstart Treasure pack

In England your preschooler will receive their special gift envelope when they are 3–4 years old, from their nursery, children's centre or other early years setting.

Treasure pack with Alan's Big Scary Teeth

Inside is a picture book for you to share, plus a friendly booklet with tips and ideas for reading together.


Dual languages

If English is not your first language, you may be able to get a book in another language as part of your Bookstart packs.

Please ask your health visitor (babies) or library (preschoolers), who can contact the local Bookstart Coordinator about availability - we also have guidance available in certain languages.

Celebrate your home language with stories and rhymes

Reading together every day helps children

  • Hear, learn and say new words
  • Learn about their family's culture
  • Gain confidence in a second language

 Dual language family reading

Tips for sharing books in your home language

  • Use the pictures – talk about what is happening in them and the story
  • Encourage your child by making lots of eye contact and smiles
  • Make time each day to cuddle up with your child and share stories
  • Have quiet, quality time together – switch off your TV, radio or mobile phone
  • Your child may use English, but you can reply or repeat in your home language
  • Sing or say nursery rhymes and songs from your home language

Bookstart Corner

Bookstart Corner pack 2017Bookstart corner is an additional Bookstart programme which is delivered exclusively by children’s centres.

The Bookstart Corner pack which is given to families includes two free books and guidance for parents on how to share books, stories and rhymes. Please enquire at your local children’s centre to see if you're eligible to participate in this offer.

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Reading tips

How to read with your child

Get helpful hints and advice about sharing books and watch example videos to help you read aloud with your family.

Ed Vere reads Grumpy Frog

Great Books Guide

Check out our Great Books Guide

Your guide to our favourite children's books from the past year: download as a PDF or find online booklists for ages 4-5, 6-7 and 8+.