Bookstart for families

Sharing books, stories and rhymes with your child from an early age can help create a lifelong reader. Bookstart is here to guide you on your child’s reading journey from 0-5 years.

Every child in England and Wales is entitled to a free Bookstart pack before they are 12 months old and again aged 3-4 years (27 months in Wales). Bookstart also gifts additional needs packs for babies and toddlers, as well as black-and-white booklets for newborns and dual language books.

Find out how you can get your packs and explore our website. You'll find interactive storybooks and games, themed booklists, a bookfinder to give you inspiration, activities to make and do at home and much more.

Please note that as of March 2020, programme and campaign dates and events are subject to change. 

About Bookstart

What is Bookstart?

Bookstart is the world’s first national bookgifting programme, giving free books to all children in England and Wales at two key ages before school.

What Bookstart can offer you

Discover more about Bookstart's free universal, additional needs and newborn packs for children, plus The Rhyme Challenge and Rhymetimes.

Bookstart in Northern Ireland

Every baby born in Northern Ireland receives a Bookstart Baby pack from their Health Visitor. Find out more about the programme, funded by the Department of Education.

Bookstart in Wales

Through Bookstart, BookTrust Cymru give every child in Wales their own books to have at home and supports families to read together regularly.

Do you work with children aged 0-5?

Visit our Bookstart for practitioners section for tailored information, guidance and resources to help you deliver our flagship early years programme.

Explore Bookstart for practitioners

Looking for your next story? Try our Bookfinder

  • Step 1: Choose an age/stage

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    Choose an age/stage
  • Step 2: Choose a type of book

    Choose a type of book

Get perfect picture book ideas

Our themed booklists are full of brilliant book ideas for little ones. Just print them out or jot them down and see what you can pick up at your local library.

Classic Christmas books for festive times

One of the loveliest things to do at Christmas is cuddle up and enjoy a good picture book together – and these classic stories have really stood the test of time.

Best bedtime books for newborns (0-2 months)

We know that reading with your newborn baby at bedtime can be lots of fun. It's also a special time for snuggling up and sharing a story: it's important bonding time.

Best books for 4-year-olds

Why not try some of our favourite books for 4-year-olds - slightly longer stories they'll love chatting to you about. From bad bunnies to bug school, storytime giggles are guaranteed.

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