Bookstart for families

Please note that as of March 2020, programme and campaign dates and events are subject to change. Check back here for further developments.

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 amazing pages for all the family, including interactive storybooks and games, themed booklists, a bookfinder to give you inspiration, activities to make and do at home and much more.

Happy reading, singing and rhyming together.

Please note: National Bookstart Week has been replaced by Pyjamarama. You can still enjoy all the National Bookstart Week stories, rhymes and activities from 2016-2018 here.

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

Find out about Arts Council NI Author Tours and catch up with the latest news from Bookstart Northern Ireland.

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.

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.

New brother or sister

Books are a great way of preparing a toddler or younger child for the a new sibling, or to help them understand and connect with a new arrival.

Funny books

From bottoms and pants to kung-fu pandas and monsters, there is a story for every child in this great list of funny books that will have you and your child rolling about with laughter.

More from BookTrust

Storybooks and games

Have some fun

Read along together with our brilliant interactive storybooks and play counting, colouring and drawing games.

Features you'll love


Win great prizes

Cross your fingers and try your luck in our competitions, giving you the chance to win book bundles and other brilliant prizes.