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.

About Bookstart

Newborn packs

Cuddle up and share your free baby black and white booklet together - it can help to grow a reader for life. Find out where to get yours.

Baby and Treasure packs - and dual-language books

Your child should receive a Bookstart Baby pack before they are one and the Treasure pack before they turn five, gifted free by BookTrust. Free dual-language books are also available for families with English as an additional language.

My Baby Bag

We hope that you’re enjoying the books and finger puppets in your Bookstart Baby Bag. Here, you’ll find tips, videos and book suggestions to help you continue sharing stories and rhymes with your baby at every stage of their journey from 0-1.

Additional needs packs

Bookstart is for every child. Find out more about our free Bookshine, Booktouch and Bookstart Star additional needs packs.

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.

Bookstart Baby 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.

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.

Rhymetimes

Enjoy songs, rhymes and rhythm with your child at your local library, nursery or children's centre - Rhymetimes are free and fun for everyone.

The Rhyme Challenge

Are you up for the Rhyme Challenge? Great rhymers make great readers and the Rhyme Challenge is a fantastic way for you and your child to enjoy rhymes together.

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 2-year-olds

Two-year-olds love joining in with actions and guessing what will happen next. We've picked out some brilliant books we think your child will love.

Best books for 3-year-olds

At three, children can often follow slightly longer stories but they'll still want to hear their old favourites again and again. Here's a selection of perfect picture books for 3-year-olds.

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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