Free Bookstart packs and dual-language books
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 bag
In England, your health visitor or another health professional should gift this yellow bag in your baby's first year to help you share stories, rhymes and songs.
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 pre-schooler will receive their special gift envelope when they are 3-4 years old, from their nursery, children's centre or other early years setting.
Inside is a picture book for you to share, plus a friendly booklet with tips and ideas for reading together.
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 (pre-schoolers), who can contact the local Bookstart Coordinator about availability. We also have guidance available in a number of 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
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 is an additional Bookstart programme which is delivered by children’s centres and other early years settings.
The Bookstart Corner pack 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.
Please note that books contained within the packs may differ from those pictured.