Our case studies

'I don't read at all as I find it hard work at times but I don't want my children to grow up feeling like that.'

Beth and Lottie case studyBeth Dean, mum to Lottie, 11 months, and Noah, 4, said: 'I read to Lottie as soon as she was born by introducing her to Noah's Bedtime Story. 

'We always go to the local library's  rhymetime(link) sessions; I started taking Lottie when she was just two weeks. The first two times she was asleep but very quickly she could anticipate what was coming next in the songs. For example if we were doing Round and Round the Garden you could see the excitement building as she waited for the tickle part.

'The Bookstart packs have been very helpful, in particular the rhymes and we always love getting more books. We are reading the Hungry Caterpillar at the moment and Lottie pretends to eat too by smacking her lips.'

'I started reading to Noah when he was five or six months-old. I can see the benefit it has had on him because he spoke very early on. I was always reading and talking to him. Not necessarily reading all the words in books but talking about the pictures. At first he interacted with his eyes, and later he started pointing at the pictures.'

'I don't read at all as I find it hard work at times but I don't want my children to grow up feeling like that. People who do read get a lot  of enjoyment out of it.'


‘Reading with your child is a great way to spend time together’

Helen and Chloe case studyHelen Ohlsson, mum to 10 month-old Chloe, said: 'I started reading to Chloe when she was two months-old, as soon as she started smiling.

'Reading with your child is a great way to spend time together. It's important to make as many fun experiences as possible.'

'At the moment we are reading The BFG by Roald Dahl, which is a bit old but my husband and I both loved his books when we were growing up so we use the books to do some storytelling.We have also got Chloe lots of interactive books and finger puppets, which she loves.'


'We got a Bookstart Baby pack when Ben was nine-months-old. One of the books comes everywhere with us, it's like a comfort blanket to him.'

Lenka and Benjamin case studyLenka Sanisloua, mum to Benjamin, said: 'Benjamin was four-months-old when we started reading to him because we were given books from the Sure Start centre.'

'From the age of six months Benjamin really started enjoying books and used to bring us a book to read to him. His favourite book is The Little Reindeer which we read all year round.'

'Daddy reads with him in the evenings when he gets home from work - it's his favourite time.'

'We got a Bookstart pack when Ben was nine-months old at his health check-up. One of the books from the pack (Baby's Day) has come everywhere with us, it's like a comfort blanket to him.'


'Bookstart Corner helped my oldest daughter with her speech and gave the whole family confidence in being able to read.'

Maxine Isabel and Sophia case studyMaxine Elgey, mum to Isabel and Sophia, said: 'Before Isabel started school she had some speech and language problems so we were offered the Bookstart Corner reading programme. We found that it helped Isabel say more sentences and gave the whole family confidence in being able to read.'

'When Isabel started school we found Bookstart Corner had given her an advantage. She now likes books more than toys!'

'I believe that books help children to express how they are feeling, as well as improve their confidence. If there is anything they are particularly concerned or worried about I think by looking at a book and spending quality time together helps them to talk to you.'

'I started sharing books with Isabel when she was just six-weeks-old and I have done the same with Sophia, because even though they couldn't read they like looking and engaging with the pictures, which later helps spark their imagination.'  


'The book packs help parents realise that reading with their children should start from day one, not when they start school'

Miranda GreenwoodLiveWire family reading coordinator, Miranda Greenwood said: 'We use Bookstart Corner book packs to spend one-to-one time with families and explain how to share the books with their children, the importance of rhyme and reading, as well as enjoying their time together.

'We've started looking down children centre lists to see which families aren't engaging with the children centre at all and visiting them with a Bookstart Corner pack. Everyone we've visited so far has got involved and there has been an improvement in parents sharing books with their children. Lots of the parents are encouraged to come to the library with us and it's the book packs that help start the intervention.

'Recently, I met with a single mum and her four children. She was struggling to make individual time for each child, as a lot of time was taken up with the older ones and the younger ones weren't getting as much attention. I showed her how easy it can be to take ten minutes out to share a book with each child, it's not a big ask but what an impact. She's really enjoyed doing it and Home-Start has told us she is reading more with the little ones and there are more books in the home.

'Bookstart Baby and Treasure packs are given out by our health workers who encourage families to come into the children centre and attend Bookstart rhyme sessions. The packs are colourful and the books are perfect for the age-range.

'The packs help parents realise reading with their children should start from day one and not when they start school.'


'Children who have been read to from an early age are more engaged and ask lots of questions'

Penny, Cassie, LuLu and TasminPenny (Pui Sin) Harland, mum to Cassie, LuLu and Tasmin, explains why she takes her children to BookTrust-supported rhyme sessions:

'Lots of people have complimented my children on their speech and I believe it's because we have read with them and taken them to rhymetime from such an early age.'

'There is a difference between children who have been read to, than those who haven't. The children who have been read to from an early age are more engaged and ask lots of questions.'

'With your first child you have a lot more time but I started reading to all of them from birth. Now they are older I spend more time with Tasmin as she can now read by herself, she even reads to her little sister LuLu.'

'My husband and I read to all three children individually at night and we also read during the day as a family.'

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