Reading Schemes

Reading Family Information Service

What is Bookstart? 

Bookstart is a national programme that works through locally based organisations to give a free pack of books to babies and young children with guidance materials for parents and carers. It promotes a life-long love of books and is based on the principle that every child in the UK should enjoy and benefit from books from as early an age as possible.

Who is Bookstart for?
Bookstart Baby packs are gifted free to all babies before they turn one. Free dual-language books are also available for families with English as an additional language.

How will it benefit my children?
Sharing books with babies and toddlers is a wonderful way to increase language skills and helps children to understand their world. The first five years are the best time for learning to talk and most of a child's language comes from the adults around them. Babies and toddlers who love books begin reading sooner and have a better chance at school. And what is more important, reading is fun for both children and adults!

What if my baby has not received a pack?
Any baby that did not receive a pack at their 7-9 month health check is eligible for a pack. If your baby did not receive a pack, contact Suzan Davis Reading Libraries Children’s Lead email

Booktouch /Bookshine

Booktouch has two packs available: Booktouch Baby (0-2 years old) and Booktouch Toddler (3-4 years old). Each pack has two touch-and-feel books and guidance around sharing books with blind and partially sighted children.

Bookshine is for children who are deaf, there are two packs: Bookshine Baby (0-2 years old) and Bookshine Toddler (3-4 years old). Each pack has two books, a rhyme place mat (with babies signing) and guidance around sharing books. The toddler pack also includes a bookmark showing British Sign Language.  Bookshine & Booktouch

Contact your health visitor for a pack.

For further information about Bookstart, contact your local library or visit Bookstart 

Bookstart website - for hints and tips on how you can have fun sharing stories with your child, more information about BookTrust’s Early Years offers, and further activities and book recommendations to continue your reading adventure. Bookstart Family Hub

Reading Borough Council Libraries:

Battle Library
Caversham Library
Mobile Library
Palmer Park Library
Reading Central Library
Southcote Library
Toy Library
Whitley Library

To find out more about opening times events and activities please visit. Reading Borough Council - Libraries

Next review date January 2025

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Page last reviewed: 21/02/2024

Contact the Team

Family Information Service 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2

SEND Local Offer 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2 0118 937 3777 OPTION 2

Adult & Carers Support 0118 937 3747 0118 937 3747
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