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Bookstart logo

What is Bookstart?

Bookstart is an under 5 years reading programme run by BookTrust, the UK's largest children's reading charity and the world's first national book-gifting scheme. In 1992 BookTrust ran a pilot project involving 300 babies, with support from Birmingham University and local library and health services – and we’ve never looked back!

Bookstart aims to encourage a love of books, sharing stories and rhymes in children from as young an age as possible. Research shows that reading for pleasure for children under 5yrs, has a huge impact on your child’s development, their well-being and their educational outcomes.

There is a free book pack gifted to every baby born in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. Bookstart also offers further packs at key stages before school, as well as packs for children with additional needs, tips and guidance on reading together, resources, activities, and much more.

Find out more about Bookstart and the packs

Locally, the programme is managed by Bookstart Birmingham (part of Birmingham Libraries). We work with a wide range of partners to be able to reach babies and children under 5yrs old as well as our local groups and residents.

All Bookstart packs come with guidance on their use, the benefits of sharing stories and encouraging the reading habit.

Along with the Baby Pack, there are also packs for additional needs, dual language picture books and a targeted Early Years Programme.

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