5 reasons why we love Bookstart

This week (5-11 June) is National Bookstart Week, the annual celebration of sharing stories and fostering a love of literature from a young age by reading charity BookTrust.

The theme for 2017 is Let’s Explore Outdoors and the book chosen to celebrate is Everybunny Dance! by Ellie Sandall, with a special audio version narrated by TV and radio presenter Lauren Laverne.

There are events taking place all over the county, at libraries and in schools, with 450,000 copies of the book being given away. If you can’t make it along to one, there are loads of resources online to engage your budding bookworm.

The event also marks 25 years of Bookstart itself. Here’s why this initiative is so brilliant:

  1. Bookstart gives every child in England and Wales a FREE book bundle before they turn a year old – and another at 3-4 years. You should receive the first one from your health visitor at your baby’s 7-11 month developmental check. Chase them up if you don’t (I was doing this very thing this morning…).
  2. In 1992, Bookstart gave away 300 books to babies in Birmingham – now it has gifted 34 million! I’m not sure how many libraries worth that equates to but it’s an impressive amount. Publishers submit books for consideration each year and a panel of experts select the very best ones, which are chosen on the basis of sparking imagination and creativity, reflecting society and sparking diversity, and being fun to read again and again.
  3. If that wasn’t enough, Bookstart has bundles and resources available for bilingual families and children with learning difficulties or additional needs, so no one need miss out on a great story.
  4. Bookstart runs Storytime and Rhyme Time sessions in libraries and community centres around the country, year found. They give parents a chance to have fun for free with the child, as well as inspire little ones about reading. Children’s activities are incredibly costly so anything that saves the pennies gets the thumbs up from us – not to mention giving libraries a little love. Lord knows they need it right now. Find your nearest events here
  5. The Bookstart website is packed with ideas for great books to share at bedtime, as well as tips on reading with children and activities you can do at home. Never hear the words “I’m bored” again. Sign up to the Bear Club to find out more.

Find out more at Bookstart.org.uk

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