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Bookstart for families

Bookstart is a national scheme which gifts books to children – every child in England and Wales is entitled to a free Bookstart pack. South Gloucestershire Libraries work with health visitors, nurseries, childminders and pre-schools to gift Bookstart packs.


Newborn packs: Black and White booklets

Sharing books with your baby in the first months can help to grow a reader for life. Cuddle up and enjoy your Bookstart Baby Black and White booklet together. The newborn pack is given out by health visitors or other health professionals. The pack contains a congratulations card to celebrate the birth of your child, information about Bookstart and a booklet containing black-and-white images for you to share with your newborn baby.

If you haven’t received your newborn pack please email or ask at your local library.


Bookstart Baby pack

Your health visitor or another health professional should gift this purple 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.

If you haven’t received your Bookstart Baby pack by the time your child turns one, please email or ask at your local library.


Bookstart Treasure pack

Your pre-schooler will receive their special gift envelope from their nursery, pre-school or child minder in the year before they start primary school. Inside is a picture book for you to share, plus a friendly booklet with tips and ideas for reading together.

If you haven’t received your Bookstart Treasure pack by the time your child starts primary school or your child does not attend any pre-school setting, please email or ask at your local library.


Dual languages

If English is not your first language, you may be able to get a book in another language as part of your Bookstart pack. Please ask your health visitor (babies) or library (pre-schoolers) or email to check availability.


Packs for children with additional needs

Bookstart is for every child, so in England, families are entitled to any of the packs listed below in addition to the standard Bookstart packs. A set amount of packs are given to each local authority’s Bookstart Coordinator, who can be contacted at or via your health visitor, health clinic, early years setting or local library.


Bookshine 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.


Booktouch for children who are blind or partially sighted

There are two packs: 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.


Bookstart Star for children with conditions affecting their fine motor skills

This pack is available for children aged 3-4 who have disabilities that impact on or delay the development of their fine motor skills. Each pack has a copy of an exclusive touch-and-feel book from Child’s Play publishers, a board book, a finger puppet for playing along with the story and guidance sheets.


You can find additional resources and more about Bookstart from the national website.

Happy reading, singing and rhyming together!



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