Bookstart aims to provide free reading packs for all babies and support reading and literacy for pre-school children.

Bookstart is a national programme run by Booktrust - the UK’s largest children’s reading charity. It aims to encourage all parents and carers to enjoy books with their children from as early an age as possible.

How Bookstart works

In Leicestershire, the library service works together with health professionals and early years settings such as nurseries, pre-schools, and children’s centres to make sure every child received their book pack.

Baby pack

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The Bookstart Baby Pack is for babies aged 0-12 months and it is available from your health visitor. More information including book suggestions and rhyme videos can be found on My baby bag page.

Children with additional needs packs

Bookstart additional needs packs are for children 0-5 years who may need extra support to develop a love of books and reading, and guidance for parents and carers.

The packs include:

  • Booktouch - if your child has a visual impairment
  • Bookshine - if your child has a hearing impairment
  • Bookstart Star - if your child has fine motor skills development needs

Dual language

Your child can also have a dual language picture book if English isn’t your first language.

Wriggly Readers

Some of our libraries offer relaxed, friendly, story and rhyme sessions for babies and toddlers. They are a chance to have fun, share stories, songs, and rhymes with your child and meet other parents. Sessions last 30 minutes to 1 hour. Please contact your local library for more information:

Find a library  


Please email for more information or queries about the Bookstart offer.