Bookstart stories

Hear from the experts about the importance of reading every day

Thanks to all the parents and carers who sent in stories about the positive impact of Bookstart and reading on their family

Boy reading a book


I have taken my son Sami to the local library since he was a baby and we are still regulars going at least twice a month.  When it is bedtime he gets so excited especially if we have not finished an adventure book and he really wants to know what is going to happen next.  I will never stop reading to him as long as he wants me to.

– Lindsey

Bookstart stories - Mahvash's daughter


 The bookstart packs are fantastic. Our little girl has developed an interest in reading books and it has really helped with her speech. Her favourite book is ''Dont wake the bear,Hare!'', a must read every night! Has got our 1 year old to love books as well!

– Mahvash

Bookstart Stories - Beena's daughter reading at the libraryI bought an electronic book for my baby when she was few months old and she liked to hear the music and I used to repeat what the book said then I bought a board book for her " black & white" and she simply loved it now she doesn't go to sleep without listening to it. Last week I got the free book samples from my health worker and that has got very good collection of books then I joined book start club it's amazing. My baby's grandfather said she is too young for story or rhymes books but she really enjoys her story time. I have taken her to my local library for story telling session she loved that session and I will take her again. I have ordered few more books for her and I am sure she is going to have fun listening to more stories.


Bookstart dad reading to his daughterWe have read to our daughter since she was in her mummys tummy. my daughter loves books and stories and our hope is that as she grows she will come to love words more and more like both her parents. its easy to see the benefit of reading from such an early age when your child relates stories back to you in the car or at other times.  it shows that she is taking in the words, even though she may seem to be distracted by other toys.  children are always listening.  try swearing under your breath and you'll soon realise there always listening. i work in early years at a childrens centre and love reading stories.  not just reading them but bringing them to life.  we often go to the 'wild woods' for a walk and see ratty and moley by the riverbank before looking for mr badger and embarking on a bear hunt.

– Paul

Dads reading to children at Fleet LibraryWorking at our local library today, I heard at least 6 dads reading aloud with their children, and choosing books to take home.  Reading heroes, every one of them! In the mayhem that was National Libraries Day, I managed to get a couple of images of Dads and their Lads visiting Fleet Library and Learning Centre.

The first image (Dad and two sons) is a family who visit us regularly, the image of dad and son on the red sofa are a family who have just moved to the area - great that they made joining the library a priority! So important that our boys, especially, have male role models when it comes to reading.  My teenage son has just been selected to help at a local Junior school to listen to help younger readers.  It's a regular link up between local schools and such a valuable experience for all concerned.

Sally in Fleet

Bookstart stories BethI don’t read at all, I find it hard work at times and I don’t want my children to grow up feeling that [so] started reading to Lottie as soon as she was born. I have taken my two children to our local library’s rhymetime sessions. With Lottie we started going when she was just two-weeks-old. The first couple of times she was asleep but very quickly you could see she could anticipate what was coming next in the songs. We’re reading the Hungry Caterpillar at the moment and she smacks her lips pretending she is eating too. The Bookstart pack was very helpful in particular the rhymes and receiving more books is always welcomed.

– Beth in Warrington

Bookstart stories Sarika daughterThe free book giveaways is a novel concept and got us started on reading to our baby. These books will always be treasured as my babies first books...I have also started picking up similar books and already my babies are having a library ...once my babies grow up...the same books can be cherished by others...that's the best part of hard case books.. I also like baby start interactive storybooks and rhythms which my babies love to hear in my voice.. Keep up the good work...

– Sarika in Milton Keynes

Bookstart stories Sarah sonBefore we had Henry, we never realised that you could read to even young babies.  We've been reading to Henry before each nap and before bed, from when he was about three months old.  Although he doesn't understand the stories, he can feel the drama of our reading and reacts to the scary parts or the funny parts of the books.  It's a wonderful time to get close and to wind down for sleeping.

– Sarah in Cambridge

Bookstart stories Kristi daughtersWe've shared books with Jasmine (now 4 years) since she was a tiny baby! She's recently started to let Willow, her sister (2 years) to choose a book and they sit together as Jasmine reads it!! Jasmine's already on the top level for reading in her reception class and has collected all 10 Bookstart certificates for visiting & borrowing books from our local library! We're very proud of her and her achievements. Willow became the youngest member of Harrogate library at 2 days old!! She's already showing a great deal of interest in letters and word formation! We all enjoy the regular storytimes at the library and have a bedtime story every night - we realise the importance of reading to the girls and the benefits are starting to show!!  :)


– Kristi in Harrogate

Bookstart stories Kelly sonsReading....rememeber when i couldnt even get my child to sit still, or go to bed. When I put my now 4 year old to bed he loves for mummy to read him a book, his two year old brother is still at that stage where he's just rushing through the pages. Reading to Ashton my soon to be 4 year old is the most wonderful thing, he has a favourite called 'the greedy bee'.  I remember laying in bed crying i was so happy we all including the nursery had concerns over his speech and i can honestly say reading him books  has dramatically improved. Because he wants to talk about the book , ask mummy questions and he can even tell me the story when he looks the pictures. We have a collection of books. I only hope my soon to be 2 year old william will be keen like ashton too. Its very special mummy and son time. Readings so important if every parent would spend an evening reading one book theyd see so much happiness  in their child and have a wonderful bond   

 Kelly in Plymouth

Bookstart stories Katie childrenI think reading is so important, you can learn so much from it. I promote reading to my children, as I want them to enjoy it as I do. With both my children, I read to them from babies. Both children are read to everyday, more than once, and always at bedtime. My 4year old reads to us as well. Its nice to sit down and relax with the children, looking at books.

– Katie in Birmingham

Bookstart stories Sharyn daughterWe have been reading with my daughter since she was very small, initially she was more interested in patterns and pictures, but now is really starting to get into the stories.    She especially likes ones with a repetitive line recurring throughout which she will copy.  A current favourite is nz story "kaha the kea" she loves to repeat the line "kea kea ahahaha".  We have also found that through books she is able to recognise animals and other objects and starting to say the words or make the sounds they make.

– Sharyn in London

Bookstart stories Tracey son

  Our son loves Dear Zoo, this has helped him learn all the different animals and he now tells us the story.

– Tracey in Hexham





Bookstart stories LenkaBenjamin was four-months-old when we started reading to him. From the age of six months he really started enjoying books and would bring us a book to read to him. His favourite book is The Little Reindeer which we read all year round. Daddy reads with him in the evenings when he gets home. It’s his favourite time. We got a Bookstart pack when Ben was nine-months-old at his health check-up. One of the books from the pack (Baby’s Day) has to come with us everywhere; it’s like a comfort blanket to him.


 – Lenka in Warrington