Bookstart | Oxfordshire County Council

Bookstart

Bookstart inspires a love of books and reading.

mother child reading a book

Bookstart is a national programme which gives free books to all babies and young children at three years old.

Packs contain 1-2 books and information about sharing books with your child.  Baby packs are gifted through health visitor teams during routine health checks.  Treasure packs are gifted to children at early years settings at the age of 3 years.

Additional supporting resources are also available to support children who are deaf, visually impaired or have difficulties with their motor skills.

Pack Age group Where to get it
Bookstart Baby pack up to 12 months Ask your health visitor
Bookstart Treasure 36-47 months Ask your pre-school or nursery
Bookshine 0 to 5 years - for children who are deaf Ask your pre-school or nursery
Booktouch 0 to 5 years – for children who are blind and partially sighted Ask your pre-school or nursery
Book Star 0 to 5 years – for children who have disabilities that impact/delay development of motor skills Ask your pre-school or nursery

If you speak English as a second language, you can ask for dual language books (pdf format, 19Kb).

Bookstart for babies 0-12 months

Packs are usually given out to babies at around seven to nine months by the health visitor.

Bookstart Treasure for pre-schoolers 36-48 months

Most children will receive their Bookstart Treasure through their early years group, that is, their pre-school playgroup or nursery. If your child doesn't attend such a group, parents or childminders can request packs directly from the Oxfordshire Libraries Bookstart Coordinator.  Alternatively, parents or childminders can place an enquiry through their local library.

Bear's Reading Adventure

Bookstart Bear loves getting out and about and the library is his favourite place.  Some libraries have his sticker story book which babies and toddlers will enjoy.  They can collect stickers every time they visit their local library, borrow a book or take part in an activity like rhymetime or a storytime.  Parents and carers should ask their local library for more information. 

Rhymetimes

Bookstart encourages rhymes and rhymetime activities as these play an important role in developing early language skills in babies and toddlers.  This will give children a good start and prepare them well for school readiness.  Many Oxfordshire County Council libraries run free rhymetimes every week, sometimes more frequently.  For more information, view the What's On pages of your local library online at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/libraries or ask at your local library in person. 

Ordering Packs

  • For enquiries regarding registration for Bookstart resources please contact jane.mason@oxfordshire.gov.uk marked 'FAO Bookstart Coordinator'
  • If you are already registered with Oxfordshire Bookstart as a health or early years setting, and are requesting delivery of resources, please contact jane.mason@oxfordshire.gov.uk marked 'Bookstart' plus the name of your setting
Last reviewed
28 February 2018
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