BookTrust to give away 450,000 books to celebrate 25 years of the Bookstart programme

LIBRARIES in Reading will be celebrating 25 years of Bookstart with bunny-themed Rhymetimes across the borough to mark National Bookstart Week 2017.

National Bookstart Week is an annual celebration of the Book Trust’s flagship reading programme.. The programme gives every child in England and Wales a free reading pack in the first year of their life, and again when they are 3-4 years old to encourage reading amongst families.

The theme of this year’s National Bookstart Week (5-12 June) is ‘Let’s Explore Outdoors’, and to mark this, children who attend any of the events will receive a free copy of the picture booklet  Everybunny Dance! by Ellie Sandall, rhyme sheet and bunny ear craft kit. Families will be able to enjoy this year’s celebration at a number of locations in Reading throughout the week:

Monday 5th June
9.30 – 10.00 at Tilehurst Library Contact. 0118 9015112 for information

Tuesday 6th June
10.15 – 10.45 at Caversham Library. Contact 0118 9015103 to book
10.00 – 10.30 at Palmer Park Library. Contact 0118 9015106 for information

Wednesday 7th June
10.30 – 11.00 at Reading Central Library. Contact 0118 9015950 for information

Thursday 8th June
11.00 – 11.30 at Whitley Library. Contact 0118 9015115 for information

Friday 9th June
10.15 -10.45 at Southcote Library. Contact 0118 5109 to book
11.15 – 11.45 at Battle Library. Contact 0118 9015100 for information

Lead Councillor for Culture, Sport and Consumer Services, Councillor Sarah Hacker, said:

“Reading to your children is one of the best bonding experiences that parents and carers can share with their children. National Bookstart Week is a fantastic opportunity to get children reading from a young age and it is brilliant to hear that Bookstart programme is now in its 25th year.

“I enjoyed Bookstart week when my children were little and I’m sure parents, and their children, across Reading will do the same”

Diana Gerald, Chief Executive of BookTrust said:

“We are thrilled so many children will receive a copy of Everybunny Dance! to help celebrate 25 years of BookTrust’s flagship programme Bookstart. It is important for parents and carers to find the time to read with their children, sharing the adventures that books can offer. Shared reading and encouraging reading for enjoyment from a young age can help children on their reading journeys and inspire a lifelong love of reading.

“Reading for pleasure has a dramatic effect on many life outcomes for children such as their well- being, confidence and educational achievements. Quite simply, those children who read for pleasure are more likely to be happier, healthier and do better in life than those who don’t.”

If families are unable to make it along to any of the events happening in Reading during the week, they can join in the fun at home, with plenty of bunny-themed arts and crafts and games, all on the Bookstart website at


Notes to Editors

Bookstart is BookTrust’s flagship programme and gifts free books to all children at two key ages before school to help families read together every day and inspire children with a rewarding love of books.
Throughout the year BookTrust gives free books to more 2.5 million children across the UK. Inclusive packs are also available for children in care, with hearing or sight impairment, fine motor delay or whose first language isn’t English.

Regular Bookstart-supported Storytime and Rhymetime sessions are held throughout the year in local libraries, nurseries and children’s centres.

Victoria Nickless

For media enquiries about this release email or call 0118 937 3957