Bookstart Programme


Merton Library Service supports the Bookstart programme, which aims to provide free books for young children.

Bookstart is a national programme that encourages all parents and carers to enjoy books with children from as early an age as possible. Working through locally-based organisations, Bookstart gives the gift of free books to children before they are 12 months and again when they are 3-4 years, along with guidance materials for parents and carers. Bookstart also aims to foster a love of books through a range of fun activities.

But Bookstart packs are only half the gift to children and their families. The other, more lasting gift is the message of enjoying books together.  


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.


Bookstart Treasure pack


In England, your pre-schooler will receive their special gift envelope when they are 3-4 years old, from their nursery, children's centre or other early years setting.

Inside is a picture book for you to share, plus a friendly booklet with tips and ideas for reading together.