Please note: there will be no Bookstart Bear Club sessions in any of our libraries until further notice. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Bookstart Bear Club sessions inspire a love of reading that will give children a flying start in life.
What is Bookstart Bear Club?
Bookstart Bear Clubs are weekly sessions in libraries across the borough that your child will love. Sessions include:
- Themed stories
- Songs - with musical instruments
The Bookstart programme recognises that children who are introduced to books before primary school age will start school with significant advantages and achieve higher success in all parts of education.
All our libraries have wonderful selections of picture books, board books and story books for children of all ages. Library membership is FREE.
Sessions are presented by Irene Peachey, Early Years Library Worker and winner of a Bookstart 25th Anniversary Award.
Find out more about the Bookstart 25th Anniversary Awards.
What ages is Bookstart Bear Club suitable for?
There are 2 types of sessions:
- Bookstart Bear Club sessions are suitable for children aged 15+ months.
- Bookstart Baby sessions are suitable for children aged 0-15 months.
Where and when is my local session?
There are currently no Bookstart Bear Club sessions at our libraries until further notice. We'll update this page when we have further information.
Do you have your FREE Bookstart pack?
Every child in England is entitled to 2 FREE Bookstart packs. Each pack includes books to keep.
You can get the first pack when your child is around 6-8 weeks of age, usually from your Health Visitor. You can get the 2nd pack before your child starts school, usually from your child's nursery or preschool. If your child doesn't go to nursery or preschool, please contact your local library.
View your local library details
Do you have your FREE dual language picture book?
Families with English as an additional language can claim an extra FREE book with their child's Bookstart pack.
This book is available in a number of languages including: Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Croatian, Farsi, French, Gujarati, Hindi, Lithuanian, Mandarin, Nepalese, Panjabi, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Somali, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, Turkish and Urdu.
Please ask at your local library for more details on getting your FREE copy.
Do you have your FREE copy of Bear's Reading Adventure?
Children aged 0-5 can get a FREE storybook called Bear's Reading Adventure from any library in the borough.
What Bear's Reading Adventure is
Bear's Reading Adventure is a story which follows Bookstart Bear as he discovers new and exciting places to read.
The book was created specifically for families with children 0-5 years old and has been safety tested for babies. It contains tips on how to have fun reading together as a family every day.
Bear's Reading Adventure aims to encourage families to use the library regularly to develop a lifelong love of reading.
Collect 10 stickers to get your certificate
The storybook has 10 missing stickers for your child to collect.
Bookstart recommend children get their copy of Bear's Reading Adventure the first time they visit the library and then collect a sticker each time they visit the library after that.
When your child has collected all 10 stickers, they can download a certificate to celebrate their success.