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Free books on offer to mark National Bookstart Week

Published on Thursday, May 31, 2018

YOUNG children and their families who attend any of the city council’s Toddler Time reading events next week will get a free book to mark National Bookstart Week.

From 4-10 June, pre-school children attending Toddler Time at any of the city’s libraries will receive a copy of the picture book A Busy Day for Birds by Lucy Cousins.

National Bookstart Week celebrates the Book Trust’s flagship reading programme, Bookstart, which 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.

Toddler Times are free storytelling and activity sessions for under-fives held every week in city libraries, featuring songs, rhymes and stories. They are free to attend and encourage families to spend time together with books and stories.

They’re just part of the initiatives the city’s library service takes part in to help instill a love of reading in children. Others include Time To Read, in conjunction with Bookstart, which gives reading packs to children in their foundation year at primary school.

In total, more than 13,000 Bookstart packs were given out to babies and young children in Leicester last year.

Library Bookstart staff deliver more than 150 storytelling sessions a year in a variety of family settings, including schools, libraries and children’s centres.

Cllr Kirk Master, assistant city mayor responsible for neighbourhood services, said: “Our Toddler Times at city libraries are always very popular, and they play an important part in encouraging families to read together. It’s great that next week’s events will include giving out free books to mark National Bookstart Week.”

Toddler Time takes place next Monday, 4 June, at Fosse Library from 1-3pm.

On Tuesday (5 June) from 10am-12noon, Toddler Time will be at Aylestone, Belgrave, Evington, Highfields and the Pork Pie libraries.

On Wednesday (6 June), Toddler Time is at the Brite Centre from 9.30-11.30am, at Westcotes Library from 10am-11.30am and at Hamilton and Knighton libraries from 10am-12noon.

Thursday’s sessions take place at Beaumont Leys Library from 9.30-11am, New Parks Library from 9.30-11.30am and St Barnabas Library from 10am-12noon.

And on Friday (8 June), Toddler Time is at Rushey Mead and Leicester Central libraries from 10am-12noon.

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