Tag Archives: National Bookstart Week

Fun times at Maida Vale Library!

We’ve been busy at Maida Vale Library –

We hosted a couple of activities to amuse the local children during the half term break.  On  the Tuesday we had a monster mouth event to highlight with National Smile Month, all about dental hygiene. After a story about a dinosaur who eats too many sweets and ends up at the dentists, we made some lovely colourful monster hand puppets from felt.

On the Thursday we had a dinosaur drawing workshop  – there were some very weird and scary results.

About 50 children plus their parents, turned up to the events. Thanks to Mina, our agency worker and our volunteer, Susan for all their help with the events.

And this we had a very lively under 5s event where we celebrated National Bookstart Week – everyone got copies of ‘Everybunny Dance’ by Ellie Sandall.

We read some bunny stories – “Where’s Peter Rabbit?”, and “Guess how much I love you” and the rhyme “Peter Rabbit had a fly upon his nose” and of course we played sleeping bunnies. After some major bunny hopping, the children made some bunny ears after colouring them in.

Don’t worry if you missed out, we have lots of events in our libraries for all ages, hope to see you soon.



Exploring other worlds with our children, it’s National Bookstart Week 2017

This week (Monday 5 to Sunday 11 June 2017), is National Bookstart Week and this year is an extra special celebration as Bookstart is 25 years old!

BookTrust, the organisation that administers the Bookstart programme, encourages children and families to read more. Over these 25 years, they have gifted more than 34 million books to children.

Bookstart currently gives free books and resources to every child in England and Wales, at two key ages before school, to help inspire a love of books and encourage shared reading.

This year’s special National Bookstart Week book is Ellie Sandall’s Everybunny Dance and many libraries will be reading this story and special rhymes to do with the great outdoors.  We have many copies of this book to give away.

Our libraries are running special events to celebrate for babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers and their families around this year’s theme, ‘Let’s Explore Outdoors!’

Special under 5s session at Pimlico Library on Tuesday 6 June 2017, 10.30am to 11.30am

They’ll be stories, rhymes and a bunny craft activity.

Special under 5s session at Marylebone Library on Tuesday 6 June, 10.30am to 11am and Friday 9 June, 3.45pm to 4.30pm

We’ll be singing songs and rhymes and giving out copies of ‘Everybunny Dance!’ by Ellie Sandall on Tuesday. And on Friday we’ll have super storytelling and a beautiful bunny ears craft.

Don’t worry if you can’t make these sessions, we also run regular events for the under 5s every week across the borough.

It’s never too young to share a story or a rhyme with your young ones so come along have some fun and start or continue your child’s journey to a life of reading for pleasure. Sharing stories is of huge benefit to children, particularly when done from an early age.

Children who regularly have books shared with them benefit in lots of ways:

  • better emotional health
  • children develop longer attention spans and wider vocabularies
  • it builds their language skills
  • and in the long term helps them to be better readers and learners.

All this by sharing a book together for a few minutes each day. Just 10 minutes spent sharing a story with a child each day can have a lasting impact.

You can hear Lauren Laverne read Everybunny Dance on the Bookstart website.

Nick Fuller
Tri-borough Libraries Children’s Services Manager

Reading superheroes

It was National Bookstart Week 9 – 15 June and children visiting Westminster libraries had lots of fun!

National Bookstart Week 2014

The message from Bookstart is ‘read with your child every day’. Just sharing a book for a few minutes each day can make a big difference to children’s language skills, and is also a great way to have fun with your child. Visit your local library for brilliant books to borrow and share together.

CSO Little visits Pimlico Library for National Bookstart Week, June 2014The theme of this years’ National Bookstart Week was ‘superheroes’. Children at Pimlico Library enjoyed listening to a story of Super Duck by Jez Alborough and got to take a copy home with them. After singing songs and rhymes, there were ‘quacktivities’ to take part in, including making a superhero mask.

Then they were visited by a real life hero, Police Community Support Officer Little (here he is with his copy of Super Duck!)

St John’s Wood Library also had a Super Week promoting Bookstart. There are three Under 5s Rhyme Time sessions at St John’s Wood every week and after each session last week staff spoke to parents and carers about incorporating reading into a daily routine, particularly at bedtime. The aim this year was encouraging reading to children no matter what their age: the sooner the better – one of the library volunteers used to read chapter books to his twins while they were still in the womb! Although some may consider this extreme, research shows how reading to children is more than speaking words on a page but is crucial to their development and makes it much easier for them to learn and succeed at school. Reading one-to-one also helps strengthen the bonds between the child and the parent. Of course our other constant aim as a library service is to encourage a love of reading, books and libraries which will continue into later life.

National Bookstart Week in Westminster Libraries National Bookstart Week in Westminster Libraries National Bookstart Week in Westminster Libraries

Bookstart is a national charity that gifts free packs of books to pre-school children. For more information on the scheme visit www.bookstart.org.uk

[Rachel and Natalie]

National Bookstart Week

It’s National Bookstart Week and this year’s theme is fairy tales!

National Bookstart Week 2013The Bookstart message of ‘it’s never too early to share a book’ is a fantastic way to help develop language and communication skills, build a loving relationship with your child and of course have fun.

There are events going on all around the country, and Westminster Libraries are joining in too – if you haven’t been before, why not come along to one of our fantastic Sessions for Under Fives.

Join in the rhymes, songs and stories with your child and help us celebrate!


Travelling with the Dancing Princesses

All Aboard at Queen's Park LibraryQueen’s Park’s new Children’s Library celebrated Bookstart week with  two special Under Fives sessions.

Following the theme of ‘All Aboard’, the children and adults sang songs about cars, trains, buses and boats – teddy bears sported sailor hats and so did some of the grown-ups!

The very next day the new Saturday Storytime was really well attended.

Saturday Storytime at Queen's Park LibrarySaturday Storytime at Queen's Park LibraryThe children were very attentive and joined in the telling of the ‘Twelve dancing Princesses’ (yes even the cheekiest boys!). Then, with a little bit of lipstick and paint-on moustaches, the odd gold crown and a couple of plastic swords all the children acted out  and danced through the story, much to the delight of their parents and carers.


All Aboard for National Bookstart Week

All Aboard for National Bookstart Week 2011Join us from Monday 6 to Sunday 12 June 2011 for a week of events celebrating the joy of sharing stories, books and rhymes.

Bookstart offers the gift of free books to all children at key ages before they start school, to inspire a love of reading that will give children a flying start in life.

All Aboard for National Bookstart WeekThis week it’s National Bookstart Week, and the theme is ‘All Aboard!’ Westminster libraries will be celebrating by holding themed rhyme times during the week. Watch out for special rhyme sheets, stickers and booklets to take home.

You can find details of times and places on our website. Hope to see you there!