Posted by: Paul | September 22, 2010


Adam came home from nursery last Monday the proud owner of a ‘Bookstart treasure chest’. Bookstart is a great scheme – once a year, every child should receive, whether through nursery, pre-school, childcare or their local library, a parcel of books. It obviously aims to get kids into reading, and if you look at the statistics it has impressive results versus households who don’t take part in the scheme. No doubt the Government will bring the scheme to an end in the looming spending review, as they do with all Good Ideas Which Cost Money.

It’s all tied in with activities at local libraries too – I’ve written before about our ‘songs and stories’ sessions Adam and I attend every week. Its actual name should be ‘Bookstart Rhymetime’, for that is what it is – kids get given a card at the first session they go to, and fill it with stickers on subsequent visits, working towards a certificate – one of many different ones.

All these little incentives help carry the kids along, and make going to the library something to look forward to. In addition to Rhymetime, we often also go at the weekend. Adam loves everything connected to current TV series – Charlie and Lola, Peppa Pig, Thomas the Tank Engine are all regular visitors to our home in book form – but I try to slip in some classics from my childhood at the same time. It’s as much fun for me as it is for him to revisit the Mog books, The Cat In The Hat and Where The Wild Things Are, and we’re both thoroughly enjoying discovering the Julia Donaldson/Axel Scheffler books together (that’s The Gruffalo et al, for the uninitiated).

Its nice to see that some things never go out of fashion. Can’t wait to get to Roald Dahl, CS Lewis and the inevitable Harry Potter – though only having managed to get through Tolkien in my late twenties, perhaps we’ll shelve those for now 😉


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