Free books for babies

book trust

BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity is giving away thousands of free books.

The charity has announced the two titles for this year’s Bookstart Baby and Bookstart Treasure packs. 123 Splosh by David Melling will be included in the Bookstart Baby pack, and Ed Vere’s Max the Brave will be in the Bookstart Treasure pack.

The Bookstart Baby pack is aimed at babies under a year and 600,000 babies will receive a copy of 123 Splosh book (published by Hodder) to keep. It’s a humorous way to teach babies about numbers and is fantastic for parents to read aloud with their children.  There is also a set of rhyme sheets and a booklet to help parents and carers enjoy reading with babies. Another 600,000 complimentary copies of Max the Brave books will be sent to three and four year old children in the Bookstart Treasure pack. This is given out by nurseries, children’s centres or early years facilities. Max the Brave (published by Penguin Random House Children’s UK) is all about a plucky kitten who wants to find a mouse to chase.

Both of the Bookstart packs are given away by BookTrust though local councils using the health visitor and health professional network and will go to over 1.2 million young children and their families to help them get to start loving books.

David Melling, author of 123 Splosh said: “I’m delighted that 123 Splosh has been chosen as the Bookstart Baby read. It’s a wonderful feeling as an author, knowing that over 600,000 families will be given your book to enjoy together. BookTrust do invaluable work, encouraging a love of books at the earliest age, and I’m proud to be part of the programme.”


Bookstart, gifts free books to children across England and is now in its 26th year.

Diana Gerald, CEO, BookTrust said: “Starting a reading routine early sets young children up to continue reading and enjoying stories as they grow, to find new adventures to get lost in, to experience the simple joy that a story brings. Children who read for pleasure, or are read to from a young age are likely to do better at school, as well as being more socially, culturally and emotionally prepared for life.”

To discover more about the scheme and the books, go to where Ed is reading Max the Brave; you can also win an original illustration from the book. Later in January, David will  showcase his illustrations and give advice for young artists.

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