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Bookstart gives a free book pack to every baby born in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

The aim is to encourage a love of books, stories and rhymes in children from as young an age as possible. 

Bookstart baby packs

You'll be given your free Bookstart Baby Pack in your baby's first year.

If you live in Bournemouth or Christchurch, you will receive a pack from the Birth Registrar when you register your baby’s birth.

If you live in Poole, you can collect your pack from any BCP Council library (including libraries in Bournemouth and Christchurch).

Packs for children with additional needs

Bookstart is for every child, so families are entitled to any of these packs in addition to standard Bookstart packs. To order a SEND pack, contact your local Bookstart Coordinator Katy Waters by emailing, or you can mention it to any of the following:

  • birth registrar
  • health visitor
  • health clinic
  • early years setting
  • local library.

SEND packs available:

  • Booktouch - for children who are blind or partially sighted. Available for ages 0 to 2 or 3 to 5
  • Bookshine - for children who are deaf or have a hearing impairment. Available for ages 0 to 2 or 3 to 5
  • Bookstar - for children with a condition or disability that impacts on the development of their fine motor skills. For ages 3-5 only.

Books for children with an additional language at home

Dual language books in over 30 community languages are available for children in families who speak little or no English. To find out which languages are offered and to place an order contact the Bookstart Coordinator Katy Waters by emailing

Babies can join the library from the day they’re born. It’s free for everyone to join. Babies and children will receive a warm welcome in the library – don’t worry if they make a noise!

Every library has books to share and fun activities for all the family, including Rhyme times, Toddler times and Storytimes.

Parenting advice and first issues and situations books are available to borrow in the children’s library.

You can find additional resources and more about Bookstart from the national website.