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Children aged five and under

Children under five are very welcome in our libraries.   We have lots of books for younger children and many of our libraries offer free activities such as rhyme times.
There is no minimum age to join the library, the younger the better, sharing books with a very young child can have huge benefits for them.


  • Most of our larger libraries offer free regular activities for under fives such as rhyme and story times.
  • These are fun, friendly, free sessions that have a mix of songs, rhymes and movement to help with your child's language and motor skills.
  • There is also an opportunity for you and your baby to meet other families and learn new rhymes to share at home.

Want to know more?
In the download section you will find:

  • More information about rhyme times
  • Rhyme time songs

these may help or you can always contact your local library.

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  • As rhyme time sessions can be very popular please contact your local library in advance if you are planning to bring a group of children to a session
  • Please remember we are always happy to host a separate session for your children, where we can introduce them to the library and share songs or stories
  • Please contact your local library for further details
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Bookstart supports you to enjoy books with your child from an early age by inspiring a love of reading that will give children a flying start in life.
Bookstart is a national programme managed by the independent charity BookTrust dedicated to encouraging people of all ages and cultures to engage with books. 

Bookstart Bear Club is a fun and free club for all babies, toddlers and preschoolers that visit the library. Children get paw print stamps every time they visit the library and for every six stamps they'll be rewarded with a certificate (there are ten to collect). 

Bear's Reading Adventure rewards children aged two to four every time they visit the library and borrow a book. They are given stickers to go into their own special copy of 'Bear's Reading Adventure' book, which help to complete the story.


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  • You'll get your free Bookstart baby pack at your baby's six to eight week health check with your health visitor
  • Your three year old child will receive their Bookstart Treasure pack from their nursery, playgroup or other early years setting during the year they are three
  • If you haven’t received either of the packs,they can be delivered to the library for you to collect, contact your local library
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books under5s two libraries

Great story books for younger children

Finding the right book for your child can sometimes be difficult. Here are some of the books recommended by our children's team and other professionals.

Bookstart book finder

Booktrust recommendations

talk it over leaflet cover libraries

Talk it over books

  • These are picture books to help with new and sensitive situations such as family break-ups, bereavement or starting school
  • Many of our libraries have collections of "Talk it over" books, which can be identified by the teddy bear sticker on the spine or ask for a hard copy of our Talk it Over leaflet. This leaflet can also be found in the download section of this page
  • If your local library doesn't hold a copy of the title you are looking for it can be requested free of charge
  • Little Parachutes website is also very useful

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Last updated: 12 June 2017 | Last reviewed: 12 June 2017