Free books to encourage reading in 3-4 years olds

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Thousands of South Yorkshire school children are set to receive a free picture book, to encourage them to read with their parents for pleasure.

The giveaway is part of celebrations to mark the tenth anniversary of Booktime - an annual book-gifting programme from Britain’s largest reading charity Book Trust.

The programme has gifted more than 11 million free books to children in England, aged 4-5 years, since it was established in 2006. The aim is to encourage reading for pleasure at home and at school, starting in the first school year.

Book Trust Chief Executive, Diana Gerald, said: “It’s great to know that every reception age child in the region will get a really wonderful storybook to enjoy reading at home with their family.

“We know that children who read with their parents, or carers, at home do better at school and are more socially, culturally and emotionally prepared for life. That’s why Booktime is so important! It brings a fantastic new book into every family home, along with fun games, and ideas to help the whole family enjoy it and reap the full benefits.”

Distributions of the award-winning Nosy Crow title, ‘Open Very Carefully,’ by Nicola O’Byrne, will begin this week and will reach all 700,000 reception age children in the country by December. The book is a funny, interactive story about a grumpy crocodile that has ended up in the wrong book. He proceeds to eat his way out as he tried to escape a storybook that is all wrong for him, but hilarious fun for the reader.

Kate Wilson, Managing Director of Nosy Crow publishers, said: “We are so proud of the selection of Open Very Carefully, which validates what we’re always trying to do with our books.”