nationallibrariesdayToday is National Libraries Day and I can think of no better way to celebrate than to take children to visit their local libraries. Even better, it is the perfect opportunity for a child’s first ever visit to a library and hopefully to instill a lifelong habit. I still remember being taken to the library as a child. I bet you do too!
If anyone needs an incentive to take their under-fives to the library, Booktrust, in collaboration with Igloo Books, has produced a sticker storybook featuring their well-known blue Bookstart Bear going a reading adventure which is available free from public libraries for families with children aged 0-5.

Bear's Reading Adventure - book jacketWritten by Booktrust’s Director if Engagement & Marketing and author Gemma Malley and illustrated by Jo Byatt, Bear’s Reading Adventure is bright  and full of positive images about reading; not simply book sharing but also how books can be useful to children and parents in every day life: following instructions in a recipe book as well as how a book can keep a child amused whilst sitting in the trolley during the weekly food shop trip.  Also important is how not all the children in the library scenes are reading, and in fact some are playing musical instruments. These sorts of images go a long way at breaking the barriers that might prevent parents from taking their children to the library or reading with them.

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bear-bookstartChildren will get a sticker of one of the missing objects (there are ten in total) every time they visit the library.  Very much like the already established Bookstart Bear Club and the Book Crawl before it, the reward-scheme type incentive hopes to create that all-important habit of visiting the library regularly. After all, the first step inside is always the hardest to make. After that, a world of wonder and adventure awaits…