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What you can borrow

Free books for children - Bookstart

Bookstart is a national scheme offering free books to children under 5 years old and advice to their parents on sharing books with children from a very early age.

Details about each pack are below. To order special packs or ask questions, contact the Bookstart Librarian for East Sussex.

Bookstart Baby Pack

Parents are given a baby pack by your health visitor at your baby’s 3 to 6 month assessment.

It includes 2 board books, guidance for parents and carers, information about libraries and an invitation to join your local library.

Books in other languages

Families, health visitors and early years providers can ask our Bookstart Librarian to include books written in English and a second language.

We offer Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Italian, Kurdish, Mandarin, Lithuanian, Nepali, Panjabi, Polish, Portuguese, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese.

Bookstart packs for children with additional needs

Parents and carers can ask our Bookstart Librarian if you need one of our special packs for children with additional needs.

  • Bookshine pack for deaf or hearing impaired children up to 4 years old. It includes touch and feel book with signing, a signing rhymetime place mat and guidance for parents and carers.
  • Booktouch packs for blind or partially sighted children up to 4 years old. It includes touch and feel and Braille books, advice about reading with blind and partially sighted children and lists of recommended books.
  • Bookstart Star packs are for children aged 3 to 5 who have disabilities affecting their fine motor skills. It includes a touch and feel book, board book, animal finger puppets and resources to help parents and carers enjoy reading with their children.