Children across Middlesbrough are being exposed to the joy of reading – with a huge consignment of free books.
The Booktime initiative will see every child in the town who has just started school receive a gift of two free books in a special pack.
The aim of the scheme is to encourage the youngsters to get into the habit of reading and to join the library.
Booktime has proved a huge hit in previous years, and this year’s give-aways are Why Elephant has a Trunk (Puffin) from the Tinga Tinga Tales series, and Face Painting (Pearson).
Most packs are gifted during a class visit to the library with a story-telling session and activity.
Middlesbrough Deputy Mayor Councillor David Budd said: “Research shows a clear difference in reading levels in those who are read with at home and those who are not, and it’s something that will stand our children in good stead for the rest of their lives.
“Booktime is such a success because it promotes reading for pleasure – and there’s no better way to do that than by giving books as gifts.”
Booktime, organised by Booktrust with sponsorship from publishers Pearson, has gifted more than six million books to families across the country over the last six years.