At EducatorsDen we believe that fostering the love of books and reading from a young age opens up limitless possibilities. Every child should have access to books regardless of their socio- economic background.
There are many ways to find books to start your child on their reading journey. You should start with your local library but with local government cuts their range of books could be limited or out-dated. Most boroughs have more than one library and you should be able to use all of them on one membership card. This should go some way to give your child access to a wider range of books. Local charity shops are also an excellent source for children’s books which are usually in reasonable condition.
Another great way of finding books for children is to look online. There are sites which offer free books and those that offer an extensive range of bargain books. We’ve done some background research to find some of those sites for you:
Book Start– brought to you by The Books Trust, hand out over 2 million free books to children throughout the UK each year via your health visitor, libraries, schools and early years practitioners. When your child is a baby you will receive a purple gift bag containing The Book Start Baby Pack. This pack contains 2 board books, a rhyme sheet and tips and ideas on sharing books with your child.
When your child reaches the age of 3-4, they will receive the Book Start Treasure Gift from their children’s centre or nursery. The Treasure Gift contains a picture book and a leaflet offering lots of tips to help you get the most out of reading with your child.
Visit their website to find out more: www.bookstart.org.uk/about/packs/
Oxford Owl- at EducatorsDen, we strongly advocate getting your child acquainted with the physical feel of a book. Getting them to hold books and turn the pages play a big role in enhancing the reading experience. Having said that, we do understand that there are parents who use modern technology such a tablets and laptops to introduce books and reading to their children. Oxford Owl, brought to you by Oxford University Press, has over 250 free ebooks for you to read with your child. Their range covers picture books, phonics books and more
Visit their website to find out more: https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home
Reading Eggs- If you feel more comfortable using modern technology to introduce your child to the reading process, they offer a range of resources to get you started. With the help of primary school teachers they have developed a reading programme aimed at children from 3 -13 years old.They offer a subscription service but you can get started by taking a free trial to see how your child gets on.
Visit their website to find out more: www.readingeggs.co.uk
If you feel that the free websites don’t offer you the variety you are looking for there are a number of sites where you can pick books up for as little as 1p.
Amazon – stocks millions of new and secondhand children’s books from thousands of marketplace sellers. You can pick books up from as little as 1p plus postage currently at £2.80.
Visit their website to find out more : www.amazon.co.uk
Alibris – is a marketplace specialising in selling books from thousands of sellers. Prices start at 83p and shipping for books is £2.79. Visit their site to find out more: www.alibris.co.uk/
Oxfam Online Shop– apart from having shops on the high street, it has a range of new and second-hand children’s books on offer from £1.49. It is also an excellent place to find classic children’s book donated by generous benefactors.
Visit their website to find out more: www.oxfam.org.uk/shop
The Works – is a great source of bargain book-bundles. They regularly run ‘any 10 books for £10’ offers. Their site also provides an excellent range of arts and craft material which complement the books you can buy for your child. They offer free delivery on orders over £20 and a ‘click and collect’ service from over 370 UK stores
Visit their website to find out more: www.theworks.co.uk
Scholastic Book Clubs – has been specifically set up for parents, offering them up to 50% off hundreds of children’s books. Their book club is broken down into three age groups. Book Club Mini (for children age 0-6), Book Club XD (for children age 7-11) and Book Club Teen for those aged 11+
Visit their website to find out more: www.shop.scholastic.co.uk/bookclubs/parents
The Book People– carry a vast range of books for children aged 0 to teens. They offer free delivery on orders over £25. To start reader off as early as possible, they offer a 6-month baby book subscription service where recipients will receive three books every month for six months:
Month 1 you receive: Guess How Much I Love You, ABC Zoo & The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Month 2 you receive: Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, Peekaboo Hello You!.& Dear Zoo,
Month 3 you receive: Spot Loves Bedtime, My First Gruffalo: Hello Gruffalo & Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy
Month 4 you receive: Bright Baby: First 50 Words, Tales from Acorn Wood: Postman Bear & The Baby’s Catalogue,
Month 5 you receive: Peepo!., Goodnight Moon & My First Animal Friends Collection (4 books),
Month 6 you receive: Fisher Price: Lullabies and Nursery Rhymes Book and CD set, Noisy Farm& We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.
Visit their website to find out more: www.thebookpeople.co.uk
WHSmith – has been on our highstreets for over 200 years. They also have a strong online presence. Their children’s books range covers picture books, early learning books, activity books and more. They cater for all budgets. They currently stock over 200,000 books for under £5 and offer free delivery on orders over £25.
Visit their website to find out more www.whsmith.co.uk
Waterstones – is another longstanding face on our high street which has a strong online presence. They provide ample choice for parents looking for children’s books. Currently they stock over 200,000 pre-school books, over 38,000 books for children aged 5-8 and over 18,000 books for children aged 9-12 years old. They offer free shipping on orders over £20.
Visit their website to find out more: www.Waterstones.co.uk
We hope you will find our suggestions useful but please don’t hesitate to share your suggestions with other parents.