The power of a book

Early language development

Share a book with a baby and his or her enjoyment of the pictures, your voice and the physical act of turning over each page is all too clear. Emerging research continues to show that when it comes to language development, the earlier, the better. Reading aloud stimulates language development in children even before they can talk.

Emotional and social development

The process of sharing a book with a baby or young child supports a child’s emotional development. It helps trigger neural pathways which in turn support language development and communication. Pictures and words expand his or her awareness of the world and his vocabulary. Stories and rhymes engage and prompt delight, making him or her a participant and no longer a spectator.

Improved learning outcomes

The development of early literacy skills through early experiences with books and stories is directly linked to a child’s success in learning to read.

When books are readily available at home, children spend more time reading—with their parents or on their own—developing the literacy skills needed to succeed in school. This in turn leads to improved outcomes for all children, higher literacy and education rates, and stronger communities.

Addressing the ‘book gap’

One in four disadvantaged children across the UK has fewer than ten books of their own at home*.

Initiatives such as Bookstart and World Book Day make huge inroads into the ‘book gap’ that exists between the outcomes of those families with and without access to books. However, there is still a great deal to be achieved.

Poverty is by no means the only reason for a lack of books in many homes. Lack of time, negative experiences as a child or lack of confidence about their own reading skills can all undermine a family’s propensity to own books.

Who do we work with?

The Children’s Book Project works with targeted practitioners in nurseries and schools to redistribute your books to children across London and Oxfordshire. We work with those schools and organisations whose communities may benefit most from access to free books and help teachers to plan the most creative and enjoyable gifting to their children.

  • Primary schools
  • Nursery schools and children’s centres
  • Prisons
  • Women’s groups
  • Foodbanks
  • Anyone that works with children

Please consider donating any new or gently used children’s books to The Children’s Book Project. We will help to ensure that these are placed directly into the hands of those families that will benefit most.

*Book ownership, literacy engagement and mental wellbeing © National Literacy Trust 2018