Saturday, 25 June 2011

Two free books for every child starting school in England - Booktrust 2011 titles revealed

1.38 million books for free from Booktime: two free books for every child starting school in England
Booktrust and Pearson announce an elephant story you’ll never forget

Booktrust and Pearson today announce the 2011 titles for Booktime, which is offering two free books to every child starting school in England this autumn: Tinga Tinga Tales - Why Elephant has a Trunk, from the Puffin imprint of Penguin, and Face Painting, from Pearson UK, marking the first time Pearson's education business has provided books for Booktime.

690,000 children in reception classes will receive a free book pack in their first term of primary school, each pack containing two books to keep. In total 1.38 million books will be given away, weighing the equivalent of more than 20 African elephants.

The book packs are given away through Booktime, the national free books programme for reception-aged children. Booktime aims to inspire a lifelong love of reading by encouraging families to have fun reading together.
Peter Hughes, head of corporate responsibility at Pearson, said:
“A passion for reading is one of the greatest gifts we can give. Good reading skills are the basic cornerstone that helps all of us progress throughout our lives. Books inform, educate, but also inspire. Good reading starts early. Booktime is an incredibly important programme as through it, we and Booktrust offer a gift of inspiring books and, more importantly, another way for teachers, families and Pearson volunteers to help hook the next generation on reading.”

This year’s story book is Why Elephant has a Trunk (Puffin), from the Tinga Tinga Tales series created by Claudia Lloyd. Why Elephant has a Trunk is a lively, laugh-filled story ideal to read aloud. Families will discover the fable of how Elephant got his trunk in a mishap with a very snappy crocodile and find out how he puts his new nose to great use. Its vibrant illustrations inspired by the Tingatinga artwork of Tanzania make Why Elephant has a Trunk an exciting and engaging title for families to enjoy reading together.

For the first time, book packs will also contain a title from Pearson UK, the education business. Face Painting (part of the Rigby Star series) is a non-fiction book to share, with colourful photos of children with their faces painted. There’s a design every child will enjoy, from a beautiful butterfly to a fearsome pirate and a scary monster. Face Painting, by Monica Hughes, lets children have a go at sharing a book with an adult by describing what they see and reading the words they know.

Viv Bird, CEO of Booktrust, said:
“Booktrust is tremendously proud to work with Pearson to bring these wonderful titles into hundreds of thousands of homes, encouraging more family reading. Booktime, now in its sixth year, continues to give magical books to children at an important time for them as they start formal education, signalling the continuing importance of reading for pleasure as well as for learning.”

Tinga Tinga Tales series creator Claudia Lloyd, Head of Animation and Childrens at Tiger Aspect Production, said:
“It is very exciting to have the Tinga Tinga Tales book Why Elephant has a Trunk included in 2011’s Booktime packs for reception-aged children. We very much hope families will enjoy sharing this book, inspired by a traditional story from Africa, and that Booktime’s celebration of shared reading will be as big a success as ever. It is a real honour to be associated with the long list of fantastic children’s authors and illustrators whose titles have been given to millions of children through Booktime since 2006, most recently the brilliant Ed Vere and children’s books legend Eric Carle.”

Booktime will be supported by a range of downloads and games on the website:

Other blogposts you may be interested in :


  1. Sorry, but shouldn't it be Why AN Elephant has a Trunk? (Perhaps there is a character in Tinga Tales called Elephant.) And how exactly does 'Face Painting' give a five year old child a passion for reading?

  2. Tinga Tinga Tales (the books are based on the kids TV programme) present traditional African tales that "explain" why all the different animals are the way they are.

    As for the face painting, I suppose it's good for reluctant readers or non-readers. It may not give them a passion for reading but it will help to give them a passion for books, which is just as good.

  3. I think a scehme like this is agreat idea. I remember a scheme when I was younger than rewarded you for reading a certain amount of books and getting a medal at the end of it. I did wonder if some had cheated on it to get higher medals however¬!

  4. I think the scheme is a great idea too. @maisietoo

  5. My DD starts school full time in September, she will be really pleased to get these

  6. schemes like this are great

  7. My son starts school in September so he will receive these, Ithink it's a great idea, he loves books

  8. This is a great scheme. I loved reading when I was younger and was encouraged to do so from a young age and I'd like to think my child(ren) are encouraged in the same way in this age of computer games and kids tv channels.

  9. I think any scheme that encourages children to read and enjoy books is brilliant.My little boy starts in reception in September and I look forward to receiving and reading the books to him.