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The Bookstart Scheme
The Bookstart scheme aims to promote a life-long love of books and is based on the principle that every child in the UK should enjoy and benefit from books from as early an age as possible

How will it benefit children?

Sharing books with babies and toddlers is a wonderful way to increase language skills and helps children to understand their world

The first five years are the best time for learning to talk and most of a child's language comes from the adults around them. Babies and toddlers who love books begin reading sooner and have a better chance at school

Three different packs of books are available for children between the ages of 7 months through to three year olds.  These are FREE and included guidance materials for parents and carers

Contact us, the Library or your Health Visitor for more information on the Bookstart scheme

Here are some stories and poems you can print

If you would like to add a story of your own we would love to hear from you

Click here to print
Once I caught a fish alive!
Then I let it go again.
Why did you let it go?
Because it bit my finger so!
Which finger did it bite?
This little finger on my right.

(This is a great counting song! Count with you child on their fingers and teach them to count to 10) :o )

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Halfway Down The Stairs
"Halfway down the stairs"
(written by A.A. Milne, sung by Kermit on The Muppet Show)

Halfway down the stairs is a stair where I sit.
There isn't any other stair quite like it.
I'm not at the bottom, I'm not at the top.
So this is the stair where I always stop.

Halfway up the stairs isn't up and isn't down.
It isn't in the nursery, it isn't in the town.
And all sorts of funny thoughts run round my head.
It isn't really anywhere, it's somewhere else instead.

Halfway down the stairs is a stair where I sit.
There isn't any other stair quite like it.
I'm not at the bottom, I'm not at the top.
So this is the stair where I always stop.

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Head, Shoulders, knees and Toes
Head, shoulders, knees and toes
knees and toes

Head shoulders, knees and toes
knees and toes

And eyes and ears and mouth
and nose.

Head shoulders, knees and
toes, knees and toes!

(this is a good rhyme to teach your child the names of body parts and if you both do the actions as you sing along it is a fun way to get them active!) :o )

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Horsey Horsey
Horsey, horsey don't you stop
just let your feet go clippety clop,
your tail goes swish
and the wheels go round,
giddy up, we're homeward bound!

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How The Dog Lost His Bone
One day the dog was nosing about the farm. He liked to poke his nose into everything, sniffing around here and there. He sniffed in the barn, he sniffed in the shed, he sniffed in the bedroom, and he sniffed in the kitchen.....mmmmmm......He could smell dinner!

"Are you in here again?" asked the cook. "Get out of my kitchen!" But the dog just sat on the floor and panted happily. "I can't make dinner while you're around?" said the cook. The dog just barked.

Finally, the cook gave the dog a bone, and pushed him out of the kitchen.

There was a hill not far from the house that would be the perfect place to bury the bone. So, off the dog trotted down the road.

He came to the bridge, and happened to look down into the stream. What did he see, but another dog staring back at him? GGrrrrrrrrrr.......said the dog, holding onto his bone tightly.

Now, you and I know it was just his shadow, but he thought it was another dog and this dog had a bone even bigger than his own bone!

"Give me that bone!" the dog barked, jumping into the stream. But as soon as he had opened his mouth to bark at the other dog, his own bone fell from his mouth and dropped into the stream, where it was quickly washed away.

It took some time for the dog to notice that his treasure was gone, because he was so busy barking at the other dog.

Eventually, it began to dawn on him that he was not coming any closer to winning. So he climbed back up on shore and shook himself off. When he realised his bone was gone, he climbed back on the bridge, and looked down at the other dog. The other dog's bone was gone as well?

He trotted back to the farm house to get another bone, but the cook had locked the door, and ignored his howls to come in.

Oh well, thought the dog, sometimes, it is better to be satisfied with what you have, and not to chase after shadows!

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I'm Hiding
I'm hiding, I'm hiding
They don't know where to find me
Mommy says he's in the pot
Daddy says oh no he's not
Maybe he's behind a chair
They take a look but I'm not there
I'm not there, I'm not there
They don't know where to find me
I'm hiding, I'm hiding
They don't know where to find me
They try the closet they try the hall
But little old me's not there at all
Daddy says we gotta think
Shh, says Mom, he's in the sink
But I'm not there, I'm not there
They don't know where to find me
Daddy scratches his head
Mommy looks under the bed
Then they open the drawer
But I don't know what for
Under the rug, behind the couch
Boy they nearly got me, ouch
That was close
I wonder if they saw me
I'm hiding, I'm hiding
They don't know where to find me
No one can find me, no one, no one, no one can
Oh boy,surprise!
They got me

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Incy Wincy Spider
Incy Wincy Spider
Climed up the water spout;
Down came the rain
and washed the spider out.
Out came the sunshine
and dried up all the rain;
So Incy Wincery spider
climed up the spout again!

(Do the actions to this rhyme with your child - it'll soon become one of their favourites) :o )

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Little Robin Redbreast
Little Robin Redbreast
Sat upon a rail.
Niddle, naddle went his head;
Wiggle, waggle went his tail.

Little Robin Redbreast sat upon a tree,
Up went pussy cat, and down went he!
Down came pussy, and away Robin ran;
Says little Robin Redbreast, "Catch me if you can!"

Little Robin Redbreast jumped upon a wall,
Pussy cat jumped after him, and almost got a fall!
Little Robin chirped and sang, and what did pussy say?
Pussy cat said, "Mew," and Robin jumped away.

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Mary Had A Little Lamb
Mary had a little lamb,
Its fleece was white as snow.
And everywhere that Mary went,
The lamb was sure to go.

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My Dog Likes to Disco by Kenn Nesbitt
My doggy likes to disco dance.
He boogies every night.
He dances in his doghouse
till the early morning light.

The other dogs come running
when they hear my doggy swing.
A few will bring their play instruments.
The others dance and sing.

They pair off with their partners
as their tails begin to wag.
They love to do the bunny hop,
the fox trot and the jazz.

You'll see the doghouse rockin'
as a hundred dogs or more
all trip the light fantastic
on the doghouse dance floor.

As last, at dawn, they exit
in the early morning breeze,
and stop to sniff the fire hydrants,
the bushes, lawns and trees.

I just don't understand it
for although it looks like fun.
I can't see how they fit inside
that doghouse built for one!

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My Magic Hat Is Marvellous By Kenn Nesbitt
My magic hat is marvellous.
It's round and rather red.
it looks just like a baseball cap
and sits atop my head.

The things it does are magical;
It helps to keep me warm,
and keep my head from getting wet
whenever there's a storm.

It's magic how it shades my eyes
and holds my hair in place.
And if I wear it backwards,
it reveals my smiling face.

It's magically adjustable;
just pull the little strap.
And yet it looks exactly
like a normal baseball cap.

It's powers are mysterious.
You simply have to see.
i'll gladly let you take a look
for just a twenty dollar fee.

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Row, Row, Row your boat
Row, row, row your boat
gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream

Rock, rock rock your boat
gently down the Nile
If you see a crocodile
Don't forget to smile :o )

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
If you see a crocodile
Don't forget to ... SCREAM!!!

(Sit on the floor facing your child, hold hands and rock backwards and forwards as you sing "row, row, row your boat.." but don't foget to sream as load as you can when you see the crocodile!) :o )

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Teddy bear, Teddy bear
Teddy bear, Teddy bear,
Touch the ground

Teddy bear, Teddy bear,
Turn around

Teddy bear, Teddy bear,
Show your shoe

Teddy bear, Teddy bear,
That will do

Teddy bear, Teddy bear,
Run up stairs

Teddy bear, Teddy bear
Say your prayers

Teddy bear, Teddy bear
Blow out the light

Teddy bear, Teddy bear
Say good night!

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The Lonely Starfish
In a sheltered pool of water, amidst the rocks at the ocean's edge, there lived a little starfish named Stanley. The water was always warm and salty where Stanley lived and his home made him very happy.

During the day, Stanley played in sand that glittered and sparkled in the warm sunshine. At night, after the sun slipped over the horizon, Stanley would snuggle up next to his favourite rock and fall fast asleep.

Then one day, Stanley noticed that although his home was cozy, there was aomething missing.

It was quiet, too quiet.

There was never anyone to talk to. There was never anyone to play with. The starfish realised he was lonely.

Stanley though about this all day long. When the sun slipped away that night he was lonlier than he had ever been before.

He moved over to his favourite rock and tried to snuggled down to sleep, but for some reason the rock now seemed to hard and too cold.

"If i just have someone to talk to," Stanley said to himself. "Then, I wouldn't be so lonely."

Stanley looked up and began to watch the night sky. One by one, bright, twinkling stars appeared, bringing soft to the darkness.

Stanly had never seen the stars before. He was usually sound asleep before the moon laid it path across the water. This new sight was amazing.

"That's it!" Stanley said, sitting straight up.

Why, I don;t belong in this little pool at all. No wonder I am so lonely, i must be a star that fell out of the sky!"

"But how will i ever get back up there?"

He could see the path the moon spread across the great ocean, and he deided that it must be the path back to the sky. He would just have to find a wa to that path.

All night long Stanley lay awake, wondering how he could get to that bright moon path. Stanley had never left his cozy little home. Finally he decided that he would somehow have to go out into the great ocean to find the path to the stars in the sky.

When the tode came in the next day. Stanley inched his way into the swirling water. The great waves quickly rushed him out into the great ocean.

Stanley rolled and tumbled this way and that in the mighty waves, and the trip nearly took his breath away. Finally, the swirling and turning stopped and Stanley drifted slowly down to the ocean floor.

Here the water was not nice and warm like his pool. It was dark and cold and mysterious.

Just then a school of fish surrounded him. Stanley thought that would be a good time to ask about the moon's path. But the fish simply ignored him and his questions and swam away.

An old sea horse watching from nearby bgan to chuckle.

"Silly little starfish!" he laughed.

"The fish learn in school never to talk to srangers. But if you want to know about the moon's path, I will tell you this, you will only find it at night."

This disappointed Stanley, but he knew it must be true, because he had never seen the moon's path during the day. Stanley decide to settle down in the sand and wait for night to come. He could use a nap after his sleepless night.

It seemed to Stanley that he had only just dozed off when he heard a strange noise that sounded very much like somebody shouting WAKE UP!

Stanley opened his eyes. A huge hungry monster was swimming right toward him, licking his lips and grinning. Quickly Stanley ducked into a big dark space under a rock and huddled there, shaking with fright.

When a voice spoke from behind him, he was so startled that he jumped straight up and bumped his head on the rock.

"It's okay now!, Calm down," the voice said.
"That big puffer fish must have really scared you! Golly, don;t you know a starfish should never nap in the open like that? You were awfully lucky you know! You almost ended up as that big fish's dinner!"

Stanley turned toward the voice and found himself face to face with a pretty starfish.

"Oh, thank you for saving my life," Stanley gasped. "I had no idea it could be so dangerous out here!"

And then Stanley bliked as he looked at the other little starfish. "But who are you? What's your name? Did you fall from the sky too?" Stanley asked excitedly. "maybe we can find our way back together!"

The new little starfish giggled, "My name is Marcie. Fall from the sky! What in the world are you talking about?"

So Stanley introduced himself to Marcie and explained how lonley his little pool was in the rocks with no one around to talk to or play with. He told her how he had seen the sky so full of stars and was looking for the moon's path to lead him up to his twinkling family in the sky.

"Oh Stanley!" Marcie giggled. "You don't belong int he sky! You're a starfish, just like me! Starfish belong in the water! Anyway, i'm afraid the moon's path would never lead you to the sky. The seahorse told me it's just a reflection of the moon on the water."

Stanley looked sadly at Marcie. "Then I guess I should go back home," he said, "but it was so lonley there."

Then Stanley began to tell his new friend about his quiet, safe home, the warm sun, the glittering sand and his favourite rock.

"That sounds wonderful!" exclaimed Marcie. "But why ever did you leave it? The ocean is full of so many dangers, and the sun hardly ever reaches the deep waters."

"You're right," sighed Stanley. "I don;t really want to stay out here it's too cold and dangerous. It's just that I was so very lonely back there by myself."

"I have a wonderful idea!" said Marcie. If you like, i'll go back to the rocks by the shore with you. I will stay and be your friend for always. We can talk and play togethre, and you will never be lonely again!"

"Will you? Really? I would like that a lot Marcie!" Stanley exclaimed happily. "We'll be best friends! But it's going to be high tide soon, so we had better hurry up if you want to get home!"

So together, Marcie and Stanley moved along toward the ocean's bottom, to where the swirling waters of the tide could carry them closer to shore.

They stayed very close together so that in the rough waters they wouldn't lose each other, and soon they tumbled safely back into Stanley's sheltered little pool amidst the rocks at the waters edge.

Stanley proudly showed Marcie around his cozy little home. Then, as the sun slipped over the horizon and the stars above began to fill the sky with twinkling brightness, Stanley and Marcie snuggled up to Stanley's favourite rock and they both fell fast asleep.

Goodnight Stars!
Goodnight Starfish!

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The Man In The Moon
The man in the moon
Looked out of the moon,
And this is what he said,
'Tis time that, now i'm getting up,
All babies went to bed.

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The Owl and The Pussy Cat by Edward Lear
The Owl and the Pussy Cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money
Wrapped up in a five pund note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
O lovely Pussy, o Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
What a beautiful pussy you are!

Pussy said to Owl, You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried
But what shall we do for a ring?
They saied away for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose
His nose!
With a ring at the end of his nose.

Dear Pig are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring? Said the piggy, I will
So they took it away and were married next day
By the turkey who lives on the hill
They dined on mince and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcibile spoon;
And hand in hand,on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon
The danced by the light of the moon!

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The Ugly Duckling Song
There once was an ugly duckling
With feathers all stubby and brown
And the other birds said in so many words said
Get out of town
Get out, get out, get out of town
And he went with a quack and a waddle and a quack
In a flurry of eiderdown
That poor little ugly duckling
Went wandering far and near
But at every place they said to his face
Now get out, get out, get out of here
And he went with a quack and a waddle and a quack
And a very unhappy tear
All through the wintertime he hid himself away
Ashamed to show his face, afraid of what others might say
All through the winter in his lonely clump of wheat
Till a flock of swans spied him there and very soon agreed
You’re a very fine swan indeed!
A swan? Me a swan? Ah, go on!
And he said yes, you’re a swan
Take a look at yourself in the lake and you’ll see
And he looked, and he saw, and he said
I am a swan! Wheeeeeeee!
I’m not such an ugly duckling
No feathers all stubby and brown
For in fact these birds in so many words said
The best in town, the best, the best
The best in town
Not a quack, not a quack, not a waddle or a quack
But a glide and a whistle and a snowy white back
And a head so noble and high
Say who’s an ugly duckling?
Not I!
Not I!

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The Wheels on the Bus
1.The Wheels on the bus go round and round,round and round, round and round. The wheels on the bus go round and round all day long

2. The driver on the bus says move along please...

3. The babies on the bus go waa, waa, waa ...

4. The children on the bus bounce up and down ...

5 The mummies on the bus go chatter, chatter, chatter ...

6. The daddies on the bus go stop that noise ....

All Day Long!

(Do the actions with your child as you sing the song together!)

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Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.

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When Saying Goodnight
When you're all tired and sleepy
And cosily cuddled up tight
Love is the very last cuddle and kiss
That helps you sleep safe through the night

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