National Bookstart Week 2018

Libraries across Cheshire West and Chester will be celebrating National Bookstart Week from 4 June, with range of exciting events to encourage families to have fun reading together, anywhere and anytime. National Bookstart Week is an annual celebration of the charity BookTrust’s flagship reading programme, Bookstart. 

The theme of this year’s National Bookstart Week (4 to 10 June) is ‘Bookstart Bird Boogie’. Children who attend any of the events will receive a free copy of the picture book A Busy Day for Birds by Lucy Cousins.

From Monday 4 June there will be free fun events around the borough for babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers and their families, at libraries, children centres, nurseries and bookshops.  Events will include stories, rhymes and lots of playful outdoors activities to inspire families to read together.  

Diana Gerald, Chief Executive of BookTrust said: “We are delighted so many children will receive a copy of A Busy Day for Birds to help celebrate National Bookstart Week. This year’s book is a fun, playful story that is perfect to share with all the family.”

Families should visit their nearest library or children’s centre to find out more about their local National Bookstart Week event. If families are unable to make it along to their local event they can join in the fun at home, with plenty of arts and crafts and games, all on the Bookstart website. Across Cheshire West and Chester events include:

Monday 4 June 10.30am to 12pm - Northwich Library at Grozone Community Garden
Join Bookstart Bear at the community garden for rhymes and stories, join in with the' Bird Boogie'.

Tuesday 5 June, 10.30am - Helsby Library
Bookstart Bear event. Visit from several preschools, meet Bookstart Bear, with rhymetime and crafts.

Tuesday 5 June, 1pm to 3pm - Ellesmere Port Library at Whitby Park
Celebrate National Bookstart Week with stories, rhymes, games and crafts. Fun in the park with Ellesmere Port Library and Stanlaw Abbey Children’s Centre.

Thursday 7 June, 10.30am to12pm - Winsford Town Park
Stories, rhymes and a Bird Boogie in the park (if raining in Winsford library) Enjoy the newly designed park with stories, rhymes and a bird hunt.

Friday 8 June, 11am to 1pm - Westminster Park
Bookstart party in the park (if raining in Lache Library) Plus activities and rhymes with Children's centres.

Toy sleepover events
In a first for Cheshire West and Chester libraries, there will also be “toy sleepovers” at several branches. Children are invited to bring in a teddy bear or other cuddly toy. The toy will then stay overnight at the library. The staff will stage photographs of the toy reading with other toys and getting up to various activities. When the children come to collect the toy, they’ll be presented with photos of what toy got up to during the stay, a certificate and a recommendation of a book that the toy enjoyed reading during their stay. Sleepovers are at Barnton, Frodsham, Great Boughton, Neston, Sandiway, Wharton and Winsford. Ask at the relevant branch for more details.

Rhymetimes and crafts
  • Monday 4 June. Crafty Little Owls, 2.15 to 3pm, Great Boughton Library. “Help your owlets make an owl mask. Also a story and songs to twit twoo to.”
  • Tuesday 5 June: 11am to 11.30am. “Bookstart Bird Boogie Storytime and Crafts” - stories and songs with a bird theme, followed by an interactive craft to take home 
  • Wednesday 6 June. BookStart storytime, Great Boughton Library, 2.30 to 3pm. Stories and songs with a bird theme.
  • Thursday 7 June. BookStart Rhymetime, 2.30 to 3pm, Barnton Library. Movement and rhymes for your busy bird.
  • Thursday 7 June: 10.30am to 11am, 11.30am to 12 noon. “Bookstart Baby Birds Boogie” –songs with a bird theme followed by a parent and baby friendly craft to take home.
  • Thursday 14 June. BookStart Bear Rhymetime, 10am, Little Sutton Library
  • Friday 15 June. BookStart Bear Rhymetime, 10am, Hope Farm Library
National Bookstart Week

Cheshire West Libraries have organised a series of events to coincide with the forthcoming centenary of the end of the First World War.

Wednesday 7 November

Northwich Library, 10am-12pm: First World War Centenary coffee morning

Northwich Library will be hosting a coffee morning with representatives from the local Royal British Legion coming along to provide information and chat to customers about the Centenary.

Saturday 10 November

Barnton Library, 10am-1pm: Drop-in “Memory Morning”

Community event for residents to share their war-time memories of Barnton and learn more about the village’s history.

Tuesday 13 November

Helsby Library, 2.30pm: Researching Your Ancestors with Owen Powell.

Learn how to undertake genealogical research to trace your family story including where to start; which websites to use; searching the archives and dating photographs. Tickets are £3 - available from Helsby Library or via

Frodsham Library, 7pm: Home Service during the Great War

Millions of men and women were engaged in Home Service activities that were vital for the war effort. Join Owen Powell to find out more about this forgotten aspect of the Great War. Tickets are £3 - available from Frodsham Library or via

Thursday 8 November

Lache Library, 5.30pm: The Home Front in Cheshire & Wirral towards the End of the First World War

Mike Royden will talk about the impact of the First World War on local communities in Wirral and Cheshire, not only on the men and women directly involved in the conflict but also on those at home and the effects of the War in the years after it ended. Tickets are £5 - available from Lache Library or via

Friday 9 November

Neston Library, 5.30pm: The Home Front in Cheshire & Wirral towards the End of the First World War

Mike Royden will talk about the impact of the First World War on local communities in Wirral and Cheshire, not only on the men and women directly involved in the conflict but also on those at home and the effects of the War in the years after it ended. Tickets are £5 - available from Neston Library or via

There are also wonderful collections and displays in the following libraries:

Barnton Library - a collection of First World War memorabilia and related local history books is on display as well as an art display of poppies arranged and curated by Jackie Ormarod and the members of the library knitting group.

Helsby Library – a large display is available detailing how the war impacted on Helsby and details of the Helsby men who died in the First World War.

Neston Library - 'Great War - Neston Remembers' exhibition provided by Burton and Neston History Society is on display at Neston Library. The display illustrates how the war impacted on the everyday lives of Neston’s residents. As part of the exhibition there is a special collection about 170 individuals connected to Neston, who died in the First World War, diligently researched by Ian Norris. This is a unique and significant piece of work and will be of great interest to people from Neston and surrounding areas.

Northwich Library - A commemorative poppy display is in the entrance to the library, featuring a selection of books and a waterfall of poppies, all hand-made and created by the library craft group and other local community groups from Northwich town centre.

Sandiway Library - A commemorative book and photographic display relating to Sandiway community members involved in the First World War is available. The library is also decorated with poppy bunting designed and donated by the children and local craft groups who attend the library. A commemorative  Tommy figurine is also on display outside the library, by the Royal British Legion and the Parish Council.

Winsford Library – A display commemorating the Great War is on loan to the library from Crosshatch Gallery and Winsford History Society. Included are excerpts from Private Frederick Shaw’s Gallipoli campaigns diary (not originals); Private Shaw was based with the Royal Marine Light Infantry during the First World War and his name is inscribed on Winsford’s War Memorial.

Wharton, Weaverham and Great Boughton Libraries also have book displays themed around the First World War Centenary.

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