Any time is storytime

Read On. Get On. brings together a coalition of charities, organisations and individuals with the bold ambition to give every child a brighter future by ensuring that all children can read well by the time they leave primary school.

Hampshire Libraries is supporting the  national campaign to get all children reading well. It’s never too early to share stories with children, get them ready to read, and give them a better future.

We have collections of great books suitable for children in all of our libraries and Discovery Centres. To complement the books, we have put together a collection of eBooks on our Overdrive eBook site.

Take a look at our main Overdrive eBook pages and you can also find them in our eBooks for Children site.

You will find recommended titles in both print and audio formats, all of which can be borrowed free of charge.



School Days

School plays a huge part in most children’s lives.  The idea of going to ‘big’ school for the first time, or of changing schools, can be a major cause of anxiety.  Sharing a book about other children’s experiences at school can help to make the experience much less worrying and get them excited about this new adventure.

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Starting School – Janet and Allan Ahlberg

A whole term of ‘big’ school, right from day one to the end of term Christmas play and party.
Age: 4+

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Billy and the Big New School – Catherine and Laurence Anholt

Billy’s fear of starting school proves to be groundless as he settles into his first day quite happily.
Age: 4+

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Dinosaur Starts School – Pamela Duncan Edwards and Deborah Allwright

Dinosaur is worried that school will be too big and too noisy, but all his worries about this first day at school are answered by his small friend.  A very reassuring story.
Age: 3+

My new school – Tom Easton

Tyrone is upset he will not be able to continue at his old school when he moves. Dad reassures him that he will make new friends. There are notes for parents and teachers at the end.
Age 5+

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My Stinky New School – Rebecca Elliott

Tony isn’t looking forward to starting his new school.  It stinks and he’s worried he won’t make any friends.  A funny and reassuring story about finding your way at a new school.
Age: 4+

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Silly School – Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick

Beth doesn’t want to go to ‘silly school’ whatever her family says until she realises all her friends will be there.
Age: 4+

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Chu’s First Day At School – Neil Gaiman and Adam Rex

Chu is nervous about his first day at school.  Will the other boys and girls be nice to him?
Age: 4+

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Whiffy Wilson, The Wolf Who Wouldn’t Go to School – Caryl Hart and Leonie Lord

Whiffy is certain that school won’t be as much fun as watching TV all day.  His best friend takes him by the paw and shows him just how wrong he is.
Age: 4+

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Little Hedgehog’s Big Day – Daniel and Heidi Howarth

Little Hedgehog is about to start big school, but the idea gives him butterflies in his tummy.  Is he big enough?
Age: 3+

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My First Day – Leilani Sparrow and Dan Taylor

A very simple, clearly illustrated book about a first day at school.  Could be used for a younger child starting nursery as there are very few words used.  A good starting point for discussions.
Age: 3+

Useful Organisation

Education and Learning in Hampshire
Links to all the information you need about finding a school in Hampshire and the school admissions process.

It’s Kicking off!

It’s the start of the football season and we have something for everyone this season at Hampshire Libraries.

Football Lovers…

If you want to brush up on your skills before the big game, or get yourself in the mood with a novel, here are a few suggestions for you.

The Football Tourist, Stuart Fuller

An ebook available free from our ebook service, Overdrive.

Stuart Fuller has spent the best part of the last decade watching football around the world. As the author of ‘Passport to Football’ he wrote the original guide to watching the game abroad and this is his follow up, ‘The Football Tourist’. Each chapter details a trip taken, beginning with a lost weekend at the Spakenburg derby in 2010 and ending in Dundee in late 2012. Taking in trips all over the footballing world, every story serves to both entertain and inform those who might wish to dip their toe in the football tourism pool. In a world where a trip to a Premier League game might cost a family the best part of £500, the Football Tourist urges you to try something new…

Football School, Jenny Cox

Something for the younger fans. Meet Josh, he’s off to Football School to train with a mix of young soccer stars. Although a great striker, Josh needs to overcome his nerves when it counts in his first match against the team’s biggest rivals. Football School is part of the DK Reads series, a three-level reading scheme of children’s short stories that help kids become confident readers, featuring engaging and illustrated topics. Interactive aspects such as football tips, team positions and referee advice which provide an element of fun while supporting the story and national curriculum.

Football record breakers, Clive Gifford

For those of you looking for a bit of inspiration. From the FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championships to the record-breakers of Serie A, the Bundesliga and the Premier League, football’s record-breaking stars are here. This book is packed with thousands of eye-popping stats about incredible trophy-winning teams and legendary goalscorers from around the globe, and contains all the need-to-know facts and figures from the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Library Press Display

If you want to keep up to date with football news from around the world, visit Library Press Display, another free service where you can access 4000 newspapers, from 100 countries, in 60 different languages!

Football Loathers…

If you need an escape, we’re here for you too! Here are some suggestions to help get you through.


Our free e-magazine service, Zinio, holds hundreds of popular, and more obscure magazine titles for you to browse at your leisure. Whether you’re looking for TV guides (so you can switch off the football!), knitting patterns, or classic bike guides, we have it all.

Help! I want to get fit, Katie Bircher

An ebook available free from our ebook service, Overdrive.

If all this football talk has got you in the mood for exercise, here’s something to get you started. Most people would like to be fitter, but where do you start? This book aims to provoke, prompt and persuade you to get fit! It provides information on losing weight, getting into shape and enjoying a healthy lifestyle with advice on exercise techniques, video reviews and diet discussions. Guidelines are given for choosing a gym and cheap ways to get fit as well as social exercises from line dancing to aerobics.

Audiobook Collection

If the mere sound of the crowd cheering is getting on your nerves, block it all out with an audiobook from our online selection with Overdrive. There are loads of popular titles to choose from, like recent blockbuster American Sniper, to classic The Hobbit. One click of the mouse, and you can listen to your favourite books, and you don’t even have to get out of bed, heaven!

Take a trip to your local library

If you need to get out of the house and away from the TV, you can always come down to your local library. We have loads of events, and there’s something for everyone, from crafts to computer lessons. If you’re looking for a new book, you can reserve it online before you go down, and check out our catalogue online to see our new titles.


Summer Reading Challenge continues to brighten our libraries

Kate Wakley, Library Assistant at Fleet Library, updates us on how the Summer Reading Challenge is going in Fleet…

“The weather so far this summer might have been a bit of a wash out, but that hasn’t put the dampers on our Summer Reading Challenge!

Here in Fleet we have had a fantastic uptake, breaking our own records on the first day with almost 250 children signing up. Since then we have had steady numbers and at the time of writing this update we have 1234 taking the challenge!

One of the highlights for Fleet is the wonderful Summer Reading Challenge tent that one of our amazing and talented staff members creates each year. This year we have a record breaking tent that would give the Guinness Book of Records a run for it’s money with the facts and figures displayed, and new feats are being added every week.

As well as Reading challenge medallists we had a crafty morning of record breakers. Families enjoyed making their own medals, the tallest and shortest people, and a cup and ball game to see if they could make their own record and then practice beating it.

We have had 103 finishers so far, their names are proudly displayed on our medal board, a sign of great achievement, not least as they have to follow the slimy Giant Snail trail to retrieve their medals. We look forward to that number increasing as the summer holidays continue.”

You can sign up to the Summer Reading Challenge at any Hampshire Library, to find your local library click here.

For more information about the Summer Reading Challenge click here!


Stories About Children With Medical Conditions

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It is often difficult for children with medical conditions to find children like them represented in the stories they read. These books might help children with similar conditions to feel they are an important and valuable part of the world.


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Oshie – John Blake

Oshie has Cerebral Palsy but doesn’t let this get in the way of helping his school win the Schools Football Cup.
Age: 7+

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Pea’s Book of Holidays – Susie Day

It’s the summer holidays, but things don’t go to plan for Pea and her sisters, but it’s not all bad news.  They make new friends (one of whom has hemiplegia), go on adventures, solve mysteries and Mum gets her new book written.
Age: 8+

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The Ghost of Grania O’Malley – Michael Morpurgo

Jessie O’Malley, a young Irish girl with Cerebral Palsy, fights to save a local landmark and befriends her cousin. An exciting story with ghosts and pirates.
Age: 7+