Culturally Diverse Books to Share from Bookstart Bear

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Our planet is a big, beautiful place but, for most small children, their experience of it is limited to their immediate family and the places near their home.  Picture books can open a door to the wider world.

Some of the picture books in this collection show people living in other countries, some show the diversity of people living in our towns and cities.  You will find people of all colours, shapes, sizes and abilities – people like your family and people who may be a bit different.

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My Granny Went to Market – Stella Blackstone

Granny’s round-the-world shopping trip combines counting from one to ten with a light-hearted multicultural theme. She races round the world on a magical carpet, buying many things from the countries she visits.

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My World, Your World – Melanie Walsh

The world is full of all sorts of people, speaking different languages and living different kinds of lives, but deep down people are basically the same wherever they live.

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Off to Market – Elizabeth Dale & Erika Pal

Here is the bus off to market today, shiny and bright as it starts on its way, with Joe, the young driver, smiling with pride, as everyone stops to get on and ride.

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Peekaboo, Hello You! – Georgie Birkett

Where is everyone hiding at the seaside? Lift the soft flaps to look into the beach hut, behind the sandcastle, behind the boat sail, under the umbrella, and inside the towel to find the hidden children.

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Rattle and Rap – Susan Steggall

Rattle and rap, clickety-clack!  Follow a family on their train journey to the sea, passing cars on the level crossing, boats on the river, and lots of different people.

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Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes – Mem Fox & Helen Oxenbury

All over the world, babies are different. Yet in some ways they are very much the same: each one has ten little fingers and ten little toes – to play with, to tickle, to wave. And each child is very, very special to its parents.

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The Great Big Book of Families – Mary Hoffman & Ros Asquith

What is a family? Once, it was said to be a father, mother, boy, girl, cat and dog living in a house with a garden. But as times have changed, families have changed too.  This book takes a look through children’s eyes at the wide varieties of family life, from homes, food and schools to holidays, jobs and housework.

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Wait and See – Tony Bradman & Eileen Browne

It’s Saturday, and Jo has some pocket money to spend. So Jo and her mum go shopping, while Dad stays at home to make lunch for them all. But what should she spend her money on? She’ll have to wait and see.

Manbooker Prize 2016

Read the shortlist  for free with Hampshire Libraries.

Click on the title to reserve your copy and collect it from your nearest Hampshire Library. Let us know which is your favourite by tweeting us @Hantslibraries.

The sellout, Paul Beatty

A biting satire about a young man’s isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, Paul Beatty’s The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality the black Chinese restaurant.

Hot milk, Deborah Levy

Two women arrive in a Spanish village seeking medical advice and salvation. One of the strangers suffers from a mysterious illness: spontaneous paralysis confines her to a wheelchair, her legs unusable. The other, her daughter Sofia, has spent years playing the reluctant detective in this mystery, struggling to understand her mother’s illness. Surrounded by the oppressive desert heat, Sofia waits while her mother undergoes the strange programme of treatments invented by Dr Gomez. Searching for a cure to a defiant and quite possibly imagined disease, ever more entangled in the seductive, mercurial games of those around her, Sofia finally comes to confront and reconcile the disparate fragments of her identity.

His bloody project, Graeme Macrae Burnet

The year is 1869. A brutal triple murder in a remote community in the Scottish Highlands leads to the arrest of a young man by the name of Roderick Macrae. A memoir written by the accused makes it clear that he is guilty, but it falls to the country s finest legal and psychiatric minds to uncover what drove him to commit such merciless acts of violence. Was he mad? Only the persuasive powers of his advocate stand between Macrae and the gallows.

Eileen, Ottessa Moshfegh

The Christmas season offers little cheer for Eileen Dunlop. Trapped between caring for her alcoholic father and her job as a secretary at the boys’ prison, she tempers her dreary days with dreams of escaping to the big city. In the meantime, her nights and weekends are filled with shoplifting and cleaning up her increasingly deranged father’s messes. When the beautiful, charismatic Rebecca Saint John arrives on the scene as the new counsellor at the prison, Eileen is enchanted, unable to resist what appears to be a miraculously budding friendship. But soon, Eileen’s affection for Rebecca will pull her into a crime that far surpasses even her own wild imagination.

All that man is, David Szalay

Nine men. Each of them at a different stage of life, each of them away from home, and each of them striving – in the suburbs of Prague, beside a Belgian motorway, in a cheap Cypriot hotel – to understand just what it means to be alive, here and now.

Do not say we have nothing, Madeleine Thien

In Canada in 1991, ten-year-old Marie and her mother invite a guest into their home: a young woman who has fled China in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square protests. Her name is Ai-Ming. As her relationship with Marie deepens, Ai-Ming tells the story of her family in revolutionary China, from the crowded teahouses in the first days of Chairman Mao’s ascent to the Shanghai Conservatory in the 1960s and the events leading to the Beijing demonstrations of 1989. Forced to re-imagine their artistic and private selves, their fates reverberate through the years, with deep and lasting consequences for Ai-Ming – and for Marie.


National Non-Fiction November 2016

National Non-Fiction November is the Federation of Children’s Book Groups’ annual celebration of all things factual, with the whole month now being a celebration of all those readers, authors and illustrators who have a passion for information and facts.

For 2016 they are encouraging you and your reading group to create your own non-fiction books. You might decide to write a joke book, a craft book, or a local history book, you could team up with a nearby museum or visitor attraction to write a fact book about what you can find there. 

Our free eBook collection is full of non-fiction for children, teens, and adults, so give something new a try this month! Tweet us @Hantslibraries with your favourite non-fiction reads and suggestions of non-fiction titles you would recommend.

There is a free resource pack on the website, which will give you advice and help to plan your non-fiction book, a some ideas for activities if you want to get a group of you involved.

Not a member of a reading group? Don’t worry, Hampshire Libraries hosts a whole range of reading groups who are always happy to take on new members. Why not try one out? If you want to start your reading group, we can help with that too!


Celebrate your best loved books this Love to Read Weekend!

In this busy world, it’s not often we get the time to stop and reflect, well for Love to Read weekend on 5th & 6th November, we’re giving you the opportunity to share with us your favourite books. Share a photo of you and your favourite read on our Twitter page @Hantslibraries, in your photo, make an exaggerated facial expression to show us how your book makes you feel. Take a look at the example below for an idea.

It’s a great excuse to spend some time curled up with a good book, and join in this nationwide discussion.

To compliment the weekend, the BBC has a huge schedule of programmes featuring a whole host of well known personalities and authors such as Margaret Atwood, Michael Rosen and Andrew Marr.

As well as sharing your favourite books with us, we want to encourage everyone in Hampshire to read something different, so we’re inviting you to take a blind date with a book! Head down to one of the following libraries to grab a mystery book:

  • Winchester Discovery Centre
  • Chandler’s Ford Library
  • Andover Library
  • Basingstoke Discovery Centre
  • Fareham Library
  • Farnborough Library
  • Fleet Library
  • Gosport Discovery Centre
  • Lymington Library
  • Petersfield Library
  • Waterlooville Library
  • Eastleigh Library
  • Chineham Library
  • Tadley Library
  • Alton Library
  • West End Library
  • Netley Library
  • Hedge End Library
  • Stubbington Library
  • Lockswood Library
  • Aldershot Library
  • Yateley Library
  • Romsey Library
  • Totton Library
  • Hythe Library
  • New Milton Library

Come and join in the fun, and read something you might never normally pick up. When you’ve finished, tweet us the book title and your 5 word book review at @Hantslibraries using the hashtag #LoveToRead.

Half Term at Hampshire Libraries

Looking for ideas to keep the children entertained this half term? The weather is looking dismal and the frost is starting to creep in, but don’t panic! Hampshire Libraries are here for you, and the best thing about bringing them down to the library? There is so much for the adults to do too!

Pop down to your local library for more information on all the amazing events we have going on around Hampshire. Don’t forget, even if there isn’t a planned event, libraries are full of wonderful books, free Wi-Fi and more, a one stop half term saviour!

Check out our programme of events and have a look at the ones below to get you started, these are just a taste of what’s in store.

Charlie’s Story Telling Parties

24th October, Basingstoke Discovery Centre

Join children’s entertainer and actress Charlie Sanderson for a super 45 minutes of storytelling and other surprises! Charlie asks if all the children can bring along their own cuddly zoo animals from home to play with her and together you can include them in your story time.

Cat Care Talk

25th October, Basingstoke Discovery Centre

Whether you already have a cat or kitten, are thinking of getting one in the future, or are just a lover of cats, come along and find out all about responsible pet ownership and the welfare of cats.

The Wimpy Kid Show

26th October, Winchester Discovery Centre

A must for all ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ fans and great family entertainment. Host Alastair Watson brings the books to life with fun activities including The Wimpy Kid Draw-Along and The Wimp Wars! Quiz. The event also includes exclusive clips of author Jeff Kinney talking about the books, his involvement in the films and showing how he draws the characters.

Spooky Stories at Stubbington Library

27th October, Stubbington

Come along and listen to some spooky stories and take part in crafts.

Yucky Things!

27th October, Lee-on-Solent Library

Come along to our Half Term activity Yucky Things! Listen to stories, join in with crafts and sing some songs.

Space Activity

28th October, Petersfield Library

Join us for stories and crafts. Suitable for ages 4 to 8 year olds.








Get Online Week

The biggest digital inclusion campaign in the UK is back for 2016, and Hampshire Libraries is offering you FREE one-to-one computer sessions with our knowledgeable tutors and volunteers all week from 17 to 23 October. Get Online Week will see thousands of events take place in communities all across the country, showing people how the internet can make life easier, cheaper, healthier and more fun!


Just take along your questions, queries or problems and our tutors will help you solve them. Details of the sessions are:

  • Gosport Discovery Centre, Friday 21st October, 2-4pm. To book pop in or call 02392 523463
  • New Milton Library, Wednesday 19th October, 10am-2pm. To book pop in or call 01425 627013
  • Hythe Library, Tuesday 18th October, 10am-2pm. To book pop in or call 02380 841457
  • Fareham Library, Wednesday 19th October, 2-4pm. To book pop in or call 01329 284902

Just turn up with your problem or question and our tutors and volunteers will help you to solve it. All our sessions our free but booking is essential.

Did you know that your local Hampshire Library gives you access to computers which you can book online for FREE? Don’t forget all our libraries have Wi-Fi which is also free for you to use.