PICTURE GALLERY: Rhyme time for Norwich tots at Millennium Library

Beaming at the sight of books, these cute tots are taking their first steps in what could be a life-long love of libraries.

They were only born a few months ago, but Norwich Millennium Library's youngest members, who are all under 15-months-old, are already meeting every Tuesday afternoon for nursery rhymes and singing.

Children's librarian Rachel Payton said it was important to get children picking up books as early as possible to start the reading habit.

'It is beneficial because they use different words and language,' she said. 'If children don't hear words and speech they don't learn to speak properly themselves.

'Parents and children are used to sharing songs and it is immediately beneficial because it helps to create a bond between the parent and child.


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'Anything that makes reading an enjoyable experience is going to start the reading habit.' The sing-a-long sessions mix traditional nursery rhymes and less well known songs to expose the tots to a range of language.

The sessions, which have been running since the library opened, have proved so popular that reading times are now split into different sessions according to age.

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Rachel added: 'We use basic books with very small children so they get used to seeing and feeling them.

'Then, as they get older, we introduce picture books and build up to stories.'

The sessions are run as part of the national Bookstart campaign which gives children book packs at six months old, after research showed that children who do not handle books early on in life are more likely to fall behind at school.

To find out when the next story session for your child is visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/Leisure_and_culture/ Libraries/Branch_libraries

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Contact reporter Tom Bristow on 01603772313 or email tom.bristow@archant.co.uk

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