East Riding Libraries are about to launch their new preschool readers scheme, Little Readers.

From Friday, 1 March,  parents can collect a FREE passport and bookmark for pre-school children and meet the gorgeous new character Hoot, the owl who loves to read.

Parents will be able to use their passport to collect a special Hoot stamp each time they visit the library and get a super certificate for every five stamps; there are ten different designs to collect.

Councillor Nick Coultish, East Riding of Yorkshire Council's Cabinet member for culture, leisure and tourism, said : "Reading to and with your children from birth is proven to encourage and enhance communication skills, develop speech and language, and increase emotional connections, and is related to literacy and reading achievements as they continue their educational journeys.

"The Little Readers scheme aims to encourage families to create positive connections with their local library and the idea of reading for pleasure from a young age."

Librarian Jess McCarthy added: "This scheme has been a long time in the making and we are excited to be able to offer something for our younger readers and families that will hopefully encourage them into the libraries, not only to read with us and share stories but also to experience everything that our library service has to offer. We know that visiting the library is a very positive habit to nurture and so we hope that this will provide a little extra incentive and excitement for everyone who takes part."

Alongside the launch, all East Riding libraries are taking part in Little Readers Week from 4-9 March; there will be Storytimes and Bounce & Rhyme sessions with a very special story about 'Saving Mr Hoot'. These sessions can be used to collect Little Readers FREE resources and learn more about the scheme and the benefits of reading with children from a young age.

Full details are at : www.eastridinglibraries.co.uk/littlereaders