Youngsters across the UK are benefiting from a free book scheme set up by country music superstar Dolly Parton.
The country singer originally set up her Imagination Library in America. Since 2007, she has been sending free books to under-5s across the UK, and a new survey shows it’s having a positive effect on kids’ reading habits.
The survey of 500 families involved in the scheme – which sees local sponsors such as councils pay for children in their community to receive the books – revealed that 80% of parents now read to their children at least 4 or 5 times a week.
“From grandmas and grandpas to older brothers and sisters, it’s great to see that everyone is playing their part to help kids develop a love of reading from the earliest age possible,” said Dolly.
According to the poll, the most popular books are interactive or lift-the-flap books, followed by stories about animals.
When it comes to themes, nursery rhymes were top, followed by fairy tales, then books about trucks and cars.
This summer, the scheme will start sending books to 3,300 children in care in Scotland, in partnership with the Scottish Book Trust.