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OCTOBER 24

BOOKS FOR BABIES

A series of advert-style shorts illustrating how babies can enjoy books is being broadcast by BBC1 and BBC2 for three weeks. With Adrian Edmondson of The Young Ones playing baby, the 40-second programmes aim to show that sharing books with babies can be fun and can help your child enjoy reading in later life. Research has shown that children exposed to books as babies show significant improvement in literacy and numeracy compared with those who aren't. It has also revealed that parents feel they lack guidance about sharing books with children.

Viewers are also invited to send in a for a guide called Books Build Brighter Babies, which comes with a free baby book and colourful height chart. The guide will also be available in many libraries nationwide, often supported by activities on the Books for Babies theme. As part of the same campaign, stars including Linford Christie will read aloud in a series of five-minute morning story sessions on BBC2 and BBC Worldwide is launching a series of 10 animal-shaped books for the under-twos, each priced 99p (available from major retail outlets).

BEGINNING WITH BOOKS

The Scottish Book Trust has received funding to translate this booklet - which encourages parents and carers to share books with young children - into Welsh, Gaelic, Bengali, Chinese, Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu. Imaginatively illustrated, the English version has been a great success throughout the UK in supporting pre-school literacy initiatives. Translations, coming in the new year, are Pounds 1.50 each with discounts for quantity. Scottish Book Trust, Scottish Book Centre, 137 Dundee Street, Edinburgh EH11 1BG. Tel: 0131 229 3663.

NOVEMBER 5-7

SPECIAL NEEDS '98

The Business Design Centre, Islington, London. Among a range of products on display at this exhibition will be books, guides, software, CD-Roms and other products to help children with special needs to read. There will also be information on the Read-On Project, a sponsored read that can take place in schools any time during the year to raise funds for special needs children. There is also a seminar programme. For information, tel: 0171 565 7474.

NOVEMBER 9-21

The Northern Children's Book Festival Gala Day at the Redcar Bowl and Leisure Centre on November 21 is the culmination of the Northern Children's Book Festival, "the biggest children's book festival" in Europe. It is organised by 12 North-east library authorities. Free sessions with authors and artists, including Jane Hissey, Shoo Rayner and Jacqueline Wilson, will be held on November 21. Send SAE to Leisure and Libraries Dept, Redcar and Cleveland House, PO Box 86, Kirkleatham Street, Redcar TS10 1XX. Tel: 01642 444320.

NOVEMBER 21

HOOKED ON BOOKS: CONFIRMING THE STORY HABIT

Institute of Education, London. Organised by the Primary Education Academic Group, this is a day of presentations, workshops and displays for teachers, governors, librarians and parents. Topics include the literacy hour, stories and emotional development and the use of folktales and legends. Enquiries to: Paula Larkins, Conference Office, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H OAL. Tel: 0171 612 6403.

BT READING CHALLENGE

This is sponsored by BT and co-ordinated by the Campaign for Learning and the National Literacy Trust, and is offering Pounds 100,000 of awards for innovative and imaginative reading projects in the UK. Eligible schemes can be in or out of school and "no project is too large or too small," say the organisers. The closing date is February 26. To apply for your registration pack or to discuss ideas, phone Toby Greany at the Campaign for Learning on 0171 930 1111 (e-mail: tgreany@cflearning.org.uk) or write to BT Reading Challenge, co Campaign for Learning, 19 Buckingham Street, London WC2N 6EF.

WELL WORTH READING

Resources including posters, review leaflets, bookmarks, stickers and ideas on how to make best use of them will be available next March from Well Worth Reading, the collaborative scheme funded by Dorset, Hampshire and West Sussex county libraries. For details and sample packs, contact: Miranda McKearney. Fax 01962 853747 or e-mail: miranda@quarryroad.demon.co.uk.

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