Elephants, Empathy, E-books and Everything Else in between

So much more than just books...

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Use it, love it, join it

Bracknell Forest libraries

Everyone's True Colours




Have fun with Elmer this Saturday

Join us for Elmer Day on Saturday 23rd May. Follow our celebrations on Facebook with Elmer stories, fun and links to the very best Elmer's resources.

Download the brilliant Reading Agency Elmer pack, including great activity templates like:

  • Elmer's rainbow
  • Milk bottle Elmer
  • Elephant garlands

You can also play Elmer's Dice Game, learn how to draw an elephant or play hide and seek with Elmer and his friends.

Kindness Matters

Mental Health Awareness Week, 18-24th May

According to the Mental Health Foundation's research, 50% of mental health problems are established by the age of 14. Almost two thirds of children aged 9-11 say they feel stressed, sad or worried at least once a month. 

Kindness is the theme of this year's Mental Health Awareness Week. Reflect on acts of kindness and share your stories of kindness during the week on Twitter and Facebook using #KindnessMatters and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek

Also, the Reading Well scheme by the Reading Agency is aimed at children and young people to help them understand feelings and cope with tough times. It offers many reading suggestions and book recommendations.

mental health week


This year the Bitesize Parents’ Toolkit has been designed to help parents find well-being support, helpful advice and inspirational activities for themselves and their children during the lockdown. It signposts a wealth of resources, including some for children with SEND, from across the BBC and beyond.

You can also take on the BBCBitesize 7 Day Kindness Challenge:

  • Day 1. Make a cup of tea for someone in your family
  • Day 2. Send someone you haven't seen in ages a letter or postcard
  • Day 3. Donate food or clothes to people in need
  • Day 4. Bake a cake or some biscuits to cheer someone up
  • Day 5. Do a chore to help someone out
  • Day 6. Video call someone you know is feeling a bit lonely
  • Day 7. Be kind to yourself and spend some time on YOU!

Let's Get Silly This Summer!

silly squad



Keep your kids busy with the amazing Summer Reading Challenge

  • This year the theme is Silly Squad.
  • It's digital. 
  • It starts in June...and it is great fun and very silly!

Download e-books and e-audio books to complete the challenge. More than 2,500 children took part last year in Bracknell Forest...so we know you will be keen to get going this year. Details on how to take part to be announced soon.

If your children are not library members yet, please contact Bracknell Library for more details on membership.


Silly Reads

We have added some very silly and hilarious e-books to our digital collection, so you can get ready for this year's reading challenge. Login to the BorrowBox app on your phone or tablet with your library card number and PIN to get reading.

Silly Squad BorrowBox e-books


Read e-magazines for the Summer Reading Challenge

You can read anything for the Summer Reading Challenge, from books to e-audio books, from comics to magazines. So why not take a look at the children's magazines on PressReader? PressReader has loads of free digital newspapers and magazines to choose from, both for children and adults. Just login to the app or website with your full library card number (including the initial 633).

Children's Magazines on PressReader

Love to Learn, for Children

learning for children

Below our weekly selection of great websites for free learning for children:

Empathy Day, 9th June

Read, Connect, Act

Empathy is a vital human force, creating happier children, stronger communities and a better world. We've never needed it more than right now.

On 9th June, @EmpathyLabUK will be hosting #EmpathyDay to help everyone understand and experience the power of empathy through books.

Scientists say that we can train our brain with stories, as the more we empathise with characters, the more we can understand other people's feelings, and #Empathy Day involves many favourite children's authors, like Cressida Cowell (Children's Laureate) and Malorie Blackman (Noughts and Crosses), and illustrators such as Rob Biddulph.

The EmpathyLab have also compiled a set of fun activities for the whole family to enjoy! The activities cover #EmpathyDay's three themes - Read, Connect, Act.

Download the FamilyActivityPack.

empathy day


EmpathyLab reading list

The EmpathyLab have come up with 50 brilliant books which help readers develop empathy. Some illuminate the experience of people from a range of cultures or life circumstances. Others help children explore emotions, so they can understand how other people feel. Several reflect stories of our time. All are engaging and thought-provoking.

These books made us laugh, cry, and crucially, hope. We intend them to be behaviour-changing, as children gain insights into other people’s experiences and perspectives.” - EmpathyLab

Find out more:

#ReadForEmpathy is the hashtag to share your readings. 

empathy books


Empathy book recommendations 13+

Toffee by Sarah Crossman


by Sarah Crossman

When Allison runs away from home she doesn't expect to be taken in by Marla, an elderly woman with dementia, who mistakes her for an old friend called Toffee. Allison is used to hiding who she really is, and trying to be what other people want her to be. And so, Toffee is who she becomes. But as her bond with Marla grows, Allison begins to ask herself - where is home? What is a family? And most importantly, who am I, really?

'Utterly sublime' - Cecelia Ahern, author
'Compelling and beautifully wrought' - the Sunday Times

E-book on BorrowBox


Somebody Give this Heart a Pen book cover

Somebody Give This Heart a Pen

by  Sophia Thakur

A powerful collection of poems exploring issues of identity, difference, faith, relationships, fear, loss and joy. Intricate, evocative and dazzling – these are poems that explore the experiences that connect people; they encourage readers to look within and explore the tendencies of the heart.

'A powerful and relatable read' - the Book Trust 

Uplifting, brave and quietly devastating' - Stylist

E-books on BorrowBox

Borrow now. No queue guaranteed!

The Boy Who Grew Dragons by Andy Shepherd

The Boy Who Grew Dragons

by Andy Shepherd

This book is perfect for fans of Roald Dahl, Cressida Cowell and David Walliams. Borrow this sparky and utterly enchanting e-book from BorrowBox without a wait!

Shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2019.

'Irresistible ... a modern classic' - The Guardian
'A warm-hearted debut ... lovely, expressive, characterful' - The Sunday Times

E-book from BorrowBox

#AskYourLibrary, live every Monday



We are connecting with borrowers and residents even when the libraries are closed. Every Monday we are live on Twitter to answer questions and give advice and help. You can ask almost any question! We will help you find:

  • Reliable sources for your research, study, homework and hobbies
  • Free or very cheap courses that give you real value and help learning new skills or expand your knowledge
  • Ideas for children, from learning resources to entertainment
  • Book recommendations and reading ideas
  • How to borrow e-books and e-audio books, newspapers and magazines and how to search for your family history from home.

From 3pm to 5pm, every Monday, anyone can tweet replying to the @bracknell_lib account. No question too small!

Stay connected


Do you know someone who is not a library member yet? Anyone can join as a temporary member to access thousands of free library e-books, e-audio, e-magazines and e-newspapers. Just email requesting digital access with name, address, telephone number and date of birth and we’ll get you set up.

Do you know any Bracknell Forest resident that is vulnerable and/or over 70, perhaps self-isolating and/or with a medical condition who may appreciate books delivered to their door? Get in touch! We deliver books every week to those who need them most.

Bracknell Forest Library Website

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