Families packed into Rochdale's Springfield Park for an afternoon of stories, songs and games to celebrate National Bookstart Week.
The annual Bookstart Bear picnic in the park event, organised by Rochdale Borough Council, was declared a resounding success despite the unseasonably strong winds.
As always, the entertainment was led by early years library worker, Irene Peachey, with every child going home with a free mini copy of 'A Busy Day for Birds' by popular author Lucy Cousins. Families were also able to enjoy miniature train rides, explore a real fire engine and meet some beautiful birds from Wise Owl Bird of Prey Rescue.
The aim of National Bookstart Week is to encourage a love of books amongst children under 5 and to introduce them to the joys of reading and learning. This year's theme was 'Bookstart Bird Boogie'.
The perfect way to introduce children to the joys of stories and rhymes
Councillor Janet Emsley, cabinet member for libraries, said: "National Bookstart Week is a brilliant concept and the perfect way to introduce children to the joys of stories and rhymes. It was great to see so many young families enjoying the event which seems to get bigger and better by the year. Well done to everyone in the library service for their hard work and organisation in ensuring the day ran smoothly from start to finish."
Bookstart Bear Club sessions, presented by Irene Peachey, operate in 6 libraries across the borough throughout the year. Membership of the library is free for all.