Here you can find information about Buchstart 4 ½ (Bookstart 4 ½), the Hamburg project for daycare children on their way to preschool. If you have any questions, please contact us by telephone at 040 – 679 565 07 or by e-mail: info@buchstart-hamburg.de

We wish you and your child lots of fun with Buchstart 4 ½

— The Buchstart Team

P.S.: Information about our Buchstart project for one-year-olds can be found at https://buchstart-hamburg.de/informationen-ueber-buchstart-englisch/

Greetings from Buchstart’s patron, Kirsten Boie,

Dear parents and guardians — Congratulations!

Kirsten Boie

Today was the first time your child officially visited a school.
Your child also received the big Buchstart book as a present. Two meaningful events!

Because you are the most important people in her or his life, you can help your child enjoy and be successful in school. You are a role model and can make a big difference.
Das Hamburger Geschichten-Buch. Auf dem Weg von der Kita in die Schule” (The Hamburg Story Book. On the way from daycare to school) with its many stories and pictures is a treasure we hope will accompany your child up to grade one. Make it an significant part of your family’s day to day activities. Read to your child every day and talk about what you have read, look at the pictures together and fill out the individual pages with your child. In this way you can turn your child into a booklover. With each book they read, children become a little bit smarter. And a life full of stories will help your child not only in school, but throughout her or his life.

With the very best book greetings.
Yours truly,

Kirsten Boie
Author of children’s books, honorary citizen of Hamburg and Patron of Buchstart Hamburg

The Hamburg Storybook

Information for parents

  1. The “Hamburg Storybook” is a gift from the city of Hamburg to your child. It will accompany your child from today to the first year of primary school.
  2. Your child can write his or her name on the inside of the front cover. Inside the book there are many double pages where – with your help – your child can tick things off or write something.
  3. Make sure you look after the book! Your child will have plenty of opportunities to take it to nursery school and, later, to school.
  4. Inside, there are all sorts of stories and pictures to do with experiences at nursery school, in reception class, and at school.
  5. Every now and then, read the stories to your child, look at the pictures together, and talk about what you can see. This way, you will be supporting your child’s language skills and getting them ready for school.
  6. Have a look at the accompanying leaflet: This provides all sorts of interesting information about books and reading to your child.
  7. Would you like to read the information on the leaflet in your own language? Use the QR code on the front of the leaflet. This will take you to the bookstart homepage (https://buchstart-hamburg.de/buchstart-viereinhalb/). Here, you will find the text of the leaflet in Arabic, Bulgarian, Dari/Farsi, English, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, and Turkish.
  8. On the back of the leaflet is a poster with a measuring scale and some fun physical exercises. You can hang this up on the wall in your child’s bedroom.
  9. Have fun with the “Hamburg Storybook”!


Top 7 tips to help future bookworms

Reading is very important — for our personal development, for school, for work and for society in general. At the beginning, learning to read is not so easy. As adults, we can help children learn to read.



The Buchstart 4 ½ book features many stories to be read out loud. You don’t have to be able to read perfectly. Just regularly take time to read a short story or a poem. Children love storytime with you, especially in a quiet and cosy place.



Speaking, listening and understanding also belong to learning to read. In the language you prefer, talk to your child about the stories and pictures in the book.



Children learn from adults. When you read at home, your child will also be interested in reading. Books awaken children’s curiousity about reading as well as newspapers, catalogues or comics.



At home, books are best kept where your child can reach them at all times.



Daycare aged children are naturally curious about letters. And you find them everywhere! Look for letters in everyday life! It’s fun and your child learns the basics of writing along the way.



In addition to the central library at Hühnerposten 1, Hamburg has 32 public local libraries and two book buses. There are tens of thousands of children’s materials (books, magasines, newspapers, DVDs, CDs, and Games) and wonderful events. Apply for your child’s library card in your neighbourhood right away: You can find the address at www.buecherhallen.de. With the Bildungs- und Teilhabepaket (education and participation package), membership is free.



In daycare centers there are many books and teachers read out loud a lot. Ask your daycare teacher which books your child likes best: Fairy tales, non-fiction, picture books? You can also get advice at the library or in a local bookshop and get to know other books that your child will love. You can find a few tips at https://www.buchstart-hamburg.de/buchstart-viereinhalb/buchtipps/


Books for everyone – right from the start!

Buchstart begins where language also begins: with the little ones. Hamburg’s paediatricians hand out the first Buchstartbag during the compulsory U6 examination. That’s when language development really gets going — between 10 and 12 months of age. Since 2007, in Hamburg all one-year-olds receive two wonderful picture books and a voucher for the Bücherhallen Hamburg (Hamburg Public Libraries). And up to three years of age, your child can attend one of over 80 free “Gedichte für Wichte” (Rhymetime) groups. There are songs, hand and finger games, rhymes and even more picture books to discover.

At four and a half years of age, children in Hamburg daycare centers are already among the older ones. They love books and stories and enjoy being read to. It won’t be long before they will learn to read themselves. That’s why they receive „Das Hamburger Geschichten-Buch. Auf dem Weg der Kita in die Schule„ when they officially visit a school for the first time with you. The book tells them what happens during their last year in daycare, in pre-school and first year at school. It has space for personal notes and accompanies children during this transition phase.
Buchstart 4 ½ also organises the Hamburg-wide “Find a story day” for children in the last year of daycare. And in the Buchstart 4 ½ advanced training courses, educators learn what they can do with books in daycare and pre-school.

Ready with Buchstart 4 ½!

Ten training activities to become a good reader. See what you can do with your Buchstart 4 ½ book!

Hang this poster at the right height on your wall or bedroom door. You can write on the tape measure how tall you were on which day and also when you started the Buchstart training exercise. Have fun!

Mighty Finger Exercise
Write your name on the front of the Buchstart 4 ½ book. Together with someone who can already read and write, fill in the first pages in the book.

Eagle Eye Exercise
Can you find the Buchstart children on all the hidden-object-pictures in the Buchstart 4 ½ book? (pages 22/23, 32/33, 50/51, 92/93 and 106/107)

The Buchstart New Friends exercise
Like Nelson, in the story on page 54, go to the playground and invite a child that you don’t yet know to play ball.

Team exercise
Bring your 4 ½ book to the “Find a story day” at your daycare (your teacher will tell you the exact date) and compare your entries with those of other children.

Dolphin exercise (or Memory exercise)
Have a short poem read to you from the book (pages 42/43, 84/85 or 116/117). How many times must you hear it to know it by heart?

Dog Ear Exercise (or Listening exercise)
Have the Buchstart 4 ½ book read to you. How long can you listen?

Zygomaticus muscle training (or Laugh muscle exercise)
Which stories in the Buchstart 4 ½ book are the funniest?

Squirrel exercise (or Balance exercise)
In the story „Mariam, Lotte, Tarik und der Eichhörnchentag“ (page 16), Mariam and Lotte balance on tree trunks. You can do that too! (If you don’t have a tree trunk available, place a rope on the ground and balance on it).

Camel Back exercise (or Strong- back exercise)
Borrow a backpack full of books from your nearest Library and carry them home. (To relax have the books read to you immediately!)

Viktor-style endurance training
Viktor loves horses (see page 97). He would love to run or gallop around all day. Can you run with Viktor once around the park? Or maybe even twice?

Important information about the Buchstart (Book Start) 4½ voucher provided by Bücherhallen Hamburg libraries

Hurrah! The libraries are full of books in all sorts of languages!

Dear families,
Children love books; in fact they need them. They are important for school and for life in general. So, you will be happy about the gift that your child received at their school interview: a voucher for a children’s card.
We are giving your child a customer card for the Bücherhallen Hamburg libraries.
The card is valid for one year. 585,000 books, audio dramas, sheet music, games and films suitable for children are ready and waiting for you and your child to discover.
With this voucher, you can sign your child up until their seventh birthday. So come on, let’s get going!
You can sign your child up for all of the Bücherhallen libraries. All you need is your identity card or your passport, together with your confirmation of registration as a resident.
You can find a library near you here: https://www.buecherhallen.de/standorte.html

The Bücherhallen Hamburg libraries are looking forward to your visit!


Hallerstraße 5 F
20146 Hamburg

Tel.: 040 – 679 565 07
Fax: 040 – 679 565 09
E-Mail: info@buchstart-hamburg.de
Internet: www.buchstart-hamburg.de

Übersetzung: Catherine Vandermeulen