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Welcome to “Lesestart – Three Reading Milestones!”

“Lesestart – Three Reading Milestones” is a program to promote language and reading that is geared to the very young. It is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and run by Stiftung Lesen.
Learn everything you need to know about Lesestart, the program that promotes reading and reading aloud. Have a look through our reading recommendations to find books for every age and liking.
In addition, in our parent section you will find many tips and tricks on reading aloud, coloring pages as well as rhymes.

Welcoming address by the Federal Minister of Education and Research

Ms. Dr. Prof. Wanka
(c) BMBF

Dear Parents,
The first years of a child`s life are fascinating. Suddenly, he or she begins to walk, speaks its first words and sentences, finds friends at kindergarten or in the neighborhood and eagerly awaits the first day of school. Children will hardly learn as much as they do at this stage of life later on. In the process, the driving force is always childlike curiosity: Children ask questions, always eager to learn something new and discover their own abilities. As parents, you play an important role in promoting your child in his or her versatile development process. This includes in particular sparking joy in reading early on.

For reading will open up horizons - at all stages of life, from childhood through adolescence into adulthood. By reading, children will also learn to focus, comprehend larger contexts and, incidentally, expand their vocabulary. They cherish the time spent reading together as moments of comfort, peace and affection. Thereby, you quite playfully lay the foundation for their course of education.

With "Lesestart - Three Reading Milestones", we would like to provide you with inspiration. The program is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and implemented by Stiftung Lesen (German Reading Foundation).
I wish you and your children lots of (reading) joy and success.

Anja Karliczek, MdB
Federal Minister of Education and Research

The Reading Start Sets

The complementary Reading Start (Lesestart) sets, which contain an age-appropriate children’s book and a guide with tips and information on reading aloud and storytelling in everyday family life, are the heart of Reading Start (Lesestart). The sets help embed reading aloud and storytelling in daily family life and motivate children to read on their own.

Set I

Set II


The Reading Start (Lesestart) Ambassadors

What connects Ranga Yogeshwar and Steffi Jones? What do The BossHoss and Motsi Mabuse have in common?
They are among the numerous outstanding personalities from different areas in public life who are active as Reading Start (Lesestart) ambassadors!
Here they reveal why reading aloud and storytelling are one of the most wonderful family moments.

See here

Reading Recommendations: Books and Media Tips for Children

Are you looking for children’s books that will be enjoyable for your children? Are you looking for more tips about reading aloud?

Use our search function that allows you to search by topic and age group. By clicking on bookmark, you can put together your own tips on children’s books for downloading.

And in your local library you will find many exciting children’s books to read aloud together and talk about. Drop by and have a look!

For Parents

Many adults are uncertain when it comes to reading aloud and ask themselves questions like:

  • Why should they read to their children?
  • Does it make sense to read to very young children?
  • Do they read aloud enough?
  • What is the right way to read aloud?
  • How do you find time to read aloud in hectic daily life
  • What do you do if your own child has little interest in reading aloud?

Answers to these questions along with read-aloud tips, a media center with lots of videos, different coloring pages as well as songs, rhymes and finger games are in the parent section.

If you like, you can also register for our newsletter. This way you will always be the first to know about what’s new at Lesestart.

Tips for reading

  1. Find a comfortable spot for reading - your child will love the cozy atmosphere.
  2. Choose a good time for reading and looking at picture books: e.g. an inactive phase during the day or before going to bed.
  3. Read regularly so that reading will become an integral part of your everyday family life.
  4. Be patient with your child. Respond to his or her reactions, questions and needs. When reading a picture book, everything your child is concerned with can be discussed quite openly.
  5. Also let your child choose books. Respond to his or her interests and wishes and read his or her favorite book over and over again.
  6. When talking to your child in other everyday situations, refer to picture books and stories.
  7. Read to your child in the language you speak best. This also applies to storytelling.

Don’t forget:

Each child is different and has different wishes and needs which will change over time. You know best what your child likes and what is good for him or her!

The Lesestart Apps – Free download

Reading aloud and telling stories are important building blocks to sparking children’s interest in language and reading at an early age. In addition to printed picture books, picture book apps are another great way to encourage young readers.
For this reason, the Lesestart program offers a selection of Lesestart apps free of charge for parents with children from one to six years of age.