When Teddy met Dolly – Isle boy is reading scheme’s biggest fan

Teddy McGinley reads with his dad
Teddy McGinley reads with his dad

Avid reading fan Teddy McGinley loves the books sent to him by the Imagination Library so much that he recently met the scheme’s creator, Dolly Parton, on a television show.

Five year old Teddy, of Beltoft, has received books since he was a baby, and has developed a lasting joy of reading.

Teddy and mum enjoy Imagination Library books

Teddy and mum enjoy Imagination Library books

The Imagination Library is a free book-gifting scheme in North Lincolnshire. Children get monthly books by post from birth to five years old.

Mum Katie signed Teddy up to the free book-gifting scheme when he was just two or three months old after seeing a post on Facebook.

She said: “I think the scheme is absolutely brilliant. Books are really important to me and now Teddy is a massive book fan; he loves reading..

“I can see the difference in Teddy’s language skills, his reading ability and vocabulary.

“When the books came, that new one would become Teddy’s favourite and we’d read it every day. Even I know some books off by heart!”

Now Teddy has graduated from the scheme, his parents seek out books in the same series as his favourites from the Imagination Library.

Teddy was invited on to the BBC One Show to speak about the books with superstar Dolly Parton, this month.

When asked to choose favourites, Teddy counted out 23 colourful books. Much-loved titles include Nick Sharratt and Sue Heap’s, ‘Alphabet Ice Cream’, and Alex Latimer’s ‘Lion Vs Rabbit’.

Dad Chris said the scheme opened his eyes to the importance of books and reading. “I wasn’t brought up with books but really see the value of reading with him,” he said.

Parents of children under five can sign up online at www.northlincs.gov.uk/imaginationlibrary.

Jo Buckle, Head of West Butterwick Primary School where Teddy is a pupil, said: “Research shows that children who read for pleasure have enhanced levels of text comprehension, an increased knowledge of grammar and show improvement in their writing.”​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​