Ready to read?

Summer Reading ChallengeSummer Reading Challenge

Christine Thompson from Redbridge Libraries invites local children to get ready for a summer of fun-packed activities at Wanstead Library. Are your kids ready for a challenge and a chance to earn a medal?

The Reading Agency's annual Summer Reading Challenge is aimed at children aged four to 12 years and helps get three-quarters of a million children into libraries to boost their reading skills and confidence.

The Reading Agency and local libraries are delighted to present the 2017 Summer Reading Challenge: Animal Agents, which will feature a whole host of clever creatures ready to solve all kinds of crimes! This band of furry, slippery and feathered friends is specially trained to use their skills and natural instincts to unravel mysteries – with a huge helping of fun along the way. This year's theme will feature great illustrations from Tony Ross, the illustrator of the Horrid Henry series.

A number of events will also be taking place at Wanstead Library in July and August as part of the challenge, from animal face painting to puppet making and other craft workshops.

Taking part is easy. The aim of the challenge is for children to read six library books of their own choice during the summer holiday. There are fantastic rewards to collect along the way, including a certificate and a medal.

The scheme promises to encourage reading on a giant scale. As children read over the summer, they will use their wits and power of observation to sift through clues and even pick up some stinky stickers along the way.

Younger children, who are not yet reading, can earn a certificate of their own for visiting the library and borrowing books throughout the summer.

It is never too early to introduce books and reading. Research has shown that if a parent reads to their infant every day, they will be almost 12 months ahead of those who are read to less often. For children under five years, Wanstead Library will continue to run twice-weekly Rhymetimes on Wednesdays (2pm to 2.30pm) and Fridays (11am to 11.30am) throughout the summer holidays.

Once your child is in the reading habit, we would love for them to continue. Our Chatterbooks reading group for five- to 12-year-olds begins again in September on the last Saturday of the month (10am to 11am). It is free to attend and you can just turn up.

You can also join us for the grand reopening of Wanstead Library on Saturday 15 July (10am to 3pm). There will be plenty of fun-filled activities, such as face painting, crafts, a book-themed magic show and balloons.

The 2017 Summer Reading Challenge will run in Redbridge Libraries from 15 July to 9 September (participation is free). A launch event will take place at Wanstead Library on 15 July from 2pm to 3pm. For more information, visit

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