Tag Archives: library

Summer Reading Challenge 2016

A selection of books you might find in your library

A selection of books you might find in your library for your own Summer Reading Challenge

It’s that time again with school summer term coming to a close and then a long hot (well we live in hope in the UK) summer. It’s a time where as a child I rarely went home only going home when playing outside with friends to either get something to eat or drink.

As summer goes on and friends leave for their holidays or you just want some quiet time, reading a book or several during the summer is perfect especially sitting out in the garden in the shade or in the sun.

Have you heard of The Summer Reading Challenge for children? This is the UK’s biggest reading promotion for children run by The Reading Agency and in library’s.

The challenge is for children to read 6 books throughout the summer holidays, the books don’t need to be specific titles they can be non fiction, fiction, joke books, comics, picture books, audio books basically anything your child enjoys reading counts towards the challenge but they must be borrowed from the library. The children need to be aged 4-11 years old. The Challenge started in Scotland on Saturday 25th June and in England and Wales it started on Saturday 16th July.

The Reading Agency states children’s reading practice can dip in the summer holidays, I know from experience my son last year lost interest as soon as school finished (he was only 6 at the time) and this year before he heads off to the junior school in September I want to ensure he reads during the holidays.

The website continues to say “The Summer Reading Challenge has helped get three quarters of a million children into libraries each year to keep up their reading skills and confidence. Because everything changes when we read”.

The Reading Agency have released a book collection list of 72 suggested books to read the list is divided into two – one for younger children and one for older children. A lot of these are new reads which will be published this summer, and many will be displayed in libraries. You can find the list here

There is a different theme each year. The theme for the 2016 Summer Reading Challenge is The Big Friendly Read as it’s the 100th year since Roald Dahl was born.

The Big Friendly Read, features some of Roald Dahl’s best loved characters and the amazing artwork of illustrator, Sir Quentin Blake. It highlights themes such as invention, mischief and friendship all of which appear in Roald Dahl’s most famous books.

Everyone who joins The Big Friendly Read will receive a fold up card wallet, which includes a range of fun activities and space for children to keep track of their progress and rate the books they have read. There are six limited edition Quentin Blake collector cards to collect; some are scratch and sniff!  These slot into the collector folder. Each card celebrates a popular Roald Dahl theme: mischief, invention, adventure, wordplay, child champions, and friendship.  Children will receive one card for every book they read and those who complete the challenge will receive a certificate.

For adults and carers there’s a Facebook page which you can find here

Another great website supporting this is the Summer Reading Challenge it tracks children’s reading all year round, children can enter competitions, has links to YouTube videos about the challenge and author reviews, children can review books, leave messages, it gives book suggestions children have recommended and can be searched by age/gender there are also recommendations from celebrities. The website also has book related games for children to play they include previous games from other summer reading challenges;

  • “Race against the clock to fill in the book title blanks with Title Dash game”
  • “Find unicorn friends as you race around Mythical Maze game”
  • “Chase bats and escape from ghouls in Creepy House”
  • “Help Jeremy save his books from Aesop in Story Lab game”

Visit your local library and join up to the challenge and get involved in the fun activities many libraries offer – there’s a chocolate challenge at our local library next week to celebrate Charlie and the Chocolate Factory you never know what you’ll find at your own library so go and investigate!

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Seashore by Lucy Beckett-Bowman published by Usborne


We borrowed this book from the library as Monkey has been learning about the seaside at school so we thought it would be perfect to look at in the quiet space at home.

I hadn’t realised it was an Usborne book at first, it’s actually part of their Beginners series for children to read by themselves so there is not as much text but as you would expect from Usborne still very informative and there’s still beautifully detailed illustrations mixed in with stunning photographs.


There are in fact 45 beginner books in this series covering topics such as space, Romans, weather and penguins amongst other things so definitely something to look out for the next time we go to the library.

This book covers topics such as high and low tides, seashells including creatures who live in the shells, seaweed and had information about the coral reef.

Although it is an easy reader it is 31 pages long. At the back of the book it suggests going to the following website Usborne Quicklinks (follow the link choose the country you are in) which has links to other websites suitable for children to access further information, games and colouring in.

For this book the websites suggested have the following fun activities:

*Watch a video clip of scallops swimming.
*Print out and colour in pictures of seashore
*Find snails and sea urchins in a rocky pool
*Spot shells on the seashore then print out and colour in pictures of shells.
*Watch a video clip of baby turtles leaving their nest and scurrying to the sea.

I have reviewed this site separately as I feel it’s a fantastic online resource, you can find my review here

Anyway back to the book review…

Monkey really liked this book giving it 8/10 as he would have liked to have seen more about each topic (so I’m going to have to find another book for him) but he enjoyed looking at it and especially liked the photo of the Puffer fish.

I enjoyed the book in fact I actually had a quick read of it before looking at it with Monkey and found it fascinating as it has many little facts and for such a small book it really does fill the pages with quick bite sized bits of information, ideal for young children to look at to find something they want to look at further online or with a book which covers the topic in more detail. It is an early reader but perhaps one for a confident reader. I will score the book 9/10 simply as it does cover a lot of topics and I even learnt a few fun facts such as when seabirds swallow too much seawater they get rid of it through their nose!

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Danny’s Adventure Bus by Lucy Marcovitch & Illustrated by Paul Cemmick

I don’t know how many times we’ve got this book out of the library – I’ve lost count!  It is certainly one of those stories that delights my little boy when he see’s it to the point where I may have to try and purchase it!

It’s a story about a little boy and his mum who are on a bus, which gets stuck in a traffic jam (doesn’t sound interesting to begin with I know) – you know that feeling when you’re going at a snails pace stuck behind several hundred cars, vans, lorries etc well this little boy in the story – Danny doesn’t like traffic jams either and pulls out his special drivers hat and declares “jam jumping is my specialty”.  He takes them on an imaginative bus ride away from the traffic jam but instead getting stuck in various other jams – such as the camel jam, elephant jam, goat jam and under the sea.

Every time they get stuck in another jam Danny declares “jam jumping is my specialty”.

My favorite bit is when they do a u turn around a coral reef and Monkey likes the camel jam and finds this bit very funny!

It is very imaginative, the illustrations capture the story perfectly but I’m always left wondering were they asleep and just having a lovely dream or did it happen????

Danny's Adventure Bus

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