Thousands of children in Swindon caught the reading bug this summer as part of the Mischief Makers Summer Reading Challenge.

This year’s challenge had a comical theme to coincide with The Beano’s 80thbirthday and encouraged children aged four years and older to visit their local libraries and enjoy books, audiobooks, e-books and e-magazines.

Over the course of the summer holidays, 91,548 children’s books were issued and enjoyed by children across Swindon.

Almost 3,000 children took part in the challenge with over 1,500 of these completing the challenge by reading six or more library books. This is the highest percentage of children completing the challenge that Swindon Libraries has ever had.

On Friday, there will be a prize draw for all those who completed the challenge, with a selection of fantastic prizes donated by local businesses.

The winners of the competition which asked children to design a new hat for Mr Panda will also be announced by children’s illustrator Steve Antony. All winners will receive a signed book presented by Steve Antony and the overall winner will receive a class visit to their school.

Councillor Keith Williams, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for libraries, said: “I am thrilled that so many children got involved with this year’s Summer Reading Challenge as it’s a great way of getting children to enjoy reading. Over 700 children joined the library as new members so I hope their enjoyment of reading continues.”


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