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Phiz-whizzing summer reading challenge launched

Published on Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A PHIZ-WHIZZING, fantastic, splendiferous summer reading challenge is being launched on Saturday (2 Jul), marking 100 years since the birth of Roald Dahl.

The Big Friendly Read will encourage children and young people to visit their local library at least six times during the school summer holidays, to explore the wonderful world of Roald Dahl or simply to read anything they like.

Young visitors to Leicester’s libraries, aged 0-15, can sign up for free goodies whenever they borrow a book. There’s a series of cards and a wristband to collect, with a certificate and medal for children who borrow six books or more. Younger children can choose to collect stickers as books are borrowed.

On Saturday, children who visit their local library will be able to pick up a collectible card wallet, hunt down Big Friendly Read characters hidden around the library, take part in fun activities and borrow their first books for the summer.

And visitors to the Bookbus, in Town Hall Square, between 11am and 3pm can have their photo taken with Roald Dahl-inspired characters and help to decorate an Enormous Crocodile. They can also borrow books and join the summer reading challenge from there.

Throughout the summer, Big Friendly Read events and activities will take place at local libraries, including Dahl-themed challenges, games and quizzes at local libraries and a Big Family Fun Day on Tuesday 2 August at Curve.

The Curve Big Family Fun Day will include performances, readings and activities celebrating the delightful world of Roald Dahl.

The Bookbus will also return to the city centre towards the end of the school holidays, on Wednesday 24 August, for more storytelling and big, friendly fun.

Cllr Kirk Master, assistant city mayor responsible for neighbourhood services, said: “It’s a great idea to theme this year’s summer reading challenge around Roald Dahl’s much-loved books.

“He’s created some of the most memorable characters in children’s literature, and his writing inspires children from all different backgrounds and communities to read.

“We’ll be bringing free summer holiday activities into libraries in lots of city neighbourhoods over the next few weeks, so I hope lots of people will take the chance to get involved with the Big Friendly Read.”

Cllr Sarah Russell, assistant city mayor responsible for children, young people and schools, said: “Whatever children choose to read, the important thing is to keep them reading – especially during the long summer break from school. This campaign is a great way to do that.”

Children could also win a special day of story and drama-based activities for their school, provided by Curve and the Spark Arts for Children, by taking part in the Big Friendly Read.

The city school with the highest percentage of pupils completing the reading challenge will win.

To find out more, go to and click on ‘children and young people’.

Keep up to date with all of the events and activities happening during the Big Friendly Read by visiting or @leicesterlibrar on Twitter.