Monmouthshire’s community hubs have reported a surge in the number of children signing up to the national Summer Reading Challenge promoted by The Reading Agency.  Entitled The Big Friendly Read, the project has already enticed over 1,200 children from across the county and gives them the chance to win prizes, including 12 Acer Iconia tablets.

Aimed at 4 to 11 year olds (and their families) the annual challenge is simple, fun and free.  This year The Big Friendly Read celebrates the world’s favourite storyteller Roald Dahl, born in Cardiff one hundred years ago.  It continues until Saturday 17th September, allowing children plenty of time to enjoy a summer of reading.

To participate, children should sign up at any one of Monmouthshire’s community hubs or libraries and read at least six books while making a number of library visits throughout the duration of the challenge.  They’ll receive a special collector’s folder and as they complete each book they’ll collect a special card featuring original Quentin Blake illustrations.  These explore the most popular themes in Dahl’s books such as invention, mischief and friendship.  There is no restriction on reading material – picture books, audio books, joke books or fact books all count.

Each child completing the challenge will receive much sought-after prizes: a certificate, medal, bookmark, key ring or zip tag and a pair of rainbow glasses.  In addition, the generous support of 13 town and community councils ensures that each community hub will hold a prize draw.  Winners will receive a tablet.

Monmouthshire’s cabinet member with responsibility for community hubs, Councillor Bob Greenland said: “Reading can take a back seat during the long summer holidays if children don’t have regular access to books and encouragement to read for pleasure.  This can cause problems for schools in the new term but the annual Summer Reading Challenge is a highlight of the holiday for many children and can only be beneficial if it inspires them to get stuck into a good book.”

More information is available from the council’s community hubs, or by contacting: – telephone 07836 600268.


  • The Big Friendly Read, Summer Reading Challenge 2016 is produced by The Reading Agency and delivered by libraries across the UK.