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Beano comic to inspire Norfolk children to keep reading over the summer

PUBLISHED: 16:54 10 July 2018 | UPDATED: 16:54 10 July 2018

Dennis the Menace.Pic: Beano ©DC Thomson Ltd (2018).

Dennis the Menace.Pic: Beano ©DC Thomson Ltd (2018).

DC Thomson Ltd (2018)

Children’s comic The Beano is being used to inspire children to keep up their reading over the summer holidays, as the popular magazine marks its 80th birthday.

Children getting ready for the Summer Reading Challenge. Pic: Norfolk County Council.Children getting ready for the Summer Reading Challenge. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

The theme for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge in Norfolk’s libraries is called Mischief Makers - and Dennis the Menace and Gnasher would no doubt approve.

Children will get to explore a map of Beanotown to find the mysterious buried treasure and become ultimate mischief makers.

Norfolk County Council, which is behind the summer scheme, says Dennis, Gnasher and friends will help them solve clues and collect stickers, having lots of fun and adventures along the way.

The challenge launches at libraries across Norfolk on Saturday.

Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s communities committee, said: “Children’s reading often dips over the long holiday, so we’re pleased to be part of this national scheme to help keep children reading and enjoying books through the summer.

“More than 13,000 children from across Norfolk took part in last year’s Summer Reading Challenge and we’re hoping even more will join in this year.”

Under-fives can take part in the Mischief Makers mini challenge, aimed at encouraging younger children to become more familiar with books. Children can collect stickers for sharing stories at home and receive a certificate for completion.

Five to 11-year-olds can get involved with the Mischief Makers challenge. Children collect stickers as they read and complete the Beano-town map to find the treasure.

All children completing six books will receive a certificate and a medal. This year, children can also challenge their grown-ups to read, to encourage the whole family to get involved and earn an extra Family Reading Challenge sticker.

Children aged 11 plus can join the ImagiNation challenge. Participants choose two books to read over the summer, then write a review or draw a related picture on a ‘belly band’ to go around the book.

Each young person completing the scheme will receive a certificate and be in with the chance to win £30 of book tokens.

Young people aged 13 to 24 can volunteer as a Summer Reading Challenge Champion to help younger children discover new authors and explore a wide range of different types of books.

To find out more, email volunteercontact@norfolk.gov.uk or call 0344 800 8020. Volunteers over the age of 18 will be subject to a DBS check.

Jan Holden, head of the county council’s library and information service, said: “The Summer Reading Challenge is a hugely successful programme and this year’s theme, featuring well-loved characters from The Beano, is particularly engaging for children and adults alike.

“We’re especially pleased to be able to make the challenge available to hospital libraries in the region, so as many children as possible can get involved.”

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