Summer holidays are on the horizon and North Yorkshire libraries are preparing for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, which invites children aged four to 11 to borrow and read any six library books over the school holidays.

The theme for this year’s challenge is Animal Agents. An unlikely cast of animal detectives are in hot pursuit of some unusual suspects who have been up to no good at the library.

To take part in the challenge, children just need to sign up at their nearest library. They will receive a collector’s folder and as they borrow and read at least six library books over the summer they can collect themed scratch and sniff sticker cards to complete their folder, together with other rewards.

The cards and collector’s folder feature original drawings by award-winning children’s illustrator Tony Ross. Children who complete the challenge will be awarded a certificate, a medal and an Animal Agents wristband.

County Councillor Greg White, Executive Member for Library and Information Services, said: “The Reading Agency’s annual Summer Reading Challenge is a great incentive to encourage children to read and use libraries over the summer. Children’s reading can dip during the long summer holidays. The Summer Reading Challenge helps gets three quarters of a million children into libraries to maintain their reading skills and confidence and more than 10,000 regularly take part in North Yorkshire.

“Reading together as a family helps children to enjoy books, so why not join the library with your children and complete the six-book challenge together?”

The Animal Agents Summer Reading Challenge launches in libraries across North Yorkshire on Saturday, 15 July, and runs until Saturday, 9 September.

A programme of events and activities is planned for children and families over the summer in North Yorkshire libraries to celebrate the Summer Reading Challenge. For more information about how to get involved in the challenge, visit www.northyorks.gov.uk/animalagents.