With over 3,000 avid readers already signed up to the Record Breakers Summer Reading Challenge, the council has said there is still time to join.

In the challenge, children read six books over the summer and visit the library and talk to staff and volunteers about the stories they have read.

Readers also collect stickers as well as a Record Breakers medal and are awarded their own certificate of achievement at the end.

Councillor John Kent, portfolio holder for libraries and education, said: “If your family is looking for something free and fun to do during the summer holidays why not visit your local library?

“There is still time to join the other 3,000 and more children currently taking part in the Record Breakers Summer Reading Challenge.”

All the family can take part as there is also a mini and an older challenge.

The mini challenge is aimed at those not yet at school and who borrow six books and collect a special sticker for each one with the award of a hanging mini mobile and certificate at the end; while the older challenge “Imagination” is for the 11 to 18 year olds encouraging a minimum of two books to be read alongside a creative activity and a special lanyard, certificate and library DVD voucher is awarded.

The Summer Reading Challenge is free and runs until 5 September in all libraries across Thurrock.

Mr Kent added: “The summer challenge is just one of the many things that make it worthwhile to visit our libraries.”