Families across the UK will discover and enjoy the life-changing benefits of reading together tales by top authors like Michael Morpurgo, thanks to our new partnership between the Six Book Challenge and publishers Barrington Stoke.
In selected settings such as family learning centres, libraries and colleges where the Six Book Challenge is running, less confident adult readers will be offered 500 free copies of Barrington Stoke's newly-launched Red Squirrel list of picture books to read with their children. Nine public libraries services will be using the free Red Squirrel books with Six Book Challenge participants: Dudley, Plymouth, Islington, Oxfordshire, Derbyshire, South Tyneside, Edinburgh, Newport and Glasgow Life. In addition Fife College and City of Bath College will be using them with childcare students who are taking part in the Six Book Challenge.
Drawing on Barrington Stoke's award-winning track record in commissioning, editing and designing books to break down barriers that can stop children reading, including dyslexia, the Red Squirrel list can be read with children by dyslexic parents and parents with low literacy. Adults encouraged to read the free Red Squirrel books with their children will get to count them towards completing their Six Book Challenge.
Accessible books with high quality art work
Red Squirrel books feature dyslexia-friendly layouts without compromising on the quality of artwork that is central to holding children's attention, together with stories told in ways that break down potential barriers to comprehension for dyslexic readers.
They include All I Said Was by Michael Morpurgo and Ross Collins, the tale of a boy who dreams of flying and swaps places with a bird who dreams of reading a book; and Itch Scritch Scratch by Eleanor Updale and Sarah Horne, a hilarious rhyming story about kids and mums waging war on some very natty nits. The Red Squirrel titles have been developed with input from national charity Dyslexia Action.
Six Book Challenge and Summer Reading Challenge
Dudley Libraries, for example, will use these exciting new titles to support a new partnership with a parents' literacy group at a local primary school in an area of deprivation, encouraging them to share reading with their children, and to take up the Six Book Challenge alongside their children's participation in the Summer Reading Challenge.
Genevieve Clarke, who leads our adult literacy work, says: "We know that so many parents and carers want to read with children but struggle with their own literacy. So it's fabulous to be able to offer these wonderful new picture books from Barrington Stoke to people who are taking part in our Six Book Challenge programme across the country."
Mairi Kidd, managing director of Barrington Stoke says: "Our aim is to get the Red Squirrel books into the hands of parents who may not read with their children, for a range of reasons, and who can really benefit from the additional accessibility features. We're delighted to be working with The Reading Agency and their brilliant network of projects to make sure this happens."
Head to your local library to find out more about the Six Book Challenge for adults and the Summer Reading Challenge for children.
Read more about our partnership with Barrington Stoke and how we work with them on our children's programmes.