The council has launched a summertime reading challenge to commemorate Britain’s longest running children’s comic book.

Hertfordshire County Council’s library service opened its annual Summer Reading Challenge to children across the county on July 14 to mark the 80th anniversary of the Beano.

This year’s challenge is called Mischief Makers and launched in libraries across the county centring around those two infamous tearaways, Dennis and Gnasher.

The UK-wide scheme is supported by The Reading Agency and gives children a chance to brush up on their reading skills during the summer holidays.

Last year, more than 20,000 children across Hertfordshire took part, and the hope is that the record will be broken in 2018. Kids are encouraged to read six library books over the summer before telling library staff and volunteers what they thought.

As part of this year’s challenge, children will use a map of Beanotown to search for a mysterious buried treasure. For each book that they report back on, they’ll collect smelly stickers that provide clues to the treasure’s location. Dennis and Gnasher will be on hand to help them solve these clues, along with their friends Pie Face, Rubi and JJ.

Every child who finishes six books before September 8 will be named a mischief maker and receive a medal and certificate. They also have the chance to win a ticket to a special Mega Mischief Makers Mash-Up author event during November half-term.

The scheme is free and requires children visit their own library from July 14 to collect a starter pack.

One parent said of last year’s challenge: “My son really enjoyed the Summer Reading Challenge 2017; he loved coming to talk to the staff and volunteers about the books he’d read and enjoyed collecting the stickers. He is already excited for the Summer Reading Challenge 2018 and can’t wait to get started”.

For more information visit call 0300 123 4049 or visit your library.