At home with your child/children

In this current lockdown there is even more support from a range of sources. The BBC is showing curriculum based programming every weekday on the CBBC channel and on iPlayer and this is supported with lessons on their website – BBC Bitesize. The popular sports personality Joe Wicks is doing online PE on YouTube. Most schools are now set up to do online learning over Zoom or other similar video meeting tools.

Winter Reads for Children, Young People and Families

I’m not sure I can guarantee snow this Christmas but I can guarantee some great books to read that will hopefully get the whole family to unwind and start to look forward to a Christmas break. We have some wonderful, unashamedly classic Christmas reads; some laugh-out loud picture books and some wintry page-turners for teens. There’s also the Winter Mini Challenge from the Reading Agency for children to have fun and keep reading during the school holidays. Children can review their books, do online activities and unlock their special virtual badge and certificate.
All the following books are available to borrow from Bradford Libraries. These are just a selection; there are many more titles on Bradford Libraries catalogue. All books are available to borrow via our Order & Collect service. For more details of how to use Order & Collect visit And don’t forget we have eBooks and eAudio Books too. Click here for Borrowbox.
If you are not finding titles of books that you feel would enhance our children’s book stock and enrich children’s understanding, learning or reading enjoyment please email Development Officer for Children and Young People ( with your suggestions.

The Winter Mini Challenge from the Reading Agency

If you’re a fan of the annual summer reading challenge then you’ll love the Winter Mini Challenge from The Reading Agency. This winter they have teamed up with award-winning inclusive publisher Knights Of to run an Everyone Is a Hero themed Mini Challenge – to celebrate heroes in all their forms and keep children reading this winter. The Winter Mini Challenge runs until Friday 15 January 2021- it encourages children to keep up their reading habits over the winter holidays, with a free-to-access website featuring rewards and incentives for reading and reviewing books. This year’s Mini Challenge features characters from books published by Knights Of, including those from Knights and Bikes (written by Gabrielle Kent; illustrated by Rex Crowle), High-Rise Mystery (written by Sharna Jackson; illustrated by Wumzum), and the Run series (written by Jason Reynolds; illustrated by Selom Sunu). Knights Of have also created a special booklist of their favourite titles to try during the Challenge. The list is full of heroes that inspire, challenge and push the definition of what it means to be a hero. Children can visit the Winter Mini Challenge website at from 1 December 2020 to start rating and
reviewing their books and enjoying the online activities. They need to read three books to unlock the special virtual badge and certificate.


Libraries Week 2020 is nearly here. 5-10 October. Only two weeks to go! Programme brochure now live

Check the brochure to book tickets for our events. Introduction to Libraries Week from Christine May, Interim Head of Bradford Libraries Bradford Libraries are proud and excited to be celebrating national Libraries Week, an annual showcase of the best that libraries have to offer. Each year we explore the innovative and surprising things that libraries are doing to support their communities. In 2020, Libraries Week will take place between the 5th and 10th October, celebrating the nation’s much-loved libraries and their vital role in the UK’s book culture. Across the District we are offering a full and varied programme of activities and events for children, adults and families to participate in – something for everyone. I hope this brochure will inspire and encourage you to take a fresh look at what our libraries have to offer – even in these unique and challenging times – and to try something new. Don’t forget you can still borrow books using our Order & Collect and Home Library services, and of course our e-books offer. To find details of these and more please visit our web pages at:

Summer Reading Challenge

This year the ever popular Summer Reading Challenge will launch on July 13 and all children from 4 to 14 years can register for a Silly Squad Summer Reading Challenge pack when they collect their book orders.
The Summer Reading Challenge is also available at

Summer Reading Challenge

Summer Reading Challenge

The Summer Reading Challenge Launch Party – Friday 5th June 4.00pm

Join the Silly Squad and the Let’s Get Silly Ambassadors for an afternoon (ending with a bedtime story) of family fun!

The Summer Reading Challenge 2020 will launch on Friday 5 June and you can join the Silly Squad on a new adventure by setting your own personal reading challenge to complete this summer. Create a free profile to keep track of your books, reviews, and all of the special rewards you unlock along the way. You’ll also find heaps of super silly activities, quizzes, videos, games and more to keep you entertained at home. This year’s Challenge runs from June to September, so there is plenty of time to take part and get silly this summer.

Join us on Facebook on Friday 5 June to meet our super silly Ambassadors, who will be sharing their favourite silly stories, leading a draw-along to create your very own Silly Squad character, showing us their silliest dance moves, telling their most hilarious joke and sharing so much more silly fun with us all.

Once you have celebrated with the Silly Squad at the Launch Party head on over to to start your seriously silly summer reading Challenge!

Let’s Get Silly Launch Party Schedule

4.00pm – Sam & Mark (as seen on CBBC) launch the Summer Reading Challenge 2020 and introduce you to the Silly Squad – telling you how you can sign up and start your seriously silly summer

4.10pm – Comedian, author and presenter, David Baddiel, reads from his children’s book The Taylor TurboChaser

4:15pm – Author Gareth P Jones reads from his book Dinosaur Detective: Catnapped! and takes us on a real adventure

4:20pm – Drawing with award-winning author and illustrator Rob Biddulph

4:30pm – Poet and author Joseph Coehlo reads Funny Fish from his book Poems Aloud

4:35pm – President of Libraries Connected, Carol Stump, reads a book from the official 2020 Summer Reading Challenge booklist – You Can’t Call an Elephant in an Emergency by Patricia Cleveland-Peck & David Tazzyman

4:40pm – Crafts, colour and creativity with the original queen of colouring, Johanna Basford

4:45pm – Authors Katie and Kevin Tsang read from their book Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Zombies – including some super silly dress up!

4:50pm – Let’s Get Silly with longest-serving female BBC Blue Peter presenter and author Konnie Huq

4.55pm – Presenter, author and adventurer, Ben Fogle reads an extract from his Mr Dog book series

5:05pm – The British Library shares content from their Discovering Children’s Books website where you can find a whole range of creative activities. In this video, Viviane Schwarz shows you fun ways of developing silly characters

5:10pm – How to Build a Super Silly Reading Den with BBC’s Katie Thistleton and Hacker T Dog

5:20pm – Children’s author Philip Ardagh reads from his book Bunnies on the Bus

5:25pm – Arts Council England’s Director of Libraries, Sue Williamson, reads her favourite poem

5:30pm – Silly Squad draw-along with author and illustrator, Laura Ellen Anderson, who is the Summer Reading Challenge 2020’s official illustrator!

5:40pm – Award-winning comedian, actress and writer Samantha Baines reads from her novel Harriet Versus The Galaxy

5:45pm – Konnie Huq gets super silly with the Silly Squad

5:50pm – Shed School Magic with the nation’s favourite teacher, Mr Bates

6pm – The nation’s favourite comedian and presenter Paul O’Grady will read an excerpt from his favourite children’s book, The Borrowers

6:05pm – Author Jennifer Killick reads from her book, Alex Sparrow and the Zumbie Apocalypse and shows us how to do a very silly dance – join in!

6:15pm – Children’s author (and game designer!) Gabrielle Kent reads from her book, Knights and Bikes

6:25pm – Actor Owen Teale (Game of Thrones) reads from his favourite book, A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.

6:30pm – Jokes with our Ambassadors! Including Quick Reads 2020 author Milly JohnsonSamantha Baines, and Konnie Huq

6:35pm – Actor and writer Shobna Gulati (Dinner Ladies, Coronation Street) will read Tiny Ant from the Official Book Collection

6.40pm – Author and illustrator Laura Dockrill shares her favourite poems including her own poem My Mum’s Growing Down as well as one by Benjamin Zephaniah from Talking Turkeys and a Carol Ann Duffy poem!

6.45pm – It’s time to hear the official ‘Let’s Get Silly!’ theme song! Written and performed by Harry Baker and Chris Read

6:50pm – Closing the Launch Party with a bedtime story, actor Charlie Condou (Holby City, Coronation Street) reads This is Gus from the official Summer Reading Challenge book collection

7pm – End

Head to to sign up to the Challenge!- and keep an eye on the Summer Reading Challenge Facebook page throughout the summer to catch even more fantastic videos from our wonderful ambassadors and book collection authors!

Need some great children’s books to read for the Summer Reading Challenge?

During the current situation while our libraries are closed, you can find lots of great reads from bestselling children’s authors available from our free E-book service:

All you need is a library card.

If need a library card you can join here:

Coronavirus Mental Health and Wellbeing Toolkit

To support you during the coronavirus outbreak, we have hand-picked a selection of quality-assured, free resources from across the sector.
This toolkit includes resources to use with vulnerable children or children with SEND, a resource from Stonewall for the LGBTQ+ community, as well as
a resource pack for staff wellbeing and practical activities for adults and children to help stay mentally well.

A massive well done to everyone who took part in the Family Learning Spring Competitions

Poetry Competition

We had a tremendous amount of entries from our students, covering all aspects of lockdown life. Some were inspiring, some made us laugh and some tugged on our heart strings.

It was a tough decision but we have picked our three favourites and would like to share them with you.

Winners of the competition will receive a prize and a certificate in the post soon.

3rd place – by Shaziya (Laila) Kausar

2nd place – by Lynda Smith

Our Winning Entry – by Bushra Nadeem

Children’s Activity

Our children’s activity saw fun and simple activities for parents to do with their children in the house during lockdown.

We have chosen two winners who offered simple and adaptable ideas to keep children busy, with active and creative minds.

2nd place – by Shazia Farman

This is a fun activity my children made. For this we need disposable plates and some pencil shavings. Just stick them to the plates and colour it.
Age 3+

1st place – Shazia Noreen

I do this activity with my 5 year old and he loves to do it. I write 1 to 20 numbers, or sometimes the alphabet, on paper and hide them around the house. Then he has to make his number line or his phonics words with alphabet letters … in this way he revises his phonics and use his skills of looking and finding too.

Thank You!

We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who entered the Spring Competitions. We have taken pleasure in reading all of your entries, and hope that you have enjoyed taking part.

New project The Bradford Family Archive: Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Impressions young people’s collective New Focus have just launched a new project The Bradford Family Archive: Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Full details can be found here –

Its a digital participation project asking the people of Bradford to share old family photographs and objects that share a story about their family on Facebook and Instagram

One of the main way they can get involved is sharing info on our dedicated Facebook group