A SUMMER reading challenge inspired by classic children's comic The Beano will be launched in libraries across Wirral this weekend.

Children aged 4 to 11 are being urged to sign up and read six books as part of Mischief Makers, a national campaign running from this Saturday until September 8.

Those taking part will explore a map of 'Beanotown' to find a hidden treasure chest full of pranks and become ultimate mischief makers!

As children read library books for the Summer Reading Challenge, they will receive special stickers, some with mysterious smells.

By adding these stickers to their map, young readers will help Dennis, Gnasher and friends solve clues and discover the treasure, having lots of fun and adventures along the way.

The Beano is celebrating its 80th anniversary.

Cllr Phillip Brightmore, Wirral cabinet member for leisure and recreation said: "Last year over 4,000 children across Wirral took part in the 2017 Summer Reading Challenge.

"We’re hopeful that this year, we can increase that figure as more bookworms head to the library to join in.”

Research shows that only 1 in 4 boys read outside of school every day.

Cllr Brightmore said: "The stats on boys reading outside of school time are quite low, but the 2017 Summer Reading Challenge participant report shows that 43% of participants on Wirral were boys. "Clearly the challenge offers young people a fun and inspiring way-in to reading for pleasure."

Children of all ages can take part, whether they're already a member of a library or not.

Last year 403 pre-school age children took part while 12 young people, aged 12 to 18, volunteered as Reading Hacks in Wirral libraries, encouraging younger children to read and helping staff distribute rewards.

While most children taking part were already library members 231 children joined the library to take part.

For more details, visit www.wirral.gov.uk/libraries-and-archives