Reading, Doric and Aberdeenshire were all celebrated this weekend as the prizes for a hugely popular annual reading challenge were announced.
Local author and Doric extraordinaire Debbie Leslie led the prize-giving for the Summer Reading Challenge, run by Aberdeenshire Council’s Library Service and sponsored by Total E&P UK, at Ellon Academy Community Campus on Saturday, October 29.
The theme for this year’s Summer Reading Challenge was ‘Your Place, Your Space…Just Read’ and focused on people’s favourite places to read in Aberdeenshire.
Alongside the reading challenge, which involved each child receiving a themed card to keep track of the number of books they read, there was also a photography competition for children to enter.
Entrants were asked to write a Doric caption to accompany their photos.
Six-year-old Jamie was the winner of the photography competition for the photo of him sitting reading in his father’s tractor which had the caption ‘Weel I hope ma favourite book “Tractor Trouble” disna gee ma fither’s tractor ony daft ideas’.
Nine-year-old Morgan was a runner-up for the picture of himself reading at ‘the fit o’ Bennachie’ which he says is ‘a braw place ti learn a’ aboot bugs an’ beasties’.
Two-year-old Isla was also a runner up for the photograph of herself reading beloved children’s book The Gruffalo on abench with the caption ‘A quine took a stroll ben the deep, dark wid. The quine saw a book and the book luiked guid’.
In comparison to last year there has been a 41% increase in the number of books read as part of the challenge, which this year reached 45,396 with 7,566 participants completing the challenge.
Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education, Learning & Leisure Committee, Cllr Alison Evison, said: “The Summer Reading Challenge is a wonderful scheme which inspires thousands of children to pick up books and read.
“It’s gone from strength to strength and this year is no different – 7,566 participants completed the challenge, reading a fantastic 45,396 books!
“The photography competition has also been very special, with some excellent entries and hilarious captions. It’s good to see Doric being promoted to younger generations so they can learn about its influence on the cultural heritage of the North East.”
Communication Co-ordinator at Total E&P UK, Virginie Jégat, said: “Total E&P UK is thrilled to be associated with the success story that is the Summer Reading Challenge.
“It is encouraging that children continue to be enthused by a good book and visiting their local libraries.
“Numbers have consistently increased which proves the appeal of a good book, even in this era of electronic gadgetry.
“Weil done tae o’ the bairns!”