THE borough's annual reading challenge has begun.

More than 100 youngsters signed up to the launch event of the Hounslow Summer Reading Challenge on July 17, and 3,000 are expected to follow suit.

Guests at the Hounslow Library event were treated to a show from local magician Tim Barnes and his puppet assistant Fluffysauras.

Other activities included storytelling, craft sessions, singing by the Helen O'Grady Theatre School and appearances from Tony the Tiger.

The challenge takes place during the school summer holidays, in which children aged four to 12 sign up to take part at their local library.

A spokesman from John Laing Integrated Services, the company which manages the borough's libraries on behalf of Hounslow Council, said: "Research shows a summer reading dip is often experienced over the long holiday period, which can set back a child's reading development.

"As part of the challenge, children are asked to read as many books as possible letting library staff know which are their favourites."

The full programme will be available from Tuesday, next week at local libraries.

Information on the events can also be found by visiting