Skip to Main Content
Problems viewing this site

Research shows children can maintain and even increase their reading levels if they keep reading over the summer break. The Big Read is a great way for your child to read books, complete fun activities and be in to win cool prizes!

It’s FREE for any child aged 0-12.

Sign up at your local library from 15 December 2017.

Prizes will be drawn on Monday 29 January 2018. We send out achievement certificates to schools for children who take part in The Big Read at the start of the school year.

For more information on the “summer slide”, and how parents, schools and public libraries can make a difference, see keeping your child or teen reading over summer from National Library of New Zealand.

If you have any questions about The Big Read please contact

How it works – Ages 5-12

Children keep a reading log and complete fun tasks. There are four levels children can complete:

Bronzeread 2 books and complete 1 task
Silverread 3 more books and complete 1 more task
Goldread 4 more books and complete 1 more task
Platinumread 10 more books and complete 2 more tasks

Children should try and read books that challenge and excite them. They can be fact or fiction.

A list of tasks is provided in the journal but tasks are limited only by a child’s imagination! Stuck for ideas? Why not try some of these:

  • Read to a pet/sibling/grandparent, in person, online or by phone
  • Write about your holiday – illustrate it if you like
  • Make dinner for your family, plan, and shop for the ingredients
  • Explore a library you don’t usually visit
  • Write an online book review
  • Recommend a book to a friend – ask them to recommend a book for you to read too!
  • Write a list of things you would like to do this summer. Tick them off!
  • Create a scavenger hunt
  • Read the instructions for a game and play it with your family or friends
  • How many words can you make out of ‘SUMMER READING’
  • Collect shells or leaves and use a nature guide to identify them
  • Stay up late and look at the stars - use a book about constellations to identify some
  • Visit a park you have never been to before
  • Perform a play with family or friends
  • Do a nice deed for someone and tell us about it

When they finish a level children visit their local library and talk to staff about their reading, get their journal stamped, and enter the prize draw. Each level completed equals one entry.

Prizes have been generously donated by: Cupcake Sweeties, Friends of Hutt City Libraries, HangDog Indoor Climbing Centre, Hutt City Pools , La Bella Italia, Lighthouse Cinema Petone, Queensgate Shopping Centre, Staglands Wildlife Reserve & Cafe, and Zealandia Ecosanctuary.

How it works – Under-5s

Babies and preschoolers have their own journal!

Under-5s need to complete 24 activities. Suggestions are provided in the journal but if you need more ideas try these:

  • Weave leftover wool through the holes in a laundry basket
  • Put together a box of old padlocks and keys – great fun for little fingers
  • Lie on the grass and watch the clouds – can you see any shapes?
  • Take a trip on the train or the bus
  • Find a grassy bank and roll down it!
  • Learn the Hokey Pokey song and actions
  • Take a walk in one of our Regional Parks
  • Learn three new nursery rhymes!
  • Listen to some music and dance along – grab a light scarf that ‘floats’ when waved
  • Find a recipe and bake something yummy together
  • Snuggle up and read books together

Choose activities that are suitable and safe for your child.

In addition to the activities for under-5s, you should aim to spend ten minutes each day reading with your child. The time you spend now will help your child build a lifelong reading habit.

When finished visit your local library, have a chat to staff about what you’ve completed (we love to know what you did over summer!) and enter the prize draw.

Prizes have been generously donated by: Friends of Hutt City Libraries, Hutt City Kindergartens and Hutt City Pools.