New Big Read launched for Children

Somerset County Council Libraries are launching a Children’s Big Read to inspire children to love reading.

Following the success of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, which saw over 7,700 children take part, the Children’s Big Read aims to get as many children as possible across the county reading and talking about the same book.

This Big Read will run for the whole of this academic year and this year’s title is Cat Burglar by Somerset author, Tamsin Cooke.

A wonderfully entertaining novel, Cat Burglar tells the story of Scarlet McCall, a schoolgirl by day but Cat Burglar by night, who is on a mission to return stolen treasures to their rightful owners.

The initiative will kick-off in Taunton Library on the Wednesday 27 September, where Tamsin will be talking to local school children about the inspiration behind the book and how they can write great stories too.

Children will then be able to borrow the book as it visits libraries around the county throughout the year. The first libraries to host the Children’s Big Read will be Taunton, Street and Crewkerne, who will all be hosting the collections until the end of November. The collections will then journey across another 13 libraries in Somerset until July 2018, with Tamsin visiting many of the libraries along the way.

As well as reading the book, children are encouraged to write reviews and design their own Cat Burglar costumes, with Tamsin’s favourite designs winning a set of her books. For more information about which libraries the Big Read will be visiting and what events are on, visit

Councillor David Hall, Cabinet Member at Somerset County Council responsible for libraries, said: “It’s been a brilliant summer for children’s reading in Somerset, and this is a wonderful opportunity to maintain that enthusiasm.
“We’re very pleased to be working with Tamsin Cooke and Oxford University Press, who have kindly donated a number of books to the Big Read. In previous years, we’ve enjoyed great success in our adult Somerset Big Reads, and so I look forward to seeing our children share their love of reading too.”

Tamsin Cooke said: “I am thrilled to be taking part in the Somerset Big Read. It is such an honour. I love children’s books as they are filled with adventure, wonder and hope. During this year, I really want to inspire children and ignite their imaginations.”