Children invited to join Space Chase at Wiltshire Council libraries

Children invited to join Space Chase at Wiltshire Council libraries

Wiltshire Council libraries are calling for children to sign up to read six books this summer, as part of Space Chase, Summer Reading Challenge 2019.

The Summer Reading Challenge asks 4-11 year olds to borrow and read any six library books over the summer. The theme for the 2019 Summer Reading Challenge is Space Chase, inspired by the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing.

Children will team up with futuristic family The Rockets for an exciting space mission, as they track down books nabbed by a mischievous band of aliens. 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 collectable mission folders, young readers will help the Rockets solve clues, dodge asteroids and discover the missing books, having lots of fun and adventures along the way.

To take part in Space Chase, all children need to do is sign up at their nearest library, where they will be given a membership card, followed by a collector folder (once they’ve read their first book) to keep a record of their Summer Reading Challenge journey.

Space Chase launches in libraries across Wiltshire on Saturday 13 July and runs until Saturday 7 September.

This year an additional activity will be taking place that has been produced in partnership with Wiltshire Council leisure services – the ‘Astronaut training programme’ – six fun and healthy challenges for children to do as they are reading. Each challenge will highlight positive messages about healthy eating, physical exercise and good hydration. On completion the trainee astronauts will receive a small prize and be entered into a prize draw.

Allison Bucknell, cabinet member for libraries, said: “This is an incredibly popular and successful annual reading activity for children, which can make a very positive impact to their reading. Last year over 9400 children took part and we look forward to seeing even more children this year and hope they enjoy the Astronaut Training Programme too. I would also like to thank all the volunteers who give their precious time to support this programme.”

There will be additional activities too, including Bradford on Avon library’s mini book festival for kids on Saturday 13 July jam-packed with fun, free events for kids of all ages, where award winning children’s authors and illustrators will be running space-themed sessions. There will also be special fun storytime sessions for 4-7 year olds run by Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service. Just contact your local library or go to to find out how to take part.

Sue Wilkinson, CEO of The Reading Agency said: “We know from our research that families and children love taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge, and we are proud to have been running the Challenge for twenty years this year. We hope the Challenge will inspire all children to use their local library and to read lots of great books throughout the summer and beyond.”

Library Activities in Wiltshire

Saturday 20 July

Calne – morning (time tbc) – Journey into Space production by Knapsack Productions-– all ages – FREE

Mon 5th Aug

Bradford on Avon – 10am – space-themed dance activity suitable for 2-5 yr olds with Bop About Dance on (Learn to dance like an astronaut or an alien!, free).

Weds 7 August

Malmesbury 2.30-3.30pm – “Aliens Love Underpants” story and craft session suitable for ages 3-7 (Tickets £1.50 for library members and £2.00 for non-members. This event is in partnership with Malmesbury Carnival)

Weds 14 August

Malmesbury 2.30-3.30pm – Space-Themed story and mask making activity suitable for ages 5-11. (Tickets £1.50 for library members and £2.00 for non-members.  This event is in partnership with Malmesbury Carnival)

Thurs 15 August

Corsham library 10-11.30am – Corsham Institute Stop Motion Animation Session with Virtual Reality Experience – ages 6-12 – FREE

Friday 16 August

Calne –  Lunch in the Library – healthy activities all day –all ages – FREE 

Malmesbury 2:30-3:30pm – “Hairy Maclary”, story and craft session suitable for ages 3-7. (Tickets £1.50 for library members and £2.00 for non-members. Event in partnership with Malmesbury Carnival)

Tues 20 August

Corsham – Code Club taster session – ages 6-11 – FREE

Malmesbury 2:00-3:00pm – children’s creative writing session “It’s raining cats and dogs” suitable for ages 5-11. (Tickets £1.50 for library members and £2.00 for non-members. Event in partnership with Malmesbury)

Friday 30 August

Corsham –morning – Special Lego Story Explorers with free for all Lego session – FREE

Saturday 31 August

Calne – morning (time tbc) – The Invisible Museum theatre production by Knapsack productions– ages 7-11 – FREE


Weekly holiday activities

Trowbridge library

Special themed Saturday storytimes 11-11:30am (free, no booking needed)

13th July – Space Stars

27th July – Circus Stars

3rd August – Dance Stars

17th August – Art Stars

24th August – Sports Stars


Westbury Library

Every Tuesday morning – 10-11:30 – Junk Space Craft Modelling

Free – drop-in, with a prize for the best model / colouring / picture at the end of the holidays.

Every Monday afternoon – 2:30-3:30 – meet the listening dog.  Sign up for a 10-minute Summer Reading Challenge slot with Tyler, the listening dog (and his owner Wendy). Children can talk about the books they’ve read for the Summer Reading Challenge.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service storytimes

Education Officers from DWFRS will present fun free interactive story time sessions with simple water safety messages for young children and families. There will be fun activities including dressing up too! Sessions confirmed so far include:

Tues    30 July 10.30-11am    Devizes

Weds   31 July 10.30-11am    Bradford on Avon

Thurs   1 Aug  11-11.30am    Salisbury

Mon     5 Aug   10.30-11am    Melksham

Mon     5 Aug   2-2.30pm         Corsham

Fri        9 Aug    2.15-2.45pm  Malmesbury

Thurs   15 Aug   2-2.30pm       Trowbridge

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