A MYTHICAL maze is the theme of a summer reading challenge for Hampshire children.

Children can take part in the challenge at libraries across the county, created by top illustrator Sarah McIntyre.

It tasks children to find their way around a labyrinth that introduces them to fantastical creatures from the world of legend and mythology, collecting stickers of each character along the way.

Each time they finish a book from the library, children can collect a sticker and then claim a certificate and medal once they have finished six books.

Last year, more than 26,000 children in Hampshire signed up, with 1,558 children in Basingstoke taking part.

The scheme is aimed at helping four to 12-year-olds maintain their reading skills and confidence during the summer holidays, and runs until September 13.

Councillor Keith Chapman, Hampshire County Council’s executive member for culture, said: “Mythical Maze Summer Reading Challenge 2014 is an ideal activity for children before they go back to school in September. For those who will be going to school for the first time, sharing books with adults and taking part in the challenge can be great preparation and help them to be ‘reading ready’.

"The challenge has been running for 13 years in Hampshire and every year, more children are inspired to take part.”

For more information visit hants.gov.uk/summer-reading-challenge.