CHILDREN have been on the look-out for books in a game of hide-and-seek with a twist thanks to an idea set up by an Oxfordshire mum to encourage children to read.

Books have been hidden in Bicester and the rest of the county for children to find and read before re-hiding them for others to enjoy.

The game, called Look for a Book Oxfordshire, was set up on Facebook on July 31 to ‘bring excitement back into reading’ and already has 4,663 members.

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Tanya Lewis, 47, from Witney, decided to bring the concept to Oxfordshire after her friend told her about it happening in the north of the country on the Look for the Book North East Facebook page.

Bicester Advertiser:

The mother, who is a teaching assistant at Standlake primary school, said: “I absolutely loved the whole concept. I know how important reading is, so I thought I would just give it a go down here.

“The responses from the local communities is phenomenal, it’s actually bringing communities together and getting the children out, exploring with their families and it’s actually making children excited about reading.

“It’s just a simple game of hide and seek of books that will encourage children to read for pleasure. I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to inspire children to read.”

Books can be hidden by children with a note in a plastic bag outlining the rules of the game.

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When a child finds it, they can get their parents to post a photo of them with the book on the Look for a Book Oxfordshire Facebook page, set up by Ms Lewis.

Bicester Advertiser:

Children can then see whether the books they’ve hidden have been found.

Maria Farrington, a mother from Didcot, said on the Facebook page: “I think this is an amazing idea to get children into reading and making reading fun and like a little game. I love the concept and when I brought the book home the boys were excited to read it and they’re asking when they can hide it for someone else to enjoy like they did. Such a brilliant idea.”

Another parent, Tracey Smart, said: “Having a ‘treasure hunt’ that encourages children to read, whilst having fun and exploring the great outdoors in the fresh air, can only be positive in my eyes."

Bicester Advertiser:

So far, books have been found in places such as Bicester, Didcot, Oxford, Faringdon, Chipping Norton and Witney.

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Vicky Hermon commented: “There are so many benefits to this; sharing, reading, exploring and spending time with each other as a family. What a genius idea.”