Scores of youngsters spent their summertime immersed in a world of rhyme, animals and silliness - with an impressive 6,300 signing up for the annual reading challenge.

Rhyming, read-aloud picture books ‘Oi Duck-billed platypus’, ‘Oi puppies’ and ‘Oi cat’ by Kes Gray and John Field all appear in the top 20 most popular books read by children at Suffolk Libraries over the school holidays - taking the number 1, number 3 and number 13 spots on the list.

Hundreds across the county howled with laughter at Fetch-22, the bestseller from Captain Underpants author Dav Pilkey - alongside other popular Dog Man series instalments ‘Brawl of the wild’, ‘For whom the ball rolls’ and ‘Grime and punishment’.

Bury Mercury: Kylo and Kalum Duffy at Gainsborough Library in Ipswich with their summer reading challenge certificatesKylo and Kalum Duffy at Gainsborough Library in Ipswich with their summer reading challenge certificates (Image: SUFFOLK LIBRARIES)

Popular picture book ‘The girl, the bear and the magic shoes’ by Julia Donaldson also appears on the list, as does ‘There’s a superhero in your book’ by McFly’s Tom Fletcher, and ‘The beast of Buckingham Palace’ by David Walliams.

And there is still time to complete the six-book challenge, which encourages youngsters to read one per week over the school holidays, with participants having until September 5 to finish.

This year’s nature-inspired theme is Wild World Heroes, aimed at raising awareness of the environment and the threat to the world’s wildlife - and as of Friday, children in Suffolk had borrowed just under 141,000 books to honour the challenge.

“Seeing so many families coming back to the library after such challenging times has given us a real boost and many more children across Suffolk now have a library card too,” said Paul Howarth of Suffolk Libraries.

“It’s a real achievement to complete the challenge so we’d love to see more children come in over the next couple of weeks to get their certificate.”

Bury Mercury: Ivy and Abby Fox at Gainsborough LibraryIvy and Abby Fox at Gainsborough Library (Image: SUFFOLK LIBRARIES)

Some libraries will be flexible if youngsters need a little longer to complete their challenge - children just need to visit the library to speak to staff or volunteers to earn their certificate and medal.