The Big Family Read

Derby Libraries Big Family Read

Fri 17 Feb 2023

Let’s get the whole family reading with this year’s Big Family Read. Kicking off Mon 20 Feb to Sat 1 Apr with the ROAR-some theme, dinosaurs. If you're a family with children aged 3 - 11 this reading challenge is for you!

What is the Big Family Read?

An opportunity to get together with family read some brilliant books and get creative. There is the Big Family Read Competition and join us for two free exciting events at Alvaston, Mickleover, Normanton and Riverside Libraries

Pick up any kind of book you like from ebooks, audiobooks, or traditional paperbacks and settle down with your family to begin your reading journey.

Reading with children has many benefits, from improving listening and concentration to broadening budding imaginations. Derby Libraries are here to support and help develop your child's reading and writing skills.

By encouraging hundreds of children and families across Derby to read, share and creatively engage with reading, we aim to get families across the whole city reading and talking about books together.

How easy is it to get involved?

Pick up any kind of book about dinosaurs you fancy and explore the prehistoric world as a family. We have a couple of ideas to make reading with your children work for you:

  • Swap the TV for a good book and snuggle up on the sofa with your family, a good book and a warm drink.
  • Listen to audiobooks on the school run. We know the school run can be hectic but once everyone is packed up and, in the car, why not decompress with a relaxing audiobook?
  • Download an ebook onto your tablet to swap gaming screen time with reading. Tablets are a great option to get into reading instantly plus, they save on storage too.
  • Borrow books from your local library. You don’t have to go out and buy books why not pop into your local Derby Library and browse a range of titles on offer all about dinosaurs to take home? It’s free and less wasteful!

Don't have a library card?

The Big Family Read is a perfect opportunity to visit your local Derby Library. Get access to the entire Library catalogue including our eLibrary through BorrowBox for ebooks and audiobooks all for free.

You can simply sign up online or in person, just speak to any of our friendly library staff.

Big Family Read events

This year’s Big Family Read also offers two free family events at all our libraries hosted by The Lowe Ranger and Furthest from the Sea. Both events are free for all, but booking is essential. Make sure to book your place by calling your chosen library.

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Recommended books

To get your Big Family Read started check out the Library Catalogue and see our recommended books all about dinosaurs that are available to borrow from our libraries below.

Big Family Read book collection

Dinosaur Activity lab Age 9-11

A fun make and do book to inspire children to get creative and provide inspiration for the competition. Full of facts about prehistoric life and the evolution of dinosaurs.

Extraordinary Dinosaurs and other prehistoric life Age 7-9

Scary cover! Pages and pages of surprising facts, figures, and amazing illustrations to read over and over again!

Dinosaurs: 500 questions and answer by Anne Rooney Age 7 - 11

A book that will answer all dinosaur questions, for example, ‘Did dinosaurs rule the earth?’ and ‘When were dinosaurs named?’

Dinosaurs: Fun facts for curious kids Age 4-7

A lovely introduction to the fascinating world of dinosaurs, colourful illustrations, and simple text in a board book for younger readers

The Dinosaur Book Age 9-11

The ultimate Dinosaur spotters guide, tour the world to learn about these prehistoric creatures big or small fearsome or friendly. A book to keep borrowing and finding out more facts.

First Dinosaur Picture Atlas Age 5+

Meet 125 different dinosaurs from around the world, beautifully illustrated for younger children with lots of ‘look and find’ pages to keep children busy.

Project Dinosaur by Miles Kelly Age 7+

A combination of facts and figures and hands on activities learn how to make prehistoric footprints, bake Jurassic cookies, or use the book for inspiration for your competition entry.

Do you love Dinosaurs? By Matt Robertson Age 0-5

A super non-fiction picture book to read together to discover amazing dinosaurs but don’t forget to follow the dinosaur rules! Look out for Dinosaur Sports Day.

The Dinosaur Department store by Lily Murray and Richard Merritt Age 0-5

Eliza Jane wants a pet, not a puppy or a kitten a prehistoric pet. Take a visit to the Dinosaur Department store what could possibly go wrong? A rhyming story to read together.

A dinosaur ate my sister by Pooja Puri Age 7 – 9+

Chosen for the Marcus Rashford Bookclub a funny fab adventure story, you will be able to read or listen to this book on Borrowbox.

Dinosaur Trail

Children can experience an interactive dinosaur-themed trail available in each library produced by Furthest from the Sea. Discover the hidden phrase, dinosaurs and what they like to read amongst the bookshelves. Complete the trail to explore the library, gathering your book selection ready to be checked out at the end of the trail.

The Big Family Read Competition

The aim of the competition is to create a book review, story, poem, picture or graphic on the dinosaur theme. There will be two prizes per library, one for the 3 to 6 age range and one for the 7 to 11 age range.

There will be books to win and the chance to have your entry published here and on the Borrrowbox website. Pick up your form during the Big Family Read, and return it to your library by 1 pm Sat 29 Apr.

Previous years entries - 2021

Winner of the 2021 Big Family Read short story competition announced!

Kaitlyn wrote a fantastic piece titled ‘Once There Was A World…’ a story about climate change with a powerful message about how we can all come together to save our planet. We really enjoyed reading this topical, well written and kind story and we were impressed that the whole story was written in rhyme. It gave the story pace and rhythm and we loved this extra injection of creativity! Kaitlyn received a collection of brilliant audiobooks kindly donated by our eBook supplier BorrowBox.

Once there was a world, short story by Kaitlyn aged 11

Once there was a world

Once there was a world that was big and beautiful.  Animals were healthy and trees were fruitful.  Later, humans built factories and began a revolution.  No-one cared to save their planet or help with a solution.  Instead, humans invented pollution.  The world began to crumble and lose its beauty.  The fruit from the trees were no longer fruity.  Some people began to scream and shout.  “We knew all along that what we did was wrong.  We need our voices to be heard.  Please, please hear our cry and tell us, tell us, tell us why we choose to do this to our World”.  No-one would listen.  No-one would care all they would do is stare.  It would not work if they scream and shout.  Soon animals began to die out.  So now there is a world that is big but has no beauty.  Animals are sick and trees are no longer fruity.  All because of ?Humans?.

Soon the people began to realise that the people were right but like in the real world we have to conquer our own fight.  Harming animals, Climate change and pollution are all Wrong and we need to come together and solve the battle with a solution.  If we come together to solve this disaster.  Then we need together, and we need to work faster.  This is our planet that we need to look after.  We should love our planet.


By Kaitlyn

Previous years entries - 2020 winner

 Zoha age 6

One sunny morning a boy called Milad was walking down the street when suddenly he noticed that the daffodils looked brighter than usual. He went near them to take a closer look and noticed a metal object tucked away near the stems. Milad took the object out and it was a sword, an actual real sword, you know the ones that you read about. The little boy tucked the sword under his fleece top and ran home.

“Milad is that you?” called his mum as he entered the house from the back door. “Yes mum” Milad shouted back. Milad took the sword into his bedroom. It had been long day and Milad’s mind went back to his poorly friend who was in hospital and prayed that his friend gets better soon. With that thought the sword started flashing with what looked like all the colours of the sharpie pens and it read *TAKE ME TO THE HOSPITAL*.

At the hospital Milad went straight to see his friend in ward 202. There his friend was being looked after by a lovely doctor with brown hair and a beautiful smile. “Hello little boy”, said the doctor as Milad entered the room. Milad got the sword from under his fleece and this time the message on it was *POINT ME AT YOUR FRIEND*. As soon as Milad did this, a flashing light shone on his friend’s face and his friend sat up. The doctor looked in amazement and couldn’t believe what she had just seen, the patient was well.

The sword flashed again with the message *I HAVE DONE MY JOB, NOW LEAVE ME AT THIS HOSPITAL SO I CAN GIVE POSTIVE ENERGY TO ALL THE DOCTORS TO DO THEIR JOB*. Milad explained to the doctor about the daffodils and the sword and she said to Milad, “I think this sword needed to come into the hospital to spread some miracles, as we need them now more than ever, hoping for some positive energy to get rid of the coronavirus … and we will!”

Previous years entries - 2018

Big Family Read with BorrowBox
Poem, The Bully, by India

Winner India's poem The Bully.

Poem by Charlotte

Runner up Charlotte's poem Title Poem.

Poem by Abigail

Runner up Abigail's poem Summer Holiday by the Beach