Aren't readers looking younger these days?

A five-year-old boy from Peterhead became the youngest ever and smallest ever reader in the National Library of Scotland in October when he was introduced to a book nearly taller than he is.

Mathew Taylor's visit to the Library was part of his prize for winning this year's Summer Stories Reading Challenge organised by Aberdeenshire Library and Information Service. The challenge had been to read a number of books during the summer and to build a spacecraft from recycled household items. Children all over Aberdeenshire took part via the area's 36 branch and seven mobile libraries.

As well as books, a science box kit and an outing in Aberdeen with his family, Mathew won a trip to Edinburgh and a special family viewing of the Library's children's books exhibition, This Book Belongs to Me, on Wednesday 23 October. The rare book he saw on his visit is one of a collection of 23 volumes on Egypt from Napoleonic France, acquired by the forerunner of the National Library - the Advocates' Library - in 1831 in a five-feet-tall wooden case.

24 October 2002

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