Library Quiz-take the challenge!

Welcome back to the Wokingham Borough Libraries Quiz! This week it’s a chance for book quiz 2our younger readers to test their knowledge – but why don’t you challenge your parents to see who can score the most? We would love to hear who wins!

Don’t forget, even though we’re closed at the moment you can still access our online catalogue for ebooks, audiobooks and comics at

Why not have a look at PressReader too? There are thousands of magazines available for free with your library membership, and you can log in here

If you’re not a member at the moment don’t worry, you can sign up at the  Spydus website

Right, let’s go!

  1. How many books has David Walliams published (up to and including May 2020)?
  2. Where do Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and their friends live?
  3. How many storeys do Andy and Terry add to their treehouse with each new Treehouse book?
  4. What type of animals feature in The Bolds by Julian Clary?
  5. What are the four houses at Hogwarts called?
  6. What is the name of the first book in the Percy Jackson series?
  7. Which fantasy creatures live in Darkling Wood?
  8. Which two countries feature in The Witches by Roald Dahl?
  9. Where is Paddington Bear’s favourite food?
  10. What is the Gruffalo scared of?

Answers will be published on Facebook and Twitter next week.


book quiz

Elmer Parade!

As our May half-term activities were put on hold, Wokingham Borough Libraries  created some virtual events for young people to take part in.   Throughout the week we asked you to do some Elmer Activities.

Here are your fantastic creations in our Elmer Parade.

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Wokingham Borough Libraries Newsletter June 2020

Wokingham Borough Libraries Newsletter June 2020

For information on the latest guidance and advice about Coronavirus (COVID-19) please visit

At present Wokingham Borough Council has taken the difficult decision to temporarily close all of its libraries.

A large number of online library services are still available, including ebooks, enewspapers and audiobooks. While the libraries are closed we have suspended the fines so there is no need to renew or return your books. Please look after the books, until such time as the libraries reopen, then you will be able to return them


New Digital Services

  • Sign up for free library membership by visiting the Spydus website to join our libraries online.
  • Freegal Music – Access 15 million songs from thousands of artists. You can download 3 songs per week, and listen to streamed content for up to 3 hours per day. Login to Freegal Music with your barcode and PIN, or download the Freegal Music app from the App Store or Google Play Store, then select your library and log in with your barcode and PIN. Please note: Some of the titles may contain content of a more adult nature. As with all library usage we recommend parents and carers give their child support in choosing appropriate items to match their needs.
  • Ancestry Online website – is a family history website with access to census records, births, marriages and deaths records, and much more. Available at Wokingham, Woodley and Lower Earley libraries. Access to this resource has been temporarily expanded to library cardholders working remotely, courtesy of ProQuest and its partner Ancestry. To log in from home, visit the Spydus website

Smashing Activities inspired by Enid Blyton  Just view our blog here:

Empathy Day LogoEmpathy Day

On 9 June, EmpathyLab will be hosting Empathy Day to help everyone understand and experience the power of empathy through books. Scientists say that we can train our brain with stories, as the more we empathise with characters, the more we can understand other people’s feelings. Throughout the day, they’ll be running brilliant online events and fun home-based activities to help children read, connect and act using empathy. Authors, illustrators, schools, libraries, and families across the UK will be taking part and we’d love for you to join in!

We will also be running the following on our Facebook page and keep checking as we start more activities over the coming weeks

Wokingham Libraries Online Book Chat

If you’re looking for book recommendations join our online Book Chat at

Find out what’s new and what others are enjoying and add your own comments- we would love to hear from you.

Art ChallengeArt Challenge

Each month we will be highlighting a different artist for you to explore, then design and create your own Masterpiece! Just visit to find out more.


E-Services – Did you know you can borrow a range of e-books, e-audio, e-comics newspapers and magazines completely free of charge if you are a library member? Just go to or download the RB Digital app and use your library card number to create a free account with a username and password.

Press Reader –E-newspapers and magazines are available via the Press Reader App, please visit: for more information.

The service allows you to:

  • Read and download newspapers and magazines on your computer, smartphone or tablet
  • Read the current copy of most daily and Sunday newspapers, many local newspapers and a wide selection of magazines
  • Access a selection of newspapers and magazines from all over the world

Why not search our online catalogue from the comfort of your own home to see what’s on offer:  

You can find more about events in libraries via our email newsletter. You can sign up for this at: Or alternatively download this publication at:

Wokingham in Past Times

Local historian Jim Bell looks back at some newspaper reports from the Reading Mercury about life in nineteeenth century Wokingham Jim pic

Mon 30th Oct 1820

At the Justice Meeting at Wokingham, on Thursday last, James Marshall, a carter boy to Farmer Rushton, was convicted in the penalty of ten shillings, for riding in his master’s cart upon the highway, without reins or anyone on foot, to guide the horse. Mr. and Mrs. Brigstock narrowly escaped a serious accident by the above negligence, and it is much to be wished that examples should be made of all persons observed to be guilty of such offences.


Mon 27th Nov 1820


In the Town of Wokingham, or between that place and the Pheasant, King Street, on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 1820.—A Twenty Pound Bank of England Note, No.11,358, dated August 26.—Two Ten Pound Notes of Messrs. Stephens and Co’s Reading Bank, out of the following Numbers, 3225—3292—or, 9798, and a Ten Pound Note of the bank of England.

Payment of all the above Notes being Stopped, they are of no use to any person, but the owner. Suspicion having fallen on certain persons of detaining the Notes, a long examination has taken place before the worthy and indefaticable Magistrates of Wokingham, from which there is good reason to suppose the money is detained under the expectation of a greater reward being offered, but as payment of the Notes is Stopped, and they are consequently useless, no greater sum will be given for the recovery of them than FIVE POUNDS.—Whoever returns the Notes to Mr. Creaker, Wokingham, or Messrs. Cowslade and Co., Reading, shall receive the reward.

P.S. Whoever detains any notes or other articles, having found the same, is subject to a prosecution for Felony.


Mon 6th Aug 1821


A very elegant Ball was given last week in honour of the Coronation at Wokingham. It took place in the Town-Hall, the interior of which was tastefully decorated and brilliantly illuminated with a Crown of variegated lamps and a resplendent G.R. Through the polite attentions of the Stewards [illeg], the evening passed off with considerable [illeg], and the loyalty, which gave birth to the greatly enhanced [illeg] of the scene.


Mon 18th March 1822


Toutley Hall, Berks, by the side of the Forest Road, leading from King-street to Bill Hill, about a mile and a half from Wokingham. To be sold by auction by Mr. Creaker, on Friday, March 22nd, 1822 at eleven o’clock, on the premises.

All the genteel household furniture and Effects of a Gentleman leaving Toutley Hall


Mon 22nd April

The Recordership of the ancient Town of Wokingham, in this county, having become vacant by the resignation of Giffin Wilson, esq. Of Lincoln Inn, the Corporation on Friday last unanimously elected John Roberts, esq., to that highly respectable situation. This unsolicited appointment by a body of his fellow townsmen with whom he has been associated for forty years, must be gratifying to the feelings of the esteemed individual, who has been the object of their choice.

woky 1


Bake-a-Long a Blyton

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If you know anything about Enid Blyton’s books you will know that a huge part of them is the food. In fact I would even go as far to say that one of the reasons you come back to the books time and time again, child or adult, is because of those sweet descriptions of the food. I know I wanted to go on pretty much every epic picnic, camping holiday and to every place selling homemade cakes that were mentioned in the books.

It was through Blyton’s books I tried new foods, and even started trying to make and bake things that were inspired by them. Ginger biscuits, fresh and gooey English macaroons, barley sugars, treacle tart, jammy buns, strawberry tarts, lemonade and hard boiled eggs. The pages of the books are crammed full of delicious recipes and you can get two recipes to make from us today, inspired by Jane Brocket’s Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer book, I’ve provided recipes for the smashing fresh and gooey macaroons, and the absolutely wizard ginger biscuits.
Note: the macaroons are not the fancy French variety, but the easy bake, easy make almond English variety. Perfect for those who are gluten free, but just scrummy all around!

You can download these recipes below. Don’t forget to share your pictures of them when you’ve made them! Happy baking!

Fresh and Gooey Macaroons

Joanna’s OBCBE Ginger Biscuits

Enid Blyton Inspired Indoor Activities

These activities are inspired by Enid Blyton’s books and the prompts for these activities can be found in the book Ripping Things to Do: The Best Games and Ideas from Children’s Books by Jane Brocket. With the introductions done, let’s get on to some smashing activities you can do yourselves.

Cracking Codes

What better way to start your Enid Blyton week activity by learning a code, or making one up, and the asking someone to de-code a message you leave them? In Blyton’s adventure books, such as The Famous Five, The Secret Seven, and The Five Find-Outers and Dog.

Codes you can learn:-

Morse code – a series of dots and dashes that people use for letters of the alphabet. The most common Morse code signal you may have heard of is S.O.S which is depicted as “Dot dot dot – dash dash dash – dot dot dot”. Use the pictures below to try sending secret messages either by tapping out the dots and dashes (use short sharp taps for the dots and leave longer gaps between taps for the dashes), flashing a torch light or a mirror in sunlight (mind the other person’s eyes),  or by writing down the dots and dashes.

Semaphore alphabet – just to clarify the semaphore I’m talking about here is the kind used on ships, navy vessels, and in airports, not the kind to do with computer science. This semaphore is usually done by moving your arms into the positions shown in the picture to create signals and letters. Usually these are done with flags so that you are able to see the signal from a bigger distance, not to mention the bright colours in these flags help catch attention.  Try coping the alphabet from below, maybe you can use some cloths that a parent or guardian has around, and when you’ve mastered the alphabet, try sending a message for someone else to crack!

Creating your own code:-

Ways to create your own codes can be as simple as assigning each letter of the alphabet a different letter of the alphabet. So for example A becomes Z and Z becomes A. To send a message with your own code you would spell out the message with your own alphabet and the other person would have to work out what it says.

Another way to make a code is to give each letter a number or symbol, so A would be the number 1, B-2 and so on. You’d make it more complicated I’m sure! For the symbols, think about what symbols are on a keyboard, or what your most used emojis are (if you are lucky enough to have access to a device with emojis) and give each letter a symbol or emoji. 

You could also give each letter a word, like B could be Banana, C – chocolate or Wombat for W. You could use as many words as you wanted from wherever. Animals and foods are good codes to try, but you could always use things you have about your house, or Pokemon for example.

With all good code creators to start with, make a note of your code so that you can decode any messages or help the person you’re sending a message to in case they get stuck!

Invisible Ink: – Another idea for sending coded messages is using certain house hold products to create an invisible ink. You can use any liquid that dries clear, but when heated turns brown! Juices like orange, lemon and apple work well, and milk or diluted honey are some other alternatives. Why don’t you have a play around with some other (adult agreed) liquids to see what might also work?

To do the writing, you can use a pen with a nib (not your best fountain pen!) a feather, toothpick, cocktail stick, rubber stamps, a thin paint brush or use your finger. Use your codes to make an invisible message!

Card Games

A good chunk of the time spent indoors in Enid Blyton’s books are spent either doing homework, reading, or playing card games.

Now you can play any of the card games you have in the house, Top Trumps, Uno, Happy Families, but if you want to try and learn a new game, some of the ones that Enid Blyton wrote about for example, you can check out this website for 12 games to play with a standard deck of cards, or ask permission or a grown up, to look up these games below:

  • Snap
  • Beggar my neighbour
  • Go Fish
  • Cheat
  • Old Maid
  • Chase the Ace
  • Patience
  • Rummy

Indoor Den

A good way to pretend that you’re camping like many good Enid Blyton characters is to build a den in your house. We’ll be looking at what you’ll need to create a den and a few ideas on how to put it together.

What you might want to get together, or ask an adult if you cause use are:

  • Pillows
  • Blankets
  • Cuddly toys
  • Fairy lights

Find a space you can use, maybe a living room, or under the dining room table, or between two chairs. Drape your blanket over the table, chairs or the sofa in the living room. Then make your den as comfortable as possible and enjoy!

This den can be anything such as a tent, a cave, a castle, a ship, treasure island, whatever you want! You could even use your new codes as an entry word, or you can play some of the card games you’ve just learnt to do in your den, colour, draw maps, and discover some treasure. If you’re lucky enough to have a tablet, laptop or set up in front of a TV maybe you could enjoy the Malory Towers TV series that’s on CBBC iPlayer right now!

Enid Blyton Inspired Outdoor Activities

These activities are inspired by Enid Blyton’s books and the prompts for these activities can be found in the book Ripping Things to Do: The Best Games and Ideas from Children’s Books by Jane Brocket. With the introductions done, let’s get on to some smashing activities you can do yourselves.

Outdoor Den

A good way to pretend that you’re camping like many good Enid Blyton characters is to build a den in your garden. We’ll be looking at what you’ll need to create a den and a few ideas on how to put it together.

What you might want to get together, or ask an adult if you cause use are:

  • Pillows
  • Blankets
  • A torch or Fairy lights

You could also just use a tent if you are lucky enough to have one at home, but make sure you kit it out with torches, cushions, sleeping bags and a picnic!

If you’re making a den out of blankets, you could use the washing line to put your blanket over, even better if there’s a bit of a breeze because you can secure it on the line!

If you have an outside chair and table, you can also use that to make your den! Have a play around with what you have! A piece of string secured between two sturdy points is another good option! Make sure you ask an adult to help you with that.

Then use your cushions to make your den nice and comfortable, and think up a password to let people in, Secret Seven style!

Jam Jars

This isn’t really something from Enid Blyton, but I think there are some really super things you can do with a jam jar!

  • Use a large jam jar to put some home grown, or wild flowers from your walks in to go at the centre of your dining table or on a mantelpiece.
  • Take your jam jar fishing! Take your net to your local stream, or body of water and as long as it is safe to do so fill your jar with water from the stream or lake, or sea and when you catch things in your net you can put them in the jam jar to have a closer look at the animals, fish, snails, and plant life around you.
  • Take your jam jar on your walk or around your garden, and fill it with flowers, pebbles and interesting things to take a closer look at when you get home or a bit later on! If you’re really super brave, maybe you can carefully and gently catch a bug to have a closer look at!
  • As we’re getting into summer, the bushes around are going to be filling up with fruit! You could take your jam jar with you to go black berry picking, or collecting sloes, or cherries or strawberries all in the wild around you! Just make sure these fruits are not in anyone’s garden or on private land!

Having a picnic

In my mind there is nothing more basically Enid Blyton than a picnic outside in the sun! Maybe you can have the macaroons or Ginger biscuits you baked with Tuesday’s Bake-a-Along post for part of your picnic.

You’ll need some sandwiches as well, a hard-boiled egg perhaps, maybe some crisps if you don’t want to be too Enid Blyton! Fresh tomatoes are usually a very good addition to any picnic, as is ginger beer (but don’t worry if you don’t like ginger beer, you might be able to have something else instead!)

When it comes to pudding on picnics, cake is a good shout, but as I suggested you might want to have the macaroons or ginger biscuits you made earlier this week!

Don’t forget something to sit on! A picnic rug might be the best option, but if you want to sit on the grass, that’s fine – but don’t sit on anything spiky cause it might hurt!

Making a Map

For your next trip outside you could draw a map, either of where you’re going to go, or to somewhere you think there might be treasure. Making maps is really cool, especially if you can do it in your house or your garden and you can hide some treasure for someone else to find, or maybe an adult can draw a map and hide some treasure for you to find!

If you want to have a fun treasure hunt as a family, or if a parent or guardian is happy to do so, you can download apps for Geocaching and you can use the map on the app to find Tupperware boxes with treasure in!


As long as you maintain your social distancing, maybe on your next trip outside, or even just in your garden at home, you can go exploring like The Famous Five and have a look around the parks and places around you for hidden treasure, secret passages and maybe an adventure!

Splendid Titles – What to read after Enid Blyton

Banner kindly taken from
  • The Mystery of Wickworth Manor – Elen Caldecott
  • Wed Wabbit – Lissa Evans
  • The Adventures Series – Jemma Hatt
  • The Clifftoppers series – Fleur Hitchcock

  • The Binny Series – Hilary McKay
  • The Skylarks’ War – Hilary Mckay
  • The Adventure Island Series – Helen Moss
  • Ribblestrop – Andy Mulligan

  • The Worst Witch – Jill Murphy
  • A Laura Marlin  Mysteries –  Lauren St John
  • Emily Lime mysteries – Dave Shelton
  • Frozen in Time – Ali Sparkes

  • Murder Most Unladylike – Robin Stevens
  • The Mystery of Clockwork Sparrow – Katherine Woodfine
  • Any titles by Emma Carroll

If you like reading Enid Blyton why not try:

Weekly Origami Challenge: Enid Blyton Picnic

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This week is all about Enid Blyton for half term.  If you’ve read any of her books you will know that the characters love to drink ginger beer and eat cake and ice-cream, and who loves a picnic the most? Timmy the dog from the Famous Five series.  Can you make these for your very own origami Enid Blyton picnic?

Download the Enid Blyton Picnic Origami Pack here.

When you’ve finished please take a photo and tag Wokingham Borough Libraries on our social media or email your photo to

Find instructions here of how to make rectangular paper square if you do not have origami paper at home.

Thanks to  for the instructions.

If you’ve missed them, our previous origami packs can be found here! We have made:

  • Shakespeare Week – The Tempest Play
  • Easter
  • Pondlife
  • Dinosaurs
  • Star Wars
  • Flowers
  • Under the Sea

Smashing! Enid Blyton Activities

Enid Blyton Inspired Activities

Banner kindly taken from

Join us this week in celebrating all things Blyton! We have put together this smashing list of activities to try.  Some of these activities will be going live on social media during the week. If you’ve taken part in any of our activities this week we would love to hear about it – share your photos on our social media or email them to

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Why not try one of the following activities:

  • Enid Blyton Origami Picnic – there is ginger beer, ice-cream, cake and of course Timmy the dog who loves a good picnic.
  • Photo challenge – It’s time to show off your Enid Blyton books.  Have you got any older copies? Which cover is your favourite? Can you get artistic with your photos?
  • Redesign a book cover – Publishers love redesigning book covers to make them stand out in the bookshop or library.  We want to see your redesign of your favourite Enid Blyton book cover!
  • Bake-A-Long-A-Blyton – Fresh and Gooey Macaroons and Joanna’s OBCBE Ginger Biscuits
  • Enid Blyton Outdoor Activities
  • Enid Blyton Indoor Activities
  • Enid Blyton Story Starter Writing Challenge
  • Draw a Famous Five Treasure map of Kirrin Island.  Gold ingots have been hidden on Kirrin Island, draw the map to help Julian, Dick, George, Anne and Timmy find the gold!
  • Enid Blyton Lego Weekly Challenge – Have a go at building a wishing chair, far away tree, caravan, castle, or island for the characters to explore or design your Timmy the dog
  • Activity Sheets Galore available to download:
  • If you love Enid Blyton books and want to know who writes like Enid, we’ve compiled a list of splendid titles here.