THURROCK Council’s libraries service is asking parents and carers in the borough to don superhero masks, reveal their secret powers and go with their children on a quest to find a hero-themed and free National Bookstart Week event.

National Bookstart Week is an annual celebration of Bookstart, the flagship reading programme from national charity, Booktrust.

It aims to help every child in England, Wales and Northern Ireland develop a lifelong love of reading that will give them a flying start in life (cape optional) through gifting free books to every child.

Participants attending events in Thurrock are urged to go along in superhero dress and meet the Bookstart Bear.

A special version of Harper Collins’ Super Duck, by popular children’s author Jez Alborough, will be a free gift for children who take part.

The lively story follows the heroic Super Duck as he strives to rescue his friend Frog from an unplanned flight on a wayward kite.

The events are on Tuesday, June 10, 10.30am at Stanford Library and 1.30pm at High House Production Park, Purfleet, on Wednesday, June 11, 10.30am at Grays Library and 1.30pp at the Thameside Nature Park, on Thursday, June 12, 10.30am and Chadwell Library and at 1.30pm at the South Ockendon Centre.

On Friday, June 13, an event will be held at Tilbury Library, starting at 10.30am.

Viv Bird, Chief Executive of the Booktrust, said: “All the research shows reading together strengthens family bonds and helps children do better at school, whatever the family’s background.

“You don’t have to be a great reader yourself to share a story with your children – often you just need to let the pictures carry you both along.”