Bookbug Blogs: The Best of 2016

I'm not sure how that happened. It seems like only minutes ago that we were returning from the 2015 Christmas holidays, full of hope and anticpiation for the year ahead. Well it may have been a quick year, but there's no denying that it's been an eventful one. For those who would like to focus on the more positive outcomes of the year, here's a recap of some of our Bookbug blog highlights from the past 12 months.

Dad and son playing
One of the key themes of our blog this year has been dads. Dads, and father figures, come in all shapes and sizes, and we were delighted to support Year of the Dad through our online content. We opened the year with a wonderful blog from Year of the Dad founder, Douglas Guest, on The Difference that Reading Makes. Douglas' honest account of overcoming his fear of reading aloud by reading to his children was the perfect way to place dads, and reading at the top of our agenda for the year. This was followed by guest blogs from Dunfermline Dads co-founder, Robin Munro, Bookbug Bag author, Gareth Edwards, and Brock Lueck of One Parent Families Scotland on How Reading, Singing, and Rhyming Helps Families to Bond. We also heard the touching story of one new dad's plans to take his son to the library for Father's Day.

Girl with stethoscope
Our very own Bookbug Detective was on hand at the start of 2016 to give gentle advice on issues such as reluctant readers, books to help little ones who need to take a trip to hospital, and a very interesting request from someone looking for books to help their child deal with separation anxiety. Bookbug Detective then took off to spend some time with her own beautiful new baby, but will be back later in the Spring with more book ideas and answers to your dilemas!

Smiley baby
Our Early Years expert, Tracy Cooper, has also tackled some very thought-provoking topics in her monthly research blog. Why Attachment can Impact our choice of Stories and Songs encouraged us all to think sensitively when selecting stories and rhymes for little ones, and Why Children Should be Seen and Heard was a great reminder (on the back of Trump's exploits) as to why we should treat parents and their children with respect and empathy. Most recently, Tracy reacted to a misleading article about the reasons we should read to our children and explored the ways that Bookbug supports positive mental health.

Cover of Introducing Teddy
Some of my favourite blogs of the year were those that reminded us of the many ways in which picture books help us communicate, share ideas, and encourage engagement with books in different ways. How Picture Books Help us Make Sense of the World was an insightful blog that explored the way picture books help us explain concepts (and often difficult) ideas to young children. In a similar vein, Carol Thompson's wonderful blog on the Importance of Inclusivity and Diversity in Children's Books highlighted the importance of picture books as a way of ensuring that all children feel recognised and accepted ('if a child looks at a picture and thinks 'that's me!' – then it's a job done!). Dr.Christine Puckering from Mellow Parenting explained how picture books could be used effectively to help prepare children for the arrival of a new brother or sister, and my own blog Clowning Around with Wordless Picture Books was designed to show how wordless books have the power to develop language, storytelling, and other comunication skills.

Infographic image of Bookbug
Perhaps the most touching Bookbug blog of 2016 came from Catriona, our own Head of Early Years. Her blog, Bookbug for the Home Heads to Holyrood was a reminder to us all that there are so many people who have helped make this beautiful, friendly, vitally important Bookbug programme what it is today. And for that, we are thankful to everyone.


And on that note, we wish you all a very happy and healthy Christmas! We look forward to another busy and rewarding year in 2017.

The Scottish Book Trust Early Years Team