Why YOU Should Take Part in the Bookbug Picture Book Prize

Here at Scottish Book Trust we are buzzing with excitement to get stuck into this year’s Bookbug Picture Book Prize after announcing the shortlisted books a few weeks ago! We could talk all day about why your school or library should get involved (and sometimes we do), but in this blogpost, we wanted to hand it over to the experts.

We spoke to teachers across Scotland who took part in last year’s prize to find out how it got their pupils engaged with reading for pleasure. Here are a few key themes and quotes from our feedback which sum up how the prize got pupils across Scotland excited about books.


The importance of being able to discuss books and have a voice

Children are more likely to enjoy reading if they have the opportunity to discuss what they’ve read, sharing likes and dislikes. The Bookbug Picture Book Prize allows pupils to have a voice in a national book award, and it’s a great way for you to show them that their opinions are valued, as Carolyn found:

‘I think it made them feel important, discussing the various merits of the 3 books - the content, pictures and emotions. We talked a lot about reading and making choices about books as we got older. We put up the poster too which they thought made it even more official. They really enjoyed voting and watching the result on the screen.’ - Carolyn Cheape, Principal Teacher, Carlogie Primary School, Angus    

I think it made them feel important, discussing the various merits of the 3 books - the content, pictures and emotions.  


The opportunity to share books aloud

Participating in the prize gives teachers and librarians the opportunity to share three great books aloud with pupils, and this is a real equaliser when it comes to pupils’ enjoyment of books. Reading aloud removes the barrier of decoding text for pupils and means everyone can enjoy a book together at the same pace, making reading a great social experience for the whole class, as Carissa states:

‘All of my pupils have enjoyed listening to the stories. The books caught their imagination. Some of the pupils have also said that they have begun to read at home as they enjoyed listening to the books in school.’ - Carissa Hyndman, Principal Teacher, St Winning’s Primary School, North Ayrshire

You can also set up a shared reading project where older pupils read the books with younger pupils before discussing them and voting for a favourite. We have resources to introduce you to shared reading and to help you give it a go.


The excitement of seeing authors read their work

Our author videos will give your pupils the chance to ‘meet’ the shortlisted authors and hear them read their books in full. This is a great resource if you have pupils who don’t have formal reading skills, but it’s also an exciting thing for any pupil to see the face behind the book. The videos were very popular in Troon Primary School:

‘The children LOVED watching the authors read the books; the clips were initially shared at assembly as an infant department and were then watched again with classes.  This brought the books to life and allowed pupils with less motivation to read a piece of text with a visual stimulus.’ - Aileen Roan, Principal Teacher, Troon Primary School, South Ayrshire


Placing books at the heart of the curriculum The contents of the Bookbug Primary 1 Family Bag

Creating fun cross-curricular activities based around a book can foster curiosity and excitement about that book, and we’ve seen lots of teachers and librarians set up learning activities around the books, particularly in the case of Primary 1 pupils, who all receive the books in their Primary 1 Family Bag. Check out our case studies to hear about some great learning activities!

Our learning resource for the Bookbug Picture Book Prize is always popular and gives you lots of ideas to kick off some cross-curricular activities inspired by the books, as Gillian found:

‘We chose several activities from the suggestions you provided for each book to start us off, and then we followed the children's lead.  They enjoyed all the stories and it prompted a great deal of listening and talking, reading for pleasure and writing about characters, another ending, what might happen next etc.’ - Gillian Gall, Class Teacher, St. Ninian's Episcopal Primary School, Perth and Kinross


And finally...the excitement of the winner’s announcement!

We announce the winner of the Bookbug Picture Book Prize via a special video on our website shortly after pupils go back to school in January. Last year pupils loved seeing Nick Sharratt’s video telling them that Shark in the Park on a Windy Day had won. Kim told us:

‘They couldn't wait to find out who had won the prize. When the winner was revealed they were so excited because they had voted for the favourite.’ - Kim McIntyre, Class Teacher, Gore Glen Primary School, Midlothian

If you need any more proof than that of the excitement surrounding the winner’s announcement, check out this great video from Melrose Primary School!


We hope that this lovely feedback from across Scotland has inspired you to get involved in this year’s Bookbug Picture Book Prize with your pupils! Schools, libraries and nurseries can register to take part here, and if you want any more information, check out the prize homepage or email us at prizes@scottishbooktrust.com