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Press release: Bookbug goes green

Published 17 February 2020

Scottish Book Trust today announces the books chosen for the 2020/21 Bookbug Bags that are distributed at no cost to every baby, toddler and 3-year-old in Scotland. The charity will start to roll out new Bookbug bags that have been developed with eco-friendliness in mind, made from recycled plastic bottles.

Every year, Bookbug, the Scottish Government funded initiative, gifts over 800,000 books to families across Scotland. Bookbug bags help children to develop a love of books and promote the health and developmental benefits of sharing stories, songs and rhymes. The new bags will include books by some of the UK’s favourite authors and illustrators including Michelle Sloan, Emily Dodd and Tim Hopgood. The bags also include a selection of materials including new felt Bookbug finger puppets and experience cards.

Bookbug also gifts Gaelic language editions of the selected titles. These can be requested from your local Bookbug Co-ordinator or Bòrd na Gàidhlig Early Years Worker. Three-year-old children in Gaelic Medium Education will receive their Gaelic Bookbug Explorer books from their nursery, which also contain the English titles. Bookbug also provides tactile books to support children with additional needs.

The Bookbug programme is managed by Scottish Book Trust and run in partnership with libraries, local authorities, health professionals and nurseries.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:

“This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Bookbug programme, which has gifted over 7 million free books since its inception. Every child, toddler and 3-year-old in Scotland will receive a bag of books and activities, handpicked by our panel consisting of Early Years experts. At Scottish Book Trust, we believe it's never too early to start reading to your little one: not only to improve literacy, but also to help bonding between families."

Maree Todd, Minister for Childcare and Early Years, said:

“Reading captures the imagination and stimulates a child’s development. It is also a great activity for parents to share with their little ones. We recognise how important it is to introduce babies and children to books as early as possible and encourage parents to play a part in their child’s learning from the start.

“I hope our Bookbug bags will spark a lifelong love and appreciation of books and storytelling for those receiving them. The Bookbug bags are a vital resource for children and families in Scotland that can help to close the attainment gap in both literacy and numeracy between young people from different backgrounds.”

The books to be distributed free in Bookbug bags to every baby, toddler and 3-year-old in Scotland in the coming year are as follows:

Bookbug Baby Bag

Bookbug Toddler Bag

Bookbug Explorer Bag

Scottish Book Trust's Bookbug app is available for parents/carers and children to enjoy together. The free app is designed to complement Bookbug Bags and Bookbug Sessions, offering greater accessibility to rhymes and songs to families across Scotland. The app can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.

Notes to editors

For all media enquiries, please contact Director of Marketing and Communications, Sarah Bailey: sarah.bailey@scottishbooktrust.com(this will open in a new window) or 0131 524 0175

Bookbug Bags

Bookbug is Scotland’s national book gifting programme, gifting books to every baby, toddler, 3 and 5-year-old in Scotland in four free Bookbug bags:

There are also two Bookbug books in the Scottish Government’s Baby Box scheme, gifted pre-birth. The Bookbug programme is managed by Scottish Book Trust and run in partnership with libraries, health professionals and nurseries. The programme benefits from sponsorship from children’s publishers and central funding from the Scottish Government through a grant from the Children and Families Directorate.

Bookbug Sessions are run by local libraries or community groups, with training for practitioners provided by Scottish Book Trust and funded by Creative Scotland's Youth Music Initiative. There are 27,000 Bookbug Sessions happen across Scotland every year. These are free, fun-filled story and rhyme sessions for babies to four-year-olds, attended by thousands of parents and children a year.

Bookbug’s targeted outreach programme, Bookbug for the Home, trains Early Years practitioners to give support to families on a one-to-one basis. Bookbug for the Home practitioners work in every local authority in Scotland.

Scottish Book Trust also supports the delivery of Dolly Parton Imagination Library in Scotland (free books delivered monthly to every Looked After and adopted child aged 0-5).

Scottish Book Trust

Scottish Book Trust is a national charity changing lives through reading and writing. We inspire and support the people of Scotland to read and write for pleasure through programmes and outreach work that include:

Creative Scotland

In addition to general fundraising, Scottish Book Trust receives Creative Scotland support through Regular Funding. Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery.