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Press release: Bookbug Week celebrates diversity of language across Scotland

Bookbug sits on wall next to two children holding up signs saying Bookbug Says Hello!
- Image credit: Rachel Hein

Scottish Book Trust’s annual Bookbug Week launches today (13 May), and with a theme of Bookbug Says Hello!, it will celebrate all the different languages spoken by families across Scotland.

As part of the celebrations Scottish Book Trust commissioned two new Gaelic songs, two new Arabic song and rhymes videos, and a Sprog Rock video created with Wester Hailes residents, as inspired by different languages in the area.

Throughout the week there will be a huge range of activities for families to take part in, and which explore all the different ways of communicating. This includes:

These diverse language sessions are also a continuing part of the Bookbug programme.

Paulina Rusowicz, session leader at Dalkeith Library, says: ‘Polish Bookbug helps children develop to Polish language, culture and customs in our bilingual family, and helps us to socialize in our mother tongue. By promoting their parents home language, it allows the child to maintain close emotional contact with grandparents and other relatives who remain outside the country.’

Scottish Book Trust’s Early Years team have also been working with The Cottage in Kirkcaldy, a family centre that offers support to vulnerable families, to explore music and its benefits to mental health. Musician-in-Resident Kelly Laing has been working with a group of families over ten workshops, and their creation, a song and video, will be shown at a special Bookbug event at the Adam Smith Theatre on 15 May.

Bookbug is a national programme run by Scottish Book Trust, a charity changing lives with reading and writing. All children in Scotland receive four Bookbug Bags full of books and activities between their birth and first year of school. Families can also share songs and rhymes in fun Bookbug Sessions in local libraries and community groups and through the Bookbug app. The Scottish Government has been supporting Bookbug since 2010.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: ‘We’re excited for this year’s Bookbug Week, where we are celebrating the different languages across Scotland, including Gaelic, Scots, Makaton, Polish, Ukrainian, British sign language and Mandarin.

‘With sessions taking place in local libraries across the country, Bookbug is such a vital support for communities, helping babies and infants develop language and social skills. Many babies and children in Scotland grow up hearing and using two or more languages, and we want to celebrate this diversity.’


Bookbug surrounded by children sitting on wall reading picture books
- Image credit: Rachel Hein

Notes to editors

Please direct all media requests to Caroline Young, Marketing and PR Manager at Scottish Book Trust at [email protected](this link will open in a new window) or on 07854135286.


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:

• Baby Bag (gifted by a health visitor to every baby)

• Toddler Bag (gifted by a health visitor to every toddler)

• Explorer Bag (gifted at nursery to every 3-year-old)

• Primary 1 Family Bag (gifted at school to every P1 pupil)

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.

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. 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. Details of local Bookbug Sessions can be found on our website..

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).

Follow @Bookbug_SBT on X(this link will open in a new window), @Bookbug_SBT on Instagram(this link will open in a new window) or like Bookbug's Facebook page(this link will open in a new window).

Scottish Book Trust

Scottish Book Trust is a national charity that believes everyone living in Scotland should have equal access to books. Our work provides opportunities to improve life chances through books and the fundamental skills of reading and writing. Access to books and a love of books bring many important benefits from family bonding and advancing children’s learning, to unlocking creativity, helping employability and improving mental health and wellbeing. Scottish Book Trust aims to support all communities across Scotland, with particular focus on those who are vulnerable and under-represented.

Our programmes and outreach work include:

In addition to the funding we receive from the Scottish Government and Creative Scotland, we need the constant support of trusts and foundations, corporate sponsors and individual donors.

Find us online at scottishbooktrust.com(this link will open in a new window). Follow @scottishbktrust on Twitter(this link will open in a new window), @scottishbooktrust on Instagram(this link will open in a new window) or like Scottish Book Trust's Facebook page(this link will open in a new window).

Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland distributing funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Further information at creativescotland.com. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Learn more about the value of art and creativity in Scotland and join in at ourcreativevoice.scot(this link will open in a new window).