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Press release: Bookbug Picture Book Prize 2021 winner revealed for World Book Day

The 2021 Bookbug Picture Book Prize winner is Ross Collins, author and illustrator of This is a Dog (Nosy Crow).

This is a Dog book cover

The 2021 Bookbug Picture Book Prize winner is Ross Collins, author and illustrator of This is a Dog (Nosy Crow). Revealed on World Book Day (Thursday 4 March) by Scottish Book Trust, the national charity changing lives through reading and writing, the winner of the prize has been selected by the children of Scotland. The Bookbug Picture Book Prize celebrates the very best picture books by authors or illustrators living in Scotland. Children and their families were able to cast their votes either through their class teacher, by freepost, or online via the Scottish Book Trust website.

A free copy of each of the three books on the shortlist was gifted to every Primary 1 child during Book Week Scotland (16-22 November 2020), in the Bookbug P1 Family Bag. 62,000 bags containing 186,000 books were distributed last year. As libraries and bookshops have been closed during the pandemic, the free books included in the Bookbug P1 Family bag have provided essential resources to families across Scotland. A majority of teachers in the UK surveyed by Oxford University Press expressed concern that pupils may have read less widely for pleasure during lockdown. As reading for pleasure has a significant role in helping to reduce the word gap, it is essential that children within this age range have access to books.

Children who own books of their own are six times more likely to read above the level expected for their age (22% vs 3.6%) and nearly three times more likely to enjoy reading (56.2% vs 18.4%) compared to those without. In the UK, 383,755 children and young people do not own a book of their own, according to the National Literacy Trust.

The winner of The Bookbug Picture Book Prize, Ross Collins, attended the Glasgow School of Art and on graduating won the Macmillan Prize for his first picture book. Since then he has illustrated over 100 books for children and written a few of them too. Ross' book The Elephantom was recently adapted into a critically acclaimed play by the National Theatre. He has won many prestigious awards, including The Royal Mail Book Award and three Scottish Children's Book Awards.

Ross Collins said:

"I'm delighted to win this year's Bookbug Picture Book Prize. With kids having to spend so much time at home in the last year I think that books have provided a great way to entertain, educate and comfort children and a welcome break from screens. A huge thank you to the thousands of kids who voted for This is a Dog!"

The winning book was announced in an exclusive video(this will open in a new window) to schools and registered groups. Shortlisted authors and illustrators will receive £500 per book, and the winner will receive £3,000.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:

"On World Book Day, we celebrate the importance of reading and sharing stories together. The Bookbug P1 Family Bag has ensured that families and schools across Scotland are able to read for pleasure despite difficult circumstances. Congratulations to Ross Collins on winning the Bookbug Picture Book Prize 2021 for This is a Dog, as voted for by children of Scotland."

Viccy Adams, Literature Officer, Creative Scotland said:

"Given the uncertainty and turbulence of the past year, it is more important than ever to lift up the voices of children and their families and to celebrate the joys and benefits of reading for pleasure. Congratulations to Ross Collins for This Is A Dog being selected by the children of Scotland as a book which has inspired and delighted them, and we hope families and schools across Scotland continue to find ways to enjoy reading and sharing stories together safely."

Notes to editors:

  1. Oxford University Press. (2020). Bridging the word gap at transition: the Oxford language report 2020(this will open in a new window). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  2. National Literacy Trust. (2019). Gift of reading: children’s book ownership in 2019(this will open in a new window). London: National Literacy Trust.

For all press enquiries please contact PR & Marketing Manager Keara Donnachie:

keara.donnachie@scottishbooktrust.com(this will open in a new window) or 07956 773 749.

Bookbug Picture Book Prize

The Bookbug P1 Bag

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 & well-being. 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.

www.scottishbooktrust.com(this will open in a new window) @scottishbktrust www.facebook.com/scottishbktrust(this 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 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.

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