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Press release: Free events across Scotland for Bookbug Week 2019

Published May 2019

Join in Bookbug’s Big Picnic! Children from TLC Nursery in Kirkintilloch get ready for Bookbug Week 2019.

Scottish Book Trust, the national charity changing lives through reading and writing, invites families to join Bookbug’s Big Picnic from 13 – 19 May. During Bookbug Week 2019, hundreds of free events will be held across the country, as part of the annual celebration of Scotland’s national book-gifting programme and Song and Rhyme Sessions.

Now in its ninth year, Bookbug Week will host events in every local authority in Scotland, including Glasgow, Falkirk and the Highlands. Five Fat Peas will be gifted during Bookbug Week sessions: a selection of song and rhymes about Bookbug’s favourites foods, that families can enjoy together. The actions, words and tunes are available in Bookbug’s Song and Rhyme library, via Scottish Book Trust’s website, or on the new, free Bookbug app. Bookbug Song and Rhyme Mats, designed by illustrator Esther Kent, will also be distributed during Bookbug Week Sessions.

The free, fun-filled Story and Rhyme Sessions for babies to four-yearolds are attended by thousands of parents and children every year. To tie in with this year’s theme, many Bookbug Sessions will provide healthy picnic food. Scottish Book Trust is also partnering with Stoats to provide their new children’s ‘Stoaters’ oat bars to Bookbug Sessions in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness. Stoats will also be running competitions across their social media channels, with the opportunity to win a custom bundle of books and a mini Bookbug doll for your child.

The Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour will hold a special Bookbug Week event with awardwinning poet Joseph Coelho on Wednesday, 15 May. Hosted by the Hidden Gardens in Glasgow, Joseph will read picnic-related poetry to parents and their children. Scottish Friendly will also gift free books to those attending the Bookbug session.

Schools and nurseries across the country can register to watch a special Authors Live event with illustrator Emily MacKenzie, who was shortlisted for The Bookbug Picture Book Prize 2018. Emily will read from her picture book, There's Broccoli in my Ice Cream! The event will be streamed from 11am, Thursday 16 May and pupils can draw-along.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:

“Bookbug Week is now in its ninth year, and families and carers can celebrating by joining Bookbug’s Big Picnic. We hope everyone enjoys the fantastic songs and rhymes in Five Fat Peas along with our beautiful Song and Rhyme Mats. If you’ve never attended a Bookbug Session before, Bookbug Week is the perfect time to try: everyone is welcome.”

Maree Todd, Minister for Children and Young People said:

“Bookbug’s Big Picnic helps to encourage an early love of books among children whilst also providing great opportunities for parents, carers and their children to spend time together, learning through reading and singing. The Song and Rhyme sessions are a fantastic way for families to bond and the learning materials in the Bookbug bags have simple reading, writing and counting activities for parents to try at home with their children. Sharing just one song or rhyme a day can make a big difference to a child's development and give parent and child a chance to share a special moment together.”

Tony Stone, Managing Director at Stoats said:

“Stoats are delighted to provide natural, tasty snacks for all the wee stoaters coming along to special Bookbug Week events in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness. Have fun!”

Funded by the Scottish Government and Creative Scotland, Bookbug is Scottish Book Trust’s Early Years Programme. The Bookbug programme encourages mums, dads and carers to sing and share stories with their children from birth. It gives every child in Scotland four free bags of books in their first 5 years, gifting 800,000 books every year. Bookbug also runs regular free story, song and rhyme events in libraries, shopping centres and other community venues which attracted audiences of over 660,000 parents and children in 2017-18.

Notes to Editors

For media enquiries please contact Keara Donnachie, PR and Marketing Manager at Scottish Book Trust, on keara.donnachie@scottishbooktrust.com(this will open in a new window) (this will open in a new window)or 0131 524 0184.

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:

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.


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 also receives support from Local Authorities, Library Services and Health Boards through the provision of local staff time and logistics solutions.

Bookbug Sessions are run by local libraries and community groups. Over 24,000 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. Since 2012, Bookbug for the Home has helped over 14,000 families, encouraging parents to do more talking, book sharing and singing with their children.

Creative Scotland

Scottish Book Trust is supported by Creative Scotland 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.


Stoats is an independent company owned and operated by founders Tony Stone and Bob Arnott and is based in Loanhead, Midlothian. All Stoats products are made from a unique blend of premium Scottish oats, only ever combined with the best natural ingredients. Stoaters bars are made with puffed wholegrain oats and real fruit pieces with no added sugar.