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Press release: The Snowman revealed as Scots' favourite festive read

Published November 2019

Scottish Book Trust today revealed that children’s picture book The Snowman, by Raymond Briggs, has topped a national poll as Scotland’s most loved Christmas book, as the charity launches its first ever festive fundraising appeal to provide books and support to teen parents and their babies.

Findings from the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships shows that younger parents are less likely to read with their babies, particularly from the early stages. Many teen parents also face challenging circumstances such as social isolation, poverty and lack of confidence. Scottish Book Trust, the national charity transforming lives through reading and writing, has launched its appeal to ensure every baby enjoys stories and rhymes from the earliest moments, regardless of their circumstances.

Almost a third of Scots voted for children’s book The Snowman, which was first published in 1978, as their favourite Christmas read, and over 80% of Scots parents agree that reading helps them to bond with their children.

Marc Lambert, CEO commented:

“It’s very fitting that a children’s picture book has topped our nationwide poll of Christmas books. This underlines how important books and sharing stories are to us all, in childhood and as parents or carers. “Sharing stories is one of the best ways for parents to bond with their babies from the earliest moments. Even before they are born, babies can hear sounds, and reading from these early stages also supports important early development such as language learning. We are appealing to people to support our mission by donating £5 to give the gift of reading this Christmas and ensure no baby misses out.”

By supporting Scottish Book Trust’s Christmas Appeal, the charity aims to help 1,000 families by providing pregnant teens with a copy of Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler’s The Snail and the Whale, recommended for its repetition and rhyme. The teens will also receive support to begin a reading journey and ensure parent and baby have the best start together.

Julia Donaldson commented:

"I’m delighted that Scottish Book Trust is gifting copies of The Snail and the Whale for their Christmas appeal as it's one of my favourites of all my own books. It's lovely to think of a whole new generation of parents and children across Scotland enjoying the story together. If you are able to support this campaign with £5, you could really make a difference this Christmas."

The Christmas Appeal follows a successful pilot in Tayside, Glasgow, South-East Edinburgh and the Lothians. Scottish Book Trust now wants to roll the scheme out nationwide, to all teen parents in Scotland.

Notes to Editors

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: