Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson Inspires Children to Read With Scottish Library Tour

This September more than 1100 Scottish children will be given the chance to spend time with picture book author and Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson in the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour. The libraries tour will see Julia visit 35 libraries across the UK from John O’Groats to Lands End.

Launching in Thurso Library on 10 September, sessions will take place in 14 libraries across Scotland until 19 September with schoolchildren invited from selected local schools performing songs and plays for Julia based on their favourite children’s books. Julia will also be bringing some of her bestselling stories to life through special dramatisations.

Although the visits are limited to the previously chosen schools, everyone will be able to take part by viewing video clips from the tour online at and

This is the fourth author tour organised in 2012 by Scottish Friendly – one of the UK’s leading mutual societies – which has seen bestselling children’s authors Paul Collicutt, Saci Lloyd and Michelle Paver travelling Scotland bringing the world of books to life.

Scottish Book Trust and Scottish Friendly have enjoyed a successful 14-year award-winning partnership organising author tours in Scotland and have toured with previous Children’s Laureates including Michael Morpurgo, Michael Rosen and Anthony Brown.

Glasgow-based Julia is the current Children’s Laureate, a title which is awarded every two years to an eminent writer or illustrator to celebrate outstanding achievement in their field.  Her best-known book is The Gruffalo, first published in 1999, which has since gone on to sell over 10 million copies and has also been adapted for stage and screen. Julia is the author of more than 150 books and plays for children and teenagers.

Commenting on the tour, Julia said:  “I am delighted to be participating in the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour. I’m always encouraging children to get involved in acting and reading aloud. Kids love participating in storytelling, whether that’s acting out parts or singing choruses. These activities can have a massive impact on children’s reading skills, so are very important.”

Michael Merillo, acting children's events manager at Scottish Book Trust, added: “The aim of our tours is to inspire children across Scotland through reading, writing and performances by our authors. We also want to encourage children to enjoy exploring reading and writing through performance. Julia’s goals for this tour definitely complement ours. Her interactive sessions are fantastic and getting the children involved in this way is great for their development as well as being lots of fun.”

Calum Bennie, marketing manager for Scottish Friendly said: “The aim of the Scottish Friendly Children’  s Book Tour is to inspire the writers of tomorrow, and there is no better way to do this than letting authors showcase their creativity.  Having the Children’s Laureate involved in the tour is something we are immensely proud of.”

The Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour is sponsored by Scottish Friendly, Scotland’s largest mutual and one of the UK’s leading friendly societies and is run by Scottish Book Trust, Scotland’s leading agency for the promotion of literature, reading and writing. The tour aims to bring the best children’s authors directly to young readers around Scotland and bring literature alive in the unique magical way that only meeting the person who crafted the words can.


Notes to Editors:

Tour dates for media and photographers to attend – Please RSVP to /

For a full list of schools attending each session, please contact


10 September

  • 9.30 am - Thurso Library – 40 children
  • 1.30 pm - Hillhead Primary School (Wick) – 48 children

11 September

  • 9.30 am - Fort William Library – 38 children
  • 1.30 pm - Aviemore Library – 37 children

12 September

  • 11 am - Elgin Library – 148 Children

13 September

  • 9.30 am - Peterhead Library – 47 children
  • 11 am - Inverurie Library – 55 Children

14 September

  • 10 am - MacRobert Centre, Stirling – 408 children

17 September

  • 9 am – Dunoon Library  - 44 children
  • 2 pm – Helensburgh Library – 65 children

18 September

  • 9.30 am - Castle Douglas Library  - 42 children
  • 1.30 pm – Newton Stewart Library – 64 children

19 September

  • 9.30 am - Hawick Library – 47 children
  • 1.30 pm – Galashiels Library – 31 children


  • The Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour, organised by Scottish Book Trust, has been running since 1998.  It tours throughout Scotland’s urban, rural and remote communities and has already visited every single Scottish local authority.
  • Scottish Friendly Assurance is a progressive and modern financial services group.  It provides investors and their families with a wide range of products.
  • Scottish Book Trust is the leading agency for the promotion of literature, reading and writing in Scotland, developing innovative projects to encourage adults and children to read, write and be inspired by books
  • The Children’s Laureateship is administered by Booktrust, an independent national literature charity dedicated to encouraging people of all ages to engage with books.
  • The English and Welsh leg of the tour will start at Wigan Library on 25 September. A visit of Northern Ireland libraries will take place in March 2013. Details of all of the libraries Julia will be visiting can be found at


Issued by:

Jamie Kingsley / Alison Downs

3x1 Public Relations

T: 0141 221 0707

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Pauline Kelly

Media enquiries to Pauline Kelly, PR Manager