Bookbug Picture Book Prize Shortlist Revealed

Category: Press Releases

Every P1 in Scotland will be gifted a copy of the shortlisted books #BookbugPrize

The shortlist for the 2018 Bookbug Picture Book Prize has been announced today as voting for the winner opens.

Scottish authors Michelle Sloan, Debi Gliori and Chae Strathie, and illustrator Kasia Matyjaszek, have made it onto the shortlist for the second Bookbug Picture Book Prize. The award was established to celebrate the most popular picture books by Scottish authors or illustrators, and is run by Scottish Book Trust with support from Browns Books for Students.

The Bookbug mascot was joined by children to announce the shortlisted titles at an athletics track in Edinburgh today (Wednesday 9 August) as they prepared to ‘Ready, Set, Vote’ – marking the launch of voting for the Bookbug Picture Book Prize winner.

Children across the country, aged between three years and seven years old, can vote for the winner by submitting a class vote online or at home, via the Scottish Book Trust website.

The Bookbug Picture Book Prize Shortlist is:

  • The Fourth Bonniest Baby in Dundee by Michelle Sloan & Kasia Matyjaszek (Kelpies)
  • Little Owl’s Egg by Debi Gliori & Alison Brown (Bloomsbury)
  • Gorilla Loves Vanilla by Chae Strathie & Nicola O’Byrne (Scholastic)

The winning book will be announced in an exclusive video to all registered groups on 15 January 2018. Shortlisted authors and illustrators receive £500 per book, and the winner will receive £3,000.

A free copy of each of the three books on the shortlist will be given to every Primary 1 child during Book Week Scotland (27 November – 3 December), in the Bookbug P1 Family Bag.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: “Encouraging reading from a young age is a crucial part of giving every child the best start in life. Engaging and exciting picture books are a wonderful way to capture a child’s attention and lock in a love of books and reading. These shortlisted titles are a great place to start and we look forward to finding out which one children across the country choose as their winner.”

Claire Smith, Sales Manager for Browns Books for Students, said: “We are very pleased to be working in conjunction with Scottish Book Trust and to be supporting the Bookbug Picture Prize 2018, not only to schools within Scotland but also the wider community. We are very excited to find out what the shortlisted titles are.”

Kaite Welsh, Literature Officer at Creative Scotland, said: “Bookbug plays a pivotal role in the lives of young children in Scotland. Working with teachers and families, Scottish Book Trust is supporting the next generation of readers and writers and helping them access the wide range of literary talent writing for young people that Scotland has to offer.”

Quotes and information on the shortlisted titles:

Michelle Sloan was born and brought up in Edinburgh but now lives with her family in Broughty Ferry, near Dundee. She trained as a primary school teacher and has also studied drama and arts journalism. The Fourth Bonniest Baby in Dundee is her first published book, with bright, fun and engaging illustrations of recognisable Dundee scenes.

Commenting on her nomination, author Michelle said: "I am thrilled and honoured that our book The Fourth Bonniest Baby in Dundee has been shortlisted. To think that Bonny Baby will be read all over Scotland is super-exciting."

Illustrator Kasia said: “I am super excited about the shortlist. I am also very happy that our book will be included in the Bookbug P1 Bag – it was such a fun story to illustrate and I hope the children will enjoy it too.”

Debi Gliori lives in Haddington, East Lothian. She is the creator of many wonderful books for children, including the Mr Bear series (with Orchard Books). Her bestseller No Matter What, The Trouble With Dragons was nominated for the 2010 Kate Greenaway Medal. Debi has twice been writer in residence in the Shetland Isles.

Commenting on her nomination, Debi said: “I love Alison Brown's illustrations and as the other half of the team who made Little Owl’s Egg, I’m over the moon that our book is shortlisted for the Bookbug Picture Book Prize. Since Bookbug brings the best of Scottish children’s books into homes and schools across Scotland, I’m delighted to be in such fine company.”

Chae Strathie works as a sub-editor for the Sunday Post. He has written several picture books for children including My Dad and The Tickle Tree (both published by Meadowside). The Loon on the Moon (published by Scholastic and illustrated by Emily Golden) was short-listed for the Scottish Children's Book Award and won the Dundee Picture Book Award in 2012.

Commenting on his nomination, Chae said: “It's a huge honour to be nominated – especially as the prize is voted on by children. They are the ones I write for, so for them to be choosing the winner of the award makes it particularly important.”

Notes to editors:



The Bookbug P1 Family Pack

The Bookbug P1 Family Bag was produced by Scottish Book Trust in conjunction with Education Scotland and the Scottish Government as part of Read, Write, Count – a new literacy and numeracy campaign aimed at children in Primary 1 to 3.

Bookbug Picture Book Prize

The Bookbug Picture Book Prize is managed by Scottish Book Trust in partnership with Creative Scotland and Browns Books for Students.

  • Teachers, librarians and book group leaders sign up their groups, then the children read and vote for their favourite books. Children can also vote online at home via the Scottish Book Trust website. 
  • A Shared Reading scheme, which involves older primary children reading to their younger buddies, is run in 5 local authorities.
  • Videos of each author/illustrator reading and talking about their book are available at

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 includes:

  • Gifting books to every child in Scotland to ensure families of all backgrounds can share the joy of books at home.
  • Working with teachers to inspire children to develop a love of reading, creating innovative classroom activities, book awards and author events.
  • Supporting Scotland’s diverse writing community with our training, awards and writing opportunities.
  • Funding a range of author events for the public to enjoy and promoting Scottish writing to people worldwide. @scottishbktrust

Browns Books for Students

Information on Browns Books for Students, is available at

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. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit Follow us @creativescots and


Brown's Books for Students
Creative Scotland