Nicola Davies visits Argyll & Bute, Highlands and Western Isles for 20th Anniversary of Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour

Category: Press Releases

A zoologist and children’s TV presenter-turned-author is touring rural schools in Scotland next week to discuss issues around conservation. 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour and from 7 to 11 May, as part of the all-star anniversary celebrations, Nicola Davies will visit pupils in Argyll & Bute, the Highlands and the Western Isles for a wonderful week of school events.

The Children’s Book Tour is supported by Scottish Friendly, one of the UK’s leading financial mutuals, and organised by Scottish Book Trust, the national charity transforming lives through reading and writing. The tour visits both primary and secondary schools and has enthralled more than 100,000 children since it began in 1998.

Nicola Davies will visit over 570 pupils from different primary schools across Argyll & Bute, the Highlands and the Western Isles. Those attending include Gigha Primary School, Port Ellen Primary School, Easdale Primary School and Ballachulish Primary School. A full list of schools is detailed below.

Before becoming a children's author, Nicola worked as a zoologist and her love of animals took her all over the world, searching for chameleons in Madagascar, turtles in the Seychelles, following walruses in the Arctic and studying geese in Scotland. Nicola also shared her passion for wildlife with viewers as a presenter on The Really Wild Show. She has been writing since 1997 and is now an award-winning author of children's fiction and non-fiction books. Her acclaimed titles include The First Book of Nature, Tiny: The Invisible World of Microbes, and the Heroes of the Wild series.

During the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour, Nicola will transport the pupils on an imagined journey around the globe and guide them through the wondrous, weird and wacky world of animals. The events will focus on her brilliant picture books, which are as relevant to older readers as younger readers. Nicola will inspire the pupils to take a renewed interested in nature and their local environment.

The tour will feature her picture book, The Promise, which tells the story of a young thief who snatches an old woman’s bag. But inside, she finds something more precious than money, something that changes her life and sets her on a new path. The beautiful words and pictures of The Promise carry a message of hope for humanity: that we can change ourselves, and through that change transform our world for the better.


Commenting on the tour, Nicola Davies said:

“The Highlands and Islands of the West of Scotland are some of my favourite places on earth. I’m incredibly excited that I’m going to be visiting them with Scottish Book Trust and meeting readers living in places that I dream about – a land of sea and sky, full of stories. I just can’t wait!”


Calum Bennie, Communications Manager of Scottish Friendly, said:

“Today’s young people are the future caretakers of the environment. To have the chance to learn about conservation in such a magical and inspirational way from Nicola Davies will be an unforgettable experience. Bringing the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour to distant communities very much reflects the ethos of this 20-year-old programme.”


Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, added:

“The power of picture books allows stories to be shared across a range of ages. Nicola Davies is an inspiring writer and her love of the natural world and animals shines through her storytelling. We are delighted to have her on tour during the 20th anniversary celebrations of the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour.”


Notes to Editors

For media enquiries, interviews and images, please contact Keara Donnachie, PR Officer on or 0131 524 0184.


After every tour, Scottish Book Trust’s website features case studies and resources to show the impact of the tour on the pupils we visit:


Tour dates

Monday, 7 May – Isle of Gigha

Gigha Primary School

Morning session 10am – 11.30am

Afternoon session 12.30pm – 2pm

Attending schools: Rhunahaorine Primary School and Glenbarr Primary School


Tuesday, 8 May – Isle of Islay

AM: Port Ellen Primary School

9.30am – 10.30am


PM: Keills Primary School

1.15pm – 2.15pm


Wednesday, 9 May – Oban

AM: Easdale Primary School

Attending school: Luing Primary School

10am – 11am


PM: Rockfield Primary School

Attending school: St Columba’s Primary School

1.45pm – 2.45pm


Thursday, 10 May – Lochaber & Acharacle

AM: Ballachulish Primary School

9.30am – 10.30am


PM: Ardnamurchan High School

Attending schools: Acharacle, Ardgour and Kilchoan Primary Schools

1.30pm – 2.30pm


Friday, 11 May, Isles of South Uist & Benbecula

AM: Daliburgh School

9.30am – 10.30am


PM: Balivanich Primary School

Attending school: Lochdar Primary School

1.45pm – 2.45pm


About Scottish Friendly


Scottish Friendly, one of the UK’s largest mutual life offices, is a progressive and modern financial services group. It provides investors and their families with a wide range of affordable investments.

Scottish Friendly has sponsored the programme for the past 20 years, touring some of the finest children’s authors and illustrators including former Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell, Malorie Blackman, Michael Rosen, Jacqueline Wilson, Melvin Burgess, Steve Cole, Michael Morpurgo and Sophie McKenzie.

Scottish Friendly is very engaged in the community and works with Scottish Book Trust to provide fresh and exciting content on its website:   @scotfriendly


About 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:

  • 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