Bring a Friend to Bookbug

Bookbug with children and mum
Category: Press Releases

Free events across Scotland for Bookbug Week 2018

Hundreds of free events for children and babies will be held across the country for Bookbug Week 2018. The annual celebration of Scotland’s national book-gifting programme and Song and Rhyme Sessions is run by Scottish Book Trust, the national charity changing lives through reading and writing. This year’s theme is ‘Bookbug’s Friends’ and events will take place between 14 and 20 May.

Bookbug Sessions are inclusive and welcoming to all and Scottish Book Trust hopes to encourage families to come along for the first time during this year’s Bookbug Week. The free, fun-filled story and rhyme sessions for babies to four-year-olds are attended by thousands of parents and children a year. To tie in with this year’s theme, Scottish Book Trust is asking parents and children to bring a friend along to an event during Bookbug Week (cuddly toys are also welcome).

A recent Bookbug evaluation conducted by the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships found that 23,670 Bookbug Sessions were delivered in 2016-17 to over 687,000 adults and children. It also revealed that, for first-time parents, Bookbug Sessions were seen as a good opportunity to get out the house and meet others.

As well as the value of the social interaction created by Bookbug Sessions, parents also stated they “made good friends” through the programme. Furthermore, parents whose second language is English found that Bookbug Sessions were a way to integrate themselves and their children into the local community. One parent stated: “I came because he didn’t have many words, I’ve been coming for a year now and I can see the difference in his language. He is mouthing out the words of the songs and he is using words he has never used before.”

Now in its eighth year, Bookbug Week will host events in every local authority in Scotland, with special appearances from some of the UK’s best-loved children’s authors and illustrators such as Chae Strathie and Morag Hood.

Schools and nurseries across the country can register to watch a special Authors Live event with illustrator Ross Collins, which will be streamed at 11am on Thursday 17 May. Some fantastic book bundles will also be available to win through Bookbug social media competitions throughout the week. Families can find details of all Bookbug Week events taking place across Scotland by visiting Scottish Book Trust’s website or visiting their local library.

Jon Bishop designed this year’s posters and finger puppets featuring Bookbug and friends, which will be gifted to those attending sessions during Bookbug Week. There will also be downloadable activity ideas, book lists and colouring sheets available to download from Scottish Book Trust’s website. Jon was mentored by the original Bookbug artist Debi Gliori through the Picture Hooks scheme.


Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:

“Bookbug Week is a wonderful celebration of books, songs and rhymes. Bookbug is for all families, and Scottish Book Trust would encourage those who have never attended a Bookbug Session before to pop along. Not only are Bookbug Sessions a chance for children to meet friends, but they also allow parents to connect and share experiences.”


Maree Todd, Minister for Childcare and Early Years, said:

“The Bookbug programme encourages parents and children to share stories, songs and rhymes from birth. Not only is this important for bonding, but it also helps to support children’s speech and language development. During Bookbug Week, we hope families will celebrate the joy of stories and singing through the programme of free events across the country.”

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 half a million parents and children in 2016-17.


Key highlights of Bookbug Week include:



Bedtime Bookbug

Port Glasgow Library

Monday 14 May, 6pm - 6.30pm

Launch of NEW weekly Bedtime Bookbug Sessions! Suitable for ages 0-5.


South Ayrshire

Bookbug Mini Makers do Matisse

Rozelle House Galleries, Ayr

Tuesday 15 May 10.30am - 2.30pm

All Bookbug's little friends are invited to come out to the park for a fun-filled time. Take in a Bookbug Session before exploring Matisse Magic Garden – tents, a den, mirrors, ribbon weaving and lots of sensory surprises. Then join us in the gallery to view the Matisse exhibition before creating your very own masterpiece.


East Lothian

Bookbug Session at Longniddry Library

Friday 18 May, 10.30am - 11.30am

Bookbug is great fun for all ages. Did you know that lots of the songs and rhymes we sing have been shared in Scotland for generations? Invite a grandparent or honorary grandparent along to this week's session.



Intergenerational Bookbug Session

Dementia Garden, Kirriemuir

Friday 18 May, 2.30pm - 3pm

Joint Bookbug event with AngusAlive Libraries and local Adult Dementia Group and a special visit from Bookbug.


Notes to Editors

For media enquiries please contact Keara Donnachie, PR Officer at Scottish Book Trust, on or 0131 524 0184.

Photo caption: Bookbug visits youngsters at Bridgeton Family Learning Centre, Glasgow, for stories and tea-time ahead of Bookbug Week, which starts Monday 14 May across Scotland.


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



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 Strategic Funding Partnership Grant, with 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 23,000 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. Details of local Bookbug Sessions can be found here.

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.

Scottish Book Trust also supports the delivery of Dolly Parton Imagination Library in Scotland (free books delivered monthly to every Looked After Child aged 0-5).   @Bookbug_SBT


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