Bookbug Picture Book Prize shortlist announced

Children with shortlisted books
Category: Press Releases

The shortlist for the 2019 Bookbug Picture Book Prize was announced yesterday, with the vote opening to schools and the public. The Bookbug mascot was joined by pupils at Hillhead Primary School in Glasgow to launch the annual prize.

Morag Hood, Alan Windram, Chloe Holwill-Hunter and Emily MacKenzie have been shortlisted for the third Bookbug Picture Book Prize. The award was established to celebrate the most popular picture books by Scottish authors and illustrators, and is run by Scottish Book Trust, with support from Browns Books for Students.

Children across the country 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 2019 shortlist is:

  • Eric Makes a Splash by Emily MacKenzie (Bloomsbury)
  • One Button Benny by Alan Windram, illustrated by Chloe Holwill-Hunter (Little Door Books)
  • I am Bat by Morag Hood (Two Hoots Books)

The winning book will be announced in an exclusive video to all registered groups on 16 January 2019. 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 (19 November – 25 December), in the Bookbug P1 Family Bag.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:

“The Bookbug Picture Book Prize highlights some of the finest children’s books in Scotland. We are delighted to work with Browns Books for Students to make this award possible and celebrate the wonderful authors and illustrators working in the picture book industry. We are sure children will love reading these stories and we look forward to finding out which is their favourite.”

Claire Smith, Sales Manager for Browns Books for Students, said:

“Browns Books for Students are once again delighted to be working with Scottish Book Trust to highlight the Bookbug Picture Book Prize. We are very honoured to be part of this literacy project, which is putting books into the hands of children and supporting a lifelong love of reading.”

Scottish Book Trust is supported with regular funding from Creative Scotland.

Alan Bett, Literature Officer at Creative Scotland, said:

“We would like to congratulate the authors and illustrators of the three books shortlisted for the Bookbug Picture Book Prize. These might be some of the first works of fiction young readers enjoy for themselves, and an early step in a lifetime’s love of books. Creative Scotland is delighted to support this initiative, through Scottish Book Trust, which lets the readers themselves vote for the winner.”

Quotes and information on the shortlisted titles:

Emily MacKenzie is a freelance illustrator and graphic designer. After moving to Edinburgh, where she studied Graphic Design at Edinburgh College of Art, Emily worked as cover designer for Mainstream Publishing for seven years before leaving to pursue her dream of writing and illustrating her own children's books.

Emily MacKenzie said: “I'm absolutely thrilled that Eric Makes a Splash! has been nominated for the Bookbug Picture Book Prize 2019, and that my characters Eric and Flora will soon become familiar to so many children across Scotland. It's amazing to think that my book and drawings could soon be helping young children to overcome their own fears and anxieties about trying new activities – a huge thank you to Scottish Book Trust for making this possible!”

Alan Windram is a children’s writer and publisher. His Sticky Kids theatre show regularly tours schools and theatres throughout the UK. Alan is an accomplished singer-songwriter with four independent albums of original songs under his belt. He has toured extensively with some of Scotland's top musical artists. Alan lives in the Scottish Borders with his wife and two cats.

Alan Windram said: “I am absolutely thrilled that One Button Benny has been shortlisted for the Bookbug Picture Book Prize. I had such fun working with Chloe Holwill-Hunter as she brought Benny to life with her amazing illustrations. I hope that everyone enjoys reading the book as much as we enjoyed creating it. Like Benny the robot, I am literally over the moon. Thank you so much.”

Morag Hood is a children’s author and illustrator from Edinburgh. Her debut picture book Colin and Lee, Carrot and Pea was a runner up in the Macmillan Prize in 2014. Morag studied Costume Design at Wimbledon College of Art and worked backstage in theatre before applying for the MA in Children’s Book illustration from Cambridge School of Art. After graduating in 2015 she moved back to her native Edinburgh where she now works with a view of the hills.

Morag Hood said: “I am absolutely delighted that I Am Bat has been shortlisted for the Bookbug Picture Book Prize! I feel very honoured and excited to know that children across Scotland will get to meet my little bat. Hooray for books and bats and Scottish Book Trust!”

Notes to editors

For all press queries including photos, please contact Keara Donnachie: or 0131 524 0184/07956 773 749

The Bookbug P1 Bag

The P1 Bag was produced by Scottish Book Trust in conjunction with Education Scotland and the Scottish Government as part of Read, Write, Count. You’ll find more ideas for fun activities and games that you can slip into your daily routine at

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.
  • Videos of each author/illustrator reading and talking about their book are available at
  • Books published during April 2017- March 2018 were eligible for entry to the award. The Bookbug Picture Book Prize is open to authors and illustrators from Scotland or based in 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 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

Browns Books for Students, sponsor of the Bookbug Picture Book Prize, supplies books, eBooks and DVDs for schools, colleges and businesses. More information on Browns Books for Students, is available at

Creative Scotland

Scottish Book Trust is supported by Creative Scotland through Regular Funding. 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