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Free events across Scotland for Bookbug Week 2019

Published: 13 May 2019

Scottish Book Trust, the national charity changing lives through reading and writing, invites families to join Bookbug’s Big Picnic from 13 – 19 May. During Bookbug Week 2019, hundreds of free events will be held across the country, as part of the annual celebration of Scotland’s national book-gifting programme and Song and Rhyme Sessions.

Now in its ninth year, Bookbug Week will host events in every local authority in Scotland, including Glasgow, Falkirk and the Highlands.

Five Fat Peas will be gifted during Bookbug Week sessions: a selection of song and rhymes about Bookbug’s favourites foods, that families can enjoy together. The actions, words and tunes are available in Bookbug’s Song and Rhyme library, via Scottish Book Trust’s website, or on the new, free Bookbug app.

Bookbug Song and Rhyme Mats, designed byillustrator Esther Kent, will also be distributed during Bookbug Week Sessions. The free, fun-filled Story and Rhyme Sessions for babies to four-year-olds are attended by thousands of parents and children every year. To tie in with this year’s theme, many Bookbug Sessions will provide healthy picnic food.

Scottish Book Trust is also partnering with Stoats to provide their new children’s ‘Stoaters’ oat bars to Bookbug Sessions in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness. Stoats will also be running competitions across their social media channels, with the opportunity to win a custom bundle of books and a mini Bookbug doll for your child.

The Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour will hold a special Bookbug Week event with award-winning poet Joseph Coelho on Wednesday, 15 May. Hosted by the Hidden Gardens in Glasgow, Joseph will read picnic-related poetry to parents and their children. Scottish Friendly will also gift free books to those attending the Bookbug session.

Schools and nurseries across the country can register to watch a special Authors Liveevent with illustrator Emily MacKenzie, who was shortlisted for The Bookbug Picture Book Prize 2018. Emily will read from her picture book, There's Broccoli in my Ice Cream!The event will be streamed from 11am, Thursday 16 May and pupils can draw-along.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: “Bookbug Week is now in its ninth year, and families and carers can celebrating by joining Bookbug’s Big Picnic. We hope everyone enjoys the fantastic songs and rhymes in Five Fat Peas along with our beautiful Song and Rhyme Mats. If you’ve never attended a Bookbug Session before, Bookbug Week is the perfect time to try: everyone is welcome.”

Maree Todd, Minister for Children and Young People said: “Bookbug’s Big Picnic helps to encourage an early love of books among children whilst also providing great opportunities for parents, carers and their children to spend time together, learning through reading and singing.

“The Song and Rhyme sessions are a fantastic way for families to bond and the learning materials in the Bookbug bags have simple reading, writing and counting activities for parents to try at home with their children. Sharing just one song or rhyme a day can make a big difference to a child's development and give parent and child a chance to share a special moment together.”

Tony Stone, Managing Director at Stoats said: “Stoats are delighted to provide natural, tasty snacks for all the wee stoaters coming along to special Bookbug Week events in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness. Have fun!”

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 660,000 parents and children in 2017-18.

Highlights from Bookbug Week


10.30am – 12.30pm, Tuesday 14 May: Special Bookbug's Big Picnic event at Strathmore Cricket Ground with author Natalie Russell


2pm, Monday 13 May: Bookbug at the Great Mariner Reef (Soft Play)


12.30pm – 2.30pm, Saturday 18 May: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Munch Dunfermline Carnegie Library


10am – 10:30am, Saturday 18 May: Special Saturday Bookbug's Big Picnic Session at Gorebridge Library


10.30am – 12pm, Tuesday 14 May: Bookbug's Big Autism Friendly Picnic at Dennistoun Library

2pm & 3pm Monday 13 May: Play Talk Read bus at Royston Primary School

11am & 12pm Tuesday 14 May: Play Talk Read bus at Royston Primary School

2pm & 3pm Wednesday 15 May: Play Talk Read bus at Royston Primary School

10.30am & 11.30am Thursday 16 May: Play Talk Read bus at 160 Helenvale Street

South Ayrshire

11am – 2:30pm, Tuesday 14 May: Bookbug Big Picnic at Rozelle House, Ayr

South Lanarkshire

11am, Saturday 18 May: Big Picnic with Bookbug at Calderglen Country Park


2pm – 2.30pm, Friday 17 May: Gaelic and English Bookbug Session at Bonar Bridge Library.

(Photo: Alasdair Watson)