Children across Scotland get giggling during Bookbug Week 2017

The Bookbug with Elza Lewis (3).
The Bookbug with Elza Lewis (3).

Bookbug Week, an annual celebration of Scotland’s national book gifting programme, will take place between May 15 and 21, with hundreds of free events for children and babies held across the country.

This year’s theme is Bookbug’s Big Giggle – a fun and playful theme that encourages parents and carers to share playful songs and stories with their children in order to highlight that laughter is essential for well-being and for building bonds between carers and children.

Now in its seventh year, Bookbug Week 2017 will see free Big Giggle themed events taking place in every local authority in Scotland, with special appearances from some of the UK’s best-loved children’s authors and illustrators. Schools and nurseries across the country can also tune in to watch a fun-filled Authors Live event with Alex T Smith, streamed live at 11am on Wednesday, May 17. Some fantastic Bookbug prizes will also be up for grabs in on-line competitions throughout the week.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said: “Bookbug Week invites every family with young children to take part in the hundreds of free and fun-filled events across Scotland, to celebrate the joy that comes from sharing books and rhymes together. This year’s theme highlights how sharing these fun songs and stories can help with children’s confidence, development, connectivity and over-all well-being.

“Bookbug Week is also the perfect chance to find out more about the Bookbug programme. If you have never been to a Bookbug session this is a great opportunity to experience the fun.”

Bookbug sessions are free story, song and rhyme sessions run by libraries and other community venues across Scotland, with national audiences of over half a million in 2016-17. To celebrate Bookbug Week, Paisley Central Library is holding their very first Bookbug Gigglethon, a Bookbug Session relay starting at 9.30am and finishing at 4.30pm. Families can come along at any time during the day to experience some fun songs, rhymes and stories.

Flagship events to mark Bookbug Week will take place at Callendar House in Falkirk on Wednesday (May 17) between 10am and 2pm, and at the newly opened Carnegie Library in Dunfermline on Friday (May 19) between 10am and 2pm. These are free events, packed with activities and open to all parents, guardians and their babies and children. Illustrator Kasia Matyjaszek will be leading an arts workshop at both events.

Funded by the Scottish Government, 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 provides every child in Scotland with four free bags of books, gifting 720,000 books every year. Over 240,000 children in Scotland benefitted last year, with even more set to receive free books in 2017. 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.

Families can find details of all Bookbug Week events taking place in their area by visiting http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/bookbugweek or asking at their local library.