BOOKBUG Week, the annual celebration of Scotland’s national book-gifting programme, has kicked off, with this year’s theme exploring journeys big and small.

Bookbug, Scottish Government funding for which over 2022/23 has been increased by £1.7 million, is developed in partnership between the national literature and literacy charity the Scottish Book Trust, local authorities, libraries, children’s publishers and health trusts across the nation, and provides free books to every baby, toddler, three and five-year-old in Scotland.

Events lined up for this year’s Bookbug Week include an online art tutorial for children's illustrator Dylan Gibson, and a live online reading and draw-along by Katrina Charman and Nick Sharratt, author and artist of the books Car, Car, Truck Jeep and The Whales on the Bus.

Bookbug Sessions – which provide free and family-friendly performances of song and story – will also return in person around the country, while families can also access Bookbug’s Song and Rhyme library via the Scottish Book Trust website and the free Bookbug app.  

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Commenting, Scotland’s Children and Young People Minister Clare Haughey said: “I am very excited for Bookbug Week 2022 'Bookbug's Big Journey', knowing families will be able to enjoy sessions in libraries and community settings.

“Bookbug helps to encourage an early love of books among children while also providing great opportunities for parents and their wee ones to spend time together, having fun and learning.

“I am very proud that we have a universal national programme in Scotland, which supports all families to enjoy reading with their children from the earliest opportunity. As well as laying the foundations of early literacy, the Bookbug sessions help to promote positive interactions and attachment for families, which we know is key to children’s health and wellbeing in the long term.”