Children’s Laureate is a Big Draw for Schools in Scotland

The Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour is bringing award-winning children's illustrator, author and current Children's Laureate, Chris Riddell, to schools in Scotland between 11- 15 September.

In his role as Children's Laureate, Riddell is tasked with promoting children's literature and inspiring children to read. His distinctive illustrations have won wide acclaim and he has collaborated with a wide range of authors. Chris is also an award-winning author in his own right and his well-loved book Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse won the Costa Children's Book Award in 2013.

The tour, which is provided completely free of charge to the schools thanks to funding from Scottish Friendly Assurance, will provide the perfect opportunity for over 2300 pupils from Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire, Stirling, Perth and Kinross and Glasgow to hear from one of the UK’s most inspiring and imaginative artists.

Riddell’s event will focus on the importance of illustration, creativity and imagination. He will introduce his laureateship and share pictures from his laureate log before choosing questions from the audience and illustrating their answers.

Commenting on the tour, Chris said:

“I’ve been looking forward to the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour because it’s a magical mystery tour in a bus full of books. I’m going to spend five days meeting and talking to people who love reading and love books, which makes me very, very happy. It is also a chance to visit schools and libraries and meet librarians. I want to talk about the vital role they play in promoting literacy and reading and how school librarians create lifelong readers.”

The tour is sponsored by Scottish Friendly Assurance and organised by Scottish Book Trust. Every year schools in up to 12 local authorities in Scotland and two in England receive author visits to inspire a love of reading, writing and illustration. The tour visits both primary and secondary schools and has enthralled over 70,000 children since it began in 1998.

Commenting on Chris’ tour, Calum Bennie, Communications Manager at Scottish Friendly said:

“They say that every picture tells a story and Chris Riddell’s illustrations really enliven the books he collaborates on.   Scottish Friendly is delighted to bring Chris to towns and cities throughout Scotland on this special Children’s Laureate tour.  Chris’s sessions on illustrating are set to bring gasps of delight from his young, and not-so-young, audiences who will hopefully be inspired to reach for their paintbrushes and crayons.”

Beth Goodyear, Schools Events Manager at Scottish Book Trust, which is organising the tour, added:

“We’re really looking forward to touring the Children’s Laureate around schools this September; it’s is a fantastic opportunity for pupils to get creative and excited about reading, writing and drawing!”

Scottish Friendly has sponsored the programme for the past 18 years, touring some of the finest children’s authors and illustrators including new Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell, Malorie Blackman, Michael Rosen, Jacqueline Wilson, Melvin Burgess, Steve Cole, Michael Morpurgo and Sophie McKenzie.

Press photographers are very welcome to attend the tour on the dates below. Please RSVP to or call 0776352003 to confirm attendance.

Sunday 11 September

4pm: Hillhead Library, 348 Byres Rd Glasgow G12 8AP


Monday 12 September        

10.30: Crookfur Primary School, Newton Mears, Glasgow, East Renfrewshire, G77 6LF

2.30pm: Springhill & Auchenback PS, Springhill Road, Barrhead G78 2SE

Tuesday 13 September       

10.30am: East Plean PS Main Street, Stirling, FK7 8BX

2.30pm: Riverside PS, Forrest Road, Sirling, FK8 1UJ

Wednesday 14 September

10.30am: Robert Douglas Memorial PS, Spoutswell Rd Scone, Perth & Kinross, PH2 6RS

2.30pm: Inchture PS, Inchture, Perthshire, PH14 9RN

Thursday 15 September       

10.30am: Aberdeen Beach Ballroom, Beach Promenade, Aberdeen, AB24 5NR

2.30pm: Newtonhill School St Michael’s Rd, Newtonhill, Aberdeenshire, AB39 3XW


Notes to Editors:

  • The Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour, organised by Scottish Book Trust, has been running for eighteen fruitful years.  It tours throughout Scotland’s urban, rural and remote communities and visits every single Scottish local authority on a three year cycle. Every year the tour also brings the best writers living and working in Scotland down into England to inspire pupils.
  • Scottish Friendly Assurance is a progressive and modern financial services group.  It provides investors and their families with a wide range of affordable investments. Scottish Friendly is very engaged in the community  and works with Scottish Book Trust to provide fresh and exciting content on their website:

Scottish Book Trust is a national charity changing lives through reading and writing. Scottish Book Trust believes that books and reading have the power to change lives. As a national charity, we inspire and support the people of Scotland to read and write for pleasure.

  • We give free books to every child in Scotland to ensure families of all backgrounds can share the joy of books at home.

  • We work with teachers to inspire children to develop a love of reading, creating innovative classrooms activities, book awards and author events programme.

  • We support Scotland’s diverse writing community with our training, awards and writing opportunities

  • We fund a range of author events for the public to enjoy and promote Scottish writing to people worldwide

We work for a Scotland where everyone has an equal opportunity to thrive through literacy   @scottishbktrust

After every tour Scottish Book Trust’s website features case studies and resources to show the impact of the tour on the pupils we visit.

For all press queries and photos please contact Miriam Morris, Press Officer on | | 07763520003

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