Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour

Since 1998 Scottish Friendly has worked in partnership with the Scottish Book Trust to provide the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour. The tour brings authors and illustrators to schools, libraries and public venues across the UK. 

Previous tours have included Julia Donaldson, Cressida Cowell, Jaqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo, Alex T Smith, Kate Gilby Smith and Ross MacKenzie.

Scottish Friendly Children's Book Tour - Scottish Book Trust

learning approach

Why is children’s literacy important?

The Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour has supported the Scottish Book Trust on their mission to help improve children’s literacy.  Together, we seek to help tackle these issues and give children a brighter future. Touring throughout the UK and virtually the tour visits a vast range of communities and remote areas with authors and illustrators to help encourage a love for reading, writing and illustration.

Since the tour began in 1998, we've seen over 100,000 children across more than 1,081 schools – that’s enough children to fill Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall 50 times!

Research shows the need for literacy support within deprived areas and the tour aims to reach these more vulnerable children. Research has highlighted that book ownership has a significant impact on life outcomes. The National Literacy Trust’s Annual Literacy Survey from 2021 found based on responses from 34,435 children and young people that:

  • Almost 6% of children and young people said they didn’t have a book of their own at home – that’s 413,068 children and young people in the UK

  • More children who receive free school meals said that they didn’t have a book of their own at home compared with their peers (9.2% vs. 5.3%)

  • Book ownership was associated with greater reading enjoyment and frequency. More than twice as many of those who had a book of their own enjoyed reading (52.8% vs. 21.1%)

Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour Goes Virtual!

During the pandemic, the book tour evolved from classrooms into living rooms and public places, providing even more children across the UK with access to engaging and educational content. In the first year of the virtual tour, over 100,000 families were reached! Now we run a hybrid tour.

Taking the tour to hospitals

As well as running school events, the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour also runs storytelling sessions and author visits in hospitals in Scotland.

Our Children's Book Tour hospital visits