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Scottish Friendly Children's Book Tour

2018 marks the 20th anniversary of The Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour in partnership with the Scottish Book Trust

Why is children's literacy important?

For 20 years, The Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour has supported the Scottish Book Trust on their mission to help improve children’s literacy. Initially touring within Scotland and more recently throughout the UK the programme focuses on deprived communities and remote areas with top authors visiting schools across Scotland and the rest of UK to help encourage a love for reading, writing and illustration.

Recent statistics highlight the need for literacy support within deprived areas – for instance, by school age, children from low income families are 12 months behind their contemporaries from higher income backgrounds in vocabulary. It is further estimated that 3 in 10 children within the UK do not own books. Together, we seek to help tackle these issues and give children a brighter future.

Since the tour began in 1998, we have seen 100,000 children across 1081 schools – that’s enough children to fill Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall 50 times! We have successfully toured 89 authors including Jaqueline Wilson, Steve Cole and Michael Morpurgo and by the end of 2016 we reached 37% of the 2524 schools in Scotland.

We are incredibly excited about our monumental 20th anniversary and are creating a series of tours that will be bigger and better than ever.

Where is the tour going?

Take a look at our short video of where each of the authors are touring across the UK. Maybe they are coming to a school near you?

Tour update - Take a look at what's been happening

Julia Donaldson


As a very special part of the all-star celebrations of the 20th Anniversary of the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour, from 19 to 23 March best-selling children’s author Julia Donaldson will visit libraries in Dundee, Stirling, Glasgow, the Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway.


Julia Donaldson on tour


Hundreds of school children will take part in the special events with Julia, who has written more than 160 books and is a high profile supporter of libraries.

This will be the second time Julia has joined the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour, following her highly popular tour of libraries in 2012, which was attended by more than 1000 primary school pupils.

Julia Donaldson is a passionate advocate of libraries, and has spoken out on numerous occasions about the importance of librarians and the work they do. In 2016, Julia stated that:

Librarians can put the right books into the right hands. They can be up to date, read a lot themselves, and know the children really well.

To find out more about Julia's tour, visit the Scottish Book Trust website.


John Fardell


To kick off 2018 award-winning author and illustrator John Fardell visited schools in Northern Ireland between 22nd and 26th January.

John showed pupils the imaginative process behind his picture and illustrated children's books that will give the pupils loads of ideas for using words and illustration to create their own picture books or novels.


John Fardell


To find out more about John's tour, visit the Scottish Book Trust website.


John Fardell engaging with students

How did it all begin?

A look back over the last 20 years of the Scottish Friendly Children's Book Tour and where it all began.

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