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Scottish Friendly Children's Book Tour

2023 marks the 25th anniversary of The Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour in partnership with the Scottish Book Trust. The Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour brings authors, illustrators and a variety of other creative practitioners to schools, libraries and public venues across the UK. Previous tours have featured Julia Donaldson, Chris Riddell, Joseph Coelho, Pamela Butchart and David Almond.

Why is children's literacy important?

For 25 years, The Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour has supported the Scottish Book Trust on their mission to help improve children’s literacy. Touring throughout the UK and virtually the programme visits a vast range of communities and remote areas with top authors to help encourage a love for reading, writing and illustration.

Statistics highlight the need for literacy support within deprived areas and the tour especially aims to reach these children. Research has shown that book ownership has a significant impact on life outcomes. The National Literacy Trust, Annual Literacy Survey, which was conducted between January and March 2021 found that based on the responses of 34,435 children and young people:


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%).

Together, we seek to help tackle these issues and give children a brighter future. Since the tour began in 1998, we have seen over 100,000 children across more than 1,081 schools – that’s enough children to fill Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall 50 times! We have successfully toured many authors including Julia Donaldson, Jaqueline Wilson, Steve Cole and Michael Morpurgo.

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 – hopefully helping parents, carers and teachers, too! In the first year of our virtual tour, we reached over 100,000 families and we’re continuing to provide this content so everyone can join in.

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. On Friday 17 December, Lari Don and Eilidh Muldoon were due to visit the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Edinburgh. Unfortunately, due to Coronavirus, we had to postpone this event and instead shared a special video with Lari and Eilidh for children in the hospital to watch on Christmas Eve. You can watch the video by clicking the button below.

A partnership that has spanned the years

We’re proud to have supported the Scottish Book Trust for over 20 years. See how we celebrated the landmark milestone of the Scottish Friendly Children's Book Tour.

We’ve been sponsoring the tour for 24 years! 20 years was a significant milestone and we celebrated in style. Next year we hope to go even bigger!

The Scottish Friendly Children's Book Tour reaches an average of 6,000 children every year in a vast range of communities, from rural schools with as few as 8 pupils to 2,000 seat theatres.

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