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Bookbug is Scotland’s early years book sharing programme, delivered in partnership by national reading charity Scottish Book Trust, local authorities, libraries and health trusts. Bookbug encourages parents and carers to share books with their children from as early an age as possible to inspire a love of reading in every child. Aberdeen City Libraries works together with health and early years partners to deliver the Bookbug programme, which gifts four fantastic free bags of books to young children in Aberdeen:

  • Baby Bag - gifted by your health visitor before your baby is six months old.
  • Toddler Bag - gifted by your health visitor when your toddler is 13 - 15 months old.
  • Explorer Bag - gifted at nursery/playgroup when your child is three years old. If your child does not attend nursery or playgroup he or she can still receive an explorer bag.
  • Primary 1 Family Bag - gifted to all children in Primary 1 and contains the titles shortlisted in the Bookbug picture book prize, the winner of which is chosen by children. The bags are gifted in school after the October holidays (usually during Book Week Scotland which is in November) and provide a terrific opportunity to support your child's reading and have fun as a family. In addition to the Bookbug bags, tactile books are available for children with additional support needs.

Gaelic Bookbug bags are also available for families interested in speaking or learning Gaelic. Libraries, health staff and nurseries in Aberdeen work together to try to make sure that all families receive their bag. 

If you have any queries about Bookbug bags please email or phone 01224 652558.

Bookbug Sessions

Bookbug sessions are free, friendly and fun sessions of stories, songs and rhymes for babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers and their families and carers to enjoy together. Each session lasts around 30 minutes and they have been designed to support children’s development while having fun. They take place in a very relaxed environment and are a great opportunity to spend some quality time with your little one, meet other families and have fun together.

Bookbug sessions are fully inclusive and open to all families, regardless of age, disability, gender, gender identity, race, religion or belief, or sexual orientation. We want to make sure that Bookbug sessions in our libraries reflect our diverse community and hope parents/carers will get involved. We’d be delighted if parents/carers would like to share songs and rhymes from other countries, cultures or languages at Bookbug sessions – please speak to the person leading the session.

To help even more babies, toddlers and parent/carers experience a Bookbug session, Aberdeen City Libraries will also deliver a Saturday morning Bookbug session once per month, beginning on Saturday 05 October. These sessions are particularly for those families who cannot make it to attend a Bookbug session Monday - Friday , so please do consider whether this is the most suitable session for you before making a booking. They will be held 10.15 - 10.45 am on the first Saturday of each month, at a different community library each time.  You can find out where the next Saturday morning Bookbug session will be by visiting or checking out the poster in your local library. Booking is essential if you would like to come along to a Saturday morning Bookbug session. Please ask in your local library, email or call 01224 652500 if you would like to book a space.


Round The World Language Sharing Bookbug Sessions

Book Week Scotland (18 – 24 November)’s theme this year is Blether (to chat), and Bookbug is excited to learn about the different languages that families in Aberdeen use to blether.

To celebrate Aberdeen’s diverse range of languages, we will be holding a series of special Language Sharing Bookbug sessions during the lead-up to Book Week Scotland. All are welcome to come along to share their own language or to learn something new – no previous language skills are required! Together we will practice a few words and rhymes with the fantastic parents and library staff who have volunteered to share their mother language.

Arabic/English - Wednesday 23rd October, 2.15-2.45pm at Northfield Library

Korean/Mandarin/English - Monday 28th October, 10.30-11.00am at Tillydrone Library

French/Portuguese/English - Wednesday 6th November, 10.30-11.00am at Ferryhill Library

Polish/English - Monday 11th November, 2.15-2.45pm at Torry Library

As well as having fun at our special Blether events, we hope that more parents/carers will feel inspired to share a greeting or rhyme in a mother language other than English at regular Bookbug sessions in future. If you would like to share your language, please get in contact at Bookbug@aberdeencity, , or just speak to the Session Leader at your local Bookbug session.


Bookbug Picture Book Prize

Scottish Book Trust have now announced the shortlist of three picture books nominated to win 2019's Bookbug Picture Book Prize. This is the only national book award voted for just by children. We are excited to share the news that the three shortlisted titles are:

  • 'Sophie Johnson: Unicorn Expert' by Morag Hood
  • 'The Prince and the Witch and the Thief and the Bears' by Alastair Chisholm
  • 'The Station Mouse' by Meg McLaren

A copy of these books is included in every Bookbug Primary One Family Bag, so if you have recently started primary one you will receive your very own free copy of each of these books in school during Book Week Scotland, 18-24 November. If you can't wait that long, copies of the titles will be in Aberdeen City Libraries.

Bookbug would like all children aged 3-7  to read the three titles and cast their vote for their favourite to win the Picture Book Prize. Votes can be cast in your local library's creative Voting Boxes from September until 6 December 2019. Which one will be your favourite?


What parents enjoy about Bookbug sessions

Quotes from parents in Aberdeen:

'We enjoy Bookbug sessions because they are short and relaxed and I've learnt some new rhymes’ 'Staff are always friendly and accommodating.’

‘We really enjoy bookbug sessions. The atmosphere is welcoming and my granddaughter looks forward to her monthly visits.’

‘Events like this are very important for the community.’

You need to book a place for sessions held at Central Children's Library, Airyhall, Bridge of Don and Ferryhill libraries. Please contact the appropriate library by email or telephone to book a place or for more information. Find your local library to make a booking. For all other libraries, sessions are drop-in – just turn up.


Bookbug aims to help every child in Scotland develop a love of books and reading, Sharing books, songs and rhymes together will:

  • Develop language skills
  • Allow time for cuddling and bonding
  • Help families to relax
  • Boost children’s confidence
  • Encourage drawing and writing
  • Provide a strong start in life

Bookbug library challenge

The challenge aims to encourage children aged 0 to 5 to discover and enjoy their local library and all libraries in Aberdeen City are looking forward to signing up new members. Taking part is easy and fun.

  • Join your local library - your child can join from birth.
  • Choose some stories to share.
  • Ask for a Bookbug Library Challenge card and collect 2 stickers each time you visit.
  • Make 3 visits to swap your fully stamped card for a beautifully illustrated certificate for your child to keep.

What else does Aberdeen City Libraries offer young children?

Explore more of what Aberdeen City Libraries has to offer children and young people.

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