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Are You and Your Little Ones Missing Bookbug?

By bellmannews / May 17, 2020
Visual play on old BBC testcard - Julia's picture in the middle

By Julia Lawrie Morrison –

Have you heard the buzz about Bookbug?

Have you tried a Bookbug session with your child before? Bookbug sessions are a great way for families to spend time together and meet others in the local area!

Bookbug is a national programme, run by The Scottish Book Trust, delivered to families and children in libraries and community venues throughout Scotland. Bookbug sessions are free to attend and aimed at children aged between 0 to 5 years old, along with their parents and carers. Sessions include around 30 minutes of songs, nursery rhymes and storytime, supporting children’s speech and language development, inspiring a love of reading, whilst also being great fun.

I’m Julia, I used to deliver Bookbug sessions at Stonehaven library and more recently have been attending them along with my new baby boy. We were really enjoying the songs and story-time together, along with meeting other people, it gave us a good routine twice a week, before everything stopped with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whether you are a new parent, like me, or a seasoned Bookbug regular, you may be feeling out of sorts at the moment as you try to build a routine. Perhaps you are a little worried about your child’s wellbeing, missing out on your usual Bookbug sessions and the social interaction at the library – I certainly have been.

In our current situation, while libraries are closed and many activities are cancelled, I was beginning to feel a little low and had a growing desire to try and turn a difficult situation into a positive opportunity, one which could hopefully help others feeling the same as me.

The Childlike Reader

With this in mind I have set up a YouTube channel, The Childlike Reader, and am delighted to be able to offer you free online Bookbug sessions, on a voluntary and independent basis, to help fill the gap!

I share two free pre-recorded online Bookbug sessions each week.  These sessions are planned with guidance from the Scottish Book Trust and with the generous support of book publishers.  I upload new sessions at 10.30 am on Wednesday and Thursday mornings and they can be watched by you at any time that is convenient.

Doing this for others has helped me build a routine and a kind of continuing conversation with other local families with young children, centred around shared concern over our children’s development and love of Bookbug. I wanted to build in an interactive element to these sessions and am taking requests for special shout-outs and birthday messages each week.  I have already managed to share ‘hellos’ with children in Montrose and Dundee and am aware of viewers as far afield as New Zealand – a far wider reach than I was expecting, which is wonderful!

In addition to my own efforts, online Bookbug sessions are now taking place in many areas. It is now possible to watch online Bookbug sessions from various sources, whether voluntary or local authority, including a live session delivered by Paul from the Scottish Book Trust on Fridays. The growing Bookbug buzz is fantastic.

My weekly sessions include Bookbug on Wednesdays for pre-schoolers and Bookbug on Thursdays for babies.  You can watch both of these by subscribing to “The Childlike Reader” channel on YouTube. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheChildlikeReader where you will find a pinned post with a direct link to the YouTube channel.

Further information on Bookbug and the Scottish Book Trust can be found at www.scottishbooktrust.com.

It is with great thanks to the Scottish Book Trust funded training, open to people working and volunteering in early years, that I have acquired the Bookbug- bug, I hope I can encourage others to join in on the buzz!

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