Culture

Support for Young Parents as The Snowman Picture Book Tops Christmas Poll

The Raymond Briggs inspired animation ‘The Snowman’ may be on the TV every Christmas but the picture book it was adapted from has topped a national poll as Scotland’s most loved Christmas book.

Research has also revealed that younger parents today are less likely to read with their babies and children.  The Centre for Research on Families and Relationships also showed that  many teen parents also face challenging circumstances such as social isolation, poverty and lack of confidence.

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Demmi with baby Harlie- photo Stan Mackie

‘The support I received encouraged me to read to him as soon as he was born. When he’s fidgety, I read to him. It calms him and I feel better too because I’m doing something special with him and it’s good for him. I’ll definitely keep doing it.’ Demmi

To support young parents the charity,  Scottish Book Trust,has launched its appeal to provide books and support to teen parents and their babies. This is to ensure every baby enjoys stories and rhymes from the earliest moments, regardless of their circumstances.

Almost a third of Scots voted for children’s book The Snowman, which was first published in 1978, as their favourite Christmas read, and over 80% of Scots parents agree that reading helps them to bond with their children.

Marc Lambert, CEO of the Scottish Book Trust said:

“It’s very fitting that a children’s picture book has topped our nationwide poll of Christmas books.  This underlines how important books and sharing stories are to us all, in childhood and as parents or carers.

“Sharing stories is one of the best ways for parents to bond with their babies from the earliest moments.  Even before they are born, babies can hear sounds, and reading from these early stages also supports important early development such as language learning.

“We are appealing to people to support our mission by donating £5 to give the gift of reading this Christmas and ensure no baby misses out.”

By supporting Scottish Book Trust’s Christmas Appeal, the charity aims to help 1,000 families by providing pregnant teens with a copy of Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler’s The Snail and the Whale, recommended for its repetition and rhyme. The teens will also receive support to begin a reading journey and ensure parent and baby have the best start together.

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Charlie, Hussein and baby Archie photo Stan Mackie

‘We talked and sang to him when I was pregnant. When he was born, he recognised his Dad’s voice and immediately turned his head to find him’ Charlie

Author Julia Donaldson said :

“I’m delighted that Scottish Book Trust is gifting copies of The Snail and the Whale for their Christmas appeal as it’s one of my favourites of all my own books. It’s lovely to think of a whole new generation of parents and children across Scotland enjoying the story together. If you are able to support this campaign with £5, you could really make a difference this Christmas.”

The Christmas Appeal follows a successful pilot in Tayside, Glasgow, South-East Edinburgh and the Lothians. Scottish Book Trust now wants to roll the scheme out nationwide, to all teen parents in Scotland.

Donate £5 today ( scottishbooktrust.com/ChristmasAppeal) to gift a baby and young parent their first book to share. A gift certificate is also available if you wish to share your donation as a Christmas gift for a loved one.

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