Bookbug’s Big Shoogle

Bookbug Week is taking place this week (15–21 May), encouraging little ones and their families to dance to their favourite songs and rhymes and then cosy up with a story. This year’s theme is Bookbug’s Big Shoogle and the week will focus on the benefits of movement and dance for early years development.

the illustration contains a wide variety of ages, abilities and ethnic background of people winging and dancing with children
Image credit: Emma Melchor

Dance and movement are not only fun for little ones, but play an important role in their development. Movement helps young children to build strength and mobility. The tactile elements of many songs and rhymes help them to learn about different parts of their body.

Children and Young People Minister in the Scottish Government Natalie Don said:

‘I am very excited for this year’s Bookbug Week and their special Bookbug’s Big Shoogle theme. Initiatives like this can help encourage an early love of books among children in addition to providing great opportunities for parents and their wee ones to spend time together whilst having fun and learning.

‘Both reading and being active have multiple benefits for children, including supporting positive mental and physical health, relationships and improved attainment.

‘I’m delighted that the Scottish Government are able to provide increased funding for 2023/24 of £1.8 million for the continuation of the Bookbug programme.’

Bookbug is a national programme run by Scottish Book Trust, a charity changing lives with reading and writing. All children in Scotland receive four Bookbug Bags full of books and activities between their birth and first year of school. Families can also share songs and rhymes in fun Bookbug Sessions in local libraries and community groups and through the Bookbug app. The Scottish Government has been supporting Bookbug since 2010.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:

‘We’re excited to share Bookbug’s Big Shoogle with families across Scotland this year, celebrating the benefits of movement and dance. Our thanks to Emma Melchor for designing this year’s brilliant Bookbug Week illustration.”

This year’s Bookbug Week celebrations will include a partnership with BBC Tiny Happy People, a free-to-use website with fun activity ideas to help support 0–4-year-olds’ speech, language, and communication development. They will be adding some brilliant activity idea films to the Bookbug app for one week only, which highlight the importance of parents and carers talking to their little ones as early as possible.

Bookbug Sessions, Orkney


Bookbug sessions in Kirkwall Library take place every Wednesday morning during term time. Spaces are limited, so all attendees must book their place through Eventbrite. Tickets for each Kirkwall session will be available on Eventbrite from 9am on the Friday before the session.


There are monthly Bookbug sessions in Stromness Library which take place on the first Friday morning of the month during term time. These sessions do not require booking so you are welcome to just turn up on the day.

Scottish Book Trust is running a competition to win a special selection of 10 books, a musical instrument kit and a space hopper.

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