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Over 13,000 children voted for their favourite picture book


Scottish Book Trust has today revealed the winner of the 2020 Bookbug Picture Book Prize is The Station Mouse by Meg McLaren (Anderson Press). Over 13,000 children across Scotland cast their votes for the award online.


The award is run by Scottish Book Trust, the national charity changing lives through reading and writing, with support from Browns Books for Students. The Bookbug Picture Book Prize celebrates the most popular new picture books by Scottish authors or illustrators.


The runners-up were:

The Prince and the Witch and the Thief and the Bears by Alastair Chisholm, illustrated by Jez Tuya (Walker Books) and Sophie Johnson:

Unicorn Expert by Morag Hood, illustrated by Ella Okstad (Simon & Schuster).



Printmaker and illustrator Meg McLaren graduated from the prestigious MA in Children's Book Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art. She now lives in Inverness and The Station Mouse is her third picture book.


A free copy of each of the three books on the shortlist was gifted to every Primary 1 child during Book Week Scotland (18 to 24 November 2019), in the Bookbug P1 Family Bag.


The winner was chosen by children across Scotland, aged between three years and seven years old, who voted for their favourite book by submitting a class vote online or at home, via the Scottish Book Trust website.



Meg McLaren said:

"I am absolutely thrilled that The Station Mouse has won the Bookbug Picture Book Prize 2020. It’s truly amazing that Scottish Book Trust give books to so many children and I was really excited to be included in the Bookbug Primary 1 Family Bag year. To win is an utter surprise, and it’s all the more special because I know it was the readers themselves who voted.”

The winning book was announced in an exclusive video to schools and registered groups today (29 January 2020). Shortlisted authors and illustrators will receive £500 per book, and the winner will receive £3,000.


Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:

“Many congratulations to Meg McLaren for winning this year’s Bookbug Picture Book Prize. What makes this prize special is that families and schools read the shortlist and take part in the vote, thanks to the Bookbug Family Bag that is gifted to every primary 1 child in Scotland. All the authors and illustrators included on the shortlist reflect some of the finest talent in the industry.”

Claire Smith, Sales Manager for Browns Books for Students, said:

“Congratulations to Meg McLaren whose picture book has been enjoyed, read and reviewed by those at the heart of Scottish communities. Browns Books for Students are proud of our ongoing partnership with Scottish Book Trust, supporting them with their outstanding work, in the development of reading and literacy in Scotland.”


Mairi Kidd, Head of Literature, Languages & Publishing at Creative Scotland, said:

“We are lucky in Scotland in that so many artists at the very top of their game lend their talents to picture books and stories for the very young. This is a demanding dual audience of the youngest children and their carers, and of course the real prize is the chance to set a new generation of readers on a lifelong journey of story. All of the shortlisted artists are winners in this sense, but special congratulations go to Meg, who was soundly endorsed by so many young Bookbug recipients.”

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