The Big Dog mascot, a large and fluffy orange dog, from the children's book festival in Dumfries.

Big DoG 

Scotland's unique standalone children's book festival

Coming to Dumfries each spring

Taking place in venues across the town, Big DoG is a family-friendly festival which attracts some of the best children's authors from across the UK to share stories and inspire the next generation of readers and writers.

Copy of Childrens Book Festival 4

2024 Highlights

Children's book cover Smile by Clarice Bean. Yellow background with illustrated girl lying down facing towards you not smiling.

Clarice Bean


Lauren Child

Don't miss the chance to hear Charlie and Lola creator and former Children's Laureate Lauren Child, talk about her newest Clarice Bean novel, SMILE. Clarice knows It's not just the planet that needs help - there's her whole family too and if you want things to change for the better, it's not just up to everyone else, it's also up to you.

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Children's Book Festival authors Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre pose in brightly coloured clothes, each holding a cartoon mouse in their hands.


Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre

The heroic Adventuremice have been summoned by an inventor-mouse! Millie's Uncle Bernie has built a spaceship and he wants the brave and clever Adventuremice to fly it. Come along as Pedro and his friends blast into outer space, where they become the first mice on the moon. Or so they think...

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Man smartly dressed in a suit and hat holding a magnifying glass to his eye, with a shocked expression on his face.

Dinosaur Detectives

Clydebuilt Puppet Theatre

Once upon a time, enormous creatures walked the earth. The Dinosaur Detectives follow a fascinating journey of discovery, fun and conflict surrounding the first fossil finds of Mary Anning, William Buckland and Gideon Mantell. Clydebuilt combine puppetry with projection and shadow theatre to create their fascinating world.

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Benji the Bus, a brightly coloured painted double decker bus parked at Big Dog Children's Book Festival in Dumfries.

Benji the Bus


Benji the double-decker play bus and the PlayTalkRead team from Smart Play Network will be making their way to Dumfries & Galloway to take part in this year's festival. On board, you will find free drop-in sessions and lots of fun activities that you and your wee one can do together, from messy play to fancy dress. There will be lots of books for you to enjoy too.

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A Young child is dressed in a pirate costume sitting in an armchair reading a book.

Peter Pan Pirate Breakfast

Moat Brae Storyweavers

Ahoy there me hearties! Join Moat Brae's Storyweavers for Peter-Pan-inspired fun and games, alongside a delicious breakfast with yummy pirate tucker. Dressing up is welcome.

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Big Dog sitting reading a book.

"I'm so lucky to have met fantastically imaginative young readers and writers in Dumfries and Galloway last year. I can't wait to visit Dumfries again for the Big DoG festival in April. See you all soon for vampires, books and a huge celebration of reading.”

- Alex Foulkes

Visiting for the festival?

Follow the links for guides to Dumfries and the surrounding area