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Our favourite Scottish children’s books: A Review 

I have always loved reading. As far as I can remember I have always had a book on the go. I can remember about how excited I would get when I knew it was library day with my gran. I would take my time and carefully consider which book I was going to choose for the week. As I got older this would turn in to two or three books. So when Dylan was born I wanted to embed a love of reading early on. At around 9 weeks I started reading to Dylan and he loves it! No matter what kind of day we are having, if we sit down with a story he will settle and listen to the whole thing. We love a lot of books but I wanted to list our favourite Scottish ones since there are so many great ones available for children.

Hairy Maclary

Not technically a Scottish book as the author is from New Zealand but it’s about a Scottish terrier so I’m allowing it on the list. I was obsessed with Hairy Maclary as a child. We would always go camping each summer to the same park and in their little shop on site they would have every book in the series so over the years I amassed quite a collection. The stories follow the adventures of a Scottish Terrier named Hairy Maclary who lives in Donaldson’s Dairy. Hairy Maclary has a tendency to get in to trouble along with the other dogs and sometimes cats in the village. Each book rhymes its way effortlessly through their mishaps and has Dylan staring up at me with a big smile on his face. I unfortunately lost my collection along the way but luckily I was able to pick up a bumper pack from Amazon at a great price. You can find them here.

The Gruffalo in Scots

Julia Donaldson’s classic gets the Scots treatment and has me in stitches which in turn makes Dylan giggle too. It’s the same story which you probably know and love about a very crafty mouse but this time it sounds as if the characters are from River City (a soap set in Glasgow). It’s one of my favourites to read to Dylan as with the Scottish lilt it becomes even more entertaining and rhythmical. One of my favourite parts of the books is when the mouse is referred to as “wee Tonto” who better move “pronto.” The first time I read it I think I giggled for a good five minutes afterwards. The Gruffalo’s Child has also had its reinvention in Scots, now known as The Gruffalo’s Bairn. You can purchase them both here.

There was a wee lassie who swallowed a midgie

This book is based on the nursery rhyme “There was an old lady who swallowed a fly.” Before reading this book I recommend taking a deep, deep breath. By the end of the book I am exhausted with the rhyming of the many animals the wee girl has swallowed. I think Dylan finds my bright red face hilarious as he stares more at me than the book when reading this one. It sounds almost like a song when reading which is a benefit of writing it in Scots. It follows the same principles as the nursery rhyme but this time it’s a little girl who has swallowed a midgie. For those of you unfamiliar with what a midgie is, imagine a mosquito but tiny and extremely annoying. They pretty much ruin Summer for most of us Scots and leave you looking like you have the chicken pox, itchiness included. I have swallowed many a midgie in my time but I’ve never thought of swallowing several other animals as a result. It’s a fun book and you can find it here.

Maggie’s Mittens

New kid on the block and already chosen as Waterstones children’s book of the month. It follows Maggie on her trip across Scotland as she tries desperately to get rid of her mittens. It has been written by a school teacher who obviously knows the key to a story that keeps children’s attention. The illustrations are eye-catching and highlight several of Scotland’s landmarks beautifully. Dylan loves the bright colours and is always grabbing at the book when I’m reading. This book isn’t written in Scots, it does have the occasional Scottish word but I would say it’s a lot more accessible for those that might not understand whit its aw aboot (what it’s all about). You can find the adventures of Maggie here.




Important: This post contains affiliate links. I purchased all of the above books with my own money except Maggie’s Mittens which was kindly gifted. The opinions are all of my own and have not been influenced in any way.

2 thoughts on “Our favourite Scottish children’s books: A Review 

  1. Some great recommendations, we love Hairy Maclary and the Gruffalo (and now need the Gruffalo in Scots)! Thank you for sharing such a detailed review!

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