Picture Kelpies have added another three titles to their list of delightful tales for reading to small children and all celebrating or set in Scotland.
Mike Nicholson and Claire Keay deliver Thistle Street, a braw Scots story for bairns. Taking a walk along Thistle Street, the reader is introduced to various shops, a school and a vet’s surgery. They meet other children, shop keepers, gardeners and street artists. What’s lovely about this is that the language introduces fantastic Scots words like stushie and clarty and crabbit. Occasionally the story strains to rhyme — I don’t know why plain language wasn’t good enough — but the value of having a book that celebrates these wonderful words is something special and the simple drawings are easy to follow.
Thistle Street (Picture Kelpies) is available here from Amazon
Bagpipes, Beasties and Bogles by Tim Archibold is actually quite a scary story — at least I was scared. The reader is introduced to all manner of creatures that go bump in the night, that hide under your bed or lurk in cupboards, waiting for toes or looking for crumbs. (Actually I wouldn’t mind a few more skelpies but my husband is allergic to them.) It’s the illustrations that are really quite disturbing, in particular the Squeakers. In my house they even come out during the day but are fortunately too small to see. Â Anyway, all these creatures are gathered up by Charlie McCandlewick and kept in a tartan bag which he makes into, yes, bagpipes. There are even Â detailed instructions for making bagpipes. The pictures are colourful and dramatic, with a lot of fun details to pore over. Again, the book has some quite sophisticated ideas that will make you smile but I’d be wary of showing it to anyone near bedtime!
Bagpipes, Beasties and Bogles (Picture Kelpies) is available here from Amazon
Margaret Forrester and Sandra Klassen again team up with a lovely Christmas story about Mac, the tortoiseshell cat. Mac lives in a house in Edinburgh with his family who are preparing for Christmas. Catriona finds some Christmas presents that haven’t been wrapped and tries on a pretty ring. Then she goes to collect the Christmas tree and, by the time the tree is up and decorated, she has lost the ring. Mac, as the hero of the story must, finds the ring, though this involves climbing to the top of the Christmas tree, with predictable results. Amidst the chaos, Catriona is distraught and confesses what has happened to her mother. All the time, I was expecting that the ring was to have been a present for her mother but it seems not. And the moral of the story is, well yes. This is a lovely, simple story with no agenda and of course beautiful pictures.
Mac’s Christmas Star (Picture Kelpies) is available here from Amazon