Traditional Tales from Kelpies

Scottish stories are always popular and it’s just delightful to see Kelpies launching a new Traditional Tales imprint in this Year of Homecoming. These stories form part of Scotland’s oral heritage and have been sensitively produced by three fantastic award-winning authors, accompanied by three wonderful illustrators.

The Dragon Stoorworm is retold rather wittily by Theresa Breslin and illustrated by Matthew Land. It tells the story of the very first dragon, which terrorises the people of Scotland and how a young storyteller earns the hand of a lovely princess by finding a cunning way to kill the dragon. This is Matthew’s first picture book and it is deftly done showing an eye for detail that gives the book great appeal.
The Dragon Stoorworm (Picture Kelpies: Traditional Scottish Tales) is available here from Amazon

The Tale of Tam LinnThe Tale of Tam Linn is a story (or ballad) from the Borders, freshly retold by Lari Don and illustrated by Philip Longson. It’s about  a boy who was stolen by the fairies and turned into a knight guarding the forest. The sceptical laird’s daughter Janet ventures into the forest one day and meets the knight, who is surprised to learn how much he is remembered and still missed. He tells Janet the secret of the fairy queen’s hold over him and on Hallowe’en she goes to the edge of the forest where the fairy queen is marching round her lands and succeeds in freeing him. Philip’s illustrations creepily convey the enchanted lands of the Border forests.
The Tale of Tam Linn (Picture Kelpies: Traditional Scottish Tales) is available here from Amazon

The Selkie GirlLast but not least, is the Selkie Girl, that celebrated tale of the boy who finds a sealskin on the rocks. In Janis Mackay’s story, the boy, Fergus, finds the glistening fur and takes it home to his father, a fisherman. But the sealskin belongs to a selkie girl who follows him home and begs for it back. He asks her to stay for 7 days as his friend and then he will return it. The two enjoy their time together but at the end of the week, Fergus honours his promise and returns the sealskin. She gives him a friendship stone and although the two never meet again, the seal family keep watch over Fergus and his father and ensure that his nets are always full. Ruchi Mhasane’s illustrations portray beautifully the seashore scenery where the story takes place.
The Selkie Girl (Picture Kelpies: Traditional Scottish Tales) is available here from Amazon


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Suse Coon

Suse Coon started life training to be an architect but ended up as a fashion buyer then civil servant. After some time out to bring up her family of three, she returned to what had been a hobby and entered the field of freelance journalism. After becoming regional correspondent, then editor of the orienteering magazine CompassSport, she formed Pages Editorial & Publishing Services. In this guise, West Lothian Life was launched, while Suse maintained a level of freelancing and wrote the award winning children's novel Richard's Castle. In 1999, Suse bought over CompassSport and found her time taken up pretty well exclusively with the two magazines. In 2004, West Lothian Life was expanded to form Lothian Life, however, the workload was too great. In 2006, CompassSport was sold and Suse concentrated on the web version of Lothian Life. Her hobbies include gardening, orienteering, sea kayaking and Tai Chi.

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