Wee Kelpies Board Books

Floris Books, Edinburgh based, are trying commendably hard to publish Scottish themed books for children. This works very well for story books and now they have introduced Wee Kelpies, a range of Scottish board books for children aged 1 to 3 years old.

Illustrated by the talented Kate McLelland, the first two are ‘Scottish Colours’ and ‘Scottish Things That Go’.  So, green is a sea monster (Nessie?), yellow is a pair of wellingtons, red is raspberries, blue is the Saltire, purple is a thistle and orange is a highland cow. As you can imagine, this comes over as slightly contrived and some people will appreciate the effort, while some will consider it patronising and uneccessary.

Scottish Things That GoThe second book, on transport, suffers from the same problem; the boat is a fishing boat, pictured just off a pier with a saltire flying, the tram is driving past Edinburgh Castle, the car is on a road in the highlands with sheep in fields, a warning sign for deer and a large bird overhead, the steam train is passing a highland cow but the helicopter and tractor, I fear, could be anywhere.

As you may tell, I became sidetracked by looking for Scottishness, instead of just enjoying the books for what they are, books with nice, clear, simple, colourful images, on chunky pages that can be manipulated by small fingers and will stand up to a fair amount of chewing etc. £5.99 may seem a lot but these are real books that have to pay their way in the material world. What do you think?


Published by

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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