Do you believe in the Loch Ness Monster? We certainly do! Whenever we go for a walk to our local loch, BookBairn loves to go Nessie-spott...

The Treasures of the Loch Ness Monster Blog Tour

Tuesday, May 08, 2018 BookBairn 2 Comments

Do you believe in the Loch Ness Monster? We certainly do! Whenever we go for a walk to our local loch, BookBairn loves to go Nessie-spotting and every time we don't find her, as we are yet to spot her, BookBairn declares "she must be having her lunch at the bottom of the loch, mummy". We now have to take our Nessie spotting kit with us - binoculars, magnifying glass and camera. [My apologies that the photos are a bit wintry - we went spotting in March but the weather was freezing!]

And when we got home to warm up we read 'The Treasure of the Loch Ness Monster' by Lari Don with illustrations by Natasa Ilincic. It tells the story of Ishbel and Kenneth whose family are poor and hungry so they set off on an advneture across Loch Ness in search of treasure hidden in Urquhart Castle. When they reach the castle they find many treasures including a mysterious golden egg which they take back to sell to buy food for their family. But something lurking in the deeps of the loch is none too happy with her egg being stolen and she decides to lay claim to her egg knocking the small rowing boat sending the children overboard. Don't worry, they get ashore again but this is not a tale for little children who are easily frightened! BookBairn always takes Nessie's side - "they should have taken her egg, Mummy, that's her baby!" As a seasoned storyteller, Lari's writing is whimsical and has a wonderful quality to read aloud - you feel like a true storyteller yourself when weaving her carefully spun words. And the illustrations are a beautiful depiction of what makes Scotland great - mystery, beauty and magic!

And as part of our stop on the blog tour we hand over to Lari Don who tells us why Nessie captures our imaginations and why she has finally written a tale starring this infamous monster! Over to Lari:

Why do we love Nessie?

"Have you ever seen the Loch Ness Monster? Do you believe she exists?"

I'm from the north of Scotland; I've lived in Inverness and in other parts of the Highlands. So those two questions - have I seen Nessie, and do I believe in her - are questions I've been asked A LOT. Just to get them out of the way, here are my answers: "No, I haven't" and "No, I don't."

But what's interesting is that I've been asked those questions as a child, as a teenager, as an adult, as a writer, as a storyteller, as a tourist in other countries, and as a person buying socks in a shop in London. Everyone has heard of Nessie, everyone wants to know more about Nessie, quite a few people think that anyone who lives north of Glasgow is Nessie's close friend and neighbour, and everyone smiles when they talk about Nessie.

Why? Why do we all love Nessie? I wonder if it's because Nessie is such an unusual monster.

From a storytelling point of view, Nessie is definitely one of the most unusual and therefore most fascinating monsters around.

For a start, she's not really monstrous. She's not dangerous or scary or cruel or man-eating or child-eating...

The creature in Loch Ness, if she's there, hasn't done anything nasty to anyone since about 565AD, when St Columba met a monster in the loch. Since then, after a very long quiet spell, and a sudden reappearance almost 100 years ago, Nessie hasn't done anyone any harm at all! Here gentle reputation is very different from the other monsters we tell stories about: dragons, kelpies, krakens, werewolves...

The main story about Nessie is her mystery. There are non story-length tales about people meeting Nessie or tales about what Nessie wants, or any specific lore about her magic or powers or strengths or habits.

There is just the one question: does she exist?

Which is very unusual for a monster, particularly one who is so well known! We know her name and her location and we all have an image of what she might look like. But we don't know any of Nessie's stories. We don't really know very much about her at all. Which leaves our imaginations lots of space to play, lots of opportunity to make up our own stories.

Also, Nessie has chosen an amazing place to live. The loch and the monster are so closely linked that it's almost impossible to discuss one without mentioning the other. I'm sure that the beauty of the setting is part of her enduring attraction, for tourists, anyway.

So, we have a contradictory monster: ancient but also very modern; mysterious but also very well known; with lots of gossip about her, but no solid folklore stories...

No wonder we all love Nessie!

And now, after years of writing about Scotland's slightly less well-known magical creatures - selkies, kelpies, fairy warriors, wyrms etc - I've finally written about Nessie.

Inspired by folklore about the castle on the banks of Loch Ness and a 'what if' question about the loch's famous inhabitant, I've written The Treasure of the Loch Ness Monster, which has been illustrated by the wonderful Natasa Ilincic.

So, I can quite reasonably expect to be asked even more questions about Nessie from now on!

Thanks Lari! We certainly still believe in Nessie in our household - so much so that we look for her every time we visit our local loch, which isn't even Loch Ness!

To find out more about this awesome book check out the other stops on the blog tour in the banner below!

There's also the opportunity to win a bundle of signed Lari Don books by entering the Map My Monster competition:
The Discover Kelpies team are looking for young monster spotters to enter their Map My Monster art competition. To enter the competition for a chance to win a bundle of signed books by Lari Don just draw a picture of your local mythical monster on their special Map My Monster sheet. Don’t worry if you don’t have a local monster – you can borrow one from another place, or create your own! For more details visit

Good Monster-Hunting, 
Mummy, BookBairn and Nessie xxx

Nessie Book
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Disclaimer: This book was sent to us from the publisher for review as part of our participating on the Blog Tour. Words and opinions are, as always, our own.

Lari Don grew up in the north-east of Scotland, and lives in Edinburgh. She has worked in politics and broadcasting, but is now a full-time writer and storyteller. Lari is the author of more than 30 books for children of all ages, including The Fabled Beast Chronicles and Spellchasers trilogy for middle grade readers, Mind Blind for young teens, and picture books The Tale of Tam Linn and The Secret of the Kelpie, and she regularly visits schools and libraries to share her stories. Almost all her books are inspired by her love of traditional tales, and absolutely all her manuscripts are covered in muddy paw prints from her helpful cats. 
More info: Twitter: @LariDonWriter

Nataša Ilinčić is an artist and illustrator originally from Croatia, now living and working in Edinburgh. Nataša was brought up on the foot of the Italian Alps where she spent much of her childhood befriending ancient trees and exploring ruins. Following her academic studies in Archaeology and Cultural Anthropology, she moved to Edinburgh to pursue a career in art and illustration, drawing inspiration from mythology and folklore. Her work has been shortlisted for the Folio Society Book Illustration Competition 2017, and has been exhibited in various galleries,  including the London House of Illustration.


  1. Maybe one day we can take BookBairn to Loch Ness for monster hunting. I can remember doing that on a family camping holiday many, many years ago.