It's been a braw couple days for BookBairn as we've been celebrating Burns Night by reading a muckle pile of Scots books (and, yes, ...

Scots Books for Wee Folk

Monday, January 25, 2016 BookBairn 6 Comments

It's been a braw couple days for BookBairn as we've been celebrating Burns Night by reading a muckle pile of Scots books (and, yes, there will be more Scots words to follow!). What a bonnie time we've had. It helps that BookBairn is a muckle fan of haggis, neeps and tatties and could eat a Burns supper every night of the week! We've also been Scottish Country Dancing around the living room and reading a brilliant series of books by Itchy Coo publishing, written by James Robertson with illustrations by Karen Sutherland.

Of the series, there are a few that we like best. Firstly, 'Katie's Coo' is a collection of "Scots Rhymes for Wee Folk", which is delightful to all parents familiar with a Scots rhyme or two. Reading, and singing, this book with BookBarin was reminiscent of singing these Scots tunes with my own parents, to my brother when he was little and at school! It has all the favourites of Scottish bairns: Katie Bairdie, Three Craws, Ally Bally Bee (which I've been singing to BookBairn as a lullaby since she was born) and Wee Willie Winkie amongst others. It is a marvelous wee book for bringing the generations together over a familiar tune!

As I mentioned in previous posts, BookBairn, like many bairns, is a fan of a peekaboo/lift-the-flap book and in 'Katie's Moose' we've discovered another great book. As you search round Katie's hoose looking for her wee moose and other creatures, BookBairn giggles away and lifts the flaps to discover "keek-a-boo, there he/she is noo" hiding under a piece of furniture illustrated doing some of the most peculiar things. Who would expect to find a pig doing a jig behind the chair, or imagine a coo sitting on the loo? We are clearly not the only ones who adore this book, as when we were reading it over breakfast at the local soft play, a wee boy kept keeking over BookBairn's shoulder to join in the story, his mum told us he couldn't help it because it's one of his favourite books! Love that books are already helping BookBairn make friends!

My favourite is 'Katie's Zoo' in which Katie visits all the bonnie birds and braw beasts of the zoo trying to find her favourite creature. I love it because of all the Scots names for animals and words for parts of the body. Perhaps, I like this best because they are the Scots words I remember learning at school and hearing most often. The illustrations in this book are also slightly more detailed than in some of the other books and I think it would have more longevity than the other books by continuing to appeal the bairns as they get older.

The illustrations in the entire series are bright and bold and will certainly appeal to all wee bookbairns across the country. In Katie, Karen Sutherland has created a vibrant character with rosy cheeks who page after page grins from ear to ear. And who could blame her? James Robertson's text highlights all that is wonderful about Scots words through incredibly humorous rhymes. Adults will giggle as much as the children will, and at the moment, in our hoose the grown-ups probably giggle more! BookBairn giggles along with us and I hope that she will grow up to enjoy the playfulness of Scots language. She danced along (well swayed from side to side) whilst I sang some of the Scots songs, Three Craws proved a real favourite!

And for wee folk, there is also 'Rabbie's Rhymes' to introduce bairns to the wonderful verses of Scotland's national bard, Robert Burns. This book is a lovely introduction to the works of Burns, including some of the best-loved lines from his songs and poems. I should point out that it is simply an introduction, each page-spread includes two or four lines from each song or poem and whilst some other reviewers have suggested this is not enough, I would argue it depends on your audience. As these are books for wee folk, I think a few lines are sufficient and if I want to recite more with BookBairn as she gets older we will look them up (when my memory fails). In the meantime, this lift-the-flap book is great fun and includes 'Tae a moose', 'Ye Banks and Braes o Bonnie Doon', ' My Luve's like a Red Red Rose' and the national favourite 'Auld Lang Syne'. Younger children will enjoy Karen Sutherland's illustrations of animals, as in the Katie books and older kids will giggle with laughter as the lift the flap of the Scotsman's kilt! Even BookBairn knew that this was cheeky! My only qualm with this book is that it is now out of print and was rather difficult to get a copy: the library staff came to my rescue and despite requesting it at short notice the still managed to get me a copy in the week before Burns night - thank you!

We've had great fun celebrating the works of the bard, and in tribute I have reworked the Selkirk Grace for BookBairns.

BookBairn Grace
Some hae books and canna read
And some wad read that want it,
But I hae books that mammy reads,
Sae let the lord be thankit.

Slainte, Mammy and BookBairn xx

We've linked up with MamaMummyMe for #readwithme


  1. Your girl is so adorable! It's so nice that you are reading to her and all because then she will see how magical reading really is. So many people don't like reading, and I've never understood why. I hope she grows up to be an avid book reader. :)

    1. Thank you so much! I hope she grows up to be an avid reader too! I'm nearly finished All the Light We Cannot See (just 100 pages to go before book group on Friday evening) Thanks for reading x

  2. BookBairn's Mummy loved the famous Scottish classic stories about Katie Morag with Granny Island and Granny Mainland.
    Here's my toast to the lassies (GMaBookBairn, BookBairn's Mummy and BookBairn) - "Good health and happiness" - "and I will love thee still, my dear, Till all the seas gang dry".

    1. I can't wait to read Katie Morag with her! Thanks for reminding me! And for the toast tae the lassies! xx

  3. Aaaa she shows off the books so well :) A fab collection there, my 8 year old loves Katie Morag. Thanks for sharing with #ReadWithMe

    1. I loved Katie Morag, look forward to BookBairn being big enough to read them together!