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10 stunning Scottish picture books

Genre: Art, Illustration
Age group: 0-2, 3-5
Topics: Bookbug

A few of our favourites, from board books for babies to picture books for school-aged children!

We're lucky to have so many talented authors and illustrators committed to producing high-quality picture books for little ones in Scotland. Here are a few of our favourite books that they've produced - from board books for babies up to picture books for young school-aged children. Happy reading!

Catherine Rayner One Happy Tiger

If, like us, you fell in love with Augustus the tiger in Catherine Rayner's original story, you won't be disappointed with this beautiful counting book featuring the same loveable feline. This simple book touches on the themes of friendship and nature in a very gentle way, and is a great book to introduce your little ones to numbers 1 to 10. Each page is like its own little work of art – a real treasure of a book.

Melanie Mitchell Three Craws

The traditional Scots song is brought to life perfectly in this playful board book for babies and toddlers. Lift-the-flaps to discover what the three cheeky craws get up to as they sit upon their waw whilst mummy is away! If your wee one loves to sing this at their Bookbug Session, or at home with family, they will enjoy seeing the craws come to life in this sturdy little book – great for little hands learning to turn pages.

Debi Gliori All the Way Home

When Daddy Penguin and his egg are carried away by a gust of wind, they must face many perils in their quest to get back home to the huddle. This beautifully illustrated story from the creator of Bookbug is a real journey of emotional ups-and-downs. The perfect book to snuggle up and read with your little one when the wintry weather sets in, or when the mood calls for a reassuring bedtime story.

Kasia Matyjaszek Sean Taylor I Am Actually a Penguin

Matyjaszek's vibrant illustrations perfectly capture the energy of children in this hilarious story about a girl who decides that living as a penguin is much more fun than just dressing up as one! Chaos ensues as ‘penguin’ practises sliding down the stairs and catching food in her beak. This is a real celebration of early imagination and the power of play – themes that little ones and families will easily relate to.

Ross Collins This is a Dog

There’s a dog on the loose – and he’s determined to hijack a First Animals book in this simple, entertaining story. Dog is excitable and full of charm, and will stop at nothing to take centre stage…but he must act quickly when the other animals start to get angry! The colour-palette is bold and appealing and each creature is brimming with personality: little ones (and grown ups) will be laughing all the way to the end.

Meg McLaren Life is Magic

When Houdini the magician’s assistant accidently transforms the great Monsieur Lapin into a rabbit, Houdini decides that the show must go on! But things don’t go quite to plan in this sharp-witted tale about teamwork and friendship. McLaren’s original illustrations are full of beautiful, visual detail, and her use of storyboards as a way of unfolding the narrative is literally magical.

Morag Hood Brenda is a Sheep

Brenda is a sheep. But is she really? She doesn’t look quite like the others with her dashing grey fur and pointy teeth. Despite her differences, the other sheep love her and are oblivious to their fate in this comic re-telling of the wolf-in-sheep-clothing story. Hood’s unique graphic style and minimal use of colour is hugely effective, and despite the sense of impending peril, you’ll be left with a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

Axel Scheffler Julia Donaldson The Reiver Rat

Gie's yer toffee and tablet/ Yer sookers, choaclits and chews! Wee fans of the original Highway Rat story will love this Scots translation! The richness of the Scots language makes this the perfect story to read aloud to groups of children, with oodles of expression, and maybe a few actions too. At the story’s core is a wonderful message about actions and consequences, and the illustrations are just spot on.

Jill Calder Miranda Krestovnikoff The Sea

Aimed at slightly older children, this delightful exploration of the earth’s deepest seas and oceans is brimming with fascinating facts and narratives. Calder’s whimsical illustrations help to capture the energy of the blue planet – and the animals that inhabit it – and also bring to life the important messages about conservation at the heart of the book. A fabulous book for young ones to dip in and out of.

Mairi Kidd Tom Morgan-Jones Strong, Brave, True: Great Scots who Changed the World ... and How You Can Too!

If you’re looking for a picture book for curious school-aged children, this celebration of famous – and lesser-known – Scots is a real gem. Jam-packed with amazing trivia about Scotland’s most inspiring artists, explorers, poets, philosophers, sportspeople and engineers, all brought to life by Morgan-Jones’ comic illustrations, this is a book that has appeal for children of all ages.