Scottish Bookshelf – Books In Scots

The Scottish bookshelf brings you all the latest book releases every month. Enjoy this list of books that have been colourfully translated into the Scots language.


This is a brief selection of reviews and blurbs of books in which children’s stories have been expertly translated into Scots.

The Scots language is often mistaken for Scottish slang or dialect, but it is actually the official name of a West Germanic language spoken in modern Scotland.

Scots is recognised as a language in its own right by the Scottish and UK Governments and by the European Union.



Book o Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales in Scots
Martin Waddell
Illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark
Edited by James Robertson & Matthew Fitt
Introduction by Julia Donaldson

We’re all familiar with fairy tales, especially those of Hans Christian Andersen. However, this version of events translated into Scots is certainly something special. These old tales have been expertly translated into Scots and by such big names – including, Elaine C.Smith, Val McDermid, Sheena Blackhall, Thomas Clark and more!

This charming, illustrated collection of stories is all the more colourful in Scots. From The Wee Match Lassie (The Little Matchstick Girl) to A Totally Princessy Princess (The Princess and the Pea) there’s a great selection of tales to choose from.

As an adult, this was an entertaining and educational read. I enjoyed spending some time deciphering the not-so-familiar Scots word and enjoyed the inclusion of phrases that are part of my regular lexicon.

I read a few of the stories to my niece who was enamoured by the language and keen to learn more. This book would make a lovely gift for the kids in your life and certainly a great addition to the classroom. There’s also no shame in buying it for yourself!

Hannah McLaren


A Laddie Cawed Christmas: A Boy Called Christmas In Scots

Matt Haig

Translated by Matthew Fitt

The first magical book in the festive series, from number one bestselling author Matt Haig, and featuring enchanting illustrations from Chris Mould. Now in Scots for the first time, A Laddie Cawed Christmas is a tale of adventure, snow, kidnapping, elves, more snow and a boy called Nikolas, who isn’t afraid to believe in magic.


The Itchy Coo Book O Grimms’ Fairy Tales In Scots

Saviour Pirotta

Edited By James Robertson and Matthew Fitt

Step into a magical world of beautiful princesses and handsome princes, wicked witches and good fairies. Here are ten of the best-loved fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm, retold in a friendly, accessible way that’s perfect for young children, and now in a beautiful new edition.



Roald Dahl

Translated by Anne Donovan

Illustrated by Quentin Blake

Matilda is the world’s most famous bookworm, no thanks to her ghastly parents.  This translation into Scots is a timely addition to the growing number of high quality books available to children and young people to read in the wonderfully rich and expressive Scots language.


A Squatter o Bairnrhyme

Stuart A Paterson

 Tippermuir Books Limited

A Squatter o Bairnrhymes is a collection of amusing and clever poems, bairnrhymes, and daftness, written in Scots by poet and performer Stuart A Paterson.

A funny, wonderful, and thought-provoking collection of poetry that can be enjoyed by young people and adults alike. Comprises poems and bairnrhymes, with a supporting glossary.


Paddington in Scots

Michael Bond
Illustrated by R. W. Alley
Translated by James Robertson


The original tale o the bear fae Daurkest Peru. Here’s the classic tale o the bear fae Daurkest Peru that hid awa on a ship heidin for Britain. He turned up at Paddington Station in Lunnon, wi naethin but a suitcase, hauf a jaur o marmalade and a tag that read ‘Please look efter this bear. Thank you.’



The Nicht Afore Christmas

Clement Clarke Moore

Translated into Scots by Irene McFarlane

Tippermuir Books Limited

Faither Yuletide is on his annual journey round the world and has just arrived over Scotland. One dad is in for a big surprise!

Enjoy the original Christmas poem, ‘A Visit from St.Nicholas’ by Clement Clarke Moore, imaginatively translated into Scots by Irene McFarlane, and beautifully illustrated by Rosemary Cunningham.


The Snowman™ in Scots 
Based on the story by Raymond Briggs
Translated by Matthew Fitt
Spend Christmas with everyone’s favourite Snowman! Now available in Scots for the very first time, Matthew Fitt brings this classic tale to life in a new way which is sure to delight Scots readers both new and old. “When the snaw faws, magic glisters in the air. Wan snawy day a laddie builds a Snawman and in the middle o the nicht the Snawman comes tae life.” Featurin artwork fae the original animatit film The Snowman, this bonnie book will tak ye on a magical journey tae the North Pole and hame again’


Billionaire Bairn
David Walliams
Illustrated by Quentin Blake
Translated by Matthew Fitt


Explore the multi-faceted life of the Solway Firth that both unites and divides Scotland and England, and the wildlife and livelihoods that have depended on it.



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