BOOKS – New children’s books from Picture Kelpies launched

Last night saw the launch of two new books from Picture Kelpies, a range of picture books for young children from Edinburgh publishers Floris Books.

Children and adults alike sat enthralled in Augustine United Church, as Edinburgh-based authors and storytellers Janis Mackay and Lari Don read from their quite different but equally enchanting new books.

The Wee SealJanis Mackay’s The Wee Seal is the poetic and atmospheric tale of young Jamie, who watches a baby seal on the beach close to his home. Before reading from her book, Janis tells us how it was inspired by her own experience of witnessing a very similar scene of a seal pup, and how relieved and delighted she was when it was finally reunited with its mother.

Gabby Grant’s delicate illustrations combine with Janis Mackay’s rhythmic words to create a heartwarming and tender tale, full of the atmosphere of the Scottish islands where the story is set, and one which you can imagine becoming a firm favourite with children and parents alike.

The Magic WordBefore reading from The Magic Word, Lari Don takes a moment to not only thank everyone who has come tonight, but also to all the parents and teachers who take the time to share picture books with children, creating the ‘book lovers of the future’.

Lari’s story is a fun and exciting tale of mischief and magic, where Catriona thinks she may have discovered a quick and easy way to get through the tedious task of writing thank-you letters to all the people who’ve given her birthday presents. However, when she cooks up a colourful brew in granny’s cauldron, things don’t go quite the way she planned.

Packed with details and scenes which children will love, Claire Keay’s cheerful illustrations bring Catriona’s story to life, resulting in a book which is not only fun but also has a light-hearted moral message.

In an age where there are so many distractions for children’s attention, Picture Kelpies is a range full of titles which will appeal to Scots youngsters and — as Lari has pointed out — are an excellent way of not only sharing time with children, but letting them experience the magic which they can only find between the covers of a good book.

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