I love reading books in Scots, whether that be for my own enjoyment, reading to my own children or to a class or group. It is a wonderfully expressive language and the vocabulary is just fantastic, making it a joy to read.
Given what a wonderful language it is, I though I would share some of my favourite Scots translations. These are just a few that are out there, there are loads more!
1. The Reiver Rat by Julia Donaldson, translated by James Robertson
So many of Julia Donaldson’s wonderful rhyming picture books have been translated into Scots that it’s not really fair to pick just one! I love the various Gruffalo translations, Room on the Broom in Scots, The Troll and the Kist o Gowd and all the others. But I do have a soft spot for The Revier Rat. The Highway Rat is a fantastic wee story about the rat who learns that you reap what you sow. The Scots translation is full of wonderfully expressive vocabulary, making it a joy to read aloud. Perfect for young audiences.
2. Diary o a Wimpy Wean by Jeff Kinney, translated by Thomas Clark
I have made no secret about how much I love Diary o a Wimpy Wean. It is as hilarious as the original but with a Scots twist. The dialogue is so real and relatable that children can easily identify with the characters. Ideal for older primary children and upwards.
3. The Tale o the Wee Mowdie by Werner Holzwarth and Wolf Erlbruch, translated by Matthew Mackie
This is a book about poo. If that is not your thing, then this might not be for you! However, for everyone else this is a hilarious wee tale about the mole who goes in search of the creature that has keeched on his head. My 4 and 6 year old absolutely love this book and fall about laughing every time we read it. Brilliant for introducing Scots vocabulary as we go through meeting an array of animal suspects.
4. Harry Potter in Scots by JK Rowling, translated by Matthew Fitt
I was so excited when this was released a couple of years ago and I was not disappointed. I am going to confess, I have never been a big Harry Potter fan but the Scots edition blew me away. It has been expertly translated by Matthew Fitt and it is a really fantastic read. Great for expanding vocabulary -it introduced me to some new words (clishmaclaver has become one of my favourites!) It is pretty challenging, however. Definitely upper primary and older.
5. The Eejits by Roald Dahl, translated by Matthew Fitt
I love all of the Roald Dahl translations although some are quite challenging, like The GFG. The Eejits is one of the more accessible. Again, the vocabulary is brilliant and it is a great book for reading aloud.
6. We’re Gangin on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury, translated by Susan Rennie
This is another great one for reading aloud and getting your audience to join in! Brilliant for encouraging younger readers to use Scots vocabulary and plenty of scope for actions and movement. A firm favourite!
7. Kidnappit by Robert Louis Stevenson, translated by Matthew Fitt and James Robertson
This graphic novel adaptation of the classic novel, Kidnapped, is a beautiful book and the Scots translation is brilliant. I am a big fan of graphic novels and this is a great one for older children.
8. Mr Mingin by David Walliams, translated by Matthew Fitt
I love David Walliams book. I think they are fun, accessible and entertaining and the Scots translations are no different. I think my favourite has to be Mr Mingin, the story of Chloe and her new best friend, Mr Mingin. It is very funny and full of wonderful Scots vocabulary for readers to enjoy independently or to listen to.
9. The Adventurs o Tintin: The Derk Isle by Herge, translated by Susan Rennie
Who doesn’t love Tintin? Another brilliant graphic novel translated into Scots. It can sometimes feel a bit daunting to be faced with pages of unfamiliar looking text (in Scots or otherwise) and graphic novels feel a little less scary. Another one for older children to delve into.
10. The Teeger that Cam for his Tea by Judith Kerr, translated by Susan Rennie
Everyone knows the story of The Tiger who Came to Tea which makes this a great book to explore some Scots vocabulary with. It is a beautifully illustrated book that is ideal for young readers. Again, scope for acting and recreating scenes. One of my favourites.
As I said there are loads of excellent children’s books in Scots, so go and explore what’s out there and enjoy!