Scottish Picture Books of 2017

As we hurtle towards the end of another busy year, it's great to look back at some of the wonderful picture books that have been created by authors and illustrators living and working in Scotland. We can't mention them all, but here are a few of our highlights from 2017:


One Happy Tiger by Catherine Rayner 

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 (main image above). 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.

Speed Bonnie Boat cover

Speed Bonnie Boat illustrated by Alfredo Belli

Inspired by the famous Skye Boat Song, this beautifully illustrated book tells the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie's famous journey from the Outer Hebrides to Skye after his defeat at the Battle of Culloden. It's a great book for introducing young children to Scottish history and can be read, or sung, to settle little ones at bedtime. If you can't remember the tune, you can always listen to the Skye Boat Song in the Bookbug Song & Rhyme Library.

All the Way Home

All the Way Home by Debi Gliori

When Daddy Penguin and his egg are whisked away by a gust of wind, they must face many perils in their quest to get back home to the huddle. This stunning new story from the creator of many Bookbug favourites is a wonderful journey of emotional ups and downs, perfect for snuggling up and reading with your little one when the wintry weather comes in.

I am actually a penguin cover

I am Actually a Penguin by Sean Taylor and Kasia Matyjaszek

We were delighted to work with Scotland-based Kasia as our illustrator-in-residence during Bookbug Week 2017. Her playful illustrations perfectly capture the energy of babies and young children, and in the hilarious story, we meet one little girl who decides that living as a penguin is much more fun that just dressing up as one! For babies and toddlers, Kasia also provided the illustrations for Michelle Sloan's This Bonny Baby - a brilliant board book with mirror that celebrates childhood in all its messy glory!

When Grandad was a Penguin

When Grandad was a Penguin by Morag Hood

Continuning the penguin theme, the latest book by Scottish-based author and illustrator Morag Hood is a real gem of a story. When a little girl visits her grandad, she quickly notices that he seems to be acting a little different - something very fishy is going on! This heart-warming story about a grandad and a penguin who trade places is a really lovely one to share with your little ones.

The Ugly Five

The Ugly Five by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

No Scottish picture book list would be complete without a contribution from Bookbug's very own patron, Julia Donaldson. The Ugly Five is a wonderful celebration of difference, with bristly wildebeest, the yucky bald vulture, the spotty hyena, the gangly marabou stork and the warthog all reminding us that everyone is perfect, just as they are! The rhyme and rhythm make this a joy to read aloud to little ones, or even your baby bump.

Ally Bally Bee cover

Ally Bally Bee  illustrated by Kathryn Selbert

Sing along with little Ally in this bright, lift-the-flap book that brings the famous Scottish rhyme to life for babies and toddlers. Little ones will love the playful teddy who gets splashed in a paddling pool, covered in paint and lost amongst the sweeties! There is plenty to look at on each page and the flaps are sturdy enough for little ones to practise turning themselves. A lovely gift for a new wee baby!


You can find inspiration for more Scottish books to share with little ones on our regularly updated Kids Book Lists page. Happy reading!