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Friday Pick{ture Book} #5: The Big Katie Morag Storybook

The Big Katie Morag Storybook: Mairi Hedderwick
(Random House Children’s Books, 1996)

What other choice for pick of the week when we’re on Mull? Katie Morag lives on the Isle of Struay, a small Scottish island. Struay is based on Coll, which is just west of Mull.

Katie Morag’s island is called the Isle of Struay. Nobody can walk to Katie Morag’s island, or take a bus or a train. The only way to go is by boat.

We have several Katie Morag stories but the book I choose to bring away with us is a collection of short stories, poems and pictures. The pictures and stories are lovely to share with young children and I imagine older children will love pouring through this book and using it as a jumping point to make up their own stories. The book includes Katie Morag’s family tree and a map of the island. I used to make up lots of fantasy worlds and people when I was younger (mainly inspired by J R R Tolkien!)

There is a lotsto learn from the Katie Morag books, even if you don’t have the luxury of getting to the Inner Hebrides yourself. Looking online, it seems that ‘An Island Home’ is a KS1 topic used in schools so there are plenty of resources to look at for inspiration of things to do after reading Katie Morag’s stories.

The Big Katie Morag Storybook contains three short stories, our favourite being ‘The Baking Day Secret’ where Katie Morag has to take her little brother with her on baking day, and they are loaded up with cakes and treats from all the islanders – what’s not to love? There’s a recipe for porridgies (flap jacks) in the book too, which the girls will love making.

Other positives in Katie Morag are the strong female characters, especially Grannie Island, and the introduction to a different kind of life for city-based children. It’s easy to fall in love with Katie Morag’s island life, and sitting here on a beautiful day in Mull, we don’t want to leave…

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