Fantastic non-fiction celebrating the best of Scotland

What better way for children to discover more about Scotland’s history, people, wildlife and culture than through the pages of these beautiful non-fiction picture books?

Strong, Brave, True: Great Scots who Changed the World by Mairi Kidd & Tom Morgan-Jones

This celebration of famous, and lesser-known Scots is perfect for the home or the classroom. It’s jam-packed with wonderful trivia about inspiring artists, explorers, poets, scientists, sportspeople and engineers – all of whom had an impact on Scottish life, and even the world at large. Discover how one Scottish family made it their mission to light up the entire Scottish coastline, or how a mouldy experiment changed medical science forever. Each of the Scots featured is given the Morgan-Jones treatment, his comic-style illustrations bringing a touch of humour and energy that’s bound to engage school-aged children – particularly those growing up in Scotland!

The Man Who Loved Libraries: The Story of Andrew Carnegie by Andrew Larsen & Katty Maurey

Andrew Carnegie built over 2,500 public libraries and was one of the richest people in the world at the time of his death. But his early life was far from prosperous. His family were weavers in the small town of Dunfermline in Fife and they had very little money. After emigrating to America, however, their fortunes began to change and Andrew’s strong work ethic and commitment to learning would eventually make him a very wealthy man. This rags to riches tale is simply told – and illustrated – but at it’s heart is an important message about philanthropy, and the difference that books, and reading, can make.

Little Explorers: Scottish Castles illustrated by Louise Forshaw

Get ready to launch some rocks, escape from the dungeons and lower a drawbridge in this interactive exploration of Scotland’s most famous castles! Created in collaboration with Historic Environment Scotland, each vibrant spread in this pre-school history book is brimming with detail for wee ones to pore over with their grown ups – with something new to spot with every read. Little hands will love to push, pull and slide all the moving parts, bringing to life some of Scotland’s most famous battles and castle adventures.

An Amazing Animal Atlas of Scotland illustrated by Anders Frang

Did you know that a roe deer usually has twin fawns, sometimes triplets? Or that an Atlantic salmon can jump 3 meters up waterfalls and dams to get back home? Discover more about these amazing creatures – and another 150 fascinating facts – in Frang’s beautiful encyclopedia of animal life in Scotland. Divided into four sections covering Scotland’s main habitats (Rivers and Lochs, Mountains and Forests, Seas and Coasts and Grasslands), this is definitely a book to explore on a number of sittings. Each stunning spread is bursting with characterful creatures, as well as some timely information about conservation for our youngest readers.

Robert the Bruce: King of Scots by James Robertson & Jill Calder

Stories about Robert the Bruce are not new around these parts. But this one – aimed at adults as well as children – certainly raises the bar. For starters, it’s visually stunning. Calder’s bold, atmospheric illustrations perfectly capture a mediaeval Scotland; we have rain, we have foreboding looks…and we have a LOT of blood! But there are also pops of bright yellow and orange that lift even the murkiest of scenes. There is plenty of drama in the narrative to hold young readers’ attention, and the historical detail is spot on too. This is the ideal book for little ones encountering Bruce for the first time – or those looking for a fresh take on Scotland’s national hero.

My First Scottish Weather by Kate McLelland

There’s more to Scotland than rain! It snows, it can be foggy…and sometimes the sun even shines. Enjoy every season in Scotland with this delightful little board book for babies and toddlers. Each page features just one key word, but there is always more to talk about with your little ones. Can you count the leaves and flowers blowing in the wind? What colour scarves are the sledgers wearing in the snow? Books with minimal words are brilliant for inspiring conversations or point and say games – particularly bright, graphic ones like this. A magical book to dip in and out of, whatever the weather!

An Amazing Illustrated Atlas of Scotland by David MacPhail and Anders Frang

From Shetland to Skye and haggis to highland dancing, no Scottish stone is left unturned in this comprehensive exploration of our amazing country. Discover over 200 fascinating facts about the history, people, wildlife and culture that have shaped Scotland from pre-historic times to today. Frang’s lively illustrations are the stand-out star of this book, adding warmth, humour and character to each spread. And although there is so much to learn about on every page, the clever layout makes it easy for children to make sense of. Young readers will be desperate to set off on their own Scottish adventures by the time the last page is turned!

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