Another niche alphabet book, this one is an exercise in pairing Scottish words or items with each of the 26 letters.
As is common in ABC books with a narrow focus or theme, some word choices are obvious, while others are unusual or even odd. With one word (or short phrase) per page, the text is dependent on the illustrations to provide context and entertainment. These are colorful and appealing, featuring a family (Dad carries a toddler in a front pouch) with a Scottie dog interspersed here and there. Adding them to more of the scenes would have livened up the visual interest; the Castles page has no people in it, for instance (though there’s that Scottie). Unsurprising word choices include: Kilt, Loch, Queen of Scots, Thistle and Umbrella. On the other hand, Forth Bridge, John O’Groats, Midgies, Whiskey, and “Very, very wet” seem like a stretch. The challenging letter X is the saltire cross on the Scottish flag. Some will be disappointed to see that H is for Highland cow, not Haggis. The two-page glossary in the back will help to clear up some confusion; it informs readers that a “midgie is a biting insect that lives in Scotland.”
Sure to be prominently displayed in gift shops all over Scotland, this might be useful in the States for Scottish expats or families preparing for a trip. (Alphabet picture book. 5-8)