The Doric Gruffalo,  by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler, translated into Doric by Sheena Blackhall

Whit the Clockleddy Heard by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Lydia Monks, translated by James Robertson

Black & White Publishing, Edinburgh, 2015, 2015, 26pp., 27pp., £6.99 x 2.

Julia Donaldson kens hou tae scrieve braw buiks fur bairns, an there can be nae mair skeely transcrievers nor Sheena Blackhall an James Robertson. The Doric Gruffalo ('Fit's a Gruffalo, then?'), rummles alang ahint the Scots an the Dundonian anes, an it's geyan upsteerin tae see sik buiks, no juist in a bairn's ain leid, but in a bairn's ain tune. It isnae easy tae transcrieve verses an haud tae aw the rhymes an rhythms, but Sheena Blackhall daes a skinklin joab:

For will ye tryst wi him?
Here, by thon steens,
An his favourite maet is roast tod's beens

Sin the Gruffalo stories hae lang been a favourite o bairns, nae glossary is necessaire. Unkent Scots vocabills suin cheynge tae kent anes, an kent anes are legeetimised bi bein prentit oan a page. Whit better wey is there fur bairns tae lear tae yaise their ain leid undoutandly?
        Whit the Clockleddy Heard is anither pure delicht, fu o repeteetion, beasts' grunches an squaiks an hoos, coamic seetuations an baddies that are sae glaikit they hae tae git made a ned o. Ilka page has a clockleddy wha is whiles deeficult tae fin, but sic braw fun tae luik fur gif ye're a fower year-auld! An the clockleddy, the ainly craitur that disna mak a soun, is the seelent 'hairt heroicall' o the hail ongauns:

“BLEAH!” said the yowe
“WOWFF” said the dug
And the fermer cheered, and baith cats purred
But the clockleddy didnae sae yin wee wurd.

Wi buiks lik thae twa, we micht een stert tae howp that Willie Soutar's wuiden cuddy can brek intae a binner.

Ann Matheson